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Hi all.

 

I had my initial appointment for the work programme last Tuesday but missed it as I was so sure it was Thursday (I lost my phone with all my appointments on) so didnt not turn up on purpose even though Im sure it looks that way to them but the appointment was made well before Christmas. I received a letter on the Wednesday (the day after my missed appointment) with a re-arranged date for this Friday. The thing is, I am ill after having the flu jab and as I have asthma, it has gone straight to my chest. Im worried I wont be able to attend on Friday with being ill but dont want to antagonise them by cancelling when they have been so nice by re-arranging the appointment when they could have sanctioned me for a no-show. My question is, am I entitled to request my appointment to be rescheduled or would I get into trouble and would they be within their rights to sanction me?

 

Thank you

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What benefit are you claiming - JSA or ESA?


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[...]they have been so nice by re-arranging the appointment when they could have sanctioned me for a no-show. My question is, am I entitled to request my appointment to be rescheduled or would I get into trouble and would they be within their rights to sanction me?

 

You already have one Failure to Attend, you would be pushing it to get the new appointment rescheduled without incurring a sanction. I'd recommend attending even if you are feeling rough - Take a friend or family member with you for a bit of moral support.

 

Standard advice:

 

  • Record all meetings.
  • Insist on copies of all paperwork and forms.
  • Do not sign anything unless you are happy to.
  • Travel expenses must be refunded in full, so keep return tickets to show them.


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I'm surprised they didn't immediately leap into 'sanction mode' when you missed the first appointment..could it be you actually have a reasonable human being as an advisor?? They do exist but like snow leopards, are an endangered species :) Do your best to get to the rearranged appointment, play safe.

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Thanks for your help guys. I will go to the appointment on Friday whether I am better or not as I really dont want to push them.

 

lol yes it seems like I have a very nice advisor but Im sure they can turn ugly so best not mess with them.

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Hi all,

 

I posted last week about how I may not be able to attend my initial Work Programme appointment due to being ill (and how I accidentally missed a previous appointment due to a mix up of dates but I was ill anyway).

 

Well, I couldn't go as I really couldn't get out of bed. I couldn't breathe due to my asthma so my mother rang up to cancel. My advisor rang and wanted to speak to me - which she did, I even had troubles talking to her on the phone but explained I was ill etc

 

The next day I received 2 letters - one was my re-scheduled appointment and another was from the Jobcentre wanting an explanation as to why I missed my very first appointment (the one I missed due to getting the dates mixed up). Nice of my advisor to notify the Jobcentre of an appointment I missed weeks ago just to get me into trouble. This has me thinking I may get sanctioned no matter what I put on the form as she just wants to make me pay. Can anyone give me any advice for the form or information if I do get sanctioned? How long will the sanction be for etc?

 

The reason I missed my very first appointment is because I was ill on the Saturday, I thought my appointment was for the Thursday so had time to get better but received a letter from Circo/Serena Russo on the Wednesday saying I had missed my appointment which was the Tuesday and had re-scheduled the appointment for the following week. Because the appointment was re-made by them, I didnt think I needed to call them and explain as I could do that in person the following week but couldn't due to being ill again.

 

I'm claiming JSA. I've never had any previous sickness nor missed any previous appointments in the whole 1 year I have been unemployed. I did not go to my GP as I own a nebuliser and I have a phobia of hospitals.

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This is a link to your previous thread with some more background information http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?414988-Appointment-cancellation-question.

 

I can't help more than that unfortunately, but hopefully those that can will be along shortly.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Thanks for linking that. I was unable to link it as I have done less than 10 posts :)

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2 threads merged

 

:-)


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Hi,

I attached the relevant legislation below for you to see the list of accepted good causes.

Within a 12 month period you can be ill twice for a period of 1-14 days without your JSA being affected. You fill in a form you pick up at the JCP to declare illness.

I was 30 mins late for a Work Programme appointment last October and got a sick note from my GP to send off to the decision makers to reply to their Good Cause letter. A week later got another letter wanting good cause so got another sick note about the same day. So get 2 sick notes. I did not declare on the special form to JCP that I was ill on that day. Nor do you need to send that form in your good cause letter, just the sick note.

Say it in the good cause letter that you "attach the evidence, keep a copy of the whole lot and retain proof of posting". Post it first class and ask for a certificate of posting. It is free and will say Jobcentre Plus and the full post code on it.

First a Birmingham JCP wanted a good cause, then a week later a London JCP. Figured that photocopy of the sick note sent off to Birmingham may not suffice so got another sick note and they accepted it: got a letter that the doubt about my entitlement to JSA no longer exist. Called them from the JCP to ask for an on the day payment and they put the money through.

You have to reply on the reverse of the good cause letter so keep copy of both sides, as you would.

