The Guardian is today following up on its shocking expose of David Clapson's death with another piece about the lengths jobcentres, acting on behalf of a callous coalition, will go to in order to sanction benefit claimants. Read more about Stupid and damaging benefit sanctions exposed in today's Guardian
The government's benefit cuts are so damaging to the wellbeing of claimants that the national lottery is funding support for those who suffer mental health problems as a result.
The Big Lottery Fund will support Oxfordshire MIND to provide its Benefits for Better Mental Health (BBMH) project, which has been helping people access benefits since 2008.
The £336,000 grant has been given to help the organisation deal with a big increase in workload since the coalition started its war on benefit claimants. Read more about Benefit cuts bring mental health problems, need lottery help
The number of benefit sanctions rose to a record 897,690 in the year to September, the Department for Work and Pensions has revealed.
Sanctions see claimants having their benefits removed for four weeks the first time they are applied, and can stretch to years subsequently.
In the final year of Labour government in 2009-10, 500,000 Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) sanctions were handed out -itself a record number - compared to 874,850 last year. Read more about Sanction numbers rose to record high of 900,000 in 2013
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced a new independent reviewer of benefit sanctions.
Matthew Oakley, the head of economics and social policy at thinktank Policy Exchange, will lead the review.
The post was required by the Jobseeker’s (Back to Work Schemes) Act 2013, and will look at the clarity of information given to Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants on the consequences of failing to take part in mandatory back to work schemes, and on how to navigate the appeals system. Read more about New 'independent' reviewer for benefit sanctions announced
A senior recruiter working for Amazon has boasted on Twitter of her power to stop the benefits of those sent to her for interview.
Kelly-Jane Stone from Watford used the Twitter account @DietQueen to bash unemployed people who came to her for work, calling them "suckers" and writing of her power to get their benefits stopped.
Stone has since been suspended from the Transline Group in Hemel Hempstead, which holds an account finding staff for online retail giant Amazon. Read more about Recruiter boasts of power to stop benefits on Twitter
The Work Programme and jobcentre are there to help people into work.
So how would you feel if a jobcentre sanction prevented you from taking up a job the Work Programme had already helped you get?
This was nearly the experience of Philip Emans, a jobseeker from London.
His Work Programme provider helped him get a job as a cleaner at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital after being out of work for more than two years, which included a period of homelessness. Read more about Work Programme got me a job - then jobcentre tried to take it away
The government was due to publish statistics on the number of sanctions handed out by jobcentres today, but has delayed the release.
UnemployedNet reported last week on the latest sanctions problems, which have seen accusations that jobcentre staff are being disciplined if they do not refer enough jobseekers for sanctions. Read more about Jobcentre sanctions - government delays publishing statistics
An internal report by the Department of Work and Pensions has found that unapproved targets for benefit sanctions have been implemented in a number of locations, potentially leading to the unreasonable removal of benefits from jobseekers. Read more about Jobcentre sanctions targets – DWP admits mistakes
The government, aided by the Labour opposition, is to rush through legislation to stop it having to repay those claimants who lost benefits through being wrongly sanctioned over work experience.
The Guardian is reporting that the opposition is likely to abstain from the vote, meaning a bill can move through parliament and become law quickly.
The bill has been drafted in response to the appeal court ruling last month in the case of Cait Reilly and Jamieson Wilson, who had been forced to undertake work experience. Read more about Government to rush law to stop benefit refunds to placees