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Shocking 668% rise in ESA mental health sanctions

The number of employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants with mental health conditions who receive a sanction has risen by a shocking 668% in the space of just three years, a joint investigation by Mind and the Independent has revealed.

In 2011-12 2,507 ESA claimants with mental health conditions had their benefits sanctioned, mainly for failure to take part in work-related activities. In 2014-15 this figure had risen to 19,259 claimants.

Tom Pollard of Mind told the Independent that the huge rise in sanctions was harmful to people’s mental health:

“Stopping somebody’s benefits, or threatening to stop them, is completely the wrong approach to help people with mental health problems find work – it’s actually counterproductive. Pressurising someone to engage in often inappropriate activities under the threat of losing their benefit causes a huge deal of additional anxiety, often making people more unwell and less able to work.”

The government, however, have already refused to look into whether sanctions and the threat of sanctions is harming claimant’s mental health.

Disabilities minister Priti Patel claimed that:

“There are many factors affecting an individual’s mental health. To assess the effect of sanctions in isolation of all other factors would be misleading.”

Read the full story in the Independent.

You can download the latest ESA sanctions statistics from this link


#5 tazman 2015-11-16 21:41
Thanks for that link Paul. Great article and I am actually looking forward for a change! To next year when this book comes out. That is unless some mysterious forces stop it happening. It would not surprise me one bit.
+3 #4 Paul Richards 2015-11-15 15:50
Hi all,
Please have a look at this! It says everything (and more) about the cruelty of both Government Ministers and the WCA leading to deaths of claimants. (Courtesy of and with many thanks to someone on the Johnny Void website)

+6 #3 shimtoan 2015-11-14 10:10
I know, the best way to help people with mental health problems is to mess with their heads!

whichever pencil pusher devised this way of thinking should learn what it is like to live with a mental health condition

NB. I have learning difficulties and my partner suffers from severe depression at times, but we work with eachothers good parts to overcome any difficulties the best we can. That means we help each other in a positive, constructive way.
+4 #2 GoingOffMyHeadWithThisGoverment 2015-11-13 21:33
One word (disgusting) :sad:
+4 #1 taylor 2015-11-13 16:11
A bit like politicians misleading us with their claims and expenses !

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