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Unfair Universal Credit Sanction


J16
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I was asked to sign on for my universal credit by the advisor I saw on the 26th June instead of my normal sign on day the 22nd June.

 

I turned up on the 26th to find there was no sign on appointment for me and the receptionist wouldnt even let me upstairs to see an advisor.

 

I have now received a sanction letter for this from universal credit as there is nothing on the system.I have to take proof in to the Job Centre to stop the sanction.

 

The only proof I have is the advisors note of the 26th June and uc on my Job log sheet.

 

Will this be enough otherwise I will loose most of my monthly payment and wont be able to pay my rent or buy food.Any advice appreciated.

 

Thank you.

Edited by citizenB
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I will try and find someone who can help.

 

I agree, this is very unfair that you have been sanctioned for this and I would also suggest that you put in a complaint once you have resolved this.

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If this has been entered into your sheet then make a copy of it and speak to reception then ask to see a manager and show them the copy keep the original safe in case they try to take it off of you.. Appeal the sanction in the normal way and send in a copy with the letter...

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you have a chance as long as that is the normal way these things are written by that adviser and it's the adviser's handwriting. They will be suspicious as sadly people do try to fake things, and they will have come across it before - I've seen several faked receipts (one laughably badly) for handing things in to the council. The manager should know her advisers handwriting and the way they do things.

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

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Hello J16 and welcome to CAG.

 

Could you clarify some basic facts first:

 

1. Normal signing on day was 22 June. Did you attend on the 22nd? Was any mention made at that interview of the 26th June appointment? or of UC and that is would be discussed?

 

2. When was the 26 June appointment arranged? Were you told at the time what it would be about? Did you get a written confirmation of the appointment and it's subject matter and that it was mandatory?

 

3. On the 26th did you have any evidence of the appointment having been arranged to show to the receptionist? Did you tell him/her when it was arranged and by whom?

 

4. Did the receptionist make any attempt to enquire of anyone within the office about the appointment, or did s/he just go by the appointment list in front of him/her? Were you told what you could or should do next?

 

5. You say that you were asked to sign on for your UC by the adviser you saw on the 26th. A bit farther on you say that the receptionist would not let you go upstairs to see an adviser. How can you reconcile those two contradictory statements?

 

6. What does the adviser's note of the 26th June say? Are you satisfied that it constitutes proof? When was that note written? Were you there at the time? When were you given that note?

 

7. Ask if CCTV footage is available of your encounter with receptionist and interview with adviser.

 

8. The sanction letter should specify exactly what the sanction was issued for. The reason they give is important if you wish to challenge it.

 

9. Where did the sanction letter come from? No need to divulge exact address, just was it from a Decision Maker located somewhere else, or was it from your local Jobcentre?

 

10. How much time have you got to present your evidence or proof?

 

The first thing a claimant needs to do usually is to write to the Decision Maker who sent the sanction letter requesting a Mandatory Reconsideration (MR). The letter should explain all this and tell you how much time you have to do it.

 

So, you need to sort out the facts and your proof in a MR letter to hand in to your Jobcentre, if that is what you were asked to do, or send it to the DM.

Take your time, if you have the time, and remember that you are trying to persuade someone who has got it in for you, may not be very bright, and needs everything spelling out, to change their mind. Include everything, don't assume they know all the facts already or that they can guess what you mean just because it sounds simple and clear to you.

Sending a copy to the DM as well as handing one in at the Jobcentre might be prudent as a double guarantee that the DM will get it in time. Advisable too to send any mail by Recorded Delivery, just in case anyone has any ideas about claiming not to have received it.

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A similar thing happened to me. The difference was that they did not sanction me, but simply suspended payments. I asked to speak to the Job Coach or whatever it is called now and he fixed it for me. It took me 2 weeks to get the money back.

 

It is incredible that they administered a sanction without even trying to speak to you. In the old times when you missed an appointment you would receive a telephone call the day later, asking why you weren't there.

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

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Hi thanks everyone for your replys which have been very helpful.

Lapsed Workaholic in answer to your questions I was told of the sign on appointment on the previous sign on appointment. The advisor told me i was due to sign on on the 22nd but not to come on that date but come on the 26th instead. The evidence I have is the date 26.6.15 uc which is what the advisor wrote in my Job log as a reminder. The receptionist said I didnt havs an appointment very rudely and telephoned upstairs and was given a new sign on date which he told me. The sanction letter came from Universal nnCredit. I have a quarterly check of my Job search on Monday and have been asked by Universal Credit to take my proof and show my Job Coach and they have to ring uc and tell them they have seen it. I hope this answers your questions. Thanks for your advice.

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The fault here is with the adviser who did not make clear to you the consequences of missing your signing on appointment on a fixed day, a day that can't be arbitrarily changed by him or you just like that.

To clarify the position I can do no better than quote a response to a similar query by one, Antone, who must have been around forever, way back in Oct 2009:

"......Your NI number is used to work out your payday, rather than your signing day, but the effect is the same.

 

NI number ends 0-19 - Monday payday

NI number ends 20-39 - Tuesday payday

 

and so on. Since customers are paid fortnightly, the week in which they are paid is determined by whether the last two digits are odd or even. ....... your signing day will be 3 working days before payday.....

As to flexibility, I can understand peoples' frustrations. I would imagine (and I speak here as a private citizen, not an employee of JCP) that the sheer number of customers makes it difficult to accommodate individual requirements."

(I cut out bits of the quote that were not relevant to the understanding of the explanation in this case).

Unless you've had occasion to try and get your signing on day changed before there is no reason why you should have known that but your adviser should have known and made it clear to you or have ensured that the system was notified and adjusted accordingly. He is either ignorant and incompetent or he has set you up for a fall.

If you miss your signing on day/time authorisation for payment is not triggered but the imposition of a sanction is. Does the wording of your sanction look like this is what might have happened?

Make sure at your interview on Monday that you are asking for and want a Mandatory Reconsideration of the sanction decision. Ask if you need to also make the request in writing.

Good luck to you at the interview. Will anxiously look forward to hear how you got on.

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.. In the old times when you missed an appointment you would receive a telephone call the day later, asking why you weren't there.

 

Yes, you did and it was far better but now they have an even better solution.. if they don't hear from you they just wait 5 days then close your claim down. Money saved. (or at least delayed while you try and sort it all out). That's the kind of utterly dishonourable organisation the DWP is now.

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