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Researchers from Glasgow see stopped benefit claims on the rise

Researchers from Glasgow University have revealed that the number of people in Wales who have had their benefits stopped has almost tripled in the past ten years, something they claim may be due to poor assessment of entitlement, reports the BBC.

The research has prompted one academic from Glasgow University to say the rate of increase in the number of people who have had their benefits stopped was due to 'third-rate' assessments by officials at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Research conducted by the Urban Studies Unit at Glasgow University showed that the number of people who had their benefits stopped in Wales increased to more than 40,000 in 2013. This is from a baseline of 12,000 in 2004.

Dr David Webster who was involved in the research claims that those who have had their benefits stopped are left without support.

"People under sanction, people without support, they are going hungry," he told BBC Radio Wales' 'Eye on Wales' programme.

"This is a system which is operated by junior officials. It's done in secret, there's no legal representation, it's done on a basis of lack of documentation," he added.

Legal aid is still available for some people who wish to appeal a decision relating to benefits, but the criteria are strict.

To benefit from free legal advice through the legal-aid system you must be on welfare benefit, have already appealed your case through the social security tribunal and be under the age of 60 without access to more than £8,000 in savings.

For those ineligible for legal aid, free legal advice is available through Citizens Advice or through the Law Centres Network.