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JSA Sanction - What to do now??
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# 1
laurac242
Old 22-09-2012, 11:06 AM
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Default JSA Sanction - What to do now??

Im hoping someone on here will be able to give me some advice. I have been recieving JSA for about 18 months. The jobcentre sent me to a work focused training programme which I have been attending. I recieved a sanction due to non attendance. The sanction was for 2 weeks. I took every letter that I had recieved into the job centre which showed every appointment I had attended but was told i had still missed some. The sanction was then lifted and 2 weeks later I was sanctioned again for a month. The training provider told the job centre that I was not attending appointments even though I had signed in every time I had attended. Again, they said I had missed some that they had booked.
As soon as this sanction was up, they immediately hit me with a 6 month sanction for exactly the same thing, despite the fact that every appointment I recieved, I attended. The job centre said it was basically my word against the training providers as they were saying I had not attended every one.
I have appealed against the decision and have lost the case. I have had no money at all since the beginning of June and my next pay is looking to be the middle of December.
I have applied for crisis loans, budgeting loan and hardship payments, all of which have been refused.
I have spoken to Citizens Advice but they had no real advice to give me. Surely they cannot expect me to survive for so long on nothing. I am still signing every 2 weeks and still attending the training programme. I just dont know what to do now. I cant go on like this much longer. I have told the job centre so many times that I need help or advice and their stock answer is "You are on a sanction, we cant do anything".
I am still recieving housing benefit which is great but have no way of getting food or topping up the utilities. Beyond stressed now. Any advice much appreciated
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# 2
BigAunty
Old 22-09-2012, 11:15 AM
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Contact your MP? They are there to serve you - they need to know that their policies aren't working.

Do you have written proof (i.e. signed log book) that you attended? If so, consider contacting the local press but I imagine the publicity could be a pain.

Even claimants sanctioned for JSA can apply for a hardship sum - other posters will tell you more about this. EDIT - I note you say this has been refused, not aware of the policy for this, didn't know it could be refused.

See if there is a food bank in your area - they give a few days basic groceries and know that many of their clients are people whose benefits have been stopped for any reason. Some food banks require the person to have received a voucher from Citizens Advice, Social worker, etc.
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# 3
Notmyrealname
Old 22-09-2012, 1:08 PM
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OK. Submit a request under the Data Protection Act to the training provider. They have to by law provide everything that they have about you down to copies of stuff on a post-it note and which includes the signing in book. If you don't believe they've sent everything (i.e you don't get a copy of the signing in book or acknowledgements of the entries) you can inform them that you believe they've witheld information and you're reporting them to the Data Protection Registrar who has the power to levy fines.

Once you have that, take it to the DWP.
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# 4
laurac242
Old 22-09-2012, 1:18 PM
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Thank you for the replies. I have an appointment with the MP but not until mid October. That was the earliest one I could get.
I thought I would be able to get some sort of Hardship payment but have applied and been refused twice, even though both times I included my bank statement proving I have no income. I will look into where the nearest food bank is, thank you.

I will definately submit a Data Protection request, thats a great idea. Hopefully that will prove that the only letters they sent to me are for the appointments that I attended.

Thanks again for the help
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# 5
john539
Old 22-09-2012, 3:13 PM
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How long was the training programme, what was its attendance arrangements ?

Do you have any idea what appointments you're supposed to have missed or have they made a mistake or stitched you up ?

How are your appointments normally arranged, by letter, at the office & do they give you appointment card ?

Have you queried this or confronted someone at the training provider ?
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# 6
laurac242
Old 22-09-2012, 3:53 PM
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The training programme is for a year I think. You are supposed to attend whenever the appointments come through, there is no set days etc. Its basically just to do job searches and stuff.
I dont know what appointments I have supposedly missed. Im only aware of one and that was because the appointment was on 25th and the letter sent to tell me about the appointment was dated 28th.

The appointments are sent out by letter. If you phone about appointments, they tell you to wait for a letter to be sent out

I have queried this with the provider and they are convinced that letters had been sent with appointments and that I had not attended. I cannot prove that these had not been recieved by me
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# 7
busy mom
Old 22-09-2012, 5:40 PM
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Are you a work programme customer? If so you are with that provider for 2 years. You are not eligible for hardship payments for any sanctions relating to failing to attend work programme provision. Sorry no good news to add.
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# 8
john539
Old 23-09-2012, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laurac242 View Post
The training programme is for a year I think. You are supposed to attend whenever the appointments come through, there is no set days etc. Its basically just to do job searches and stuff.
I dont know what appointments I have supposedly missed. Im only aware of one and that was because the appointment was on 25th and the letter sent to tell me about the appointment was dated 28th.

The appointments are sent out by letter. If you phone about appointments, they tell you to wait for a letter to be sent out

I have queried this with the provider and they are convinced that letters had been sent with appointments and that I had not attended. I cannot prove that these had not been recieved by me
Sounds like you have proof the provider has made a mistake which you should raise with DWP.

Their appointment system isn't working or they are lying and you are paying for their mistakes, incompetence & chaos.

The provider must have details of the appointments and proof that letters are being sent.

If you are on Work Programme, you should raise official complaint with provider, then take to Independent Examiner. You should also track down & hassle the person in your Jobcentre who manages their side of Work Programme.
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# 9
sniggings
Old 23-09-2012, 9:44 PM
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this is so wrong that a letter either being not even sent or lost in the post as millions of letters are each year, is enough to stop your benefits for any length of time, never mind 6 months, surely a recorded letter at the least should have to be sent if a sanction can be the outcome.

I would chain myself to the MPs house and hope he wasn't a Tory.

