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I have had my JSA sanctioned for 1 month after missing just a single appointment in 18 months.

 

This may make me sound stupid but i simply got my dates mixed up. I thought my appointment was on a Friday and on the Thursday i checked my appointment letter to make sure of the time of my appointment and realised i should have actually gone to my appointment on the Wednesday. I rang up immediately, but was told it was out of their hands and that a decision would be made as to whether my JSA would be sanctioned.

 

A few days later i got a letter saying that indeed my JSA had been sanctioned for a month. I went in to the Job Centre that day and was told to fill out both an appeal form and a form for hardship payments, which i did.

 

On Saturday i received another letter stating that my appeal was turned down, but that i would receive hardship payments of £43 a week until my JSA began again in 4 weeks time.

 

I had recently learned from a friend of a friend also on JSA who completely refused to go on one of the Governments work programmes and had his JSA sanctioned for 3 months. I made a genuine error and missed 1 appointment in 18 months and believe this decision is monumentally harsh and basically wrong.

 

If i had been missing appointments and/or turning up late now and again i would totally agree with the decision made, surely under the actual circumstances some kind of warning should have been given first?

 

I now have nowhere near enough money to pay bills, many of which are set up as direct debits from my Bank, what am i supposed to do? All i can think of is applying for a "Pay Day Loan" i already struggle to pay my bills from month to month and often have to "Rob Peter To Pay Paul" to get by, how can their decision in this instance even be legal?

 

I am about to contact the Citizens Advice Bureau and intend to re-appeal the decision, but if i'm not successful i have no idea how i can possibly get by(without going into a mass of debt via a Pay Day Loan and that's if i'm even eligible?)

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Have another look at the original appointment letter - After the words: “If you do not undertake the activities required in this notification your benefit could be affected”, there should several paragraphs of text outlining the consequences for not "undertaking the activities". If this text is missing and/or the letter does not state that the appointment is mandatory, you have good grounds for an appeal.

 

For your reference: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/152662/response/376951/attach/5/WP%20JR%20Assurance%20letter%20v%20final%203.pdf Annex A.

 

Before you go getting yourself further in to debt, please read: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?125278-Your-bank-is-taking-your-benefits-in-charges

 

By all means discuss your situation with the local CAB - They may be able to give you some advice about credit unions (a lot cheaper source of money than a pay day loan) as well as other sources of help.

[url=http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?125278-Your-bank-is-taking-your-benefits-in-charges][/url]

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Thanks Mr.P

 

Funny you should mention the paragraphs of text, as the following text at the bottom of my letter that states................

 

When you take part in the Work Programme, you are taking part in a

scheme established by law under the Jobseeker’s Allowance

(Schemes for Assisting Persons to Obtain Employment) Regulations

2013.

If without a good reason you fail to attend or participate in the Work

Programme your Jobseeker’s Allowance and National Insurance

credits will be stopped (or will be paid at a reduced rate, depending on

your circumstances) for:

 

......................is practically unreadable, due to it being photocopied on top of the European Union flag, The Jobcentre Plus sign and another sign with the word INGEUS that is printed.

 

I rang the Jobcentre this morning, but cannot speak with anyone there about the situation. All i can do is fill out another appeal form.

 

I will be ringing the CAB in a few minutes when their office has opened.

 

Thanks for the reply

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......................is practically unreadable, due to it being photocopied on top of the European Union flag, The Jobcentre Plus sign and another sign with the word INGEUS that is printed.

 

Ah, forgot about the logos - If the JCP & ESF logos are missing, that would have been another reason to claim that the letter is not compliant with current DWP provider guidance.

 

Unfortunately, it looks like this letter fully complies, so I fear you have little grounds for a successful appeal :-(

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No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.
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Ah, forgot about the logos - If the JCP & ESF logos are missing, that would have been another reason to claim that the letter is not compliant with current DWP provider guidance.

 

Unfortunately, it looks like this letter fully complies, so I fear you have little grounds for a successful appeal :-(

 

Yes, but the words are practically unreadable, if you knew they were there fair enough, but it is only since this has happened that i even knew that my JSA could be sanctioned.

 

I'll try to upload a picture of the actual letter.

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And so the governments sanction factory rolls on. Claimants will be so engrossed in the minutiae of conditionality to avoid the inevitable sanction it will itself become a full time job.

 

The main goal of actually finding a job has been lost among the bureaucracy.

 

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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And so the governments sanction factory rolls on. Claimants will be so engrossed in the minutiae of conditionality to avoid the inevitable sanction it will itself become a full time job.

 

The main goal of actually finding a job has been lost among the bureaucracy.

 

Agreed, but the sensible approach to reducing the JSA budget - creating economic conditions where there are jobs for everyone who needs one - is difficult. And the funny thing? You could completely abolish JSA tomorrow leaving the unemployed to rot, and you'd barely notice a dent in the DWP budget.

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Anyhow, I think I have to agree with Mr P here, a successful appeal seems unlikely. Still, doesn't cost anything to try.

 

What seems to have happened is that the DWP has done an internal reconsideration (not a full appeal) of the sanction decision and found against you. Do you know if you applied for a formal appeal to the independent tribunal?

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Did you ever get the chance to state your side of things before the sanction was issued? The way I understand it, the JC raise a doubt and a letter arrives saying 'There is a doubt about XXX' and you write your side of it on the form. This goes back to the DWP and is looked at THEN the decision is made, then you appeal if you don't agree with it.

 

I had the same thing happen to me ages ago but the DWP shot themselves in the foot by not sending me notice of the sanction in writing, as per the rules, so I ended up getting the money repaid.

 

There's been a lot of cases of DWP sanctioning people based purely on the say-so of the JC and without hearing from the claimant first. It's totally wrong.

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Anyhow, I think I have to agree with Mr P here, a successful appeal seems unlikely. Still, doesn't cost anything to try.

 

What seems to have happened is that the DWP has done an internal reconsideration (not a full appeal) of the sanction decision and found against you. Do you know if you applied for a formal appeal to the independent tribunal?

 

No idea tbh, i just filled in the form.

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Did you ever get the chance to state your side of things before the sanction was issued? The way I understand it, the JC raise a doubt and a letter arrives saying 'There is a doubt about XXX' and you write your side of it on the form. This goes back to the DWP and is looked at THEN the decision is made, then you appeal if you don't agree with it.

 

I had the same thing happen to me ages ago but the DWP shot themselves in the foot by not sending me notice of the sanction in writing, as per the rules, so I ended up getting the money repaid.

 

There's been a lot of cases of DWP sanctioning people based purely on the say-so of the JC and without hearing from the claimant first. It's totally wrong.

 

Yes i did actually, i just told them that i had mixed up my dates(which was the truth) looks like i should have lied through my teeth and made up a ridiculous story.

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