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Thread: Urgent advice needed please

  1. #1

    Urgent advice needed please

    Hello all,

    I am on ESA because of my mental health issues and was told I had to attend a work related activity group. I told them I could not attend and, as a result, my benefit was sanctioned. This was early October. My Doctor told me I was not fit to attend and wrote me a letter and gave me a medical certificate. He said he will keep on issuing these to me because he doesn't want me attending.

    I appealed the decision and there was a lot of back and forth, on the phone to many different people who all told me different things.

    Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I was told they had accepted my reason for not attended and and my sanction would be lifted. The benefit I was due to receive a couple days later would still be the sanctioned rate because they had already processed it, but the next fortnight would be my normal rate.

    Phone up today to check and told that the sanction is still in place and the lower rate is what I will be receiving in a couple of days. Advisor told me that somebody will call me back later today but, as far as they can see, the good reason for not attending is still there along with the sanction.

    I just don't know what to do anymore. Bills piling up, Christmas around the corner. Haven't left the house in weeks. They tell me they have accepted my reason for not attending as valid, yet the sanction is still in place and has been for 8 weeks now.

    Just hope somebody can give me some good advice.

    Thanks for reading.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    So basically the DWP say that they have lifted the sanction for non attendance one minute, then the next minute they say that the sanction is still in place.

    IMO, you need to put in writing to the office that deals with your ESA (send it recorded delivery & keep a copy for your records) that although they (DWP) accepted your reasons for non attendance and have lifted the sanction of over 8 weeks ago, the sanction and it's reduced payments are still in place at this time and that phone calls to the DWP are giving conflicting replies. Ask them to reply in writing confirming the sanction has been lifted and that payments will be reinstated straight away without financial loss to yourself. Sadly though, due to the proximity, it might not be resolved until after Christmas.
    IMO, the problem with phoning the DWP is that one hand doesn't know what the other is doing - incompetence is one word!! Good luck.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the reply, ivb.

    Been on the phone to them again and have now been told that there isn't just one sanction on my claim, but FOUR. When they told me the sanction had been lifted they actually only meant one of them. There was no mention of any of this prior to today, or when I spoke to them a couple weeks ago when I was told it was lifted and my money would be back to normal.

    Jobcentre tell me I need to phone the work related group and get them to lift the other three sanctions. I phone them up and they say the Jobcentre has to do it by taking me out of the work group and into a support group.

    I just feel like giving up. Can't take anymore of this to be honest.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    You need to get Face to Face help with this ASAP, Contact CAB or your CMHT Nurse/Welfare Worker if have one. As ivb indicated you must do everything in writing with these people, if you've been sanctioned four times, let alone once, you should have received written notice of this, every sanction is Appealable. By what else you've said it appears you need to make an application for review of your case with a view to SG, get that first hand advice as soon as you can.

    Good Luck

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    the problem here is that, yes they have accepted your reason for not attending on the day, but it does not end there, you must also re-engage with them, for it to be fully lifted,so you must now get in touch with dwp (your adviser at jcp) and he and you must agree what happens next,either you go to the group or he agree's you dont need to.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Quite right actually. slipmaster makes a good point. Though your JCP adviser 'may' be a 'she' lol, not just a 'he'.


  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Slip is correct, the most important thing is to re-engage if you want to move things along. Only once you re-engage is the duration of the sanction fixed.

    Advisors are supposed to check someone isn't vulnerable and some other criteria, before recommending sanctions, but from many posts I've read I don't think they pay much attention to the ESA sanction guidelines.

  8. #8
    Just keep going around in circles. Jobcentre tell me to contact Seetec, Seetec tell me to contact jobcentre. Jobcentre say only Seetec can lift sanctions, Seetec tell me only jobcentre can do it.

    They can't even tell me how long the sanctions are in place for. Been sanctioned since October now. Woman told me that I now need to appeal the other three sanctions yet I'm supposed to be attending Seetec tomorrow and won't be, which will be another sanction and so on.

    My advisor is a woman and sadly she's more like one of those teachers at school who everybody knows they can't mess around in front of because they rule with an iron fist. Lady at Seetec is nice but she's on holiday.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    The only people that can sanction you are DWP DM's (Decision Makers), I believe they can also make a decision to remove them. That would be the person to contact, though as I advised above I would try to get some help with it

  10. #10
    My local CAB is closed until the new year for refurbishment :-( I don't have a welfare worker. I have tried to get in contact with a DM but can't get near one.

    Thanks for replying, Jard.

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