Are The DWP Following Their Own Safeguarding Rules When They Sanction Sick and Disabled Claimant’s Benefits?

sanction-sabs1People with a mental health condition claiming out of work sickness benefits may have had their benefits wrongly sanctioned due to the DWP not carrying out correct ‘safeguarding’ procedures.

Over 100,000 sick and disabled people claiming Employment Support Allowance have had their benefits stopped or reduced for not carrying some form of ‘work related activity’.  A report released recently by the Methodist Church found that around 100 people a day with a mental health problems are currently having their benefits sanctioned in this way.  There is growing concern however that many of these sanctions could have been incorrectly applied due to the DWP failing to carry out home visits to assess the impact on the claimant of stopping their only source of income.

The Jobcentre guidelines are clear“If a claimant has a condition that could affect their ability to understand and comply with conditionality, a Core Visit to their home must be arranged before any sanction decision is considered. “

According to the DWP these visits should be carried out before sanctioning anybody with a “mental health condition or learning difficulties, or conditions affecting cognition such as stroke, autistic spectrum disorder or attention deficit disorder that might affect their understanding of mandatory interview requirements and the consequences of failing to comply.”

The guidelines state that two attempts must be made to visit the claimant at home and if contact is not made then “every attempt must be made to ensure the claimant’s welfare … the HEO must attempt to contact the following sources to establish the claimant’s welfare: Claimant’s Appointee/POA/next of kin, 
Claimant’s Community Psychiatric Nurse, Social Services, Police.”

These rules only apply to people on Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and there is reams of anecdotal evidence that they are being flagrantly ignored.  One reason for this could be because the guidance is only published in internal Jobcentre documents and not routinely made available to the general public or their advocates.  Were it not for a Freedom of Information request then this information would probably have never seen the light of day.

If you are an ESA claimant with a mental health problem and you were sanctioned without these guidelines being followed then this may be a legitimate reason to have the sanction overturned. According to Disability Rights UK, who have called for the little known rules to be extended to people on Jobseeker’s Allowance, “If the DWP stop benefit for a customer without applying Mental Health Safeguards then, according to the guidance, they must reinstate benefit.  If the DWP do not have information about the customer’s mental health at the time that they stop benefit but later receive this information then they must reinstate benefit.”

Let’s make sure everyone knows about this, the safeguarding guidelines start from paragraph 95 in this document (pdf).

This blog has no sources of funding so here’s a quick reminder that you can help ensure it continues by making a donation.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

107 responses to “Are The DWP Following Their Own Safeguarding Rules When They Sanction Sick and Disabled Claimant’s Benefits?

  1. Have the DWP not followed their guidelines in your case? Perhaps you can sue them for maladministration http://refuted.org.uk/2013/10/13/maladministration/

  2. Myself and other mental health sufferers were sent letters from Atos demanding that we attend a WCA. Knowing how bad my mental health can get and the other people too my social worker wrote to Atos explaining the difficulties that I have every day. And offered to attend the WCA with me because of his own concerns how they affect clients

    The result was that Atos backed off and no longer invited us to attend

    So why did they carry on pursuing other Mh sufferers and sanction them when the advocates who assists Mh clients their explanations of client problems had already been accepted.?

    • overburdenddonkey

      chewie
      in a nutshell, knowledge is power…know your rights….

      • That’s if it’s applied across the board which it certainly isn’t in a number of cases
        Are social worker jobs in decline?
        If so then removing any form of advocacy will put many Mh sufferers at risk

        • overburdenddonkey

          chewie
          i have my views on this and have previously expressed them to you, they haven’t changed…
          ‘Are social worker jobs in decline?’ no idea…
          ‘If so then removing any form of advocacy will put many Mh sufferers at risk’…yes…
          the state doesn’t want empowered masses…they preach/teach right and wrong..and get profit from doing this….

        • Chewie

          Its know your rights I am afraid – EVERYONE has the right to be accompanied, in the case of individuals there is a “McKenzie Friend” – now if DWP refuse a “McKenzie Friend” there is a definete problem as Courts acknowledge them. If DWP doesn’t its stitch up time. As for Maxi_Arse they stand on even less ground for refusal than DWP does.

        • Scotland is already a bureaucratic Police State, policing by the collective for the collective step outside the progressive collective and your dead meat.

