A benefit sanction is a reduction or suspension of benefit payments because a claimant has not met conditions for receiving benefit. For example, Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants are required to attend jobcentre appointments, and the Department for Work and Pensions may sanction people who fail to attend them. The Department uses sanctions for two reasons: to encourage more people to comply with conditions and to penalise claimants for not meeting their responsibilities. The Department believes that complying with conditions helps some claimants find work. A typical sanction lasts four weeks and means a Jobseeker’s Allowance claimant loses around £300. In 2015, the last year for which there is complete data, the Department imposed 400,000 sanctions on benefit claimants.
17 February 2017