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The number of sanctions applied to ESA claimants rose 334% between December 2012 and December 2013, according to new DWP statistics.

The report shows that since the new ESA sanctions regime was introduced on 3 December 2012, there has been a steady increase in the number of sanctions applied, from 1,102 in December 2012 to 4,789 in December 2013.

The total number of adverse sanction decisions over the period 3 December 2012 to 31 December 2013 was 28,702:

  • 5,889 were applied for failure to attend a mandatory interview and
  • 22,814 were applied for failure to participate in work related activity

In addition, the statistics show that, of the 28,702 decisions:

  • 13,994 were reviewed and in 8,508 cases, the decisions were overturned. This equals a “success” rate of nearly 61% and
  • 331 cases were appealed, 90 of those (27%) were overturned on appeal

Since the new JSA sanctions regime was introduced on 22 October 2012, there have been a total of 1,028,819 adverse JSA sanction decisions up to the end of December 2013.

Of those 1,028,819 decisions:

  • 317,411 were reviewed - 146,486 were overturned
  • 34,503 were appealed – 6,158 were overturned at appeal

The DWP statistical release is available on the .Gov website


+6 #1 carruthers 2014-05-16 10:35
It would be interesting to know how many of those being sanctioned were categorised by the DWP as having difficulties primarily arising from mental health or cognitive deficit issues.

Bad as it is to bully those who are physically ill into attending interviews of sessions of "work-related activity", it is unforgivable to punish those who cannot really understand the consequences of not doing what they are told. The idea that there are those who will simply be unable to face opening the brown envelopes seems one the DWP will simply not entertain.

All that assumes that the DWP is running the sanctions regime inhumanely and incompetently. Of course, if the idea is to maximise the numbers of those "sanctioned" as a sort of macho contest between Job Centres, then the whole thing becomes comprehensible. The fewer moral scruples you have, the easier the job becomes.

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