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Drugs: Rehabilitation

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what sanctions would apply if an individual refused to participate in (a) a substance-related assessment, (b) an interview, (c) other relevant tests and (d) rehabilitation plans under provisions contained in Schedule 1 of the Welfare Reform Bill. (256955)

Under current plans the sanctions that will apply will be similar to those in place for refusing to take the steps necessary to tackle other barriers to work. Currently, for failing to comply with a Jobseeker Direction, the claimant will incur two weeks’ benefit loss in the first instance, followed by four and 26 weeks’ loss for repeated failure to comply. Those on employment and support allowance can lose up to half of the work related activity component of their benefit for four weeks if they fail to meet with conditionality requirements. If they still fail to cooperate they can lose their work related activity component in full.