Durham Unite Community are holding a protest in defence of the welfare state and against Sanctions and Work Capability Assessments on the 11th July in Durham. Please see the flyer at the bottom of this post for full details.
This is why it’s so important that we step up our protests:-
The last year has seen a shocking increase in the number of claimants, many of them highly vulnerable and facing mental health issues, being sanctioned for the crime of being sick and unable to look for a job.
An excellent post on the Kittyjones blog reveals the shocking scale of the numbers:
The total number of adverse sanction decisions over the period 3 December 2012 to 31 December 2013 was 28,702:
5,889 were applied for failure to attend a mandatory interview and
22,814 were applied for failure to participate in work related activity
In addition, the statistics show that, of the 28,702 decisions:
13,994 were reviewed and in 8,508 cases, the decisions were overturned. This equals a “success” rate of nearly 61% and
331 cases were appealed, 90 of those (27%) were overturned on appeal
As many of these being sanctioned have mental health issues, there is no doubt that the number of appeals is lower than it could be, and that with the right support many more people could appeal against their benefit being stopped.
Unite have produced a guide to challenging JSA sanction decisions, which can be downloaded by clicking here. Please share it widely. If you contact the Community Support Centre we will also be able to help with appealing against ESA sanctions.