Sunday, January 19, 2020

Government Targets Hard Working Benefit Claimants

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Part-time workers claiming Universal Credit face punitive in-work benefit sanctions, it has been reported today.

Universal Credit claimants in part-time employment could see their Housing Benefit slashed, if they fail to increase their working hours to 35 hours per week on the minimum wage, reports Inside Housing.

The trial, quietly introduced through secondary legislation, will affect around 15,000 new Universal credit claimants earning less than £12,000 a year.

Sanctions currently only affect unemployed people in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

If the trial is rolled out across the country, thousands of hard-working people could see their in-work benefits docked for the very first time.

Universal Credit merges a number of existing benefits into one single monthly payment. This includes Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Income Support, JSA and ESA.

However, the Government’s flagship project has been beset by delays and problems with its IT systems. Official figures show 26,940 people were claiming Universal Credit by 11 December 2014.

The DWP is speeding up the roll-out of Universal Credit across Britain, in an apparent bid to prevent Labour from calling a halt to its introduction if they win the next general election.

Under the new mandatory pilot, which launches in April 2015, in-work Universal Credit claimants face the prospect of weekly sanctions – starting at around £29 per person.

Those affected by the trial will be offered ‘support’ from Jobcentre Plus to increase their pay and working hours. Failure to comply could result in sanctions.

Latest News

Woman who can collapse at any moment due to a rare heart condition is denied benefits

Gail Ward was told that she did not qualify for PIP payments, despite living with a potentially life-threatening heart condition.

Free period products to be made available in all schools and colleges in England

New government scheme is designed to combat stigma and tackle 'period poverty'.

Stroke care facing a ‘ticking time-bomb’, says charity

Charity warns that the number of stroke professionals in the UK is at a worryingly low level.

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"That 5,000 disabled people were denied the proper support to live independently before they died is scandalous."

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Employment rate for people with epilepsy is far lower than for those with most other disabilities.

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