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Need urgent advice about Jobseeker's Allowance


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I have been on Jobseekers Allowance since March 2011, in June 2012 I was put onto the Work Programme, however I missed the first appointment due to a mistake at their end, however I received the following letter from the DWP today, the letter is dated 19th July 2012.

 

We cannot pay you Jobseeker's Allowance from 25 July 2012.

 

This is because we recently told you that a decision would be made about a doubt.

 

-On whether you failed to take advantage of a place on the employment programme. We have now decided that you did not take advantage of a place on an employment programme and that you did not have sufficiently good reasons for doing so. This decision applies from 25 July 2012 to 7 August 2012.

 

If you are looking for work, and you intend to dispute or appeal against this decision, or to apply for hardship payments, you should continue to provide signed declarations as instructed on your ES40.

 

We cannot award National Insurance contribution credits for this period.

 

We cannot pay you Jobseeker's Allowance from 8 August 2012.

 

We cannot pay you because you have not been paid, or been credited with, enough Class 1 National Insurance Contributions.

 

We have used the tax years ending 5 April 2009 and 5 April 2010 to assess your claim.

 

I am miffed about this totally, firstly my first appointment on the Work Programme in June booked a date totally different to the one I was told on the phone so I missed the appointment, I explained this when a doubt arose a few weeks ago but the DWP have obviously gone against me, I am fuming about this, I have attended every appointment on the Work Programme since their cock up.

 

Also why is my Jobseeker's Allowance stopping due to lack of National Insurance contributions? I thought this was only if you were on Contribution based Jobseeker's Allowance, I am on Income Based.

 

Now I am not gonna get paid next Friday 3 August because of this sanction, can I apply for a crisis loan next Friday to make up for the lack of payment? I fully intend to appeal this sanction but what about my Jobseeker's stopping completely on 8 August?

 

Well basically my Jobseeker's has finished today because of the 2 weeks sanction then stopping it completely in 2 weeks time.

 

I am very annoyed and angry about this, please help.

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Hi, and Welcome to CAG.

 

Unfortunately you cannot get a crisis loan to make up for money lost due to a sanction on a benefit claim. Crisis Loans are restricted for people subject to a sanction on JSA unless they fall within a vulnerable group (in the bullet points below) and are immediately entitled to be considered for hardship payments.

 

• a single pregnant woman;

• members of couples or polygamous marriages where at least one member of the couple or marriage is pregnant;

• a single person responsible for children or young people;

• members of couples or polygamous marriages responsible for children or young people;

• a person who qualifies for Disability Premium;

• a person with long-term medical conditions;

• a person who provides care for disabled people;

• certain 16 or 17 year olds; and

• certain persons under the age of 21

 

Do appeal against the decision and whilst you await the outcome of your appeal, apply for hardship payments if you are going to be in hardship as a result of the decision. To help you in your appeal I've attached the sanction guide that DWP Decision Makers use. I've also attached the hardship guide that they use to help you in applying for that. You will find the attachments at the bottom of my post.

 

I'm not able to offer any clarity on why they have spoken about contributions if your claim is income based - but then again the letters are never very clear, they are computer generated by the inputting of data to the system so it may be that the wrong data has been input, i couldn't say. In your appeal, make sure you appeal against both the sanction and the apparent upcoming termination of your claim.

DWP Sanction guide.pdf

Hardship guide.pdf

My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

 

 

 

 

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Thank you for your reply, I don't how they expect me to live off no money do you? when can I apply for hardship payments? Can I do it immediately? Also how much is the weekly rate of hardship payments?

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Hardship is paid at the rate of JSA minus a 20% deduction if the claimant is pregnant or seriously ill, or at the JSA rate minus a 40% deduction if the claimant is not pregnant or seriously ill.

 

Hardship is payable immediately if you qualify and are in a vulnerable group, or from the 15th day of the sanction if you qualify but are not in a vulnerable group.

 

This information is contained in the hardship guide that is in the attachment in my last post - it is important to read it if you intend applying for hardship as it will help you understand how they reach a decision so that you can provide all of the information needed on your application to prevent further delay in payments if you qualify. If all the information they need is not on your application, they will write to you to request it. I cannot stress enough how important it is to understand your position and theirs because it by knowing what they are looking for that you can submit a good application and appeal.

My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

 

 

 

 

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Yes.

 

Whilst you are sanctioned, you are still a JSA claimant and are still bound by the JSA conditions, you just don't receive payment of the benefit.

