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I had a sanction placed on my ESA for missing an appointment (that they said was alright as it conflicted with a MIND appointment) but i received a sanction a week later so i got someone to phone and was told the sanction would be sorted once i attend a new Seetec appointment so i did this the day after now a month later and i have still heard nothing (also just attended another seetec appointment which are monthly) about my sanction and i am still receiving the lower amount is it just a matter of waiting or should i phone them to try and get it sorted quicker.

 

 

also on seetec i have not been going long a couple of months or so but yet i have had 5 different advisers in that time 1 of them i understand as she told me she would be leaving but all the other changes im not sure why makes me so nervous when attending as i never know who im going to be seeing.

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I had a sanction placed on my ESA for missing an appointment (that they said was alright as it conflicted with a MIND appointment) but i received a sanction a week later so i got someone to phone and was told the sanction would be sorted once i attend a new Seetec appointment

 

Was the original appointment made in writing and did it conform to the template as shown in Annex 3 of the WP provider guidance, Chapter 3a ?

 

If it didn't, you have solid grounds for an appeal. Even if the letter was non-compliant, you must appeal the sanction in writing as soon as possible as there are time limits. Always write rather than use the telephone and then there is a paper trail should there be a dispute about what was said.

 

The fact that Seetec have not rearranged the appointment promptly gives you further grounds to appeal and raise a formal complaint - Please do this before the weekend and get the wheels rolling on this.

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Staff at these places can change quicker then you changing your underwear or whatever the best metaphor is

 

I doubt it's anything to worry about though

 

It's understandable to be nervous unfortunately as these places are hellish to put it mildly

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Was the original appointment made in writing and did it conform to the template as shown in Annex 3 of the WP provider guidance,

 

If it didn't, you have solid grounds for an appeal. Even if the letter was non-compliant, you must appeal the sanction in writing as soon as possible as there are time limits. Always write rather than use the telephone and then there is a paper trail should there be a dispute about what was said.

 

The fact that Seetec have not rearranged the appointment promptly gives you further grounds to appeal and raise a formal complaint - Please do this before the weekend and get the wheels rolling on this.

 

 

 

unfortunately i was not aware about writing to appeal so i just got someone to phone them for me and they was told it was simply a matter of just attending a new appointment (which i did the day after phoning them) however this was a month and a half ago so appealing now is not an option im just wondering why i have not heard anything in 1 1/2 months about my sanction being lifted even though i have complied with what they asked me to do to get it lifted.

 

as for the letter it looked like a standard letter however i don't think it mentioned it was a mandatory appointment im unsure on that

 

 

separate question which arose from my latest appointment because i suffer from anxiety and agoraphobia i get transport from a family member (30-45min drive) usually i forget to claim back expenses but this time i did not and was told that as i am not driving my self i should not get expenses paid back luckily the adviser was pretty good and gave me a form for it anyway he just said that next time i would probably not get it, is this the case?

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You need to write to the DWP as soon as possible. An open ended sanction after having (to use DWP jargon) re-engaged with the provider is unacceptable. I would include the following points in your letter:

 

 

  • You feel that you were inadequately informed of the appeal process and any time limits.
  • The appointment had been rebooked and attended the following day.
  • The original appointment conflicted with an appointment with a mental health professional - One that Seetec were fully aware of.
  • Seetec have failed in their duty to submit a WP09 promptly and in all probability, submitted a WP08 without due care and attention.
  • IF a benefit doubt had been correctly notified and actioned, the period of sanction should have been not longer than one week and a day.

If you have the letter for the original appointment and it does not conform to the Annex 3 template, state this clearly in the appeal letter and include a copy of it.

 

It would also be worth contacting your local MP as Seetec are developing a reputation for failing to follow DWP guidance and correct procedures with ESA claimants.

 

As for travel expenses - Inform them that if they are not prepared to reimburse family members at 25p per mile (DWP have stated this is the appropriate mileage), then you require them to provide and pay for a taxi.

 

If you're up to it, Chapter 7 of the provider guidance gives information about the sanction process after re-engagement. This should be read in conjunction with Chapter 3a - A lot to take in, so ask if you're struggling.

Edited by Mr.P

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after reading some of the section 7 you linked (thanks for all the help) seetec never sent me a letter for a new appointment or to tell me that i missed the appointment and the job centre will decide if i receive a sanction,

 

also on the sanction letter there was no indication of how to end the sanction to find this out i had to phone them and was told to attend a seetec appointment.

