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JSA - sanctioned for coming 5 min late to Job Centre


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Hello,

 

I will be grateful for any helpful advice.

 

I was late signing on at Job Centre twice in a row and got benefit taken away for four weeks.

 

On both occasions I was late by just 5-6 minutes.

 

The situation was, I had requested the advisor several times not to set the appointment for too early in the morning as I have to drop off my disabled daughter to nursery at 9:15 and am unable to make it to Job Centre (2 miles away) for, say, 9:30am. Still, they continued giving me early morning appointments. That made me come a few minutes late at times.

 

Now, I was seen right away on the first occasion (and given a warning letter), then two weeks later I was told to return in the evening when I received another warning and was told that I would be reported to "decision makers".

 

Today I received a letter stating that my benefit will be suspended for four weeks.

 

Now, if it was only JSA affected, we could make it somehow. But we can't afford loosing Housing Benefit for a month (that's £1,000 in where we live). I also feel treated unfairly as my JCP advisor always appears to have lots of free time, both before and after my appointment - so, arguing that I was taking someone else's slot would be a lie. Still, she went for punishing me instead of showing a degree of flexibility.

 

Now, has anyone been in a similar situation? What chances of getting their decision annulled do I stand if I appeal? Should I do anything else apart from appealing? Finally, would this affect Housing Benefit which in itself is a means-tested benefit (and we clearly got worse not better this month)?

 

Thanks for any advice you might have.

 

k.

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Thanks, that's reassuring. Still, a friend had her JSA suspended for a fortnight when her advisor was not happy with her job search, and then her HB was also stopped, despite her being a single mother of three. That was two years ago and at another Job Centre, but don't think rules have changed since.

 

Or have they? Where can I find any DWP guidance on the matter?

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You should appeal the decision as you had told your advisor that you had a child to take to school first.They really are being heavy handed as 5-6 mins is nothing to deserve being sanctioned for four weeks.As regarding the HB I am sure the ban does not apply as I know someone who had a ban and was still entitled to HB,whether it has changed now I haven't a clue.

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HB can be suspended, but all you need to do is show proof of your other income and a reassessment will be done based on this. Generally this happens if the claimant is on an income based benefit that has 'passported' them to HB.

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

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Indeed. As said, appeal. You have an incredibly valid reason as to why you were late. I'll also go with speedfreek and contact your MP. It's not just you receiving an unfair and heavy handed punishment but your disabled child as well.

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On the first occasion that you were late were you issued with form ES19? This is a letter stating that you are required to attend on the correct date and time for your next attendance or a doubt may be raised on your claim.

Failing to arrive on time is treated as a failure to atend and is subject to the 4 week sanction for te first failure and then any subsequent failure to attend referrals are subject to a 13 week sanction.

Sanctions do not affect payment of HB but if you could not be treated as actively seeking and/or available then that is a 2 week disallowance and that removes ALL benefit entitlements for that 2 weeks (BH, CtB, free prescriptions, free school meals etc).

 

You can request a reconsideration of the decision but will need to supply new additional information to be considered or you need to appeal against the decision (this could take several months to be heard and will be referred for an automatic reconsideration) and you can request a claim for hardship allowance as long as you can supply alll iformation needed.

Does your Job Seekers Agreement reflect your restricted hours due to taking you daughter to school? e.g hours available to work Mon-Fri 10:00 until 14:00? If not then you won't have any reaon for a reconsideration sorry.

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Thanks, I will appeal, then. I am now going through DWP internal guidance on JSA. Generally, it appears that I will need to demonstrate a "good cause" for being late the second time (vol. 4, section 20921, entry 2). However, I can only be sanctioned for one week, not for four weeks (section 20922). I guess in making out four weeks, they just summed up all times that I was late in the last year - against their internal regulations.

 

EDIT: @flumps1976: would you be able to point to any instruction/regulations that says four weeks? DWP technical guide, section 20922, says: "Where JSA is not payable as in DMG 20921 above, it is not be payable for a period of (1) one week, where it is the first occasion that JSA is not payable under DMG 20921 above, or (2) two weeks, where it is the second or subsequent occasion during the same JSP that JSA is not payable under DMG 20921 above".

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No the sanction regime changed on 22/10/2012 and for first failure to attend it is 4 weeks and 2nd or more failure it is 13 weeks, this is the sanction and conditionality regime which has evised everything from leaving employment voluntarily, misconduct, failure to participate/attend, and failure to apply/refuse a vacancy.

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/adviser/updates/jsa-sanction-changes/some sanction can incur a penalty of up to 3 years now. Read the attached link for clarification.

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I think your HB has been suspended but not sanctioned, most likely the DWP informed your housing benefit dept that there was a change of reward and that triggered an auto suspension, when the suspension is released you should get backdated but most likely you will need to contact them.

 

Also I think its incredibly harsh what happened.

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Yeah, what's funny (sort of) is that I was told by my advisor that it is allowed to be up to 5 minutes late. On the second occasion I actually came within those five minutes (my watch is correct to a fraction of a second) but she told me she could not accept it because "another officer" (her supervisor?) had been waiting to see me that day and he had just walked away. I am sure if anyone checked CCTV recordings they would show I was within those five minutes.