        • Didn’t know wee Knickerless played poker: “Cameron’s bluff should be called” lol Maybe, wee Nicola should go All In lol

          • Wee Nichola, secluded car park,Stan Collymore………

          • Wee Nicola says “Naw” to forced/assisted “suicide”t – thank fuck for some sense. Forced/assisted suicide is a dangerous road to go down. There are so vested interests that could want someone “bumped off”… inheritances, money, property… even “outcome payments” to the like of Maximus. There is no point in bawbags such as Patrick Harvie saying that “safeguards” are built into the legislation to protect vulnerable people: “it will require the “signature” of two “health care professionals” before an execution is ordered”. “Healthcare professionals”: asides from Maximus not even “doctors”, “social workers”, “psychiatrists” are beyond temptation when money is on the table And like everything else it starts with the “terminally ill”, then on to those who are a bit “forgetful”, those with “depression”. The right to die is a Licence to Kill. Wee Nicola is spot on on this one.

  3. Dwp are ignoring both law and Guidelines. Disabled claimants on jsa are protected in law but this also is being ignored.

    It is always mentioned “do everything they can” but the law states reasonable.

    7
    Actively seeking employment.
    (1)
    For the purposes of this Act, a person is actively seeking employment in any week if
    he takes in that week such steps as he can reasonably be expected to have to take in
    order to have the best prospects of securing employment.

    This is 3 steps a week if reasonable.also

    b)
    may restrict his availability for employment in any week in such
    circumstances as may be prescribed (for example, on grounds of conscience,
    religious conviction or physical or mental condition or because he is caring
    for another person) and in such ways as may be prescribed.

    In line with the equality act.however don’t expect them to even recognise or abide by it.the rug needs to be pulled underneath them at the right time.

  4. The 5th of March Mark’s Tragedy in German History Anniversary of the Nazi Party getting 43.9% of Vote at the Reichstag Elections in 1933 .

    This Helped the Nazi Party to Pass the Enabling Act and Establish a Tyranny which Brought Misery Death and Destruction to Germany and the German People .

    Better the Red Flag than the Chains of Slavery and Oppression.

  5. Safeguarding – sanctions applied to any group of claimants can never be safe, the claim is fundamentally based on socioeconomic risk and vulnerability to sanction 100% of the subsistence allowance makes a nonsense of any claimant safeguarding and the basis of the claim.

    How can claimants be safeguarded from an assault that sanctions 100% of their subsistence income?

  6. Reblogged this on Christopher John Ball and commented:
    I am increasingly of the belief that there are staff working at the DWP who should face prosecution, they should be exposed by all legitimate means. There can be no hiding and simply following orders is no mitigation.

    • Whilst being maliciously sanctioned the JCP coach barbed “no skin off my nose”.

    • Yes, for instance the DM who thought it a good idea to sanction a vulnerable person like David Clapson who suffered serious health problems both physical and mental: Has the person lost their job? Been investigated by the police for a possible criminal prosecution? Been demoted? Or has indeed nothing been done to them at all and instead a giant cover up has been engineered to hide the guilty people and organisations. I cite poor Mr Clapson because he was the first name that came to mind. There have been many more; thousands of them, literally.

      The body count is rising and sooner or later there has to be a reckoning for it. These were fellow human beings we’re talking of, not statistics on a jobcentre wall.

      • Are we to believe that work coaches/DM were/are ignorant of the ramifications of the sanctions they instigated and administered.

        JCP work coaches are in a frontline prime position to appreciate the human and socioeconomic destruction of the malicious sanctioning regime they are complicit in.

      • You have to realize DMs work harder for Bonuses [as all managers do – I have seen nothing that DMs are below the Rank of SEO – frontline section Managers are usually EOs, then you have SEOs then HEOs, Range 7, 6s, & 5s at Offices] – More Sanctions, a bigger Bonus.

        Blood Money some would call it

    • Another Fine Mess

      I agree CJB and Raining.
      Monday’s Dispatches said that Mr Clapson was on his 2nd, so now
      3-month sanction.

      • “He did not appeal his sanction …”

        So he was “fine” then in that case & all was well …

        • DWP’s carefully considered answer/explanation and response to the unavoidable fact of the (entirely unnecessary & preventable) death of a member of the general public, directly linked to (government) sanctioned/imposed ‘help’/’support’ @JobCentrePlus.

          If the given name of JCP sounds Orwellian; it just goes with the Terror-Tory. DWP/those responsible for the minions working so hard to spread fear and premature death, wash their hands of any responsibility for, or direct involvement in, the early deaths of citizens. A dystopia is born.