Time limit is important: they say they want you to reply to them by a certain day. I interpreted it that my letter has to reach them by that day, not the date on my letter should be before that date.

JCP can not argue with a sick note signed by GP: good cause.

You will have to claim ESA if the illness lasts longer than 14 days. It would mean closing your JSA claim so no way..

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Thank you so much for your reply. I will try and get a sick note from my GP tomorrow but if he needs to see me I will be stuck as I need to get the form sent off tomorrow and it can take a week to get an appointment with my GP.

 

Can I clarify that you are saying I should get 2 seperate sick notes for the 2 seperate missed appointments, even though the jobcentre are asking me to explain why I missed 1 appointment (the very first appointment)?

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Can I clarify that you are saying I should get 2 seperate sick notes for the 2 seperate missed appointments, even though the jobcentre are asking me to explain why I missed 1 appointment (the very first appointment)?

 

A sick note will not help for the case of missing the first appointment on the 7th Jan - You got the dates mixed up and a doubt has been raised for a failure to attend. It would appear that despite the provider being "nice" and rescheduling the appointment, you will pick up a sanction. Use the length of time between notification and actual appointment as part of your "good reason". Also explain that the appointment was rearranged by the provider and you had been led to believe that this would not be notified as a FTA.

 

If you can get a backdated sick note from your GP for the subsequent FTA, get it and hold on to it until you get another letter from the JCP.


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I know it sounds silly but get 2 sick notes about the first app missed and 2 sick notes about the 2nd app missed.

The reason being is that you may get 2 letters asking you to give a good cause for missed app No 1 and 2 letters asking you to give good cause for missed app No 2.

 

I live in London. First I was asked to post good cause to Birmingham decision makers. I did but the day after me posting the letter got another letter asking me to post my good cause about the same app to Stratford JCP in London, my local processing centre, but not where I sign on.

 

My Seetec adviser with whom I was 30 mins late for an app in October I told on the day in person that I got on the wrong train in Central London, "that's why I am 30 mins late". It does not / may not matter what info you volunteer to your adviser: they may or may not put it into the WP08 form they have to send off to JCP about missed apps. It is the JCP decision makers whom you are writing to now who have authority to decide whether to sanction you or not: Work Programme provider or the JCP where you sign on has no authority to decide and have no say in the matter.

 

In the good cause letter you send tomorrow say you need 10 more days to get a sick note from your GP and going to post it ASAP first class. It is true that now the Work Programme provider knows why you missed the first app [so did mine: getting on the wrong train in London]. You do not know whether they told JCP in the WP08 form the reason you gave them [mixing up dates and rescheduling]. Mixing up dates is your fault and not a good cause: will be sanctioned for it unless you rescheduled the app before the time and date of the first app.

 

My good cause letter says I was late because my viral gastroenteritis [diarrhea] made me late to leave my house on time for the app. So I got there but 30 mins late and could not be seen. Your choice what good cause you give. It should be one that is listed in their "law" as accepted good cause.

I'm just saying how I sorted the issue: does not mean you have to go down the same route.

 

Since the 2nd app was missed due to illness, why not cover the 2 apps with a 14 day sick note? GP knows that you got the jab so not telling fibs. Say you were feeling ill before the jab as well.

 

JSA28 form to be picked up from JCP reception to notify them about illness. You have to state the name of the illness in the box "tell us about your illness". Symptoms are not enough. Give it to your adviser at your signing on day after your illness. Old law says no sick note needed to go with JSA28. New law: for the first 7 day no sick note needed. Jobseekers Allowance Regulations 2013.

 

Basically, you mixed up the date for your first app because "you were ill with [......] and could not think straight: your mind was affected by the illness as well", the sick note shall say. GP will be helpful if you say otherwise you get sanctioned for a month and will be starving. As it is now, it is 4 sick notes about the same 14 day period. One is good enough: GP will freak out about making out 4 copies.

 

You know that you will get a letter asking for a good cause to be given about the 2nd missed app. Need to reply to all letters, even if they ask you about the app that you already posted a good cause about. May be some kind of trick on the JCP's part that they want you to post good cause twice about the same missed app.

Some may think: I posted it already so why bother posting it again? Birmingham may be my regional decision makers, London is definitely the local one.

 

Taking everyone's advice and experience into account, hope you come up with a solution that will get you a pass mark. Failing to provide a good cause for 2 missed apps means a 3 month sanction if not longer so GP will be definitely helpful. Say to him you will suffer exceptional hardship if it happens and food bank only gives food supply for 3 days, you have no money, etc, etc. I normally start crying from stress so my GPs just write what they asked to do.

 

It was not longer than a two-week wait after posting the 2nd good cause letter before JSA was reinstated so all shall be good. Remember, you were truly ill. My GP said why did I not call him on the day I was ill. No credit on my phone as trying to save money.

