According to statistics released by the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) the rate of universal credit recipients hit an all-time high of 6.86% in October 2022.
This total decreased slightly to 6.51% in November 2022.
The statistics released by the DWP show that sanctions have risen by 4.16 percentage points in the last 12 months.
Sanctions given to universal credit recipients can be and are not excluding other reasons for failure to attend or participate in a mandatory interview, failure or inability to complete their online journal or being seen as not to be looking for work enough in their time allotted to do so.
Over the last year over half a million claimants were sanctioned which includes a total of 98.4% of all sanctions given for not attending an in-face or telephone interview.
Needless to say most universal credit recipients do not purposely miss important interviews and there is usually a good reason for doing so which are often not taken into consideration by the DWP.
At a time when most people are struggling because of the current cost of living and energy cost crisis the DWP continues to financially punish the most vulnerable.
It’s abhorrent that the DWP continues to do this, they extend a person’s punishment to such an extent that they can’t see a way out.
It needs to stop before even more people die as a result of the DWPs actions and decision making.
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A huge thanks to everyone that does this!
A huge thank you to everyone that reads, subscribes to and supports my blog and the work that I do.
I really couldn’t do this without you and I can’t thank you enough.
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I’d like to say I was surprised upon hearing about a new sanction trap for Universal Credit (UC)) claimants but I’m not, afterall it’s not exactly the first time they’ve done this to unsuspecting claimants.
This time it’s been disguised as supposed help to move claimants into work.
The new scheme which has surprisingly been condemned by members of the DWP staff union PCS despite jobcentre workers are being offered a £250 ‘incentive’ to implement it.
The newly named Additional Jobcentre Support scheme requires UC claimants being forced by the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) to attend their allocated Jobcentre 10 times over a two week period.
Claimants that are unable to attend or failing to participate in one session will highly likely to lead to a sanction.
Undeterred however by the cruelty of this new scheme the DWP are being ‘trialed’ at 60 jobcentres across England and Scotland.
As already proven by myself and many other like-minded campaigners these so called trials are usually the start of a national roll out regardless if they’re successful or not.
To add incentive to roll out this terrible scheme the DWP are offering a £250 bonus in the form of a voucher “to recognise and reward jobcentre teams who furthest exceed their aspirational targets.”
These vouchers will be given to each member of staff in the best performing jobcentres.
No explanation has so far been given as to what the alleged “aspirational targets” consist of and if this involves taking people off benefitif claimants have failed to comply for whatever reason. Nor has the DWP commented if it involves sanctioning claimants or forcing claimants into unsuitable and insecure work.
The PCS union, which represents DWP staff commented saying that they have no doubt that the main purpose of the scheme is to make life harder for claimants, saying:
“Our members will see through this pilot for what it is – a government hellbent on making it more difficult for people to claim benefits and which will increase the risk of poverty for those customers who fall foul of this pilot. Asking more customers to travel more often into jobcentres does nothing to help our staff or their workloads and does nothing to help the customers find the work that they need.”
However as I have already stated this isn’t the first time that the DWP have issued financial targets to incentivise cruelty.
Previous examples of this are ‘Sandras Stars’ which consisted of a Jobcentre manager giving DWP employees a star on a leaderboard for every employee that ‘offloaded’ sanctioned a claimant.
It has recently been revealed by Benefits And Work that PIP (Personal Independence Payments) appeal figures have risen by 119% in 2022, this is compared to the same quarter in 2021.
The rate of UC (Universal Credit) appeals has also risen by 28% the latest official figures show.
The number of cases that were dealt increased by only 18% in the same time period compared to figures from 2021.
Figures show that there were 63,000 outstanding cases by the end of September 2021 which adds to an annual increase of 96%.
The average wait time for an appeal averaged at 31 weeks. This shows that it is 8 weeks down from 2021 figures , but is likely to increase over the coming quarters as the backlog rises inexorably.
The success rate for PIP appeals remains unchanged at 68%. This shows that the vast majority of those who appeal are correct in their decision to appeal however the wait time for appeals to be heard continues to rise.
For UC claimants it is revealed that the appeal success rates are now at 49% which is an increase of 7% on the previous year.
DLA (Disability Living Allowance) success rates are now at 61% which is down 6%.
Meanwhile ESA (Employment and Support Allowance success rates are now 53%, down on the previous year at 1%
Appealing against any DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) decision is always daunting and extremely stressful. Not only is the appeal process hard to navigate, the waiting times for appeals and tribunals to be heard is increasing.
The success rate shows that those making the decision to appeal have made the right decision in doing so.
Sadly many people that are entitled to appeal fail to do so because they can’t afford to wait a long time for their appeal to be heard and also can’t cope with the stress involved, many having no support network to rely upon.
I don’t need to tell you that the downright discrimination and hatred given to disabled and unemployed people is totally unfair and discriminatory.
This cruelty combined with the increasing cost of living and energy prices is making life extremely difficult for those that are most in need of financial help.
