Hardship - Decision Makers' Guide

Bill Topping made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

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Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

My query relates to the hardship provisions for people who have received a sanction due to an adverse Labour Market Decision and the rules laid out in two paragraphs of the Decision Makers’ Guide.


Paragraph 35099 of the Decision Makers' Guide :

“It would be usual for a normal healthy adult to suffer some deterioration in their health if they were without 1. essential items, such as food, clothing, heating and accommodation or 2. sufficient money to buy essential items for a period of two weeks.

See Appendix 6 to this Chapter for further guidance. The DM must determine if a person with a medical condition would suffer a greater decline in health than a normal healthy adult and would suffer hardship.”


Appendix 6 referred to above:

“Full health depends upon a regular and varied intake of food containing sufficient calories and essential nutrients. A normal healthy body contains enough reserves to cope with dietary changes over a short period but there are medical conditions that could deteriorate due to an inadequate diet over a two week period following a DM's decision.”

(The labelling of subsequent versions of the DMG indicates that Appendix 6 is unamended since the DMG was first written but that the Paragraph 35099 was last revised in October 2010 and again in October 2015.)

These paragraphs state opinions as to effects on health of the two week waiting period for eligibility for hardship payments. Was any medical advice or evidence considered before these opinions were stated, or when these rules were amended subsequently?
If so could you provide the medical advice or evidence considered and it’s source?

Thank you for your assistance

Yours faithfully,

Bill Topping

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

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