Tag: council tax fines

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.

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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:\\manchesterdpac.com

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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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It’s expensive being poor

You might have heard this statement being made rather more these last few years. The combination of the cruel DWP system, zero hour contract work, low hourly pay and the pandemic have all ensured that being poor is now more expensive now than it has been in recent times.

Of course it has always been the case but the amount of hatred beaten upon anyone that’s poor and disabled is now worse than I ever remember it.

I’ve mentioned this many times throughout my blog posts over the years that I’ve been blogging and writing but at this moment in time I’ve never known such a hostile environment for anyone that’s poor and disabled.

Cruelty towards the poor has always existed and laws have been created to ‘deal’ with poor people go right back to medieval times and perhaps earlier. This does not excuse the modern day cruelty metered upon the poorest and most vulnerable at the very time when they need help.

The DWP (Department Of Work And Pensions) and the government are our modern day overlords that are hell bent on causing pain and suffering to those that are in need of their help.

To understand this we need to look at the DWP’s cruel system guised as Universal Credit, titled as such to give the illusion of help and support. Instead of monetary credit and help claimants are met with cruelty and a total lack of care given by the `DWP, the organisation that is supposed to be helping them.

When universal Credit was created the publicity surrounding it said that it was created to help those most in need and that claimants would be much better off financially if they applied for it, The truth is that it most people that have and do receive Universal Credit are much worse off financially than they were previously.

The cruelty doesn’t end there though. The government systematically put in place various punishments that ensure that claimants don’t receive enough money to live off. Sanctions given reducing a persons payments for so called ‘failing’ to comply, when quite often a person has complied but the cruel DWP system is never satisfied with anything that a claimant does.

Sanctions as well as monies garnished from Universal Credit payments for debts such a Council Tax and fines are the cause for many to have to use food banks in order to survive. It’s very difficult if near impossible to get the DWP to reduce a sanction and for courts and local authorities to reduce the monies paid back per week. This is a circle of poverty that’s never-ending. It’s torturous and cruel. Not one thought is given by local authorities and the DWP about how they’ll survive. They also don’t care as long as they get their money.

Being poor is expensive because although our incomes are much reduced we are still expected to pay the same bills that those better off financially pay. It’s extremely unfair but I can’t see this changing for the better in the future, I do expect it to worsen leaving more people living in extreme poverty.

Just recently it was announced that gas prices are increasing to such a high degree that we won’t be able to heat our homes no matter how small they can be. Eating is also a luxury these days for thousands. With retail prices increasing having a good substantial meal each day is more or less impossible. I often reminisce about the good old days then I was able to do so, it feels like a lifetime ago.

On top of this rents are increasing for thousands and thousands are being made homeless on a daily basis and organisations that help homeless people are overwhelmed and can’t keep up with the demand for their services.

Can you imagine how devastating it is to loose your home only to find yourself having to live on the streets relying upon begging and organisations feeding homeless people in city centres?

It’s very easy for those better off to say go to a food bank for help when many do limit their food parcels to three. When you’ve had your allotted amount you’re on your own again to try and work out how to survive. There are food banks that do help people long term and a huge thank you to them for doing so. They need support more than they’ve ever needed it before. This isn’t the answer to the problem though, its a sticking plaster on an open wound that shows no sign of healing.

Many forget how humiliating it is to be forced to ask for help, it makes people believe that they’ve failed everyone, both themselves and their families. To do this is to admit that they have nothing and feelings worthless is something that no one should be forced to feel.

Writing from experience of being poor and living in poverty £10 may as well be a million pounds. Having a decent set amount of money to spend on food, energy bills and personal care is a dream that many including myself have.

Maybe one day it’ll be achievable but realistically the government aren’t going to change into a caring machine any time soon if ever. With the opposition government not opposing enough except for the usual few whom I’m thankful for it leaves the government to do exactly what they want whenever they want.

Remember this… If someone tells you that they haven’t got a penny to their name they probably haven’t. They probably haven’t had cash to hold for a long time. It’s not a sentence that’s thrown around flippantly its the truth, its reality for thousands of people every single day of every single week of the year.

Can you imagine living like this? It’s a living hell.

I’ve not met a single person in all of the years that I’ve been helping and blogging that doesn’t want to better their situation. The government makes this near impossible. The government is responsible for our suffering and don’t ever forget this.

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Please join my colleagues and friends over at https:\\manchesterdpac.com if you live in the Greater Manchester area. They do amazing work and they provide much needed support.

I write this blog after a very stressful week for myself. I don’t publish everything that I go through on a personal level online because some things should remain private. I’m still mourning the loss of my son especially as halloween is approaching which he loved to celebrate especially with my grandchildren.

I want to make this world a better place for everyone but sometimes it’s impossible to do more than I’m doing.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Every share makes a massive difference to raising awareness of the governments wrong doings to the most vulnerable,.

If anyone would like to donate as long as it doesn’t put yourself in need theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Every penny helps both myself and my blog continue. I don’t receive any payment for any of the work that I do and every penny makes a massive difference.