Benefit sanctions against people with mental health problems are up by nearly 700 per cent due to Tories

160517 mental health sanctions1

People with mental health problems form the largest cohort of Employment and Support Allowance claimants, but this does not mean they would naturally attract more benefit sanctions.

Sanctions are imposed when people break the rules for benefit claims that are imposed by the Department for Work and Pensions.

This finding suggests that Conservative ministers have deliberately made the benefit system increasingly difficult for people with mental health problems to navigate – in order to push them into a sanction and off benefit.

Charities have warned that the Conservatives are trying to push people with mental health problems into “inappropriate” activities, resulting in extra anxiety.

This leads to the question of whether the system, as the Tories have perverted it, causes an increase in mental health problems – the very opposite of what the system was set up to do.

The Conservative Government has rejected calls for a review of the sanctions regime, adding fuel to claims that ministers have been failing in their duty of care.

A legal case has already begun against former DWP ministers in Scotland, where the law directly criminalises such behaviour.

The DWP is desperately claiming that sanctions are only used as a last resort and the number of sanctions has fallen by 20 per cent in the last year.

If true, then it only shows the increasing extent to which people with mental health problems are being victimised.

The number of benefit sanctions imposed on people with mental health problems has increased by over 600 per cent over the last four years, Department for Work and Pensions statistics show.

A joint analysis of the figures by the Independent and the mental health charity Mind found that 19,259 people with such conditions had their benefits stopped under sanction in 2014-15 compared to just 2,507 in 2011-12 – a 668 per cent rise.

The finding comes weeks after ministers rejected a call to investigate whether such sanctions – which involve stopping a person’s disability benefit income for weeks at a time to enforce compliance – are damaging to mental health.

The ramping up of the policy goes against the advice of mental health charities, who have previously warned that its aggressive approach worsens mental health problems and makes it harder for people to return to work.

Source: Benefit sanctions against people with mental health problems up by 600 per cent | UK Politics | News | The Independent


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10 thoughts on “Benefit sanctions against people with mental health problems are up by nearly 700 per cent due to Tories

  1. jeffrey davies

    they now they been shown told but on it goes while the rest of mps talk about it aktion t4 rolling along without much of a ado jeff3

  2. Justin

    Which goes to show the Ignorance of the people that do this in terms of the vunerabilty and the risks associated with doing something like this, not just in terms of the person and there safety but other people around them and the risk associated with this as well, any person that makes a decision like this that then has a form of self-harm either to the person or others through there actions should face relational charges under the Safeguarding Of Vunerable Adults Regulations from wca assessor to decision maker level and if necessary ministers in charge of the decision making as it is there policy and if they ignore coroners recomendations, professor recomendations and reports like the Oakley report then the responsibilty lies with them.

  3. robert fillies

    As we all know, this government has no interest whatsoever in the wellbeing of anyone claiming benefits for whatever reason. They have gone out of their way to persecute the sick and disabled in some misguided, ideologically driven attempt to bully sick and disabled people off of benefits. I can attest to the misery and stress that benifits issues cause to the mentally ill as i am one of them. The processes involved in qualifying for and retaining esa are horrendous and have certainly caused me to experience worsening mental health when faced with the issue.

  4. Christopher John Ball

    Wouldn’t be surprised if many people will be sanctioned simply for presenting the symptoms of their mental health diagnosis. Perhaps as a result of stress during the process etc – this is either not understood by an inexperienced DWP staff or deliberately being exploited by said DWP to boost sanctions targets

  5. mrmarcpc

    I’m on ESA and have been hit before and I probably will again, this is disgraceful what the tories are getting away with, they should be stopped and held to account but no one seems to have the brains and the balls to do it so it will go on and for the government, hopefully more will kill themselves so they don’t have to pay it out anymore, the tories – true nazis!

  6. Veracity


    “It is a crime at common law for a public official, a person entrusted with an official situation of trust, wilfully to neglect his duty, even where no question of danger to the public or to any person is involved.”

    ~ Gordon, Criminal Law, 3rd Ed. Vol. II Chapter 44. q.v.

  7. mohandeer

    Today I read from my favourite bloggers that the Tories slipped an amendment to the Ministerial code which means they are no longer required to abide by International Law (Kitty Sue), they have stopped the BBC’s own recipe programmes in favour of Corporate interests and those of Rupert Murdoch, on: and now we learn that the Tories are responsible for the worsening of sick people’s mental state.
    I voted Tory for many years and have never known a Conservative government as vindictive, cruel or corrupt as this one is – and that’s going some if you are a Thatcher hater. But never has a Tory govt. been so avidly contemptuous of voters, so insouciant to the poorest and most deprived and vulnerable, or so treacherous in their dealings with the law and justice of this, our Britain.
    They have taken the “Great” out of the UK’s title and made it a laughing stock with the EU leaders, a joke among the warmongers, namely the US and a total failure as far as corruption and tax evasion is concerned. Now they are dismantling our NHS, our Schools and our industry/manufacturing piecemeal, eroding everything that once made us Great and reducing us to a minor country of no real consequence faster than any other EU country or indeed many supposedly backwater countries who strive to drag themselves up by their bootstraps while the UK sinks ever deeper into irrelevance.
    What next? Could we sink any lower in the world’s esteem? What happens if the UN findings on disability discrimination are proven a fact? Have we hit bottom yet or can the Conservatives pull some more shame and disgrace out of the proverbial hat? At this rate, we will be the land that time forgot.

  8. Brian

    I don’t think you need to have a mental health problem to suffer mental anguish from the way the Tories manage the system. In fact you don’t even need to be a welfare claimant, simply an appreciation of whats going on.

Comments are closed.