Cruel, arbitrary and ridiculous reasons why people have their benefits stopped
You’re a 60-year-old army veteran who volunteers to sell poppies for the Royal British Legion in memory of fallen comrades. You’ve applied for dozens of jobs – including the supermarket where you sold the poppies – but without success. You are sanctioned for four weeks.
Source: Daily Mirror
You get a job interview. It’s at the same time as your job centre appointment, so you reschedule the job centre. You attend your rearranged appointment and then get a letter saying your benefits will be stopped because going to a job interview isn’t a good enough reason to miss an appointment.
Source: Daily Mail
Your gran dies during the night. The next morning your partner calls the job centre and asks if you can come in the following day instead. The centre agrees, and you sign in the next day. Then you get a letter stating that you failed to sign in and would be sanctioned if you don’t reply within seven days. You reply, explaining the situation. The job centre gives you a six-week sanction for not replying.
Source: Mari-claire M at Netmums
You’ve signed in on time, been to interviews and applied for work. Your job centre advisor suggests you make a two-line change to your CV, which you do, but fail to give the updated CV to the job centre (you weren’t told you had to). You are sanctioned for four weeks.
Source: nciaw36 at MoneySavingExpert
You work for 20 years and then miss a job centre appointment because you haven’t had the process clearly explained. You are sanctioned for 3 weeks.
Source: Councillor John O’Shea
You get a job that starts in two weeks time. You don’t look for work while you are waiting for the job to start. You’re sanctioned.
Source: The Guardian
You are forced to retire due to a heart condition, and you claim Employment and Support Allowance. During your assessment you have a heart attack. You are sanctioned for not completing your assessment.
Source: Debbie Abrahams MP
It’s Christmas Day and you don’t fill in your job search evidence form to show that you’ve looked for all the new jobs that are advertised on Christmas Day. You are sanctioned. Merry Christmas.
Source: Poverty Alliance
You are given a training appointment that clashes with your job centre appointment. The job centre is unwilling to rearrange its appointment and tells you to get a letter from the training organisation. The training organisation says it doesn’t provide letters.
Source: Russell Brown MP
You apply for three jobs one week and three jobs the following Sunday and Monday. Because the job centre week starts on a Tuesday it treats this as applying for six jobs in one week and none the following week. You are sanctioned for 13 weeks for failing to apply for three jobs each week.
You miss your job centre appointment due to the funeral of a close family relative. You are sanctioned.
Source: Derek Twigg MP
You’ve been unemployed for seven months and are forced onto a workfare scheme in a shop miles away, but can’t afford to travel. You offer to work in a nearer branch but are refused and get sanctioned for not attending your placement.
Source: Caroline Lucas MP
You have a job interview which overruns so you arrive at your job centre appointment 9 minutes late. You get sanctioned for a month.
Source: jsdk at Consumer Action
You can’t afford to travel to look for work so you get sanctioned.
Source: Citizens Advice Bureau
Your job centre advisor suggests a job. When you go online to apply it says the job has “expired” so you don’t apply. You are sanctioned for 13 weeks.
Source: Penny at Yahoo! Answers
You miss your job centre appointment as it clashes with your work programme interview. You get sanctioned.
Source: Citizens Advice Bureau
You volunteer in a youth club. The job centre thinks this is ‘paid work’ so you are sanctioned.
Source: UkeleleKris on Twitter
You don’t apply for an IT job as it requires skills you don’t have. You get sanctioned.
Source: Geminisnake at Urban75
You miss a second appointment because you are ill. Sanctioned.
Source: @thinktyler on Twitter
You are sanctioned for leaving an inappropriate A4e-run Launchpad course as you plan to continue your gardening diploma and volunteering. You ask to appeal the decision and are given the wrong forms.
Source: Adventures in Workfare
You get a job interview but it’s on the day of your nan’s funeral. You attended three interviews the day before. You try to rearrange this one, but company reports you for failing to accept a job. Sanctioned.
You lost your job and are now on contributions-based jobseeker’s allowance (paid on the basis of your earlier National insurance contributions). You get your job centre appointment day wrong and turn up on a Thursday instead of a Tuesday. You are sanctioned for four weeks.
Your job centre advisor tells you that emailing your CV to a company is not enough; you must physically hand over a paper copy too. You must also provide printouts of all emails to your advisor. You cannot afford this – you do not have your own printer – so are told to give the advisor access to your personal email account. You check with another advisor who tells you to do as the first advisor required.
Source: GamerInfo at MoneySavingExpert
You apply for more jobs than required by your jobseeker’s agreement, but forget to state on the form that you checked the local paper (which you’ve been instructed to do by a jobseeker’s direction). You’re sanctioned.
You are a mum of two, and are five minutes late for your job centre appointment. You show the advisor the clock on your phone, which is running late. You are sanctioned for a month.
Source: Clydebank Post
You are on a workfare placement and your job centre appointment comes round. The job centre tells you to sign on then go to your placement – which you do. The placement reports you for being late and you get sanctioned for 3 months.
Source: DefiniteMaybe on Mumsnet
Originally tweeted by @labourleft 17/04/14