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Thanks for your replies and all your help, there's a lot to take in and understand lol

 

I will certainly try and get a sick note but I dont think I will be able to get a 14 day sick note to cover both missed appointments due to the fact that I signed on the 10th of Jan - 3 days after my missed appointment. This really confuses the matter of what dates to put on the sick note (if I got one) :/

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Just a thought but, what if I signed off now (due to job or sickness etc) for around 3 months before I get sanctioned, what would happen? Is the probable pending sanction paused until I sign back on (if I do)? I'm thinking of all my options and I really cant afford any kind of sanction as I struggle now.

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PS At my GP we can get an on the day appointment if we call 8.00-8.30am to say it is an urgent app. Yours is urgent, can prove it with the letter with the dead line to send off the good cause.

 

Do not let them sanction you for the first app missed because if you pick up a sanction again within the next few months, it will be for a long time because of the 2 offences within a set period of time.

 

Checked the dates: my 2nd sick note was sent off 12th November and JSA was in my account on 20th November within an hour after calling them to ask what's happening. They said "there was a sanction but it was reversed" and put the money through while I was on the phone to see if it goes through. It is a lot of nerves while we wait for the decision: it has to go well because if it goes to Tribunal, it may be a one-year wait until the case is heard.

 

14 days after the first day of a sanction you can apply for recoverable hardship payment. Form to be picked up from JCP reception and advisable to have a chronic illness, otherwise you may not qualify. Repeat prescription is accepted as evidence. Later on they will deduct the money you get as hardship payment from your JSA: a set amount each week. Hardship payment is about £43 per week for over 25s: a reduced amount of the JSA you get.

 

Whatever happens, do not tick it in your Universal Jobmatch account that you allow access to it to the DWP or that you allow them to email you. They will find a way to sanction you if they can go through your account in their own time to see what jobs you applied for. When you sign on, they have 2 mins to check your job search so will not find fault with it if you cover the points in your Jobseekers Agreement [which sites to look at / apply on, how many actions per week you take to find a job].

 

Even if they give you a letter to mandate you setting out the consequences if you do not comply: by law you do not have to allow them access to your account. It is discussed in detail on this site and guessing while I lasted on JSA for 3 years without a sanction..

 

I am finishing the Work Programme next week. Do not sign it with them to consent that they can distribute your CV to whoever and apply for jobs in your name. Also, you do not want work experience organized by them: voluntary to sign up but sanction if you do not complete the 4 weeks, eg if someone gets dismissed for gross misconduct or walks out. Say you will do voluntary work with a provider of your own choice, for a few hours a week and let JCP know in advance on the form you have to fill out about volunteering.

 

Demand to see proof of posting in your good cause letter if they claim you did not attend an app and you were never notified about this app. Certificate of posting, recorded signed for is proof of posting. Notes on their computer about letters posted to you is not. Stood up for myself when they tried it on.

 

If we were working, it would be a struggle with our employer. Now it is with JCP and their contractors. Part of life and will deal with it whatever comes.

 

Two days ago they admitted it in Parliament that they cannot restrict benefits for EU migrants: the no benefits for the first 3 months already existed but was not implemented prior to 1st Jan 2014. The Bill to restrict benefits to EU migrants got thrown out. They say they do not know from the national insurance numbers the nationality of the claimant and have no means of asking it. JCP photocopies our proof of ID and proof of address when we sign a JSA claim so they do know: EU passport or EU ID card with the nationality on it.

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Whatever happens, do not sign off because the sanction will not go away once imposed and they pressurize you one way or another to sign off to save money for the DWP and improve Jobseeker statistics.

 

My GP backdated my sick note and so will yours. Seetec adviser said it into my face that I had one week to find out how to get to my appointment [getting on the wrong train on the Circle Line]. I said nothing about diarrhea to her when I showed up half an hour late. Decision Maker accepted the sick note about it so may as well work for the Citizens Advice Bureau now because feel really bad after spelling out that migrant and on the dole for 3 yrs. After 6 yrs in the UK. It's either me volunteering for the CAB or JCP mandating us to stack shelves in Tesco for 26 weeks for 30 hrs a week under the new Help to Work Scheme from April.

 

Getting on the wrong train and mixing up dates is not a good cause. Illness is and GP is going to give you that sick note for both dates after you call in the morning. Post office closes 5pm so let us know in the evening how you got on. Obviously, when you call to book urgent app you can not say it is to get a sick note. It is about having to see a GP urgently and the receptionist has no business asking further details.

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But surely as the sanction hasn't been imposed yet isn't that different? I am interested in this account, I have heard people sign off once they get the sanction, but before they get the sanction, as it hasnt been imposed, if she/he say signed off tomorrow, then how can they do anything about it?

