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Social Security Benefits: Disqualification

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 65786, tabled on 27 February 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the findings of the reports from (a) the National Audit Office on Benefit Sanctions, published on 30 November 2013 and (b) the oral evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee of 28 November 2016, HC56, on the disability employment gap, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of exempting (i) disabled people and (ii) those experiencing mental ill health from the benefit sanctions regime.

Answered on

6 March 2017

Sanctions are only used in a very small percentage of cases and as a last resort. They are an important part of our benefits system and encourage claimants to stick to their agreed commitments to prepare for or find work, based on their individual needs and circumstances. The sanction system is under continuous review to ensure that it functions effectively and fairly - where we identify an issue, we act to put it right.