 

The only thing I managed was to make sure my report clearly said that I was "5 minutes late", not just "late". Still, the decision was as it was.

 

As to HB, I haven't heard from the LA as yet. Thanks for telling me this can actually be sorted out.

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Hello,

 

I will be grateful for any helpful advice.

 

I was late signing on at Job Centre twice in a row and got benefit taken away for four weeks.

 

On both occasions I was late by just 5-6 minutes.

 

The situation was, I had requested the advisor several times not to set the appointment for too early in the morning as I have to drop off my disabled daughter to nursery at 9:15 and am unable to make it to Job Centre (2 miles away) for, say, 9:30am. Still, they continued giving me early morning appointments. That made me come a few minutes late at times.

 

Now, I was seen right away on the first occasion (and given a warning letter), then two weeks later I was told to return in the evening when I received another warning and was told that I would be reported to "decision makers".

 

Today I received a letter stating that my benefit will be suspended for four weeks.

 

Now, if it was only JSA affected, we could make it somehow. But we can't afford loosing Housing Benefit for a month (that's £1,000 in where we live). I also feel treated unfairly as my JCP advisor always appears to have lots of free time, both before and after my appointment - so, arguing that I was taking someone else's slot would be a lie. Still, she went for punishing me instead of showing a degree of flexibility.

 

Now, has anyone been in a similar situation? What chances of getting their decision annulled do I stand if I appeal? Should I do anything else apart from appealing? Finally, would this affect Housing Benefit which in itself is a means-tested benefit (and we clearly got worse not better this month)?

 

Thanks for any advice you might have.

 

k.

 

It sounds, to me, like they made the early appointment just to make it difficult and knowing you could be late. This is the low that these people stoop to just to sanction you.

 

Of course I would appeal and complain.

Sorry to hear they are messing you around and I hope you have the outcome you deserve.

 

UB.

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Are the job centre (not just your adviser) aware that you have a disabled child who you take to nursery?

 

No, it was just my adviser. I mentioned my disabled child on JSA application form back then in 2011 but did not talk about nursery arrangements as she was not at nursery at that time.

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It sounds, to me, like they made the early appointment just to make it difficult and knowing you could be late. This is the low that these people stoop to just to sanction you.

 

Maybe. They told me once they always have to book the first available slot as on the computer. And my advisor gives an impression of just another computer peripheral..........

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There is the problem then I'm afraid, without discussing the restrictions that ou have due to drop and collection times at te nursery you have stated that you are available for the appointments.

All I can do is suggest that you book an appointment with a view to review your Job Seekers Agreement and fill out form GL24 to appeal the decision, you can put down your reasons for late attendance but as ou have been signing the JSAg to date stating no restrictions are in place the decision may not be revised at reconsideration, but it will be looked at by another DMA officer to see if there is any reason to overturn the decision in accordance with the current legislation.

Your HB will not be disallowed but you may have to advise that you are making an application for hardship allowance which I also recommend you apply for today.

 

When appointments are booked then yes it is supposed to be the first available appointment that is booked, unless there is proof provided that another appointment has already been booked (hospital/dental/social services etc) or there are restrictions on the JSAg

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(...) Your HB will not be disallowed but you may have to advise that you are making an application for hardship allowance which I also recommend you apply for today.(...)

 

What is that hardship allowance and how do I apply for it? There is no information whatsoever on gov.uk. Many thanks :)

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I was late signing on at Job Centre twice in a row and got benefit taken away for four weeks..

 

I wonder if it's you in the news:

http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/Unemployed-man-dumps-20lbs-dog-mess-Hanley-job/story-18078256-detail/story.html

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Poundland"

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If you qualify it is a reduced amount frm yuor normal weekly JSA benefit either a 20% or 40% reduction depending on circumstances.

You will need to supply a mini bank statement, proof of all (if any) accounts held, proof of any other benefits and income (includes child benefit, tax credits and DLA) paid to you or anyone within your immediate family claim (e.g partner or dependant children) as you can only apply for hardship if you normally have an entitlement or underlying entitlement to Income Based JSA also birth certificates for any dependant children too.

You can get the form from your local JCP office it is form JSA/ESA10JP.

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I've been sanctioned from the Job Centre since September. They made me leave my flat as council would only pay my rent £50 per week. When my rent is £400. I am not allowed to get hardship, even though when I applied I was living on my own and had changed my address. I have been late to my appointments before, I don't see an adviser as I am on the Work Programme. Even when I wasn't on there I was late several time and have never been sanctioned over it. I had a nice adviser, before my adviser made me apply for a job miles away without transport. And when I said I couldn't go for it he asked why.

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This is absolutely disgraceful! I'd complain to everyone I could; District Manager, Area Manager, MP. Secretary of State even - and definitely go to the media too.

 

There used to be signs in the Jobcentre that said 'We promise to see you within 10 minutes', which would imply that there was leeway for you to be slightly late (as well as them). I'm usually seen slightly late but I accept that you can't plan things to the minute.

 

I've seen people turned away and told to come back hours later for being a few minutes late when there were other advisors sitting close by twiddling their thumbs and talking to each other about their holidays - one of them could easily and quickly have taken the signing. Does nobody have any common sense or flexibility anymore?

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