By the third week of the sanction I was only eating once a day !!

Read how benefit sanctions can affect people’s lives

A sanction is a cut or temporary cessation in your benefit if you fail to meet your claimant commitment without good reason. If you do this on numerous occasions, you could face a sanction of up to three years.

Benefits including Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)Universal Credit (UC) and Income Support can be sanctioned.

For example, if you are claiming JSA and you fail to turn up to appointments or fail to apply for or accept a job you can be sanctioned.

However, some people have asserted that sanctions of being handed out cynically to meet targets.

Hungry man

Over 1,500 people had their ESA sanctioned in September 2016 alone. In addition, more than 41,500 disabled people have had their ESA sanctioned since December 2012.

Sanctions can have devastating consequences for those who receive them.

Alison Taylor, Director of Operations at Turn2us, said: “We know from those who seek our help the desperate situation people can be left in, if these essential benefits are cut. A rise in these sanctions is therefore very concerning.”

Benefit sanctions can lead to debt, rent arrears, foodbank use, mental health issues, and destitution.

In some extreme cases, such as that of David Clapson, benefit sanctions can have lethal consequences. The diabetic former soldier was found dead, starved and penniless in his flat.

One man’s experience

A man from West Yorkshire told Reddit about his sanction story:  “I was at the jobcentre at the allotted time; however, my advisor was now based in a different part of the building so when they called my name I didn’t answer because I was waiting in the area they always were previously.

“So even though I was in the building, I was classed as a no show. I attempted an appeal but the 13 week sanction was upheld.

“By the third week of the sanction I was only eating once a day, alternate between porridge and rice for variety.

“I leave my bedsit about 1 am if it’s not raining and head into the city centre to raid cigarette tab ends from pub ashtrays. I do this for two reasons; partly I’m addicted to nicotine, but mostly smoking helps with the hunger pangs.”

If you have been sanctioned

If you have been sanctioned and disagree with the decision, you can challenge the decision by asking for a Mandatory Reconsideration within one month of the decision. See the Gov.UK information on Appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal

Source: Turn2us

One thought on “By the third week of the sanction I was only eating once a day !!

  1. In my local JCP, they have done away with reception and any person with whom to speak or notify when arriving for appointments. Claimants have to approach one of the security staff and ask if their advisor is available. It’s difficult to approach any of these staff people because they are often engaged in idle chat with each other and don’t seem to be attentive to claimants entering and waiting. It’s as though claimants are left to figure out how to let anyone know they’ve arrived. For those with mobility or standing problems, this time in limbo can be difficult; for those with mental health problems or conditions this can be overwhelming, daunting or triggering. It’s almost as though the system is designed to trip claimants up to fail.
    I find it unconscionable that any society would justify leaving people in need without the means necessary to feed or clothe, or shelter themselves. In the above example of a claimant sanctioned for 13 weeks, it seems that their advisor was at fault for not looking in all waiting areas for their ‘customer’, rather than the claimant being at fault. It also seems to be a gross oversight that the advisor did not notify the claimant of a change in location within the building, so that the claimant could wait in the area that the advisor expected to find them. I wonder where the reception or greeting staff at this JCP were exactly -or who was responsible for ensuring that claimants arriving for their appointments were logged in and/or their advisors notified of their arrival? This whole example seems to be a system failure wherein employees of DWP/JCP failed the claimant, and a bogus reason to levy sanctions.
    I also wonder if this claimant was fully informed about the Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) process of a doubt raised to sanction, or that they could apply for hardship payments in the event that the MR upheld the reason for the advisor to raise a doubt, and also if the claimant was given the necessary information about how to apply for hardship payments?
    I can only hope that the claimant described above has had someone give them advice about how to navigate this intentionally bewildering and punitive system. It used to be when you went to the job centre, you looked at the job board and an advisor actually helped you apply for a job and get an interview. Now, ‘job coaches’ are simply administrators rattling keyboards and filling out internal paperwork.

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