 

I will do a letter (or get a family member as im not very good) who would i address this to do you know? and would i need to include details like my reference number that is on all the letters (i assume i would just want to make sure)

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also on the sanction letter there was no indication of how to end the sanction to find this out i had to phone them and was told to attend a seetec appointment.

 

I will do a letter (or get a family member as im not very good) who would i address this to do you know? and would i need to include details like my reference number that is on all the letters (i assume i would just want to make sure)

 

If you look at the DWP sanction letter, there should be a return address and one (perhaps two) reference numbers - This is the address to send any appeal letter to, and yes, quote the reference number(s). It would also be a good idea to include your National Insurance number just in case someone can't locate the correct file using your name.

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ok so i have written a letter and will send it Asap just got to wait and see how much longer i will have to wait for this to be sorted

 

In my case I recieved the 'good reason' letter from the DWP informing me that Seetec had raised a sanction doubt on 28th November, I responded and included evidence against the doubt on the same day.

 

On 10th December I recieved a letter from the DWP informing me that I had been sanctioned from 30th November.

 

I then got the ESA advisor, the Work Programme liaison officer (Both JCP), and my MP involved and made a complaint to Seetec's operational director.

 

The sanction was overturned on 19th December, it took until 10th Jan to get benefits reinstated.

 

Keep up the pressure on all concerned, make a nuisance of yourself if that's what it takes. If you can get hold of your JCP's Work programme liaison officer do so, and get him/her on your side. They seem to have a bit more clout with the providers than normal JCP staff.

 

Don't sit back in the hope that it will all sort itself out, it won't.

 

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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im unsure when i received the doubt letter but the sanction for me started on 21st November and i phoned them around the 15th december to ask why it was not sorted as i had attended seetec and i was told to phone the decision maker, but when i did this i was told you cant do this and i just need to wait. then i found these forums and posted and started the letter.

 

 

1 thing i was wondering as i attended a new appointment on the 5th december would my ESA be backdated to around then as its them thats not sorted it (i know its not the greatest amount but still a few hundred £)

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Read this

 

http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/esa-and-sanctions-–-more-hard-times-ahead

 

Take note of the examples and how they work!

 

Complain to MP, DWP Seetec all at the same time using old fashioned letters with proof of postage.

 

Send SAR to DWP requesting all their documents and their sub provider Seetec. This is free! Well price of a stamp.

 

Ask the DWP for a Short Term Benefit advance (is it called now) due to them not putting ESA back into payment after a sanction should have been lifted but hasn't due to their incompetence.

 

Last one probably will not work but could be a good laugh for the explanations!

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I have now had a response from the Data protection Manager at my local BDC with regard to my SAR, interestingly he lists the various items of information collated or in the process of being collated I'm expecting a volume of documents larger than a copy of war and peace, the ESA records are 596 pages alone!

 

One of them is a memo issued to Seetec on 21/02/2013 asking that I be removed from the programme as I was referred in error. This memo was issued on the day of my WFI, and precedes any communication I received from Seetec.

 

So I will have definitive proof that Seetec instigated a nine month campaign of harassment against me because they knew from onset that I should not have been on the programme. Let's see how Seetec's Operational manager wriggles out of that one.

 

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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no reply to my letter as of yet although i expect that to be atleast a month got another mandatory appointment for seetec through though (why are my appointments always mandatory) problem is its for the day i said i could not make it because of mind appointments so i have to phone again to change it which no doubt my advisor will be a dick about just dont see why they dont listen to days i cant attend

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You need to put it in writing which dates are unacceptable due to other more important engagements - If the MIND appointments are always on say a Thursday, highlight this point. Also send a copy to the JCP so that they have it on record which days you are undertaking medical treatment.

 

I had a similar issue with another provider and I had made it quite clear to them that I was otherwise engaged on Thursdays. Suffice to say, when a new "adviser" took over, she made an appointment that fell on a Thursday. The reply was something along the lines of:

Your manager was informed of which days were unacceptable. I can only assume that there has been a breakdown of communications or you are demonstrating gross incompetence. You are here by instructed to reschedule the appointment for another day that is convenient for myself.

 

Not sure I would get away with that sort of wording under the current regime, and I'd be reluctant to recommend it to most.

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well i phoned Seetec about the appointment i couldn't make and was told my adviser would phone back, guess what he didn't yesterday or all day today so i will have to phone them again.

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Phoning is not good and you are walking into another sanction again unless you stop calling them and start emailing about what you need to discuss with them.

I'm just finishing with Seetec after two years on the Work Programme and all advisers have their own Seetec email address and have to reply to clients promptly.

