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Im currently attending Maximus on the work programme.On Friday they sent me a letter saying that i had missed an appointment on the previous day.The problem is i had no notification about this meeting.They did not tell me face to face and they never sent me a letter out by post.I emailed my advisor on Friday about it and all she said was a letter will have being sent out and that it is out of her hands.She also said she has notified the jobcentre.


So is there much i can do or do i just wait for the sanction letter from the dwp.How long should i wait for the letter?


Am i also sanctioned straight away and my jsa payments stopped immediately or do i have a chance to give my side to dwp?

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Immediately in writing make a complaint to your local WP manager and ask for proof of posting of the letter and evidence that the correct postage was paid. Say that notes on your WP file on the computer is not sufficient evidence but you want hard evidence within 5 working days of the date of your letter.


When you get the sanction letter from the DWP, it says you can ask for it to be reconsidered within 30 days of the letter. Do so. Ask for a written explanation of the sanction as well and attach the copy of the letter you sent to WP provider manager and say they have failed to provide evidence of posting.


At the end of any letter you send, say you keep a copy and evidence of posting. Certificate of posting is free but it has to be sent first class to get one.


Seen it up here that it happens to people that no letter but sanction for missed app so everyone please demand evidence of posting and make a written complaint.


You can not just let it go because if they play this game again, you get a very long sanction for a second failure and hardship payments have to be paid back to DWP.


The onus of the proof is on the claimant. They claim they sent you a letter so it is them who have to provide evidence that it was posted. You do not have to prove that you did not get it. You have to ask for proof of posting. When the decision maker reconsiders the sanction, he may overturn the sanction upon seeing that your argument and their lack of proof is strong enough evidence to stand in court if it goes to tribunal.


You can only appeal [to tribunal] after getting the mandatory reconsideration notice. A copy of this has to be attached to your appeal which you lodge with HMRC within 30 days of getting the reconsideration decision notice. You may have to wait several months for it to be heard in court but then they pay you in arrears if the sanction is overturned.


If they fail to provide evidence of posting which shows that you got the letter in good time, the sanction will be overturned.


If the adviser is nasty, she will claim she handed you the notice in person. Please tell us how they respond but write them immediately and do not attempt to talk to them because you will be losing time. Heading the letter COMPLAINT and asking for evidence of posting may do it.


It is the JCP / DWP who sanctions claimants, not the WP provider. The latter only sends a compliance doubt to the JCP.


Say it to the DM in your reconsideration letter that if the decision is unfavourable, you are going to appeal and ask for damages for the distress caused.


Your reference number in each letter is your national insurance number and mention the date of the sanction letter for them to locate the case.


I doubt it that DWP / WP providers get a certificate of posting for the letters they send out to claimants which means they have no hard evidence of posting.


The receptionist at WP will give you the manager's full name and email address. I would print out the email and sign it in the space between "With regards" and your name at the end of the letter so press enter five times to have a space for signature and post this letter. Handing over means no evidence so 60p and keep a copy, the receipt & the certificate of posting. Email and posting a print out as well: double evidence that you asked the boss to provide proof of posting.


You need to make the DWP decision maker back off when he reads your letter to reconsider the sanction. Sometimes they do not send out sanction letters. Write to them anyway if it does not arrive within a couple of weeks. The free phone at the JCP you can use to ask for it to be posted.


Please read the attachments, print them out and use them in your argument in your letters. I find it that attaching the letter of the law helps and the law says:



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Thanks for your help Beatrice and i will start the ball rolling on this.I should be signing off and starting a full time job this time next week but even so i will follow through with this.

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When I failed to attend a WP app, the DWP sent me a good cause letter asking me to give them a good cause for failing to show up. I posted a sick note within the time frame they asked for. Also, they ask you to reply on the reverse of their letter so make sure you keep a copy of both sides as well as saying in the letter you retain proof of posting. If they know you have proof of posting, they know you have a leg to stand on in court. Otherwise they may claim they did not get a good reason letter from you. It is maladministration [complaint about].


DWP suspends benefit payments while waiting for your good reason response. I asked for an on-the-day JSA payment when the decision was overturned within two weeks of me posting the sick note and the explanation.


I got the letter asking for a good reason a week after failing to attend my WP app and was told to reply by a certain date / within less than two weeks, it was, so get demanding proof of posting going ASAP to send a copy in your good cause letter.

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Am i also sanctioned straight away and my jsa payments stopped immediately or do i have a chance to give my side to dwp?


