Percentage of universal credit claimants sanctioned in the live service has doubled over last quarter
New DWP statistics also show that 71 per cent of sanction decisions were due to failure to attend a work-focused interview
The percentage of universal credit claimants sanctioned in the live service has doubled over the last quarter, according to the latest DWP statistics.
In ‘Benefit sanctions statistics 2017‘, published today, the DWP highlights that while the percentage of claimants receiving less benefit due to a sanction has fallen for both jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) and employment and support allowance (ESA) – to 0.4 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively – the figure has doubled over the last quarter for claimants of universal credit in the live service – from 3.4 per cent to 6.9 per cent.
In addition, the figures show that the most common reason for a claimant being sanctioned is –
- for universal credit – failure to comply with a work-focused interview (71 per cent);
- for JSA – failure to participate in the work programme (65 per cent); and
- for ESA – failure to participate in work-related activity (96 per cent).
NB – in an accompanying document, Universal Credit sanctions statistics: background information and methodology, the DWP explains that –
‘A major difference between sanctions policy for universal credit compared to JSA is that under universal credit, where a claimant fails to attend a work coach meeting they can be sanctioned. Under JSA, claimants would receive a sanction, or have their claim terminated if they did not make contact within five working days of their failure. This is not appropriate for universal credit as claimants may be in receipt of other parts of universal credit, such as housing and child care, which would not be subject to a sanction and so they would remain on benefit.’
The figures also show that, for universal credit claimants in the live service, between 1 August 2015 and 30 June 2017 –
- 300,000 sanction referrals (73 per cent) resulted in an adverse decision (sanction is applied);
- 39,800 mandatory reconsiderations (72 per cent) resulted in an adverse decision; and
- 200 appeal decisions (25 per cent) resulted in an adverse decision.
For more information see Benefit sanctions statistics 2017 from gov.uk