Social Security Benefits: Care Leavers

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered at on 5 September 2022.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of alternatives to automatic benefit sanctions for care leavers.

Photo of Julie Marson Julie Marson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Assistant Whip

We have no plans to assess the potential merits of alternatives to automatic benefit sanctions for care leavers.

Conditionality and sanctions apply to care leavers in the same way as other claimants who are also expected to move towards and enter employment. There are additional checks in place for care leavers to determine if a referral for a sanction decision is appropriate. Work Coaches can also contact the care leaver single point of contact (SPOC) for any additional information when considering a sanction referral for a care leaver.

It is only when a care leaver has been found not to have met an agreed and reasonable requirement, without good reason, that we would consider applying a sanction. A decision maker will fully take into account the claimants’ circumstances, when determining if a sanction is warranted.

If a care leaver disagrees with a decision, they can ask for the decision to be reconsidered and subsequently can appeal against the decision to an independent tribunal.

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