Less than 50% of 18 to 24 years olds who are entitled to claim JSA do so, according to a recent Policy Scotland seminar, with Dr David Webster.

The seminar presented some worrying evidence to support Webster’s previous claims that people are being driven off benefits by the current system, but many are not entering work when they cease claiming.  Since 2008 there has been a 50% reduction in the number of people claiming Jobseekers Allowance.

People claiming JSA have around a 25% chance of being sanctioned, while 30.9% of claimants have been sanctioned more than once.

Hardship payments are available for those who would suffer extreme hardship as a result of being sanctioned, however, this is just 60% of regular JSA and only one in five of those sanctioned have received a payment.  In the current system some people may be awarded 80% of JSA, however, under Universal Credit, which is now rolling out in Glasgow, the 80% level will be removed and hardship payments will be repayable at up to 40% of an individual’s benefit.   Universal Credit sanctions will run consecutively not concurrently – this means that if someone is sanctioned for 4 weeks and during that period is sanctioned for 13 weeks, they would lose their benefit for a total of 17 weeks.

Confused about Universal Credit? – Read our Universal Credit Briefing