          The official response seems to have been enough, up to now, to have been accepted in mitigation of the continued use of benefit sanctions as a randomly meted-out punishment. It’s been used, time and again, when members of the public have lost their lives in the same, or similar circumstances. Instances have been widely – though not widely enough – reported:- of deaths which have come about as the result of policies such as “the removal of the spare room subsidy” and – of course – the complete removal of subsistence income. In this case, accompanied only by an offer (allegedly) to receive a replacement ‘hardship’ payment and invitation to “appeal”.

          So that’s alright then; we should sleep easy in our beds, in the certain knowledge that the perfect ‘no fault’; ‘hands.off’ disclaimer.has been written and allowed in law. And should we, or anyone we care about/those we have never met, need to sign on – this is the standard of ‘customer service’ to expect @JCP-.

    • . BBC PLANNING STITCH UP OF SURVIVORS OF HISTORIC CSA AND CAMPAIGNERS. TO PAINT THEM UP AS CONSPIRACY LOONIES

      THIS IS BBC DOING THE GOVT BIDDING FOR YOU.

  7. philipburdekin

    I recieved a letter today for me to attend a work related interview and they have a list of my illnesses apart from one, these at as follows,
    DIABETES

    C.O.P.D

    RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

    OsteoArthritis

    FIBROMYALGIA

    MYALGIA ENCAFALAMIOLITIS. (ME)

    RAYNAUDS

    High blood pressure.

    2 Crushed discs in lower back

    COAD

    And now I have been diagnosed with Vascular Dementiia which is the one they don’t know about yet.

    • Ah mate – are you on ESA? If so then its the old “College Try” – they’ve been sending out letters to people phrased in such a way that you HAVE to attend when in fact you do not. If on ESA simply send a recordered letter back stating you have no wish to take up the Order as put in their letter.

      If not on ESA I urge you to take a witness/record it.

      If they give you greif about a witness request they state their objections in writing – [send a letter so there is a record] and state you wil be seeking legal advice – Mckenzie Friend is the phrase to use.

      Good Luck

  8. My son has been sanctioned 3 times already (with another possible one in the pipeline) for difficulties he has with getting appointments wrong at the work programme – despite countless attempts to try to get them to take into account and make reasonable adjustments to support him to attend, bearing in mind his cognitive and mental health difficulties. The first sanction lasted for 2 months, although I managed to appeal and got this money back, it still meant we had to support him (I am disabled myself) for all that time. Despite promises that they would help him, they continue to report any minor infraction, despite him being fully engage, anytime he gets a day wrong they are reporting it to DWP. This is only because he is coming to the end of the two years programme and they want to get paid, so are trying to force him into any old job (despite not having given him any support with work prep/experience etc). They are, in essence, punishing him for his disability, rather than helping him. And no, he’s never had even a suggestion of a Core Visit……

  9. And for Todays Crazy Idea on Benifits I offer:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-31743031

    Lets Limit Child Benifit to just three children.
    I know in the Western World that Population is growing smaller – this could be our contribution! We are all in it together… unless you’re not rich.. on benifits… work for a living….
    If you have any Crazy… Out there… Like Benifit Killing Ideas, all gratefully received by the ConCons “We’re Desperate to be Re-elected and we Bank with HSBC” Tory Party
    This has been a Party Political Broadcast by David Camron and his Bum Boy RTU Smith…. Love Woosters forever

  10. Vote for CLASS WAR!!

    EAT THE RICH!!

  11. Vote for CLASS WAR!!

    DOUBLE DOLE & PENSION

  12. Collapsing the welfare system would plunge the UK into mass socioeconomic disorder is IDS a closet anarchist?

  13. overburdenddonkey

    they don’t care..except about themselves..they are trained not to care, about the masses ie they feel a different type/class/category of guilt/shame than we do..only knowing ones root healing human rights will help knowledge is power…know your root human rights, and build on that/them….basic right; is that we all have a right to vitality giving vitals of life…no one comes into this world grasping a clock card and/or a p45…the workers song…measuring emotions; on a scale of 1 to 10 how joyful do you feel? ‘oh do fuck off and leave me in peace!’… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrdl4ijru8o

    • overburdenddonkey

      gandhi to the people of india i’d better get the scientific evidence before we act…uk govt we’ll soon put a stop to that…

    • If it was the last job going on this planet, I wouldn’t work for the DWP because it would go against my morals and ethics to treat claimants with utter disregard and respect. I could not be trained “not to care” because I have a conscience and empathy and I can’t help BUT care. I don’t think the DWP staff are trained not to care, but rather they just don’t care! I mean, you would have to be a certain kind of person to work there and actively engage in persecuting the poor, unemployed, sick and disabled and not feel guilty and ashamed. I understand that no-one wants to be without employment but I could never bring myself to work for a corrupt organisation and neither could I feel comfortable threatening, attacking, lying and abusing on behalf of that organisation …. or in this case, the corrupt system. Apathy only perpetuates abuse, making those who collude, just as guilty!

