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Sanctioned Because Dying Grandad Was ‘Not Immediate Family’

December 14, 2015


26 Comments leave one →
  1. December 14, 2015 3:45 pm

    Would this person be interested in crowdfunding? If they set up a gofund me account I’m sure they could raise a few pounds so they don’t have a terrible Christmas – losing a grandparent is hard enough without going hungry (I would be happy to pledge a fiver).

  2. December 14, 2015 5:13 pm

    What I would do is if they don’t pay me don’t look for work it works both ways no money to get to interviews if you get one so no point looking for work. Sometimes the DWP are their own worst enemy, even if you get a crisis payment it doesn’t take into account travel to interviews.

    • December 15, 2015 2:22 am

      He should apply for hardship payments- he will then have to keep looking for work to qualify. Or he should just close the claim. Interesting if they sanction him again in the hardship period, they stop the hardship payments, for which he would have to reapply and wait a fortnight again for any payment .

  3. December 14, 2015 5:17 pm

    Reblogged this on campertess and commented:
    I’m speechless

  4. December 14, 2015 5:23 pm

    Reblogged this on lawrencerowntree.

  5. pedro permalink
    December 14, 2015 8:38 pm

    That’s the most appalling DWP related thing Non ESA that I’ve read this year. Beyond belief. So sorry !

  6. Jobcentre Worker Trade Union Member permalink
    December 14, 2015 9:19 pm

    Don’t believe a word of it is what I’m thinking. The second you mention a dying relative no Jobcentre Decision Maker will sanction benefits, there are even specific forms (ES673) to complete to declare a domestic emergency such as this

    • December 14, 2015 9:40 pm

      Why don’t you believe it? It’s happened before. The rules on who is immediate family have been abused before.

    • Daun permalink
      December 15, 2015 12:01 am

      I can very much believe this. I got sanctioned for missing an appointment the day after having a miscarriage. Even though I had proof. I had to go 4 weeks with nothing for my family and ended up with rent arrears and all sorts. Each jobcentre has a target of sanctions to give so they don’t care who’s money they stop so long as they reach their target. It’s sickening just how heartless they are.

    • December 15, 2015 5:36 pm

      How wrong you are the DWP are well and truly up to stopping your money no matter what the problem is , It is getting worse what about the man who had a heart attack in front of them they sent him to hospital then sanctioned him because he didn’t complete the interview , I suggest you sign on as unemployed and see for yourself the goings on with them it’s not nice, Why on earth do you think we have foodbanks and homelessness because the welfare system is corroded to a point that they don’t care anymore .

      • December 15, 2015 6:30 pm

        I think this sums up our fascist government

  7. December 14, 2015 9:48 pm

    Yet another Jobcentre TU activist speaks: JCP pay fares to attend interviews and even give clothing grants for that purpose (or to start work). Ask your work coach, sanctions do not affect this. There are 2 stages to the appeals process. Firstly you request a “mandatory reconsideration”. If that goes against you, you have the right to appeal to the HMCT Tribunal. Hardship payments may also be claimed – your Work Coach work coach must tell you about that procedure if you have been sanctioned. The decision to sanction is taken by remote Decision Makers, not by anyone in the Jobcentre, sometimes people get angry with us, but it’s not “us” who apply sanctions.

    • December 15, 2015 4:58 pm

      And how long will that whole tedious process take? Weeks to months! She needs the money now! She will have to endure the indignity of claiming Hardship payment where you get treated like you are less than human! Won’t cover her bills for the month, so she will fall behind and there’s the following knock on effect on subsequent months, She will probably have to suffer the cold as she likely won’t have enough to feed her meter to turn her heating on and will more than likely be driven to a food bank to beg for miserly supplies of ghastly sterile tinned food, and that after going through yet another round of undignified questioning!