 

If your claim is terminated you would not be entitled to continued hardship payments; the hardship would be payable (if you qualify) for the duration of the sanction on your JSA claim only. If a JSA claim terminates no payment will be made.

 

You need to establish whether your JSA claim is going to terminate. It says so in the letter but as you state, you are not in receipt of contributory based JSA so that part of the letter doesn't make sense. Phone the number on the letter tomorrow and ask them to confirm whether your JSA is ending on 8th August, explain what is on the letter and that you are not in receipt of contribution based JSA. If they don't understand it, ask for a call back from a JSA decision maker and ask anything they say to be confirmed to you in writing if it is different from what is on your letter.

My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

 

 

 

 

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Thank you.

 

I fully intend to fight them all the way, they have messed with the wrong person, I won't stand for this, I have put in a complaint to the Work Programme company because as far as I am concerned their mistake has got me a sanction and no-one is getting with that until it's resolved.

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If you have any additional information to provide as to the reasons for the sanction being imposed for failing to attend then you should request a reconsideration, this should be looked at fairly quickly as an appeal can take months to be heard.

 

Definitely put in a complaint and notify the JCP that you have complained

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Just a question; if one is sanctioned and on ESA they lose the addon, but if on JSA they get no money, therefore how are they expected to pay for travel to the work programme and food for sustinance? even slaves get fed AFAIK.

Edited by count orlok
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Until a person engages with the work programme and attends on a regular basis the WP will continue to refer to DMA for sanctions to be consideed and the only way the sanctions can then be overturned will be through reconsiderations, appeals ad engaging fully wit the providers.

A customer is still expected to attend all mandatory appointments and signings or they will continue with the sanction referrals, entitlement doubts or possible claim closure (if fail to sign at the JCP).

 

Sanctions are changing soon and ESA customers will be referred for sanctions too for failing to attend appointments and engage with the WP.

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Looks like the prisons are going to get fuller. As i see it the only way to get fed in this big society for many will be to commit a crime just so as they get put in prison to be fed. Mind you the time taken for it to get to court would mean one would starve to death before it even got to sentencing, probably better to get run over so you can go into hospital. I am scared stiff about losing my benefits, I couldn't jump through all their stupid hoops, and would fear for my life. Perhaps for people in my position the idea is to kill us off before we become a bigger burden on the NHS (I could live well for 3 or 4 years on the money spent on my surgery in the last year, the cost before that would keep me for the rest of my life).

 

You say you can apply for a crisis loan after 15 days, how long can someone go without food? I understand the food banks are running out.

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I did put in an appeal on Thursday 26th July 2012, I did phone the number on the letter and they informed me that my JSA would not be stopping I have just got a 2 week sanction.

 

What I am extremely unhappy about is I have been on the Work Programme for around 8 weeks now and attended every appointment apart from the first one (Induction appointment) that was because an error by the Work Programme provider, a lack of communication from them.

 

I have also put in a formal complaint to the Work Programme provider which I was told had been referred to the Manager, this was also mentioned in the Appeal letter to the DWP.

 

In my appeal I clearly stated that I had spoken to the Citizens Advice Bureau who informed me that I should not have been sanctioned, I have emailed a local MP for advice and maybe some assistance, I informed the DWP of this in the appeal letter.

 

I hope it gets overturned, I presume they will have to issue me with a payment for the 2 weeks sanction and backdate it should I win the appeal?

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Until a person engages with the work programme and attends on a regular basis the WP will continue to refer to DMA for sanctions to be consideed and the only way the sanctions can then be overturned will be through reconsiderations, appeals ad engaging fully wit the providers.

A customer is still expected to attend all mandatory appointments and signings or they will continue with the sanction referrals, entitlement doubts or possible claim closure (if fail to sign at the JCP).

 

Sanctions are changing soon and ESA customers will be referred for sanctions too for failing to attend appointments and engage with the WP.

 

Oh dear, are the DWP really going to break various parts of human rights laws by sending ESA claimaints to the work programme?

 

Also I am amazed they even getting away with expecting claimants to carry on fulfilling their JSA agreements whilst getting no payments.

 

If I get put in ESA WRAG and then get told to do anything I expect to compromise my health I wont carry it out and if any sanction is tried on me I will legally fight it.

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Oh and another thing, I was told over the phone that I couldn't claim hardship payments as it is only a 2 week sanction so, can anyone clarify whether or not I would be entitled to apply for a crisis loan this upcoming week?

 

And just one other question, I was last paid on 20th July 2012, the sanction started from 25th July and end on the 7th August, when I sign on this week, will I still receive a payment for the period 20th-25th July?

