Social Security Benefits: Disqualifications

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 4th November 2019.

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Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Shadow Minister (Wales)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of hardship payments made by her Department which have been directly attributed to the imposition of benefit sanctions in (a) Vale of Clwyd parliamentary constituency, (b) Wales and (c) the UK in each of the last four years.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Hardship payments provide financial protection for claimants whose benefit is reduced by a Fraud Loss of Benefit penalty or a Benefit Sanction.

For a) and b), the information requested is not readily available at a country or constituency level and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

For c) the requested data is provided for Great Britain in the following two tables for Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) respectively. Please note, figures supplied are derived from data which has not been quality assured to Official Statistics publication standard. These results can change retrospectively as further information is received. They should therefore be treated with caution. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 1,000.

JSA - Number of hardship payments awarded as a result of a sanction

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019 (year to Aug 19)

120,000

58,000

29,000

10,000

Fewer than 1,000

ESA - Number of hardship payments awarded as a result of a sanction

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019 (year to Aug 19)

4,000

2,000

1,000

Fewer than 1,000

Fewer than 1,000

For Universal Credit, the data cannot be disaggregated to identify the hardship payments that have been directly attributed to the application of a benefit sanction from those resulting from a fraud penalty.

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