    • December 16, 2015 10:30 pm

      judasbarrabas –
      You`re correct in that JCP staff do not apply sanctions – but it IS JCP staff who refer claimants to Decision Makers FOR sanctions to be put in place, & their opinion/perception & the way that the referral is phrased can make all the difference.
      I formally opted-out of UJM usage in June 2014 after putting my reasons in writing & having this noted on my system file, yet in September 2014 I was (successfully!) referred for a sanction re: Doubt Of Actively Seeking Employment by a sanction-hungry advisor whom I was “signing-on” with on that occasion.
      This is despite meeting all the criteria in Welfare Reform Act 2012,17, 3 (c) – in June I had presented screenshots that showed that I had a Public Online Profile/that my C.V. was viewable on half-a-dozen jobsites other than UJM – & my (then) JSAgreement: the advisor was more interested that I had not used UJM to record my job search activities & decided that this was ‘lack of evidence of job search activity’ & was filling-in the DMA sanction referral form BEFORE even asking for evidence, & after lecturing me for over 3 mins without pause on the “advantages of UJM usage”.
      When I (politely) pointed-out that I had presented my reasons for opt-out & these had been accepted (lack of vetting re: ads on UJM & the subsequent risk of my Personal Data being ‘harvested’ for purposes other than applying for the vacancy advertised & that I was taking responsibility re: the security & sharing of said data), & that I had been using my WS1 booklet to record (in detail – date of application/source of vacancy/ref. #/method of application/etc.), I was informed that “the WS1 is inadmissable as evidence of jobsearch activities/applications, just an informal diary for claimants` record-keeping & reference”, despite the fact that every other advisor had deemed this acceptable at all previous appointments (& that it can be used as supporting evidence of a VERBAL presentation of job search activity).
      I duly filled-in the 4-Question Form (sometimes referred to as the Claimants` Response Template) & transcribed everything I`d done re: jobsearch activities/applications for the period in question on to it (example: I`d applied for 17 vacancies in the 14 days)…
      When the sanction was applied, I immediately requested a copy of the Decision Maker`s Deliberations, applied for Hardship & submitted a Mandatory Reconsideration Request that was accompanied by 10 pages of ‘supporting evidence’ incg. photocopies of pages of the relevant pages of my WS1, screenshots of my email account`s ‘Sent’ list & the list of Replies/Responses received in respect of them which I move into a created sub-file on my email account – which was exactly what I`d presented to the advisor – & the sanction was overturned in 10 days.
      And after reading the comments & the phrasing/terminology used by the referring advisor in the DM`s Deliberations, it became obvious that the advisor`s intent that day was to get a ‘+1’ to her sanction target via me, & not that I had failed in any way to meet the entitlement criteria.
      It can come down to HOW a sanction is referred, not WHY – & the ubiquitous ‘Doubt Of Actively Seeking Employment’ can be stretched to mean absolutely anything an advisor can want it to mean in order to make a sanction referral.
      As for the gentlemen in this post, I can`t help but feel that his sanction referral is based upon his advisor seeing his circumstances as an ‘opportunity’ to make a sanction referral, & the complete lack-of-empathy displayed is TYPICAL of JCP staff: if JCP staff want to be viewed as human beings then they need to start acting in a human fashion (“Do Unto Others…”).
      FYI, if anyone thinks I`m a “scrounger gaming the system” because I know a lot of this procedural s***, you`re mistaken – I`ve looked it up because ‘forewarned is forearmed’ when it comes to deceitful & manipulative JCP staff, as all-too-many have found out the hard way…

  8. kim permalink
    December 14, 2015 10:21 pm

    i mised an interview wiv advisor to see how doin wiv job search the day my dad passed away i told them he was in coma week b4 my they knew went to them to sign on day b4 funeral and i was told my file is does happen.!!! and atm u dont want to be beggin ur plea .cos just lost aloved one and head all over place wiv it .hardship is half of money .they still expect u to pay bus fares.and iv never been given the fare back .how can we know wat to ask for if we dnt know of it we dnt work there.thank god.i. cudnt be so cold to people

    • December 15, 2015 12:19 am

      Bless you, Kim. It’s very tough. We lost my nephew to suicide the week I lost our baby and my grandfather. Luckily I’m not on JSA but they would have had some choice words from me if they’d tried to make me show up to the JCP.
      As he was not close to me I actually think I would have gone and said, “You know that lad at Hexham who survived abuse as a child, ended up bipolar, still went to Uni and was really talented who came here too? I should be at his funeral but I’m here to tell you that you are SO lucky that his mother is a dyed in the wool Tory or you’d all be at the Hague for crimes against humanity. His mother is a local Lib Dem Councillor?

