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Hello everyone,

 

I hope someone can give me some pointers on what to do next.

 

My problem is as follows.

I have been sanctioned because i failed to take advantage of a job opportunity.

Despite sending a covering letter when replying to the original dispute, detailing that at no point had i verbally or in writing been informed that the vacancy in question was a mandatory" matched" vacancy.

The sanction has 22 weeks to run.

 

I understand the terms and conditions of the JSA,but in this case it requires the ability of my "Personal Advisor" to communicate with me to full-fill the conditions.

I do not have psychic abilities.

 

I am always seeking employment,sometimes travelling at great expense financially to my family,and i am currently engaged in a "helping you back to work" programme.

 

We are claiming housing benefit but this does not cover all our rent,we make up the short fall though our JSA.

 

I am in a bit of a panic,as it looks like we are going to spiral into debt with the rent,not be able to pay any of our very small and basic bills.

The one luxury we have managed to maintain is the car,as it was seen as essential to enable me to return to work,but even this is now looking doubtful as our insurance is monthly DD.

Simple without the JSA we have nothing,not a over statement...just simply nothing..not a penny.

 

 

So where do i go from here?

 

I have just under to appeal.

 

Any ideas/pointers/advice ?

 

 

Regards,

 

Ben.

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So far i had a first letter regarding the claim of not applying for the Job in question,to which i replied with the covering letter and my reasons for not applying.

I then received a stating that i failed to apply for the Job and that JSA would now be stopped.

 

That is as far as it has got so far.

I am intending to continue to sign on.

 

Is a reconsideration of the decision the same as appealing?

 

Looking into Hardship allowance.

 

JSA stopped Friday so today is the first day we can actively start looking into and contact people about the problem .

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you need request a reconsideration but note the bottom of that letter that you would like to pursue an appeal if the reconsideration in unvfavourable.

You need to contact your JCP for the hardship forms and unless you fall into the vunerable group (pregant, child uner 5 or disabiliy premium in you award) you will not receive hardshp for the first 2 weeks of any sanction imposed.

 

How long have you been claiming JSA?

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Firstly i must say thank you "flumps1976" for the feedback/advise.

 

I have been claiming since the beginning of 2011,but have been out of work since October 2010.

 

I should also state this is a joint claim,but it would appear they do not/have not recognised this...is this correct?

 

I shall get a letter sent off tomorrow morning asking for a reconsideration of the decision and should that fail,intent to appeal.

 

Ben.

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Have you now been referred to the work programme then?

Where did the actual job referral stem from? Was it from a matched vacancy with your adviser in the JCP office or from the Work Programme adviser?

Joint claims are treated slightly differently as you are two seperate people claiming in the same claim but with seperate job seekers agreements and therefore you part of the joint claim can be sanctioned if you don't adhere to your JSAg.

The vacancy that you were given, how closely did it match your JSAg was tere anything that didn't match at all? e.g driving licence required but you don't have one for example?

Definitely send in the reconsideration request and get the hardship application in asap too.

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I am attending a work programme which is helping with amending my C.V. and also look to place me with a local company for "work experience".

 

The Job referral stems from a JCP advisor in Oct 2011.

 

I had actually informed the advisor at a prior "review" ,that i had at that time no personal transport and so was actively seeking work in the local area or a area that was easily accessible via public transport.

I have latter learned that the Job in question was approx 20 miles away.

My current Agreement states that i am willing to travel up to 1.5 hours,as i currently have personal transport.

Although when i next sign on i will have to have this brutally amended,to reflect my new inability to be able to afford to travel.

 

Would a decision to sanction me been made on my current agreement,do they have a record of my previous agreements?

 

I can see where you are going with this..but was never informed at any point that i MUST apply for the vacancy.

This is where the problem came from.

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I am attending a work programme which is helping with amending my C.V. and also look to place me with a local company for "work experience".

 

The Job referral stems from a JCP advisor in Oct 2011.

 

I had actually informed the advisor at a prior "review" ,that i had at that time no personal transport and so was actively seeking work in the local area or a area that was easily accessible via public transport.

I have latter learned that the Job in question was approx 20 miles away.

My current Agreement states that i am willing to travel up to 1.5 hours,as i currently have personal transport.

Although when i next sign on i will have to have this brutally amended,to reflect my new inability to be able to afford to travel.

 

Would a decision to sanction me been made on my current agreement,do they have a record of my previous agreements?

 

I can see where you are going with this..but was never informed at any point that i MUST apply for the vacancy.

This is where the problem came from.