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# 10
iammarmite
Old 24-09-2012, 1:56 AM
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Just a thought but can you remember what dates you have been going?

Surely they can check their CCTV?
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# 11
iammarmite
Old 24-09-2012, 1:57 AM
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(BTW- I know what programme you mean as I have to attend too- its known as "The Work Programme")
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# 12
busy mom
Old 24-09-2012, 9:03 PM
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If you are on Work Programme, you should raise official complaint with provider, then take to Independent Examiner. You should also track down & hassle the person in your Jobcentre who manages their side of Work Programme.[/QUOTE]


No person in a jobcentre manages the work program, yes raise the official complaint and follow the independent review but no-on in a local office manages the programe only supports the referral process and manages the payments.
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# 13
gixer750
Old 26-09-2012, 7:53 PM
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if you have enough evidence and the appeal still doesn"t work, then take the work programme to small claims court and get your money back, you will probably win....just a thought
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# 14
jumperjohn
Old 27-09-2012, 10:56 AM
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Would it not be easier just to get a job?
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# 15
Mintstrel
Old 27-09-2012, 8:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jumperjohn View Post
Would it not be easier just to get a job?
Fantastic response so constructive...proud of ya!!! Looking forward to the time you become unemployed and realise what its like looking for work. Worked since leaving school in 1978 except for last 18 months. As its an employers market where's the jobs eh? eh?
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# 16
jumperjohn
Old 28-09-2012, 9:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mintstrel View Post
Fantastic response so constructive...proud of ya!!! Looking forward to the time you become unemployed and realise what its like looking for work. Worked since leaving school in 1978 except for last 18 months. As its an employers market where's the jobs eh? eh?
And you are? This isn't your thread. If you can't find a job then move as thousands of others have done, or re-train, or stay on the dole, I know which I'd chose and have chosen.

Back to the OP that you hijacked. If he has no money until at least December my advice is to get a job, anywhere, doing anything. What's your logical advice Spock eh, eh?
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# 17
Mintstrel
Old 02-10-2012, 6:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jumperjohn View Post
And you are? This isn't your thread. If you can't find a job then move as thousands of others have done, or re-train, or stay on the dole, I know which I'd chose and have chosen.

Back to the OP that you hijacked. If he has no money until at least December my advice is to get a job, anywhere, doing anything. What's your logical advice Spock eh, eh?
Not your thread either sunshine, but you came out with the immortal words "get a job". Where are these "jobs" that can be walked straight into? Ain't as easy as you think. I know what I would rather chose and it ain't the bleeding dole...ok!...Matey!
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# 18
donnajunkie
Old 02-10-2012, 8:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laurac242 View Post
The training programme is for a year I think. You are supposed to attend whenever the appointments come through, there is no set days etc. Its basically just to do job searches and stuff.
I dont know what appointments I have supposedly missed. Im only aware of one and that was because the appointment was on 25th and the letter sent to tell me about the appointment was dated 28th.

The appointments are sent out by letter. If you phone about appointments, they tell you to wait for a letter to be sent out

I have queried this with the provider and they are convinced that letters had been sent with appointments and that I had not attended. I cannot prove that these had not been recieved by me
did you not provide evidence in your appeal? a letter dated 28th for an appointment 3 days earlier sounds like pretty good evidence you are innocent to me. did you make copy and enclose it with your appeal? also the appeal form should have been sent via recorded delivery. this is because they have a habit of purposely losing forms and without the form the sanction stands.
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# 19
benefitbaby
Old 02-10-2012, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laurac242 View Post
I have appealed against the decision and have lost the case.
I do not understand this.... appeals take months and JSA sanction appeals are heard by a Judge at tribunal - do you mean the DWP decision maker has reconsidered the decision but not changed it as this is not the same thing.

For JSA sanctions a reconsideration request (in writing or on the phone) or an appeal (on GL24 form) must be submitted within 5 days of the sanction setting out your good cause (or in your case outright denial of the alleged sanctionable offence).

If you had a reconsideration and the decision was not changed the DWP must confirm this in writing and you have a right of appeal to tribunal.

In the meantime....
- do speak to your MP
- do make a Data Protection request (and escalate to the Information Commissioners Office if this is refused)
- do contact your local CAB (or similar) for help to access charitable support
- and here is the decision maker guidance on hardship payments www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/dmgch35.pdf
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# 20
donnajunkie
Old 03-10-2012, 3:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benefitbaby View Post
I do not understand this.... appeals take months and JSA sanction appeals are heard by a Judge at tribunal - do you mean the DWP decision maker has reconsidered the decision but not changed it as this is not the same thing.

For JSA sanctions a reconsideration request (in writing or on the phone) or an appeal (on GL24 form) must be submitted within 5 days of the sanction setting out your good cause (or in your case outright denial of the alleged sanctionable offence).

If you had a reconsideration and the decision was not changed the DWP must confirm this in writing and you have a right of appeal to tribunal.

In the meantime....
- do speak to your MP
- do make a Data Protection request (and escalate to the Information Commissioners Office if this is refused)
- do contact your local CAB (or similar) for help to access charitable support
- and here is the decision maker guidance on hardship payments www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/dmgch35.pdf
i have only known one person it has happened to. they recieved a letter saying there was a doubt on their claim. they replied with an explaination only to get a letter back saying they were going to be sanctioned. they didnt ask for a reconsideration or anything like that. they saved time by skipping straight to the appeal form. they got someone important to agree to be named as representative should it go to a hearing. they included copies of evidence and sent it recorded. within 2 or 3 weeks they heard they had won.
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