 

firstname.surname@seetec.co.uk

 

You need to find out the local manager's email address as well, and copy it into each email you send your adviser in case your adviser is on leave and so that the boss is aware of your communication.

 

What saved me from a sanction in September is that I emailed my adviser about the time of the appointment due in 3 days time because at last review she only gave me a day but not a time. Time would be posted, she said. Did not get the letter so emailed. I was told verbally that I do not have to go to Seetec any more because I moved out of the area [2,5hrs door to door]. So I did not go to the app. Got no written response to my email which proved that I wanted to go but no app was given.

The adviser denied that she told me I do not have to go any more.

 

You should make one last phone call and that is to find out the manager's and your adviser's email address.

You will not be able to prove that the apps were re-arranged unless it is in writing. Scan in your Mind letter, attach it to your email and request whatever you have to request. Your local library will have a computer you can book with a scanner connected to it.

 

If you do not receive a letter about your upcoming monthly review, email them to say so and request that they email you the time and date. In September they stopped writing to me, no apps in October and November but a letter to call me in because I "was not engaging". They could have claimed that I did not attend the mandated apps in October and November. Easy to email them weekly to ask them to confirm time and date of your upcoming apps via email, and not via phone, please.

 

Your adviser will be happy to give you a gleaming reference at any point because they get a bonus for getting you employment that lasts at least 6 months.

 

Seen things up here that client got no letter about app and was subsequently sanctioned for non-attendence. Not everyone will start demanding proof of posting [the team leader told me not to swear] and the WP08 is going to the JCP to report non-attendence.

 

The latter will generate a good cause letter wanting a good cause for your failure to attend. You attach the print out of your email to your good cause letter showing you asked about the app and saying no reply was given and JCP is requested to show proof of written reply.

 

It is not Seetec or the JCP who decides about sanctions but the decision makers who read the good cause letters so you want written evidence you will be able to send to them.

 

Benefit payment is suspended when a compliance doubt arises / WP08 is sent. However, suspension is lifted within 1-2 weeks after you post your good cause letter, provided there was solid evidence in it. Anyone can deny that they rearranged apps over the phone. Government statistics improve because they talk about the number of people receiving benefits and not about the number claiming [but not receiving due to sanction].

 

If the poster does not listen to our advice, hopefully the other 500 readers of the post will. I understand that not everyone is into writing and easier to discuss things over the phone. It is to prevent loss of benefits and they soon back off when you have written evidence about their failures and not yours.

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Phoning is not good and you are walking into another sanction again unless you stop calling them and start emailing about what you need to discuss with them.

I'm just finishing with Seetec after two years on the Work Programme and all advisers have their own Seetec email address and have to reply to clients promptly.

 

(removed) as i cant post links yet

 

You need to find out the local manager's email address as well, and copy it into each email you send your adviser in case your adviser is on leave and so that the boss is aware of your communication.

 

What saved me from a sanction in September is that I emailed my adviser about the time of the appointment due in 3 days time because at last review she only gave me a day but not a time. Time would be posted, she said. Did not get the letter so emailed. I was told verbally that I do not have to go to Seetec any more because I moved out of the area [2,5hrs door to door]. So I did not go to the app. Got no written response to my email which proved that I wanted to go but no app was given.

The adviser denied that she told me I do not have to go any more.

 

You should make one last phone call and that is to find out the manager's and your adviser's email address.

You will not be able to prove that the apps were re-arranged unless it is in writing. Scan in your Mind letter, attach it to your email and request whatever you have to request. Your local library will have a computer you can book with a scanner connected to it.

 

If you do not receive a letter about your upcoming monthly review, email them to say so and request that they email you the time and date. In September they stopped writing to me, no apps in October and November but a letter to call me in because I "was not engaging". They could have claimed that I did not attend the mandated apps in October and November. Easy to email them weekly to ask them to confirm time and date of your upcoming apps via email, and not via phone, please.

 

Your adviser will be happy to give you a gleaming reference at any point because they get a bonus for getting you employment that lasts at least 6 months.

 

Seen things up here that client got no letter about app and was subsequently sanctioned for non-attendence. Not everyone will start demanding proof of posting [the team leader told me not to swear] and the WP08 is going to the JCP to report non-attendence.

 

The latter will generate a good cause letter wanting a good cause for your failure to attend. You attach the print out of your email to your good cause letter showing you asked about the app and saying no reply was given and JCP is requested to show proof of written reply.