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Oh dear, are the DWP really going to break various parts of human rights laws by sending ESA claimaints to the work programme?

 

Why do you think Dave is looking to dump them?

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And just one other question, I was last paid on 20th July 2012, the sanction started from 25th July and end on the 7th August, when I sign on this week, will I still receive a payment for the period 20th-25th July?

 

When you got your money on the 20th it was to cover up to the date you last signed on (if you sign on a Tuesday usually that would be the 17th) so, when you sign on on Tuesday coming you should then, on your next payment date (probably 3rd August) you will receive one week's money (18-24th) and then, when you sign on the following fortnight you will get one week's money (8-15 August).

 

Feebee_71

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I don't know for sure but I think I read on here or another site that, if you are sanctioned, you cannot receive crisis loans to tide you over.

 

Feebee_71

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Oh dear, are the DWP really going to break various parts of human rights laws by sending ESA claimaints to the work programme?

 

Also I am amazed they even getting away with expecting claimants to carry on fulfilling their JSA agreements whilst getting no payments.

 

If I get put in ESA WRAG and then get told to do anything I expect to compromise my health I wont carry it out and if any sanction is tried on me I will legally fight it.

 

Yes the ESA WP issue is a worrying one. I have a spinal problem which means I can't sit without pain for 20 mins and can't stand for more than about 10 mins. However, were it not for some other health problems which put me in the support group, the fact of not being able to stand or sit would not have exempted me from the WP - but there would be no way I would physically be able to take part. There must be lots more people on ESA who will be expected to take part in the WP, but physically or mentally won't be able to comply - I wonder what will happen to these people - will they be sanctioned or will discretion be used?

 

The OP's situation seems to suggest that discretion is in short supply where the WP is concerned.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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I am still fuming about it, I think it's an absolute disgrace that a Work Programme provider arranges my first appointment with them over the phone, I agree to the date and time etc, they then say they will send a confirmation letter in the post (which I never received) and then the day before the date I was given on the phone I rang to check that it was still on for the next day only for them to say infact it was today and you missed your appointment, that's down to the Work Programme providers not me and I get sanctioned for 2 weeks because of it!

 

Any excuse not to pay you, I'm concerned how I am going to manage for the next few weeks with bills to pay and other outgoings, I also think it's a disgrace that seemingly you cannot apply for a Crisis Loan when your sanctioned. I just hope the appeal doesn't take too long, I'm not that confident about getting it overturned but it should be overturned, hopefully the fact that I have informed them that I have contacted my local MP and made an official complaint to the Work Programme provider might help me to overturn it, I really hope.

 

I will always go to war with the DWP if necessary, I won't roll over like some people would and not appeal and accept it, especially when I am not in the wrong.

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It looks like i've got to miss my first ever Work Programme appointment tomorrow, well 2nd but the last time was their fault as you know hence my appeal but I have been feeling very unwell since yesterday and went to the walk in centre yesterday and was told my body is fighting something and today I have a temperature and feel weak.

 

I have emailed my advisor and also emailed another person at the Work Programme company, can they report me to the jobcentre for non-attendance if I have let them know and as I am unwell? I'd be shocked if they could but nothing would surprise me.

 

Regarding the original issue, I have got my local MP on my side to help fight for me, I submitted the appeal last Wednesday but haven't heard anything yet, anyone know how long an appeal can take? I know a Tribunal can take 6 months but not sure on the appeal situation.

 

Thanks.

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Yes they will notify the JCP that you have contacted to advise that you are unwell and you will have to complete form JSA28 when you next attend the JCP office (or one will be posted to you from JCP) to declare your period of sickness which will be recorded. You can only have 2 periods of sickness in a 12 month job seeking period and if you declare a 3rd or subsequent period of sickness your JSA claim will close, meaning you need to make a rapid reclaim and be referred straight bacvk to the WP!

The JSA28 is required to ensure that your JSA is paid correctly and also so that the WP don't refer this for consideration to DMA and if they decide to refer anyway DMA will note that you declared the period of sickness.

 

The appeal is the same as a tribunal so you will waiting some time for that decison sorry.

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Thank you for that info so they won't sanction me then? I've never filled out a JSA28 before.

 

I would have attended the appointment tomorrow but it's a 2 hour interview skills interview where you have to pretend it's a real interview and it involves a lot of talking, I don't have the energy and I have a sore throat and croaky voice so can't talk for that amount of time.

 

Regarding the appeal, I didn't think it was that long? I hope that now I have my local MP involved on that case that it might speed things up.

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