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Thread: Work Programme sanction

  1. #1
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Work Programme sanction

    This is an offshoot to my thread on ending the work programme, to try and keep the issues seperate for clarity.
    http://www.youreable.com/forums/show...oned#post66738

    Originally posted 08-14-2014 5:45 PM
    Just had a text message, (17:14) from the DWP.


    We have tried to contact you regarding your participationon the work programme.

    We will call again within 3 hours.

    Alternatively contact us on 0141 338 4060.
    I was in the pub when I got this so rushed home, just across the road lucky for me, to make sure I had my paperwork to hand.

    Thats a Glasgow number, its been engaged for the last 15 mins looks like I'll have to wait for them to call.
    May go back to the pub.

    PS. Just checked my call logs, no record of them 'trying to contact me' from that or any other number.
    Originally posted 08-14-2104 06:54 PM
    Finally got through to them.

    They wanted to talk about the fact that I had missed an appointment on the 10th July.

    I said it was quite possible because of my condition, it would not be the first time, and had never been queried like this before just a new appointment made.
    His attitude was the usual, Im just doing the form in front of me, dont want to know any more.

    After the call I checked my records.
    I had not had an appointment on the 10th July, it was on the 7th and I had attended.
    In fact this was the appointment reported in post #6 above.

    Rang back to tell them this; got the same guy.
    He didn't want to know.
    Asked him to put a note on my file, again he didnt want to. Guess he didn't want the hassle of opening the file again.
    Just kept saying to query it with the WP provider.
    I had to insist a number of times that he made a note of what I was saying about the dates and he eventually agreed.
    Would love to see if he actually did.

    So now I have to wait to see if I get sanctioned for missing an appointment I never had. Grrrr I see another appeal comming.

    I'm going back to the pub, I need a couple of pints now.
    Originally posted 08-15-2014 02:11 PM
    I've been on to the WP provider this morning, spoke to my usual advisor (nice lass).

    At first she said that an appointment for the 10th HAD been scheduled but then closed because of the appointment on the 7th and not sent out.
    She said that 'another advisor' had sent the letter to the DWP whilst she was off sick herself.

    She then rang back 10mins later to say that she had checked their postal log and that it appears that the appointment letter for the 10th had been sent out. (Oddly enough she says it was sent on 26 June which is the date on the letter for the appointment on the 7th July).
    I never got one for the 10th so looks like crossed wires somewhere.

    So still waiting on the DWP but have more ammunition now.


    I have now been sanctioned; down to £28.75 a week.

    The reason-

    This is because we recently told you that a decision would be made about a doubt:

    On whether you failed to do work related activity. We have now decided that you
    failed to do this activity and that you did not have good reason for doing so.
    This decision applies from 16 August 2014 to .
    So I've been given an open ended sanction, presumably until I go for my next work programme interview, even though I attended one on the 5th August (after the missed appointment) and so am now back on track with the Work programme..

    Doesn't say what information the decision was based on, or which explanation was passed on from the telephone conversations reported in my main WP thread.

    Looks like MR time.
    I've never had an MR before, when I first got my ESA I had to take it to a tribunal but that was under the old appeals system.
    Will be reading a lot about MRs, and about the regulations regarding ESA sanctions, as linked in other threads here before I contact them. (Cheers Flymo).

    To be continued.......

    P.S. as my next benefit payment is due on Friday looks like I have £ 57.50 to live on for the next two weeks, and until I get the DWP to listen.
    Last edited by nukecad; 26-08-14 at 18:02.

  2. #2
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    Did they tell you that you'd done something wrong and ask you to show "good cause"? If so, that was the time you should have explained about the two dates, that you were told one appointment was not sent out and that you knew nothing of that "appointment" until it has passed.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flymo View Post
    Did they tell you that you'd done something wrong and ask you to show "good cause"? If so, that was the time you should have explained about the two dates, that you were told one appointment was not sent out and that you knew nothing of that "appointment" until it has passed.
    No; I have never been asked to show "good cause" unless you count the phone call out of the blue asking why I had missed an appoinment a month before.
    As reported in my main WP thread, I had the two phone conversations with the same guy at the DWP on the same day.
    It was the second call where I rang them back after checking my records and explained about not getting an appointment letter, its my belief that this second call was never entered in his report to the DM.

    The supposed mix up at the WP provider with whether or not they actually sent out the letter I did not find out about until the following day.

    I've spent this afternoon reading up on the ESA sanction regs, my brain hurts.
    I now need to ring the DWP tomorrow to get an explanation of the decision and ask for a written statement. (I bet it doesn't mention about not getting the letter).

    I believe that I have various grounds to get the decision overturned but will stick to refuting what is in the DMs report so as not to confuse the issue.

    Even if they don't change the decision I believe that as I had re-engaged with the Work Programme before the sanction was given that means that they should only sanction for the one week as under the 2012 ammendments, provision 4 (4)(7)(a).
    Don't know whether to mention that in my MR letter or not. What do you think?

    Once I know what the DM was working to I can finalise my letter for MR.

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    it will be the 1 week sanction plus 1 week for a first time sanction.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by slipmaster View Post
    it will be the 1 week sanction plus 1 week for a first time sanction.
    Unless I'm misremembering, all sanctions last the time it takes you to come back to compliance - in this case, to attend a WP appointment - plus a fixed period determined on a sliding scale (1 week for a first offence).