 

It is not Seetec or the JCP who decides about sanctions but the decision makers who read the good cause letters so you want written evidence you will be able to send to them.

 

Benefit payment is suspended when a compliance doubt arises / WP08 is sent. However, suspension is lifted within 1-2 weeks after you post your good cause letter, provided there was solid evidence in it. Anyone can deny that they rearranged apps over the phone. Government statistics improve because they talk about the number of people receiving benefits and not about the number claiming [but not receiving due to sanction].

 

If the poster does not listen to our advice, hopefully the other 500 readers of the post will. I understand that not everyone is into writing and easier to discuss things over the phone. It is to prevent loss of benefits and they soon back off when you have written evidence about their failures and not yours.

 

my suspension has been going for a week short of 2 months now, I also have listened to advice on here i sent a letter and will just be waiting for a reply (the only thing i did not do was write to my MP if this one gets me no where then i will do) i will contact seetec again as they have not phoned me back and request the email addresses as for my MIND letter i do not have 1 as this is an ongoing meeting every wednesday but im sure if needed i could get them to either sign a letter for me or provide me with

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Ok, I did not want to be too harsh. And realized that you are on ESA so me posting above the list of good causes for failure to attend JSA apps is no good.

 

We need to find the point of law that lists good causes for failure to attend for ESA claimants.

 

I am on JSA and if a medical or dental app which would have been unresonable to reschedule conflicts with a JCP / Seetec app, there is a good cause not to attend the JCP / Work Programme app.

 

There should be a similar point of law regarding ESA claimants. You need to explain why it was unreasonable to reschedule your Mind app. Is it possible to get a letter from Mind that it was not possible to rearrange your app and they need you to attend weekly for your treatment to be effective.

 

You were unfairly treated because the sanction should have been lifted after attending the re-arranged Seetec app.

 

You are eligible for hardship payment from day one of the sanction. The form can be picked up at Jobcentre reception.

 

Request that the Secretary of State [the Jobcentre and Seetec] allows you to attend your Mind apps on Wednesdays and / or any time Mind gives you an app.[ In London] it is 6 month wait for counselling so you need to do it properly once you are on it- list it as a reason.

 

The DWP should have sent you the papers to allow you to request that their decision is reconsidered as well as the appeal form and info about the process.

They did not so you missed the deadline for the appeal. Ask the DWP to reconsider their decision in view of the above and state that you have also written to your MP about it asking for his help. Ask the DWP to provide proof of posting of the reconsideration and appeal process documents if they claim they were sent to you.

 

Even better get the Citizens Advice Bureau to help you draft your letters. They deal with appeal cases on a daily basis. Show them all the letters you received and copies of the letters you sent. 3 years ago the DWP took 8 months to allow me JSA so they will drag it out as much as they can. You need professionals, not my guesswork. So if you sent the letter Mr P suggested that's good.

 

You have proof of posting and copy of the letter sent? Do you say it in the letter that you keep a copy and retain proof of posting? You explained your good cause and reason in that letter for the failure to attend, fact that app was rearranged [dates incl] and attended?

 

CAB will point it out if you missed something because private letters can not be posted up here.

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2011/1349/regulation/6/made

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http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2008/794/regulation/61/made

 

Please refer to Regulation 61 (3) (e). I normally quote chapter and verse to support my argument.

 

Apparently the same process applies to you as to JSA claimants: about a week after failing to attend an app you get a letter asking for a good cause to be given for the FTA.

 

So anyone if you do not get such a letter, write to the Jobcentre with your NI number asking them to send you one. Or just post them your good cause and evidence anyway first class stating you keep a copy and retain proof of posting, all this within 5 days after failure to attend because whatever the Work Programme Provider says, they are likely to send the standard WP08 form to inform JCP about your failure to attend, even if the app was rearranged and attended.

 

Easier to mess with ESA claimants as they are more vulnerable and less able to deal with such issues due to their illness.

 

Do not worry about sending a good cause without seeing a letter in which they ask you to do so. Had the pleasure of receiving one and it simply states that on a certain date you were notified that you have to attend an app at a certain time / date / place and DWP has been notified that you did not do so and requests that on the reverse of this letter you give a good cause for failure to attend by a certain date [about within a week].

 

Now, you can not reply of the reverse of their letter if they do not send you a letter. Should be least of your worries, says me mind. You have notified the Secretary of State about your good cause, that's what keeps the sanction and suspension away. By law Seetec has to send out the WP08 form immediately so do not hope that the JCP will not find out that you did not show up or were half an hour late [my antics].