  14. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    This could be vital news for some people with mental health problems, who have been sanctioned by the DWP. According to the Department’s own rules, the Jobcentre has two arrange two home visits before sanctioning people, whose mental health problems may mean that they cannot understand or comply with conditionality. This means that many people on ESA may be able to appeal to have their sanctions overturned, as there is much evidence to suggest that the DWP has routinely flouted these rules. Mr Void makes clear that the DWP does not want the general public knowing about this. They have kept it secret and it was only revealed after a FoI request. This is of potentially life-saving importance, so make sure as many people know about this as possible.

  15. There are 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK today. That’s 27 per cent of children, or more than one in four.

    There are even more serious concentrations of child poverty at a local level: in 100 local wards, for example, between 50 and 70 per cent of children are growing up in poverty.

    Work does not provide a guaranteed route out of poverty in the UK. Two-thirds (66 per cent) of children growing up in poverty live in a family where at least one member works.

    People are poor for many reasons. But explanations which put poverty down to drug and alcohol dependency, family breakdown, poor parenting, or a culture of worklessness are not supported by the facts

    http://www.cpag.org.uk/child-poverty-facts-and-figures

  16. Another Fine Mess

    Bye Bye A4E
    – hopefully.

    • Its interesting to note that the Torygraph has relegated any article with IDS to the “no comments allowed” section of the site. What is heartening is that when comments were allowed on the Torygrpah even their staunchly cun’servative readers all hammered into IDS with a vitriol normal reserved for “bloody left-eyes.”

      The DM also suffers from this wonderful outpouring of what a cockwombling fuckwit IDS is in its “best rated” comments. It quite amazing just how quickly articles with, or by, IDS are relegated of the main page and dropped from the “list of headlines” page.

      IDS is toxic for the cun’servatives, no one likes him, everyone on both the left and the right thinks he’s a useless cunt. If he were not in such a safe seat he would be ejected from parliament, and would probably find it hard to get any of the usual “work” as even businesses think he a useless cunt who would sully their reputation.

  17. The insane [I’m talking about you George “Wooster Wannabe” RTU Smith] are loose in the Asylum

    http://samedifference1.com/2015/03/05/new-uc-six-month-earnings-rules-will-hit-200000/

    Question: If on such a contract… and starving as no regular work coming in (that is the point of these contracts isn’t it) How humasnly possible is it to survive without eating for 6 months let alone keep a roof ovr your head?

    Answer: Nothing to do with use Guv, RTU says if you wish “that you are imaginery eating for 6 months you’ll survive… – its an aspiration.”

    Sick B%$£”%s

  18. And in Other News ConCons Scramble to Deflect critism from UN:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-31759094

    New Community Care Rights for those with Mental Illness.

    Question – what point is new rights if you’re left starving due to Sanctions?

    • @Gazza o posted up some links to do with sanctions on here

    • overburdenddonkey

      gazza
      but one’s rights are violated in fighting for those rights to be upheld…the last thing that people with mhp’s should be doing is fighting for rights….people with mhp’s should be exempt from all conditioanlity, until they are cured…

      • overburdenddonkey

        i should add that all sanctions and conditionality are counter productive and should be scrapped…

      • The only Cure – given the evidence the UN is trawling through right now which is why the LillyYellowLibs are coming out with this idea – is to kill the unproductive & unwanted [here read whoever is not Rich or Bank with HSBC et al] the Nasty Party is interested in just like the Nazi’s…

        • overburdenddonkey

          gazza
          well that’s what they do is to impose legislation between us and our natural rights….

          • overburdenddonkey

            ps gazza
            legislation does not solve crime/breach of conditionality and/or wrong doing, it formalizes and accepts crime/breach of conditionality and/or wrong doing…thus providing an opportunity for many to escape/avoid persecution/prosecution for crime/breach of conditionality and/or wrong doing, with obvious divisive consequences for those that cannot…

  19. A-brightfuture

    So IDS has been to Washington, and now he is in Canada, I thought the DWP is UK based????????????? You are not seeing Mr. Maximus by any chance.?
    What about standing up and addressing this country with your garbage, instead of hiding behind bodyguards and bogus DWP spokespersons.

    Have Maximus`shareholders paid for your plane tickets, hotel, breakfasts, underpants, babywipes, and a personal secretary.

    NO..I thought not.

