DWP Hardship Payment forms/guidance: JSA/ESA and Universal Credit (recoverable loan)

DWP FOI disclosure of forms and guidance: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/hardship_payment_application_for FOI request 7 August 2014, disclosures 5 September 2014.

Download hardship application forms
JSA/ESA  (pdf) – view pdf online (html)
Universal Credit (pdf) – view pdf online (html)

Leaflet: What is a [JSA] hardship payment? Download pdf – view pdf online (html) – source
DWP JSA Hardship Award Guidance Queries and Help: Download (pdf) – view pdf online (html)
Decision Makers Guide:Chapter 35 – Hardship  – Download (pdf) – view pdf online – source

Benefit Sanction Appeal Tips (JSA & ESA)

If you use assistive technology and need a version of any DWP document above in a more accessible format, please email accessible.formats@dwp.gsi.gov.uk. Please tell them what format you need. It will help to you say what assistive technology you use.




29 page briefing on DWP JSA and ESA sanctions stats of 13 Aug 14

Download original (.docx) – View online

Briefing extracts:It was always likely that the Coalition’s intensification of JSA and ESA sanctions would lead to fatalities
Up to 31 March 2014 there had been 280,140 JSA Work Programme job outcomes and 503,220 JSA Work Programme sanctions
The annual number of JSA/ESA sanctions has almost doubled under the Coalitionvia @boycottworkfare

Petition: Hold an inquiry into benefit sanctions that killed my brother

Briefing by Dr David Webster Honorary Senior Research Fellow Urban Studies School of Social and Political Sciences University of Glasgow Email: david.webster@glasgow.ac.uk
Webpage: http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/socialpolitical/staff/davidwebster/

New briefing on the DWP’s statistics for it’s punitive JSA and ESA sanctions campaign

View briefing online – Original .docx file

“This briefing deals with the statistics released by the DWP on 14 May 2014, which include figures for a further three months, namely October to December 2013, and give revised figures for every earlier month back to April 2000.

Highest numbers and rates of sanctions to date

The punitive campaign by DWP ministers and officials has continued to intensify, so that in spite of the fall in the numbers of JSA and ESA claimants, the numbers of sanctions have risen to new highs”

5 June 2014

Dr David Webster – Honorary Senior Research Fellow – Urban Studies – University of Glasgow http://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/socialpolitical/staff/davidwebster/

Former Jobcentre Plus adviser tells of a “brutal and bullying” culture of “setting claimants up to fail” – “The pressure to sanction customers was constant,” he said. “It led to people being stitched-up on a daily basis.” http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/stitching-up-claimants-part-job-says-3537051

More sanctions imposed on jobseeker’s allowance claimants http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/14/more-jobseekers-allowance-claimants-subject-benefit-sanctions

28 April 2014 benefit changes: Lone Parent Conditionality, Workfare, Jobsearch, Sanctions & more

“…high-level overview of changes that are being introduced from 28 April 2014″

  • Quarterly Work Search Interviews
    (20 minute Quarterly Work Search Interview every 13 weeks)
  • English Language Requirement (in England only)
    (This will affect all new JSA claimants…It applies equally to UK nationals, European Economic Area (EEA) and non EEA nationals)
  • Increasing Lone Parent Conditionality
  • Day One Conditionality
    “Prior to their Initial Work Search Interview, they will be requested [can be mandated following at an interview, if “appropriate“] to:

    • set up an email address
    • prepare a suitable CV
    • register on Universal Jobmatch”
  • Weekly Work Search Reviews
    (It will apply to 50% of all pre-Work Programme JSA)
  • Help to Work Package: Every person who remains on JSA following completion of the Work Programme will be provided with rigorous support tailored to their needs
    Help to Work offers three intensive support options for Work Programme completers. Work Coaches in Jobcentres will work with claimants to understand their needs, and refer them to one of the following:

    • Mandatory Intervention Regime where Coaches have more time to spend with
    • Daily Work Search Reviews
    • Community Work Placements
      (Community Work Placements, where claimants undertake work placements of community benefit for up to six months alongside provider-led jobsearch)

    Discuss at:http://unemploymentmovement.com/forum/benefit/9220-important-read-this#38491

Copies of 17 submissions to JSA sanctions review


Act Now For Autism
Broadway and St Mungo’s
Citizens Advice Scotland
Child Poverty Action Group
Community Links
Dr David Webster, University of Glasgow
Drugscope and Homeless Link
Glasgow Advice Service
National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers (NAWRA)
Norfolk Community Law Service
Nottingham CVS
Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)
Single Parent Action Network
Unemployed Net

Universal Credit benefit sanctions to last indefinitely, not just 3 years

[ Resources to effectively appeal benefit sanctions and survive financially ]

1) JSA and ESA sanctions
2) What about Hardship Payments (HP) and Universal Credit (UC)
3) Hardship Payments and recovery from ‘other’ Social Security benefits?
4) Hardship Payments and recovery from direct attachment of employee earnings/wages?
5) Other Universal Credit elements? (children, childcare, carer, housing, health and disability)

1) JSA and ESA sanctions

Under the current Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) sanctions regime the maximum benefit ban is 3 years (“156 weeks“) for failures to meet requirements. Anyone sanctioned can apply for means tested reduced JSA called Hardship Payments. (HP). Under JSA and Employment Support Alowance (ESA) HP is not recoverable.

