Coventry Law Centre

Welfare benefits advice

“Government changes have led to a huge increase in the number of people seeking to appeal against benefit decisions”

 

Coventry Law Centre

Media Release

Coventry families left penniless after benefits stopped: Uncovering the impact of benefit sanctions in Coventry

Thousands of families in Coventry over the last year were left without any income after their benefits were sanctioned (stopped or reduced) according to advice agencies working in Coventry. The agencies are so concerned about what is happening to people in Coventry that they are launching a three month survey to find out the full impact of welfare benefit sanctions in Coventry.

The survey is being launched following a meeting attended by over 30 organisations and individuals to discuss benefit sanctions in Coventry. Problems raised at that meeting included:

As a result of this meeting it was decided to launch a Coventry wide survey to uncover the full extent and impact of sanctions. Coventry agencies are asking their clients and any members of the public who have been sanctioned to take part in the survey, which is completely anonymous. The surbey is available here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FWW7YYW

Speaking at the launch of the survey Janet Gurney from Coventry Law Centre said: "We are really concerned about the impact that sanctions are having on some of the poorest families in Coventry. From the cases that agencies are seeing it looks as if some sanctions are being imposed unfairly, but few people know about their right to appeal, or that appeals are often successful. We would like to support more appeals in Coventry, but we also need to know more about how sanctions are being imposed in Coventry and what affect this is having on families."

The results of the survey will be published, and shared with the Job Centre locally and DWP nationally in the hope of improving practice.

For more information contact Janet Gurney at janet.gurney@covlaw.org.uk 02476253174.

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