55-year-old who saw his benefits slashed by DWP calls for council support

A resident whose benefits have been cut asked the council whether they can award discretionary payments to those affected by Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) sanctions.

Daniel Greenspan also asked if they can do more to ensure affected families are not at risk of malnutrition or hypothermia.

The 55-year-old, who said his Job Seeker’s Allowance was reduced after he missed a job interview due to sickness, now receives £32.92 a week instead of £72.77.

However, Cllr Ian Bond (Roding, Liberal Democrat) said the council can provide emergency support to those in hardship, but that people given sanctions would not normally qualify for the aid.

Cllr Andy Walker (Chadwell, Independent) said after the meeting that he believes the sanctions are “wrong”.

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He said: “Daniel and others are not getting natural justice.

“They are being punished by a letter, there is no hearing and no opportunity for Daniel to present evidence to a panel to support his argument that the punishment is unfair.”

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The Recorder has asked the DWP to comment.

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