 

Also beatrice bee, is it the case that you are untouchable against being sanctioned if you have a sick note ?

Edited by dch76

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Just a thought but, what if I signed off now (due to job or sickness etc) for around 3 months before I get sanctioned, what would happen? Is the probable pending sanction paused until I sign back on (if I do)? I'm thinking of all my options and I really cant afford any kind of sanction as I struggle now.

 

If you sign off benefit the sanction is not suspended - it runs from the date it's imposed whether or not you actually claim. But where would be the benefit in closing your claim? If you have no other means to live now, closing your claim will merely mean you'll be unable to make a hardship claim.


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But surely as the sanction hasn't been imposed yet isn't that different? I am interested in this account, I have heard people sign off once they get the sanction, but before they get the sanction, as it hasnt been imposed, if she/he say signed off tomorrow, then how can they do anything about it?

 

Also beatrice bee, is it the case that you are untouchable against being sanctioned if you have a sick note ?

 

What would be the benefit in signing off?

 

As to a sick note - those are not relevant to JSA. If a JSA claimant is ill, they must complete form JSA28 (which does not require a doctor's note) and this may exempt the claimant from availability and ASE requirements for up to 14 days. This can be done twice in any claim year.


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Thanks again guys. Antone - just to clarify that, lets say for arguments sake that I signed off tomorrow (20th) and they sanctioned me on the 27th, that sanction would just carry on for 3 months and not pause/wait for me to sign back on? Also, if I got a JSA28 form, back dated it to the 7th Jan then sent it to the Jobcentre, that would be enough to keep me out of trouble? I thought the JSA28 form was for a current sickness and weren't allowed to back date it :/ the decision maker is asking me for evidence, not my local jobcentre.

 

I will try and get the sick note tomorrow but just would like to know whats what

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Would not want to do this signing off, signing on game. For one thing, you do not get paid for the first 3 days of your claim which is £30 lost. Another: it will be weeks before you get you first payment in a new claim. Third: with this "new improved habitual residency test" they could fail even native speakers. It is sure to be designed to deny JSA to new claimants. Got a language test in it, allegedly, and definitely 200 questions instead of the former 100. No, thank you.

 

Got no experience or knowledge on signing off / on to avoid sanctions. Post a new thread with your question or might get someone to reply to you on this thread.

 

Sick note makes you untouchable but only for a period of up to 14 days, twice in a 12 month period. So you need to know the other officially accepted good causes, like attending a job interview, attending a medical app which was not reasonable to reschedule [eg you waited for it for 2 months].

 

Seen things up here like Work Programme provider said to client ok, go to your job interview, then reported client to JCP for non-attendance of app with Work Programme so you need to be able to quote chapter and verse in your good cause letter about attending job apps, etc.

 

Google the full question you have about any issue and the answer will come up plenty, hundreds of websites. Google searches for the words you put in so you get the info.

 

You do not have to attend Work Programme appointments when you are not claiming JSA so they can not sanction the poster for not attending an app when he was not claiming: should go in the good cause letter with the sick note about the mind-altering illness [common cold with high temperature ??].

 

I was out of the UK for 6 months and not claiming for those 6 months during my 2 years on the Work Programme. Obviously, I did not have to attend any Work Programme apps with Seetec during those 6 months. Told them I'm signing off, moving back to my country because of illness [was true] and you got my email and phone number. They have to keep in touch with clients even when they move out of the area or when they are abroad but as to my knowledge, not while they are not signing on. Just think: why should Seetec or A4E bother you while you are working?

 

Google the question, please. Work Programme provider guidance will tell. Seetec never contacted me during my 6 months off Jobseekers. At least not via email or phone. Don't know about post to last UK address.

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Thanks again guys. Antone - just to clarify that, lets say for arguments sake that I signed off tomorrow (20th) and they sanctioned me on the 27th, that sanction would just carry on for 3 months and not pause/wait for me to sign back on?

 

If you sign off tomorrow and a sanction is imposed a week later, it will be deferred - It used to be the case that a sanction would be instigated if you reclaimed within 13 weeks, but I suspect that has changed with the current stricter regime. A first time FTA sanction would (normally) be a low level affair lasting for four weeks rising to 13 weeks for a second "offence" within 52 weeks.


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If you sign off tomorrow and a sanction is imposed a week later, it will be deferred - It used to be the case that a sanction would be instigated if you reclaimed within 13 weeks, but I suspect that has changed with the current stricter regime. A first time FTA sanction would (normally) be a low level affair lasting for four weeks rising to 13 weeks for a second "offence" within 52 weeks.

 

Are sanctions deferred now? That's a new one. It always used to be the case that a sanction applied from the date it was imposed and ran for (say) four weeks whether or not you were claiming JSA during that period. Do they now suspend the sanction and re-impose any remaining period if a linking claim is made?


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