Sanctions return for new style ESA and JSA and Universal Credit

As we quickly approach Christmas and a cold hungry winter once again the DWP are going to bring back the cruel sanction system.

They never miss a chance to make Christmas even more harder do they.

Sanctions relating to the claimant commitment had been suspended due to the pandemic.

It is very clear that the DWP are now back to business including sanctioning sick and disabled claimants.

According to Touch base the DWP are quoted as saying“This week a change was made to bring the obligations in new style JSA and ESA benefits in line with those in Universal Credit”

“This will mean that, as is the case for Universal Credit claimants, if someone in receipt of new style JSA and ESA fails to do what they have agreed to in their Claimant Commitment without good reason – such as having or caring for a child, or a change to a health condition – their payments may be reduced for a set period. This is known as a sanction.”

“All Claimant Commitments are tailored to a person’s personal circumstances and local jobs market, and claimants affected by this change are being informed of the introduction of the new process. Sanctions are only applied as a last resort when a claimant is not engaging with the commitment they have made. If someone disagrees with a decision they can ask for it to be looked at again.”

This is all rather scary as the government have now passed on the onus of sanctioning decisions to the Job Coaches and not a decision maker.

Sanctions aren’t always a last resort decision and I’m speaking from years of experience helping people to appeal sanction decisions. Also since when have the DWP taken children into consideration… They haven’t.

I’m sure that many of you reading this have had so called Job Coaches that take an obvious dislike you you. I’ve also experienced this and I know exactly what it’s like. It’s soul destroying.

I’ve experienced having a Job Coach that clearly hated me. She would find holes in everything that I did and tried to sanction me at every opportunity that came her way.

Luckily I was able to make a complaint about her which involved my local MP.

I changed Job Coaches but she would glare at me every time that I walked past her. I have mentioned this in a previous blog post.

My question is this… How many innocent people are going to be wrongfully sanctioned because of this very reason?

It’s also worrying that there could well be even more sanction targets (offloads). Therefore the need to reach these targets will cause the suffering and distress of thousands of people.

Basically the whole sanctioning process could well be ramped up a whole lot more..

Opinion isn’t fact and there are many valid reasons why a claimant has not been able to to fulfill their claimant commitment.

Illness, lack of money for essentials such as no money to top up mobile phones or to have access to the internet at home.

Access to libraries is fast becoming a rarity these days. The DWP demands that claimants have access to the internet at all times.

Essentialy if an Job Coach decides in their opinion that a claimant hasn’t done enough then they’ll sanction them.

Remember once again opinion isn’t always fact and this is a very dangerous precept to use.

The whole sanction system should be abolished. There’s absolutely no reason why a person should have their very basics for survival to be snatched off them by the click of a button. Which is based upon the opinion of a Job Coach. Remember opinion isn’t always fact.

Whilst we are still in the midst of a pandemic the government and the DWP have now returned to normal. Don’t expect them to care because they obviously don’t.

Keep a good written and digital record (if you can) of everything that you’ve done to fulfill your claimant commitment.

If you’ve been ill or suchlike also try to keep a record of whatever you can to prove that you’ve been ill.

It’s important that you do all this because sanctioning you will be a whole lot harder if you keep a good record of everything.

Photo by Breakingpic on

If you are in the Greater Manchester area please have a look and even join in with Greater Manchester DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts) activities. You can find them here at https:\\

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How am I? I’m ok apart from catching a sickness bug yesterday hence my blog being late. My apologies.

A huge thank you to everyone that has supported my campaign and blog. I really couldn’t have done it without you.

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10 thoughts on “Sanctions return for new style ESA and JSA and Universal Credit”

  1. Did you know that about a year ago the DWP tried to recruit more job coaches, and they ended up interviewing and offering jobs to quite a few who did not pass the initial civil service aptitude test? I’ve applied for the odd civil service job myself, if you don’t pass the online test you don’t get any further; normally. Something went wrong with their recruitment process, and because of that they’ve employed people who are not competent for the job. My last job coach might have been one such. She kept repeating “Any job is better than no job” every five minutes during our first interview ( Eh?) She told me to look for jobs in the Metro. It very seldom has any job vacancies advertised in it.. I told her that, brought a week’s worth of Metros to my next interview to prove it and said I was going to look in the local paper for Oldham or the MEN, as they both regularly advertise vacancies. She said I had to look in the Metro, refused to check the classified ad pages to see that there had only been two job adverts in it all week, and declared that it was “her” interview, she controlled it and she would tell me what to do.. I said something along the lines of “You’re wrong, this is a two-way process” (well, that’s the theory, according to the DWP guidance). She said she would put on my record that I had not attended the interview and walked off. I was stunned at the stupidity. I would have appeared on a few of the CCTV cameras as I walked through the job centre, all I had to do to prove I was there was to apply for copies of the video footage I appeared on. (This counts as a personal record just as much as any documents the DWP holds about you, so you can ask for copies under the Data Protection Act ). Naturally I complained about her and got her changed for another job coach. But if she was trying to bully me, she had to be doing it to other people. Bullies never have just one target.


    1. Hiya Carol that’s disgusting. Seems like she’s definitely a bully of the awful kind. She picked on the wrong one when she picked on you.
      I honestly don’t know how these ‘people’ sleep at night.
      They sell their souls to the DWP and ensure the suffering of thousands.


  2. Not only have Sanctions returned but they want to make them tougher!
    The DWP Watchdog wants to make Sanctions tougher to punish claimants more (and create more poverty, or haven’t they thought of that?)
    Exclusive: Benefits watchdog wants tougher punishment for jobless and disabled claimants after DWP bungles new sanctions system


  3. Finally, for anyone who’s interested, here is the independent made documentary that refutes the heavily biased BBC Panorama programme that wrongly alleged that the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership was institutionally antisemitic:


  4. It’s so pathetic that the government wants to treat people like 4 yr olds in this day & age. Sanctions are punitive, devastating, and totally unnecessary, effectively exploiting peoples’ reliance on such a pittance of money as their only means of income as a lever with which to alter and control behaviour. Nudge theory at its worst.


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