  9. judasbarrabas permalink
    December 14, 2015 10:55 pm

    Kim – if ur claiming JSA and are required to attend on any day other than your normal signing day, you are entitled to a refund of fares. Ask your work coach. Complete form ES673 with a written request for a ‘mandatory reconsideration’ with regards to your circumstances attending your fathers final illness.

  10. Niamh O'Loughlin permalink
    December 15, 2015 1:05 am

    I’m not going to pretend I fully understand the system, I am fortunate enough to never have needed it. If this computer is automatically issuing sanctions under these circumstances, surely it’s time to put a human being back in charge. Nobody should have to go through this nonsense while dealing with a loss. Expecting people to jump through hoops & perform like a circus clown while grieving is inhumane.

  11. DJ Ash ex DUWC permalink
    December 15, 2015 3:20 am

    To the Jsa personel on here… Point 1) Hardship payments are based on what funds are available are they not? And if the claimant lives in an area in which there have been high demand for hardship payments, theaters are no funds available.

    2 Point: Sanctions appeals, How long do they take? I appealed mine and it took two months for a decision to be made on mine. Plus I would suggest that the claimant having suffered a bereavement, might not be in the frame of mind to appeal, but if so should get the help of CAB, local Law Centre or Unemployed Workers Centres to represent their case.

    3 You are DWP staff who ‘can’t believe this would happen’ Why? It is well known that staff have ‘targets’ to meet in sanctioning claimants. These practices should have been denied by Senior DWP staff. Yet there is a raft of anecdotal evidence that shows Sanctions have been applied to claimants even though they have met their Jobseeker agreement. I personally know sanctions have been the subject of DWP targets, that’s because DWP members have told me so.

    4 I would immediatly advise this claimant that they should not only seek the help of independent advice in appealing, but also see their MP and put their case to be asked at PM’s Questions this week. If not through their own MP. Then by contacting Jeremy Corbyn. On his website.

  12. Jackie Critchley permalink
    December 15, 2015 9:44 am

    Perhaps Jeremy Corbyn would raise this case at Prime Ministers Question Time, if someone made him aware of it. Disgusting treatment. Of course our grandparents are immediate family, mine actually raised me!

  13. December 15, 2015 10:58 am

    Would it be possible to contact him/her for a piece in the Morning Star? Please let me know ASAP (Tuesday 15 Dec 2015) 02085256982

  14. December 15, 2015 12:06 pm

    It’s imperative that people know that sanctions CAN be lifted with the assistance of a welfare rights officer at Citizen’s Advice Bureau or their local authority welfare rights service. You can appeal this sanction with their help and apply for hardship money and assistance from your local welfare assistance scheme.

  15. Alison McIntyre permalink
    December 15, 2015 11:50 pm

    Shocking. Too many people being sanctioned and left with no money. Genuine reason should be given careful consideration. DWP are heartless.

  16. December 16, 2015 10:35 pm

    Final Thought – what happened to the ‘sanctioned claimants will be given 14 days notice’ that IDS/DWP were stating last month?

  17. January 1, 2016 1:42 pm

    Anyone, can blind anyone, with science, and get away with it, and therefore obscure, ossify and effectively lie, with impunity.

    The systems are made effectively impossible, to ensure claims are not paid out.

    As, are all our rights.

    There is no rule of law, as no lawyers, and no one can know, or enforce their rights, so the state does what it wants with us.

    Its called totalitarianism and its big in the UK…

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