  20. Police break down door of Mansfield man’s flat after DWP told them he could be suicidal

    Mansfield Chad – 6th March 2015

    Police officers smashed down the front door of a Mansfield man’s flat after the DWP tipped them off he could be suicidal.

    Kevan Ramsdale was settling down for the night in front of his TV with his headphones on when two policemen walked into his bedroom.

    Kevan 52, said he was shocked and surprised to see the two men.

    Mr Ramsdale who is in the process of making a claim with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), said: “I was talking to someone about my claim being delayed and I asked the woman on the phone if she had seen a Channel 4 Dispatches TV programme the night before showing how many people had committed suicide after having their benefits cut.

    Read More:
    http://www.chad.co.uk/news/local/police-break-down-door-of-mansfield-man-s-flat-after-dwp-told-them-he-could-be-suicidal-1-7142688

  21. Northampton woman, 39, committed suicide after ‘constant battle’ to receive disability benefit

    Northampton Chronicle & Echo – 5th March 2015

    Julia Kelly, 39, killed herself at her Kingsthorpe home in November

    She committed suicide days after receiving a letter demanding she repay £4,000 in disability benefit

    Her family ‘firmly believe’ the stress of the benefit claims was the ‘trigger’ for her death

    A 39-year-old Northampton woman who was unable to work due to chronic back pain killed herself after the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) threatened to cut off her disability benefits, an inquest heard.

    Julia Kelly, formerly of Kingsthorpe, Northampton, committed suicide at her home address in November after she had been sent a series of letters from the DWP, including one that demanded she pay back £4,000.

    Read More:
    http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/northampton-woman-39-committed-suicide-after-constant-battle-to-receive-disability-benefit-1-6615017

  22. Pingback: There Is No Such Thing As A Fair Benefit Sanction And They Are Not A Tory Invention | the void

  23. Pingback: Are The DWP Following Their Own Safeguarding Ru...

  24. Pingback: Important Information: DWP Finally Admits To ESA Sanction Safeguarding Policy | the void

  25. Hi, is there a DWP Reg about they can’t strip claimants of benefits PRIOR to receiving their Good Cause form back? I sent back my good cause form by the deadline date on their letter, two separate dwp advisors over the phone confirmed they received it (I sent it recorded delivery, signed for and tracked) and is on my File, yet the DM is still stating in their letter to me that it wasn’t received. They are also refusing to answer my question “Why did you send to me a letter 3 days before the deadline date to get the good cause form back to you? Aren’t you supposed to wait until you read the reasons from the claimant before making a decision? Why send out a good cause form in the first place if you’ve already made a decision to strip me of ESA?” I didn’t go to the WCA because I didn’t have anyone to go with me and I have always been refused Audio Equipment instead because I have cognitive problems caused by DV / psychological / financial abuse. I cannot claim JSA in the meantime because last time, after scoring zero points at the WCA (no doubt for turning up on my own) I was given 48 steps per week by a Job-Centre advisor which lead to a break-down! If anyone can help me out with which DWP Regulation it is in relation to them not complying with their own good cause Reg, I would appreciate it. Many thanks.

    • today I am lodging an appeal to the courts on the same grounds,

      DWP TREATED X WITH OUTRAGEOUS UNFAIRNESS DUE TO UNLAWFUL AND WRONGFUL DISHONOUR OF BENEFIT BY THE MALICIOUS ‘SUSPENSION’ . AS A RESULT OF DWP ABUSE OF POWER – NEGLIGENT AND UNFAIR PROCEDURAL FAILURES, DESPICABLE, ABHORRENT AND MORALLY REPUGNANT CONTEMPT, X SUFFERED DETRIMENT, DEFAMATION, HUMILIATION, AND HARDSHIP.

      DWP ULTRA VIRES RENDERING THE BENEFITS SUSPENSION INVALID, A NULLITY, VOID.

      DWP’S SYSTEMS AND PROCESSES ARE INCOMPATIBLE, EXPEDIENT TO ANY LEGAL, JUSTIFIABLE AND DUE PROCESS.

      DWP DEFAMATORY, SPURRIOUS, MISLEADING CLAIMS FALSELY IMPLYING X ‘FAILED TO ATTEND REPLY’ .

      • Correction…

        DWP DEFAMATORY, SPURRIOUS, MISLEADING CLAIMS FALSELY IMPLYING X ‘FAILED TO REPLY’ .

        • It’a also ‘maladministration’ to which you could be entitled to compensation, must rush, will, write an additional note before the end of the working day

  26. Could someone please reply to my post above as soon as possible. Many thanks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s