Homelessness and mental health conditions to be supported by hardship fund
Jobseekers who are homeless or suffering from a mental health condition can access hardship payments immediately after a benefit sanction.
Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green will today announce that jobseekers who are homeless or suffer from a mental health condition will now be able to access hardship payments immediately if they receive a benefit sanction.
Although the majority of jobseekers do everything expected of them, sanctions are a necessary and long-standing part of the welfare system. They ensure that those who are able to get into the workplace are making every effort to get into the workplace, and that appropriate action is taken otherwise.
Hardship payments act as a safety net to cover day-to-day living costs, and are issued immediately to individuals who are sanctioned and meet certain criteria like having children, or a long-term health condition. Other jobseekers cannot claim payments for the first 14 days of a sanction.
The criteria will now extend immediate access to homeless people and individuals with a mental health condition.
The change is expected to help around 10,000 people over 4 years from 2017/18 to 2020.