To Thérèse Coffey, Secretary of State for DWP
With millions of people out of work, people living with mental illness need better support, not added pressure and fear about having their benefits taken away.
That’s why we are calling on the Government to do the right thing and end benefit sanctions.
During the first wave of Covid-19 an emergency pause on benefit conditions and sanctions was introduced. But at the start of November, the Department for Work and Pensions extended benefit sanctions, meaning sick or disabled people are at risk of lost or capped benefits if they miss a benefits assessment on the telephone.
Kelly, one of our supporters told us:
“I missed a call from the DWP about a week ago and it made me feel anxious for the entire day. The thought that I could be sanctioned for one missed call terrified me."
As the country tackles a second wave of Covid-19 we are asking the Government to:
- Bring back the emergency pause on benefit sanctions and conditions for 6 months. We need to give people supported by benefits the clarity they urgently need
- Improve employment support for people living with mental illness
- Use the pause to set out how they will end sanctions for disabled people for good.