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Welfare reform & Sanctions and the impact they are having on health & wellbeing. Dale Eccleston – Salford CAB www.salfordadvice.org.uk Salford Advice and.

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Presentation on theme: "Welfare reform & Sanctions and the impact they are having on health & wellbeing. Dale Eccleston – Salford CAB www.salfordadvice.org.uk Salford Advice and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Welfare reform & Sanctions and the impact they are having on health & wellbeing. Dale Eccleston – Salford CAB Salford Advice and Information Network Making Salford Connect

2 CONTENTS What are the key Benefit changes Changes to appeals JSA, sanctions. ESA & PIPS Bedroom tax Council Tax Reduction Universal credit EEA Nationals & Benefits. Effects on health & wellbeing.

3 Key Changes Increase in food parcels Bedroom Tax No money whilst appealing ESA more difficult to pass Universal Credit Need to use computers Universal JobMatch DLA to PIPs

4 Can someone be on no money? ESA fail Not enough points Appeal - paid Same amount as JSA Tribunal reclaim Can reclaim ESA

5 But now! Fail ESA Not enough points Appeal No money until decision made Request a mandatory reconsideration Forced to claim JSA Struggle to cope

6 Signs of a sanction Can’t afford bus H/B stopped Got no food No money for 3 weeks Unable to pay Gas / Electric Rec’d letter about no rent/C/tax paid HOW CAN YOU HELP Send them to J/C Plus for hardship payment Refer to CAB or other advice agency Mandatory Reconsideration Check for previous sanctions Other deductions may apply eg overpayments/recovery Turning to payday loans – becoming trapped

7 SANCTION PROFILE. Nationally 900,000 claimants were sanctioned between Jan and Dec This figure is increasing at a rate of 11% per year. In Salford approx 2,100 claimants were sanctioned in the period Jan to Dec 2014.

8 Why are sanctions imposed? Not actively seeking work/steps Not being available for work Failure to attend interviews on time/at all failure to comply with instruction/directive Leave employment/ misconduct Refusal to apply for a job Neglecting to avail yourself of a job/no return to work after a break/ maternity leave/ refuse offer of alternative job in redundancy situation.

9 Sanctions

10 Sanctions. Issues. A lot of repeat sanctions. Claimants left without income as unaware of hardship payments. Gaps in awards of HB/CTR/ causing rent and council tax arrears. Claimants reliant upon food parcels, vouchers for gas & electricty.

11 HARDSHIP PAYMENTS Vulnerable group: hardship from the first day that JSA is not paid. Pregnant, child under 16 years, JSA includes disability premium, chronic medical condition, will last 26 weeks and condition would decline further, carer for person on AA, middle or higher care of DLA, PIP, 16/17 and would experience hardship, 16/17 and claiming JSA on basis of a severe hardship direction, under 21 and within last three years were being looked after by the local authority. Non vulnerable group from 15 day that JSA is not paid.

12 PIPS Based on a points system and a replacement for DLA. Must score either 8/12 points to be placed in the standard or enhanced category. Consultation/medical. Mixed feed back. 14 weeks clearance times from claim to decision. Declared intention to reduce the numbers entitled to PIP compared to DLA.

13 Bedroom Tax. 14% reduction in an award of Housing Benefit if one spare bedroom & 25% reduction for two or more spare bedrooms. Some exemptions; child shared bedroom & in receipt of middle/high care DLA. Approximate number affected by bed tax in Salford 4,100. Increased possibility of property possessions.

14 Bedroom Tax/Discretionary Housing Payments. Salford profile. Discretionary housing payment budget reduced from £840, for 14/15 to £697, for 15/16 a reduction of £142, Between April 13 and January 14, there were 2,275 applications for a DHP by tenants affected by the spare room subsidy. A total of 1,628 were successful. A total of 40% of applicants detailing a disability of their application were refused/ national average refusal rate 70%. No local breakdown of those with physical / mental health conditions. Salford exhausted the fund in 2013/14/nationally, the DHP grants reduced from 180 to 165 million due to under spend.

15 Bedroom Tax. Impact- less income for other essentials, food & heating. Increased demand for food banks. Those affected going without heating and placing an higher demand on SDSS. More likely to be subject to possession proceedings/eviction. Increases in homeless. Increases in food poverty.

16 Council Tax Reduction. Council tax Benefit abolished and replaced by localised scheme- council tax reduction. Those on income based benefits previously entitled to an award of CTB to cover all liability. Under the local scheme liability for all those under pension credit age- 12.5%. Increased demands on low incomes, debt, food poverty

17 Universal Credit. Wait 5 weeks for the first payment after claim. Advance payments. More stringent conditionality regime. More claimants subject to the conditionality. Housing costs paid to claimant/ APA. Monthly payments. Claims on line. Issues- access to computer, budgeting, debts, threat to housing, no gas /electricity, food poverty.

18 EEA Nationals. No entitlement for 3 months when arrive in CTA to JSA, CTC, CB. Awards of JSA limited to three months unless can show genuine & effective prospect of work. May never be eligible for HB to pay rent, if only claim is as a jobseeker. Minimum Income Guarantee- must earn £ in the three months prior to claim as worker or self-employed or may be no entitlement to a range of benefits.

19 EEA Nationals. Issues. People left without any income. Unable to pay rent and therefore left homeless. Health related issues. Pressure on local food providers’ and homeless shelters.

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