A Sunday Express investigation has uncovered scores of cases in which people need charity handouts after being denied benefits because of administration errors and punitive sanctions.{jcomments on}

Employment Minister Esther McVey said the sanctions, or cuts to benefits are used only against those who were “wilfully rejecting support for no good reason”.

However, the research revealed some unfair cases of sanctions being applied to:

• A blind woman whose benefits were removed because she did not apply for a cleaning job.

• A father with terminal cancer punished after he missed signing on because of a hospital appointment.

• A woman refused benefits because she forgot to “sign on” on the day of her younger brother’s funeral.

• A 33-year-old man with severe dyslexia who had his benefits removed because he could not fill in his claim form correctly.

• A man whose benefits were removed after he missed two job centre appointments because of the death of his mother following a stroke.

In other cases people have been hit for using the wrong ink on a claim form and failing to apply for jobs that are too far away for them to reach affordably.

Chris Johnes, UK poverty programme director for Oxfam, said: “We are seeing the impact of arbitrary and harsh sanctions in which people are pushed to the edge of destitution because they are caught up in an unresponsive and callous bureaucracy.

“It is a situation no person should have to be in living in a rich nation like ours.”

Thanks to Pre-Raphaelite Sister for spotting this article for us


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