Benefit sanctions are punishing disabled people for the sake of it
by Frances Ryan
The government’s cruel rhetoric is that with enough ‘tough love’, people too ill to get out of bed can hold down a job. Sanctions don’t work
Four years ago, I wrote about the death of David Clapson. Clapson – a former soldier and carer for his mum – had his benefits sanctioned after missing one meeting at the jobcentre. He was diabetic, and without the £71.70 a week from his jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) he couldn’t afford to eat or put credit on his electricity card to keep the fridge working where he stored his insulin. Three weeks later, after suffering a severe lack of insulin, Clapson was found dead with a pile of CVs next to his body.
The Tory blueprint: fund a cruel system, not the disabled people it punishes
I found myself thinking of Clapson this weekend when I read the findings of a groundbreaking study into the treatment of unemployed disabled claimants in Britain. The four-year study by academic Ben Baumberg Geiger in collaboration with the Demos thinktank shows that since 2010, disabled people receiving state benefits have been hit with a staggering 1m sanctions.