Government eases sanctions for homeless people

1 July 2014

Homeless people have been granted new exemptions from benefit sanctions under regulations laid before parliament today. Under the new rules, Jobcentre Plus advisors will be given the discretionary power to exempt rough sleepers and those in supported accommodation from looking for work.

It comes after a report by Homeless Link in September found that 31 per cent of homeless people on jobseekers’ allowance benefits have been sanctioned, compared to 5.5 per cent of the typical claimant population.

Homeless claimants found to be in a ‘domestic emergency’, will not be required to be available for work, actively seeking work or participating in the Work Programme, under the regulations. The measure, which is expected to exempt homeless claimants for up to four weeks, will come into effect on 21 July. However, claimants will have to prove they are taking reasonable action to find accommodation.