    I'll take a proper look at this thread tomorrow with the regulations in front of me. I'm too tired and too full of anaesthetic tonight (I've been in hospital today) to think clearly enough.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flymo View Post
    Unless I'm misremembering, all sanctions last the time it takes you to come back to compliance - in this case, to attend a WP appointment - plus a fixed period determined on a sliding scale (1 week for a first offence).
    Yes, thats just what the 2012 amendment says. Back into compliance +1 week for a first offence.
    My point being that even if the sanction is not overturned on MR, I was back in compliance after the alleged non-compliance but before the sanction was even issued.
    I bet they see it differently though and say I have to show I am back in compliance after the decision was made.

    This point is a bit academic for now as I am expecting the sanction to be overturned completely on MR.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Have now rung the DWP to get more info from their point of view.

    Talked to a pleasant woman, Shelia, who confirmed that this sanction was because of the alleged missed appointment of 10 July.
    Couldn't give any more details about what information the Decision Maker had to hand when making the decision.
    So I asked for a written statement of reasons for the decision, (standard thing), and she put that request on the system.

    When I explained that I had never had an appointment on 10 July and that the work programme providers had said they never sent one out she advised that rather than go to MR I should get the work programme provider to send them a form WP09 to cancel the original reason for the sanction.
    (I've just looked at a WP09 and it dosen't have a section to say that the compliance issue was raised by mistake, just sections to say that the participant has now complied).

    So I rang my advisor at the work programme.
    She has now changed her tune and says that I had appointments on both the 7th and the 10th and both letters were sent out on the same day by different people.
    Anybody else suspect that some a** covering is going on here?

    Odd that I have two letters both giving appointments on the 7th, but none for the 10th.

    Of the two letters I have with appointments for the 7th:
    One is printed double sided on a single plain sheet and gives the wrong address for the appointment.
    (An office they had not used since May 2014).
    The second is printed single sided on two ‘logo headed’ sheets and gives the correct address.

    She is supposed to be ringing me back at 16:30 when she has had time to look into it.

  8. #8
    The government is to overhaul the way it treats benefit recipients threatened by sanctions, after an independent report it commissioned showed systematic failings in the process, including disproportionate burdens placed on the most vulnerable.

    The report found that the way in which the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) communicated with claimants was legalistic, unclear and confusing. The most vulnerable claimants were often left at a loss as to why their benefits were stopped and frequently they were not informed about hardship payments to which they were entitled, the report said.

    It also revealed serious flaws in how sanctions were imposed; providers of the government's work programme were required to bring in sanctions when they knew the claimants had done nothing wrong, leaving those people "sent from pillar to post".

    The independent report was written for the DWP by Matthew Oakley, a respected welfare expert who has worked as an economic adviser for the Treasury and for the centre-right thinktank Policy Exchange.

    The report was completed some weeks ago, but publication of its 17 reform proposals was delayed.

    sorry don't know how to do links, but the above from an article in the Guardian on 22nd

    why would they ever give anyone 2 appointments in 3 days? looks like I have a lot of fun coming my way! you need to speak to someone who has COMMON SENSE, good luck finding that at JCP

  9. #9
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Unfortunately thats just a report, the gov. doesn't have to act on it.
    I believe it was compiled for the The Government Select Comittee for Works and Pensions

    The Government Select Comittee for Works and Pensions has been blasting the gov. over ESA and other disability benefits for a number of years now.
    But again the gov. only has to give a reply to certain issues raised by the comittee, it doesn't have to act on its recommendations.
    Link to W & P comittee reports- http://www.parliament.uk/business/co...ons-committee/

    Linda, to add a link just copy it from the address bar into your post, the forum software will recognise that its a link and highlight it in blue.


    why would they ever give anyone 2 appointments in 3 days?
    The one on the 7th was an extra WRAG appointment. (reported on in my after the work programme thread).
    The disputed one on the 10th was suposedly a normal work programme appointment.
    Last edited by nukecad; 27-08-14 at 15:55.

  10. #10
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Well she didn't ring back.

    Maybe too busy, maybe taking extra time to get the story right.
    I used to have a good relationship with my work programme provider, a bit of give and take on both sides regarding the rules, but I'm rapidly becoming fed up with them in this situation.

    Having done a bit more research into the regs. and the DWPs Work Programme Provider Guidance I have identified numerous situations where they are in breach. Some but not all have a bearing on this sanction.
    I already knew about some of these and had advised them they needed to read the guidance, but not raised a formal complaint as such.

    The most relevant to my sanction is that before they raised the compliance doubt form, WP08, with the DWP they should have informed me they were raising a doubt and notified me how to re-comply.
    They did not do this.

    This is so obvious, if the participant is not informed a doubt has been raised then how can they know they need to re-comply? and what to do to recomply?
    Not to do it shows how dissorganised they are, and casts doubt on their non-compliance procedures.

    I will probably raise this point in my MR letter.

    For those interested the relevent clause(s) are-
    Work Programme Provider Guidance v19.00, ch.6 -para3, para56, and para68.
    All of which state
    Prior to the compliance doubt completion, an activity to re-comply must be decided and notified to the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or IS Lone Parent participant.
    The others breaches, including the ones I have already told them about, I may now raise official complaints.
    I'll see how I feel after my appointment next Monday.

    Just for completeness the full set of Work Programme Provider Guides (all 55 documents) can be found here:
    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...vider-guidance

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