In this month we’ve finally seen National (and even International) press, about the DWP’s refusal to publish the numbers of people dying after their benefits had been stopped. This is fully justified and it is with no small thanks to fellow blogger Vox Political for his persistence, that at the time of writing 80,572 people are demanding the DWP release these numbers.
Today in daily updates from whatdotheyknow, another DWP response caught my eye, a FOI request enquiring about a statement from #Cameron re the Hardship Fund for claimant facing financial difficulties. The request asks several questions including what the Hardship fund is, the criteria for application and the number of applicants, both successful and rejected. The DWP’s response did explain what and how but… regarding the numbers, the response intrigued me:
“Data on JSA awards was last published in September 2012 which stated “the number of hardship awards made between April 2011 and March 2012 was about 64,000“; it continued with “A commitment was made to publish updated figures in May 2015 during the Work and Pensions Select Committee review of sanctions in February 2015.“
Now I may be a little cynical here but if these figures were to be published last month – Where Are They? I’ve been unable to find them, and also tried to think of reasons for a delay, but in the end could only arrive at the conclusion the DWP are hoping the data update announcement will by forgotten.
Therefore as I’d like to know just how many claims and refusals have been made for Hardship Funds since March 2012, mostly because I think its highly likely there will be substantial growth in these claims? And also because this promise to publish data in the future, has been used numerous times before, including queries regarding the number of Benefit related deaths; I’ve submitted my own FOI –
Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
In your recent response to FOI – Hardship Fund for claimant facing financial difficulties? made 28 April 2015 by JCG ; on May 29 2015 you stated “A commitment was made to publish updated figures in May 2015 during the Work and Pensions Select Committee review of sanctions in February 2015.”
Therefore, my request is where and when are these numbers to be published?
I’ll keep you posted.
#Together WE Fight for Our Survival