Benefits

House of Lords written question – answered on 14th January 2014.

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Photo of Baroness Lister of Burtersett Baroness Lister of Burtersett Labour

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Lord Freud on 16 December 2013 (HL Deb, col 1022), whether the review of the operation of the sanctions system for jobseeker’s allowance and employment and support allowance claims will look at (1) the effects of the sanctions on the health and wellbeing of those affected, and (2) the behavioural responses to the sanctions.

Photo of Lord Freud Lord Freud The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Independent review of Sanctions being led by Matthew Oakley will not look at the effect of benefit sanctions on the health and wellbeing of those affected, or on the behavioural response to benefit sanctions.

The review is focused on the operation of benefit sanctions validated by the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act 2013. These are benefit sanctions for Jobseekers Allowance claimants who have failed to participate in a mandatory back to work scheme such as the Work Programme.

The review will particularly focus on the clarity of information given to benefit claimants throughout the sanctions process and their ability to navigate that system. The terms of reference for the review can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/benefit-sanctions-terms-of-reference-for-independent-review

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