Alcohol and Addicts - plan to dock benefits
Alarm over plan to dock benefits of alcoholics and addicts who reject help.
Charities say removing benefits could jeopardise addicts' recovery and goes against principles set out in NHS Constitution
Leading addiction charities have expressed deep concerns over government plans to cut the benefits of people suspected of suffering from alcoholism or drug addiction who refuse treatment for their condition.
In a sign of the government's new benefits regime – which lies at the heart of Iain Duncan Smith's cost-cutting welfare changes – staff in Jobcentre Plus offices will be encouraged to cut the jobseeker's allowance of claimants who reject treatment for addiction.
The new rules will come into place in October 2013, when the universal credit, which is designed to wrap benefits into one payment, is introduced.
A new claimant contract lies at the heart of the universal credit reforms. Claimants will have to sign a contract in which they agree to look for work in exchange for an undertaking from the government to support them while they do so.
Government sources said the contract would allow Jobcentre Plus staff to say that suspected addicts were in breach of their commitments if they refused help for alcoholism or drug addiction.
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