Benefits sanctions will be reintroduce from today, meaning that financial penalties will be applied to claimants who break conditionality agreements, such as failing to attend jobcentre interviews, or spending enough time looking for jobs. These will take the form of penalties deducted from subsequent payments.
The DWP has said that this is being reinstated as Jobcentres are now reopening, but conditionality arrangements will be sensitive to the local job markets, and personal circumstances. See a Guardian article on the issue here.
It is especially important to be aware of these changes if you are working with new claimants, who may not have been aware of the system.
For anyone who needs it:
- Guidance is available on sanctions from the Money Advice Service.
- As usual, anyone struggling to afford food can find support via www.cornwall.gov.uk/helpwithfood, or via the directories on Support in Cornwall and Cornwall Link (or using the Inclusion Matters helpline on 01872 266383).
- See the new Cornwall VSF Hardship Grants for Individuals page for support.
- Also the Cornwall Council crisis and care page, or their funding resources page (the assistance for individuals/households section), and Transformation Cornwall (the individual awards section).