2) What about Hardship Payments (HP) and Universal Credit (UC)

All HP under Universal Credit are recoverable, meaning they are treated like a debt by the DWP. Therefore if someone gets a 3 year UC ban and applies and gets HP, repayment can be made through UC. Put more simply this means UC sanctions (aka reduced benefits) can effectively last far longer than 3 years.

“All Universal Credit hardship payments are recoverable.”
From: ‘Hardship Payments being recovered?’ – DWP Central FoI Team – 17 January 2014

3) Hardship Payments and recovery from ‘other’ Social Security benefits?

The DWP has also made provision for UC HP payments to be recovered via deduction in “other Social Security benefits [unamed] they may receive in the future (with the exception of Child Benefit and Guardian’s Allowance)”.

“The recovery of the amount paid as hardship can only start once the single claimant’s, or a couple’s, award of Universal Credit is no longer subject to a sanction or fraud loss of benefit penalty reduction.  The amount recoverable each month depends on what other deductions are being made from a person’s Universal Credit.  The maximum is 40 per cent of the standard allowance.  For example, a single person aged 25 or over receiving £311.55 a month could have £124.62 deducted as repayment of hardship provided other deductions are not in place.

The total amount paid as hardship can be recovered from Universal Credit (including any
arrears), or other Social Security benefits they may receive in the future (with the exception of Child Benefit and Guardian’s Allowance). ”
From:  ‘Hardship Payment recovery through benefits?’DWP Central FoI Team  – 27 January 2014 https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/193577/response/474808/attach/html/2/FoI%20277%20wdtk.pdf.html

4) Hardship Payments and recovery from direct attachment of employee earnings/wages?

Direct Earnings Attachments: an employers’ guide
“Where the Secretary of State has been unable to recover monies owed to the DWP from
customers not in receipt of a benefit, and who have not voluntarily agreed to repay, those
monies may be recovered by deduction from the customer’s earnings. ”

5) Other Universal Credit elements?

Depending on your situation, you may receive extra support in addition to the Standard Allowance, for example:

There are separate rules explaining how you may qualify for these elements.

YMCA utter nonsense on JSA Hardship Payments and benefit sanctions

A hardship payment in Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance is not subject to repayment. The Universal Credit guidance about Recoverable Hardship Payments and Resources is in the  Advice for Decision Making guidance, chapter L1
From: DWP Central FoI Team – 11 July 2013

The YMCA are one of the greatest apologists for workfare and can’t even properly advise young people of their benefit sanctions rights. It’s young people’s sanctions guide goes as far as telling young people that if they are made destitute by JSA sanctions that they have to pay back means tested Hardship Payments. This is utter nonsense.

Remember, any [JSA] Hardship Payment you get will need to be repaid after your sanction ends. They will normally be paid by reducing your benefit payments when they start again.
[This is utter nonsense.]

From: YMCA England, Young Peoples Sanctions Toolkit – 05/11/2013

No one has to pay back a JSA or ESA Hardship Payments by having reduced benefits once a sanction ceases, that would mean Hardship Payments would be treated as a loan/debt to be recovered through benefits, which for young people would just be a sanction of lesser benefits by another name. YMCA Providing such misleading information further bullies young people to undertake Jobcentre Back to Work schemes.

View of a copy of the JSA/ESA Hardship Payment claim form, internal DWP guidance and details on how to challenge any Jobcentre sanction decision. If you object to YMCA as a religion based provider of Back to Work schemes, you can request the Jobcentre to include a restriction on your Jobseekers Agreement.

At present [30/11/13] nothing on the JSA/ESA Hardship Payment Claim form or DWP guidance that indicates payment is recoverable.

Universal Credit (UC) Hardship Payment is recoverable?

For UC a recoverability regulation for Hardship Payments does exist.

The Universal Credit Regulations 2013
Part 8, Chapter 3, Recoverability of hardship payments, Regulation 119

Universal Credit: DWP decision makers guide: Hardship Payments
“What are recoverable hardship payments”?

Rolling online picket of YMCA England

The Vile Hypocrisy of Workfare Exploiters the YMCA

YMCA Attempt Workfare Whitewash – Who Benefits From This New Charity Campaign?

The Side Of Workfare That The YMCA Don’t Want You To See

Notes: Welfare rights law and DWP guidance, in particular, changes frequently. You may find more recent information via http://refuted.org.uk/category/ or by using the website search facility (top right)