 

8 days after posting my good cause letter and a sick note, first class, money was in my account, suspension lifted. Not so easy to deal with a suspension or sanction if they fail to post you the necessary documents / letters but there is ways around it and if it helps one person then me typing all this was not in vain.

 

Please check out the link above to see the possible good causes for ESA claimants for failure to attend.

 

Seetec has to notify JCP about FTA but you simply post your good reason promptly quoting the relevant point in the legislation. It is not Seetec or JCP who decides about sanctions but a decision maker LMDM, labour market decision maker, so however horrid JCP or Work Programme adviers are to you: ignore it because an outsider is going to decide over the matter.

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about a week after failing to attend an app you get a letter asking for a good cause to be given for the FTA.

 

So anyone if you do not get such a letter, write to the Jobcentre with your NI number asking them to send you one. Or just post them your good cause and evidence anyway

 

If you do not receive a letter asking for "good cause", no need to write one yourself - Lodge an appeal on the grounds of procedural impropriety. Should the DWP and/or the WP provider be shown that they failed to follow correct procedure, the sanction should be overturned without further comment.

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I did not say in the letter I sent that I have a copy and proof of posting but I do (should I in future say that I do) I emailed seetec today about trying to change my appointment so I have proof of contact if it does not get sorted

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My fear about appeals is that it may be several months before you get in a court of law to get your case heard and while you waiting, the money is suspended and you get no benefits. This several months of waiting was good when my ex landlord took me to court for rent arrears because it allowed me to have a roof over my head while DWP took its time [8 months] to allow me JSA.

 

Does anyone have practical experience about when they hear your case after you file a JSA appeal? Can the DWP reconsider it one more time, seeing your appeal, without taking it to court? I'm in London so may be that the courts here are busier and someone in the country gets an appeal hearing within 2 months while Londoners wait over 6 months.

 

My possession cases went on for a year because the landlord submitted insufficient evidence and for the next hearing we had to wait 6 months. So when I say crazy things like write a good cause letter if you do not get one 9 days after you miss an appointment, it is to avoid the money being suspended and definitely to avoid any kind of appeal looking at how long you have to wait for your case to be heard in court.

 

Are there benefit appeals when there is no hearing but the whole lot is decided upon the documents filed? That may speed up the case a bit, like the accelerated possession proceedings to evict tenants with Section 21.

 

What I see up here is ATOS fails everyone in general and they have to go to tribunal which I gather is about a year wait. Hence my fear of any kind of appeals.

DWP put me through a lot of stress taking 6 months to reconsider their decision not to allow me JSA. I'm not even sure if I filled in the appeal form. I think I only asked them to reconsider and they took 6 months to do it which made my landlord's life hell because I had no money to pay rent or to move house. HB was suspended and I only saw this "nil income claim" a month ago up here that it exists, if your benefit gets sanctioned, you should make a nil income claim.

 

For peace of mind, shall ask my council in writing to confirm. Recoverable hardship payment and this nil income HB claim would get me through if there is more than a couple of month suspension of JSA.

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https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/236733/appeals-reform-introduction.pdf

 

The good news is included in the above eight-page DWP guidance about the reform of the appeal process.

 

From October 2013 there is a so called Mandatory Reconsideration process before claimants can appeal and now we have to appeal directly to HMCTS which is good news because DWP can not sit on the paperwork for 8 months doing nothing. DWP is no longer involved in the administration of the appeal so as to focus on its role as a party to proceedings. They will have to reply to our appeal within 28 days, to bring it in line with any other court proceedings.

 

Seems like someone lobbied enough to change the law after benefit claimants grew destitute and homeless after DWP not forwarding their appeal to the tribunal but sitting on it for 8 months.

 

If you end your letter with "I keep a copy of this letter and retain proof of posting", then they are less likely to shove it to the bottom of the pile and ignore it, not saying they will deny receipt, knowing that you have a Post Office receipt with a date of posting, name and full post code of the recipient.

 

I find it interesting that the Decision Maker will call you over the phone to discuss any disputes and to ask for further evidence. Shall it be recorded or how is it to be evidenced? All the other steps of the reconsideration and appeal process are in writing on paper.

 

So apparently, I was one of the first claimants to experience this reformed process as it was introduced end of October 2013. Posted my good cause letter beginning of November 2013. Money was reinstated on 20th November so a bit speedier process than the 6 month wait in 2011.

 

So for anyone who has been sanctioned and wants to see how the dispute process works, the above link will be of help. An easy read and we have more hope than back in 2011.

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