In an ideal world this wouldn’t be happening at all but there won’t be any positive changes made to the system whilst there’s a Tory government in power.
The conservative party is doing what they do best, punishing the most vulnerable and poor for their very existence, they need to be stopped and soon before more people suffer and die as a result of their actions.
Please read, share and tweet this article and my others to increase awareness. It makes a massive difference and I can’t thank everyone that does enough.
A huge thanks to all of my subscribers and readers for the help and support that you have given in the previous year. I really couldn’t do this without you.
I don’t get paid for any of the work that I do and it’s a massive struggle.
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The new DWP minister Mel Stride recently announced that he is happy with the levels of UC (Universal Credit) sanction rates.
Upon taking his new job as secretary of state for work and pensions (DWP), Mel Stride, quickly proved that he will not be making any changes in any harshness inflicted upon the most vulnerable at the hands of the DWP.
Upon answering MP’s questions on the 31 October 2022, Stride made it very clear that he’s happy hat the level of UC sanctions is now double the rate it was before the pandemic.
Stride went on to say “People are sanctioned only if they fail to attend appointments without good reason, and fail to meet the requirements that they have agreed to meet.”
However stride failed to offer any acknowledgement nevermind explanation as to why claimants are now twice as likely to break claimant commitment agreements than they were two years ago.
Upon questioning Stride ignored yet another request to publish a DWP report on the effectiveness of sanctions.
As previously reported in an earlier blog his predecessor also refused to do so.
Stride also claimed there “is a long tail” of 2.5 million long-term sick claimants who want to return to work and that it will be “a prime focus” for the DWP to “support them back into the workplace.”
It’s no coincidence that this figure is exceedingly similar to the total number of claimants that are long-term sick, the majority of whom are not able to work because their condition makes it impossible.
It appears that like his predecessors Stride is either mistaken or believes that every long-term sick person could be moved into work.
Whatever happens there appears to be no plans to treat claimants better, I suspect it will become worse.
A new DWP minister certainly doesn’t bring any changes for the better and until there’s a change of government I very much doubt that there will be.
A huge thank you to everyone that reads, shares and supports my blog.
I receive no payment for any of the work that I do and every read, share makes a big difference
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The DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) have once again been found to have covered up data from a forced transition pilot which took place in Harrogate.
Not only have they tried to hide this information from the public they’ve also hidden the details from MPs.
In a report by Benefits and Work it has been revealed that there is evidence of the DWP covering up not only the details of the forced pilot which took place in Harrogate, but also details of their incompetence.
This relates to the forced transition from legacy benefits to UC (Universal Credit). The social security advisory committee (SSAC) has been reported saying to MPs that there is a need for external scrutiny of the worrying process this month.
Steve McCabe MP for Birmingham Selly Oak has disclosed that copies of the Harrogate forced transition pilot report on the Harrogate pilot has been placed in the House of Commons library, after being entirely redacted with the exception of the words ‘Moved to Universal Credit’ and ‘User research’.
The total redaction tells us one thing, the DWP doesn’t want to let MPs know the details of the pilot and what happened. It goes without saying that they don’t want the public to know these details either.
MP Steve McCabe also gave details concerning a constituent who was left in a very bad both physically and mentally leaving the constituent in distress. The DWP reported that she failed to respond correctly to a migration notice despite already being told that she didn’t have a computer at home.
He went on to say that she attempted to phone the DWP but could’t find anyone to speak to. She also sent a letter by recorded delivery at her expense which the department ‘thought’ that they didn’t receive it. This left her without any payments for many weeks.
Benefits and Work went on to report that Charlotte Pickles, a member of SSAC (Social Security Advisory Committee), told MPs that the SSAC believed that some kind of external scrutiny of the ‘scary’ migration process is needed which will then supposedly give people forced to transition confidence that the process will be fair.
She went on to say ‘we are all very aware that for some groups, in particular, UC is quite a scary proposition. If you are sitting on a legacy benefit or you are a tax credit claimant, you possibly, likely, in certain groups, are very nervous and possibly reluctant to make that move to UC.”
After all who can blame them. The DWP are concealing important details not only from MPs but the public as well. The evidence from the Harrogate trial should be provided in an open and transparent way and any failings dealt with before expanding forced migration to Universal Credit.
Concealing evidence such as this will result in a failure of responsibility from the DWP and will undoubtably result in suffering and distress for those forced to move to Universal Credit.
At the time of writing the DWP are still hiding these details and I can’t see them doing so either.
Please read and share this report, its essential that we continue to get information like this out in the public domain. A huge thank you to everyone that already does or has done this.
I don’t receive any payment for the work that I do and to say its a struggle to keep the blog and campaign going is an understatement.
If you would like to donate towards this and can afford to do so theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
I also have a Kofi account but I’m struggling to find out how to post a link to it on here. I can however provide details about this upon request.
In a report recently published by Disability News Service the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) have admitted repeatedly breaching the equality act by failing to follow guidelines by repeatedly ignoring a man’s disability requirements.
