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Have your say on benefit sanctions today

November 21, 2016

The National Audit Office is currently looking at whether the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is using benefit sanctions effectively. If you have experience of benefit sanctions, you can submit evidence on whether the sanction was appropriately used and how the application of sanctions could be improved.

Claimants who are receiving benefits such as Jobseeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit may have to agree to complete work-related activities that will improve their employment prospects. If claimants are declared fit to work, they may be required to search for and apply for work at the present time. If they are not fit to work, they may have to undertake training or condition management programmes that will increase their chances of finding work at a later date.

If a claimant does not complete these required activities, it can lead to a sanction so that their benefit payments are suspended for a period of time.

The National Audit Office study is looking at whether the DWP is achieving value for money in how it uses benefit sanctions. It’s asking for evidence on whether:

  • Benefit sanctions fit with the intended aims and outcomes of the DWP’s employment policy
  • Sanctions are being applied appropriately and as intended
  • Use of sanctions is leading to the intended outcomes for claimants

If you wish to respond, you can send a written submission. The deadline for submissions is 6 December and guidelines on how to format your response are available.