The way it should work is that your money is only stopped once the Decision maker has reached their decision and notified you in writing. Your money is then stopped a couple of weeks later to give you time to prepare for it. During the time the JC sends the doubt in to the DM and during the time the DM considers all the facts your money should continue to be paid - after all, you haven't been found 'guilty' of anything yet!


However, in a lot of cases they now seem to do things backwards; they immediately suspend your money when a doubt is raised and it's only after you've been declared 'innocent' by the DM - which could take weeks - that they then refund the money they owe. You're now assumed to be guilty until you can prove innocence.


I've experienced this myself; I'd missed a meeting and had no idea my money had even been stopped until I queried the missing payment from my bank account. I got the money back as I reported them for not following procedures and threatened all manner of action.


The DM guidance quite clearly states that 'all sanctions must be notified in writing' and more importantly that 'a sanction is not effective unless first notified' so I got them on two counts of breaking the guidance. I was later told by one of the more decent JC people that this happens all the time now - people have their money stopped with no explanation why, until they query it. Totally wrong and disgraceful.

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I will start the ball rolling on this.I should be signing off and starting a full time job this time next week but even so I will follow through with this.


A couple of points: You are under no obligation to provide either Maximus or the DWP information about your new job or the employer. You can close the claim down and cite "personal reasons" if you so desire.


You should also do everything you can to get this "benefit doubt" overturned/withdrawn rather than having it sit "on file" - If you are unfortunate in having to reclaim in the near future, the DWP could decide to inflict this sanction on you.





No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.

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: Dazza1983:


As the process for sanctions and suspensions seems to get more confused by the week you may not get a chance to show 'good reason' before your payments stop. But if not, once you receive notification you need to ask Jobcentreplus 'to look at their decision again' officially known as a mandatory reconsideration. Best done with a letter, via recorded delivery, to your benefit delivery centre cos Jobcentreplus often lose phone calls.


A starting point is a letter to ask Maximus if they keep a postal log that you can have a copy of. Think whether you've had any other post go missing, and if so enclose a copy of your complaint to the Post Office. After that, you're a responsible claimant who's attended all your other mandatory appointments so you'd have attended this one if you'd known about it.


Best wishes for your new job, Margaret.

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:Recoverable Benefits and Payments:


Jobcentreplus does not seek to recover hardship payments of employment and support allowance or jobseekers allowance.


A short term benefit advance has to be repaid within three months, usually via deductions from benefit.


Some hardship payments of universal credit are recoverable.


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So let me get this right, a sanction is applied and your money stopped BEFORE a formal decision has been made?! Is that not passing sentence without trial so to speak and what happened to innocent until proven guilty? Disgraceful if it is true you can have your money stopped while there is still a doubt as to circumstances surrounding that doubt.

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I should also give an example.


You are due to attend a WP appointment on a Monday at 11am. On Monday morning a member of your family is taken ill and you attend the hospital with them thus missing your appointment and the last thing on your mind is making a bloody call to your WP or JCP. Once your family member is stable and you have calmed down and you are more rational you decide you better call your WP/JCP to explain only to be told your money has been stopped and a sanction has been raised.


This is just an example I am using but how would this be fair without giving an opportunity to defend yourself and offer an explanation? You would have to go through a whole performance to overturn the decision when your main worry is something else!

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So let me get this right, a sanction is applied and your money stopped BEFORE a formal decision has been made?! Is that not passing sentence without trial so to speak and what happened to innocent until proven guilty? Disgraceful if it is true you can have your money stopped while there is still a doubt as to circumstances surrounding that doubt.


Yes, the JC advisor simply doesn't authorise your payment - you may have noticed when you sign on they go onto a black text-only screen and this is the part where they authorise you as having attended satisfactorily and your next payment is to be issued. In effect they're imposing a 'sanction' at their own whim - which should not be allowed; they're only there to raise a doubt and not pass judgement themselves. In essence, the DM's job is now only to decide if they should refund your money, not stop it - it's already been stopped by the JC advisor failing to authorise the payment.


I had an incident a few months back where I was asked by the JC advisor to print off some jobsearch evidence using the JC computers. However their computers were all being used so I offered to email the evidence directly to the advisor when I got home. 'No problem' she said '...but I'll have to hold off authorising your payment until I receive it'.


So if I hadn't emailed her the evidence when I got home, my next payment would never have arrived - and this is before she's even raised any 'official' sanction doubt! (Incidently, when this advisor gave me her .gov email address to send my evidence to, it turned out to be wildly incorrect which I'm sure - though I can't ever prove - was a deliberate attempt to stop me sending it in. Had to do a bit of smart detective work via the JC to get her correct email address.)


So though the JC advisors can't apply an official sanction, they can certainly stop your payments from going through in the meantime. Be wary.

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