The number and length of benefit sanctions has risen hugely under the coalition. Two and a quarter million JSA claimants have had their money stopped, and since October 2012 sanctions are for a minimum of four weeks and a maximum of three years. ESA claimants can have 70% of their benefits stopped indefinitely. Imagine being without any income for a month, when your annual income is less than £4,000 a year – no chance of savings to fall back onto. Claimants go into debt, go hungry and use foodbanks, go into rent arrears or don’t turn on the heating when it’s cold. Now imagine being without any income for three years and what you’ll do then. On twitter next week, various CAB branches will participate in #CABLive, if you want to see the reality of life for many people at the moment, follow the hashtag.
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