In the report it states that a legal document describes how a disabled man from east London had been ignored on multiple occasions by DWP staff both on their helplines and in Jobcentres.
However the DWP has now been forced to admit that they have repeatedly discriminating against him by ignoring his needs.
The truth is that thousands of disabled people are being discriminated against on a daily basis. Claimants disability and communication requirements are often ignored. Indeed I have encountered this many times whilst helping disabled people with their claims.
One such claim that I helped with being a man registered as blind being sent paper letters despite the fact that he couldn’t read them and the DWP being informed about this. Sadly this is one account of many.
This blatant discrimination can cause great distress and anxiety with many disabled peoples claims either being sanctioned or closed because they can’t respond as required.
The truth is the Universal Credit system has more flaws than a fishing net has holes, rules are broken all the time with the DWP not being held accountable for their actions and no recompense given to claimants.
In many cases requests to DWP staff to take disability into account are blatantly ignored proving that whilst the government declared that Universal Credit is tailored to fit each claimant and easier to claim is also a lie.
In the original report by Disability News Service it states that for more than two years this man and his carers requested on multiple occasions that the DWP communicate with him by phone. They ignored this and continued to communicate through his online Universal Credit journal.
After many requests DWP staff failed to put important markers on his universal credit account to show other DWP employees that he was a vulnerable claimant and that reasonable adjustments needed to be made for him.
Upon applying for Universal credit he was told incorrectly that he could only apply for Universal Credit digitally and not by telephone. This left him unable to apply himself and had to seek help from the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Requests for support were ignored or refused.
Despite making multiple attempts to complain about how poorly he was treated, most of them were ignored and not investigated.
The report by Disability News Service went on to say that the DWP admitted liability in a county court discrimination case taken by the gentleman concerned and he is seeking compensation up to £25,000 in damages for their failure to acknowledge his disability and the impact that this treatment has had on him. and although George is seeking up to £25,000 in damages, the department is disputing the amount it should pay in compensation for its failures and the impact they have had on him.
Despite this court case I’m certain that the DWP will continue to discriminate against disabled people and many will continue to undergo the same treatment as this gentleman, driving many to live in distress.
The truth is that the DWP don’t care and won’t ever care. The governments remit is to take as many people off social security as possible despite disability and vulnerability .
Good luck everybody and seek help and advice before making a Universal Credit claim this can make the world of difference and can help to alleviate distress and anxiety.
Dear readers and subscribers I desperately need your help!!
I started blogging over 8 years ago and have done so on a weekly basis, sometimes more. I don’t receive any payment for the work that `I do or the help that I freely give to others.
The reality is that my web hosting fees are due on Tuesday and I can’t afford to pay for them. I’ve thought of everything but I just can’t do it, so this weeks blog might be the last one for a long while because of my financial situation.
This is very upsetting for me because I blog to help others and to inform people of the DWPs awful treatment towards disabled people, unemployed people and people working and claiming social security.
I really don’t want to say goodbye and I can’t change web host either. This one suits me well and it does everything that I need it to easily and without stress.
If you are able to and would like to help me to continue to blog and help others theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Theres also a donate button on the top bar of this website.
I wouldn’t ask but I’ve exhausted all other options.
My hosting bill comes to a total of £109 and it has to be paid by Tuesday.
If I can’t afford to renew my fees I’ll blog again before Tuesday then I don’t know when after this.
Vodafone Group PLC has announced a new social broadband tariff for households giving them connectivity for £12 a month. They will also give small businesses free broadband for a year as part of their new cost-of-living package.
The new Vodafone Essentials Broadband deal will be available to anyone in receipt of Jobseekers’ Allowance, Universal Credit, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Allowance or Personal Independence Payment.
As part of their new cost of living package they will be also offering small business owners and any new or existing customers that are eligible to upgrade free business broadband for 12 months on a 24-month plan.
Vodafone have based these new packages on research that shows that people are reliant upon connectivity to help them cope better with the cost of living crisis..
These new packages will also enable people to connect to the internet which is essential for people claiming Universal Credit and job searching.
Having access to the internet has become an essential part of daily life and life without internet access can be very difficult.
Vodaphone Chief Executive Ahmed Essam says “The rising cost of living is putting a million families at risk of falling on the wrong side of the digital divide,”
He goes on to say “We must not allow this to happen. So as part of our everyone.connected programme, today we are launching Vodafone Essentials Broadband at just £12 a month, the cheapest on the market, and 12 months free broadband for small businesses.
“Vodafone is the only network provider to offer social tariffs across fixed and mobile, meaning eligible customers can access mobile and broadband connectivity for 72 pence a day.
“These new tariffs complement Voxi for Now and the 750,000 free sims we’ve donated so far as part of our everyone.connected programme.
“We’re on track to meet our commitment to donate a million connections by the end of this year and will continue to put the cause at the heart of our business until the problem no longer exists.”
Original source Martyn Landi, PA Technology Correspondent