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Punitive and ineffective: benefit sanctions within social security

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JournalJournal of Social Security Law
DateAccepted/In press - 11 Sep 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 1 Oct 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 Oct 2018
Issue number3
Volume25
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)142-157
Early online date1/10/18
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Benefit sanctions are now a central component of the UK’s increasingly conditional
social security system. Over the last two decades their reach has been extended beyond Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) claimants to include the majority of lone parents, many disabled people and, since the introduction of Universal Credit ( UC) in 2013, low paid workers in receipt of in work wage supplements and housing benefits. Utilising original data generated in a large (n.481 wave a), repeat qualitative longitudinal panel study this paper explores the impact of benefit sanctions on the lives of those in receipt of highly conditional social security benefits. It is concluded that benefit sanctions routinely trigger a range of profoundly negative outcomes that do not enhance the likelihood of people moving into paid work.

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