‘Shocking increase’ in ESA sickness benefit sanctions, says Crisis charity

17 August 2014

Official figures for the first quarter of 2014 showed sanctions on Employment and Support Allowance claimants were some 4.5 times higher than in the same quarter in 2013 – although the 2014 figure still includes those appealing.

Only ESA claimants in the work-related activity group, where an adviser assists them with training and skills, can be subject to sanctions, which are handed out for failing to attend a mandatory interview or failing to take part in a work-related activity.

Crisis called for more advisers with specialist understanding of disabled people’s conditions and added: “We need a system that works for disabled people, that supports them to find a job they want, and that takes seriously the barriers they face.”

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