Sick and disabled braced for enforced work-for-benefits programme
...On Monday, the government will allow private back-to-work companies and jobcentre case managers to force Blackburn and more than 300,000 sick and disabled welfare claimants into unpaid work experience for an unspecified length of time.
Also from that day – the UN's international day of persons with disabilities – if those in WRAG who have illnesses ranging from cancer to paralysis to mental health issues do not comply with such instructions, they can be stripped of up to 70% of their benefits and forced to live on £28.15 a week.
According to the latest figures, between 1 June 2011 and 31 May 2012 there were 11,130 conditionality sanctions applied to ESA WRAG claimants. The average length of such sanction is seven weeks.
Blackburn says he is now "petrified". "They could call me in on Monday and say 'right, you've got do to this, this and this'. And if I don't, they can sanction me and that scares me … it makes me so nervous, it makes me physically sick."...