Sickness benefit claimants with a mental health condition who have been forced to attend the Work Programme should not have their benefits sanctioned without a face to face meeting first the DWP have finally admitted.
This important clarification, which could mean many people have been wrongly sanctioned, was finally published in an amendment to the Work Programme Provider Guidance. This is the rule book that companies running the Work Programme must follow and last week a new chapter was added detailing the procedures for safeguarding so-called vulnerable claimants.
According to the guidance, claimants of the main sickness and disability benefit Employment Support Allowance only, who have “mental health conditions or learning disabilities or conditions affecting communication/cognition” must not be referred for a sanction without safeguarding activity being carried out. This means a home visit if necessary to establish a face to face conversation to ensure that the participant understands…
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