Unless the rules have changed you are obliged to be willing to travel for 90 minutes each way regardless of the mode of transport, I know it does not help you now but the golden rule is apply for every job referral, do not give JCP any reason to apply a sanction, often claimants fail to get interviews just on the information provided on their CV, they also fail to get jobs based on their obvious unsuitability for the post........ :-}

 

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges

 

Being poor is like being a Pelican. No matter where you look, all you see is a large bill.

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Any jobs that are issued by your adviser are usually matched to your JSAg, unfortunately this is where at lot of Job Seekers end up with sanctions being imposed, after 6 months you are required to expand your job search to include any jobs that you are capable of doing.

Could you have reasonably travelled to that job by public transport within the 90 minutes travel time?

If you couldn't then you have a good reason for not applying for the job in question and you can include that in your reconsideration request, and on answer to your question yes they will have your old JSAgs both on the LMS system and in a paper copy in your records in the office and this what will have been submitted with the referral by the adviser.

Having the sanction imposed is not a reason to have your travel time reduced either sorry.

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Unless the rules have changed you are obliged to be willing to travel for 90 minutes each way regardless of the mode of transport, I know it does not help you now but the golden rule is apply for every job referral, do not give JCP any reason to apply a sanction, often claimants fail to get interviews just on the information provided on their CV, they also fail to get jobs based on their obvious unsuitability for the post........ :-}

 

 

Take no chances, follow this advice and you won't go far wrong.

 

Even if they don't admit it, they have quotas to fill and I'm afraid its either your benefit or their job that's on the line now.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have just been sanctioned till August for not applying for a job that my Advisor had told me to apply for. Apart from the fact that I told him I had been offered a another job and was due to start soon I believe the sanction is unlawfull as I had taken the required 3 steps a week and applied for more than the required amount of jobs set in my JSA agreement. Guidelines state... ((You are supposed to take such steps "as can reasonably be expected" to find work. But the legal definition of Actively Seeking Work is that you are "expected to take more than one step on one occasion in any week" to find work (JSA Regs reg 18(1)))

Recognised steps are:

 

Applying for jobs in writing, personally or by phone.

 

Seeking information on jobs from adverts, recruiting agencies and employers

 

Registering with employment agencies and businesses

 

Appointing someone else to help you find work

 

Drawing up a CV

 

Getting a reference from a previous employer

 

Researching potential employers / occupations.

 

I have been back in the UK for under 4 months and been signing on just over 3 months and in that time have taken far more than the minimum required action every week. My Advisor was rude, told me that all the other jobs I had applied for counted for nothing and I might face santions(he also said I was ****ing him off). He then insisted I apply for more of their goverment approved jobs. When I returned in a fortnight later I had filled in the section that asks about what I had done to look for work and I had written in the actual jobs I had applied for and interviews I had attended(I also wanted to tell him about the position I had been offered as a PA) Once again like a demented automaton he went straight for the kill focusing on the job he had given me last visit. When I tried to explain about the other jobs I had applied for, which I also had far more chance of getting, the fact that I had just been offered a position, that I was still applying for other jobs that I could fit in around the PA job he told me "nice story but irrelavent". I then got the sanctions letter in the post. Phoned the DWP and spoke to a lovely lady who agreed that if I was telling the truth it would be an unfair sanction (she said she could see nothing about sanctions on her comp) and that I needed to speak to the jobcentre. Tried that all yesterday and today, I tried the route that they have made the mistake and that I wanted a trained staff member to give me their interpretation of the (Flexible New Deal Guidance dwp.gov.uk/docs/fnd-section-8) as I wanted to base my appeal on that I was activly seeking work, they told me they didnt do that and I would have to wait for a phone call from the appeal board to . So all I have put on my appeal form is that I would like someone to phone me to discuss section 8 and give me the goverment interpretation of it paticulaly 8.27. I believe I can over turn the sanction easily by proving that I have been offered a job but I intend to fight it on the fact that I was ACTIVLY SEEKING WORK as legally defined I also asked for figues or where I could find them of the numbers and percentage of people santioned by my job centre, percentage that appeal and percentage that are overturned, I was told I would have to write to my MP for them.

(news flash: just got offered another job :) Anyway, if its overturned then they are admitting they were wrong and I will want at least a written apology, But am now thinking of taking them to court for breaching my human rights.

Will post any updates

Can anyone offer me any advice?

Cheers

Adam

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Its an absolute minefield today when you sign on.

I learned through being honest it just doesn't pay you.

 

Just do as they ask as far as applying for jobs are concerned, even though it may seem pointless. (jobs not suitable or whatever)

 

They are not interested if you are applying for 100 jobs per week, if you don't apply for the jobs they give to you, they will stop your benefit.

 

Best of luck with the appeal.

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