Consultation on Sanctions

This consultation is for people sanctioned on JSA but I have just sent a response as to why people on ESA are being sanctioned and not forming part of the consultation too. I think it's worth registering your disgust and why there's no consultation for ESA claimants who are sanctioned.

Here is the link plus email address:

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21 Replies

  • Probably because ESA claimants can't be sanctioned in the same way as JSA claimants. They can only stop the ESA component rate to force people to attend WRAG, then they repay the arrears once you attend, OTOH JSA claimants lose everything and must appeal to get benefit restored.

  • But people on ESA shouldn't be mandated at all! They have passed the WCA test ergo it is wrong.

  • I agree but that is a much wider issue, some disabled people may be able to and want to do PT work, who are we to say they can't.

  • I don't think anybody is saying people shouldn't work, are they? People with disabilities have always been able to via Permitted Work, formerly Therapeutic Work. In fact, my definition of work goes much wider and everything that is using one's time constructively to include voluntary work, the arts, caring, bringing up children, studying etc. That is the wider issue. And, of course, doing part time work. The objection is the use of bullying and sanctioning. The stick doesn't encourage me, it incapacitates me even more through fear.

  • I think your time would be better spent objecting to the use of a private companies like Atos rather than objecting to sanctions which will not address the real issues we face, ie the sham medical assessment which is the cause of all our problems.

  • With respect, I object to the whole rotten system and have been doing so for the last three years or more. Atos are only the stooges that the DWP employ at great cost. It's the DWP who make the rules. You have to tackle it from all angles, not just one aspect.

  • It is the gov that created this system, the DWP are following orders.

    The system isn't that bad actually, its the people running it that is causing the problems by not obeying the rules. We would not mind so much if the system was fair.

  • The DWP are a government department. The system sucks. I followed the welfare reform bill all the way through. Of course, it's not just happening in the DWP. The NHS, education system, and all public services are under attack.

  • The point is the DWP did not employ Atos.

  • Of course they did under the last government. I really don't know why you're defending the DWP. In the time you've spent arguing with me you could have been taking part in the consultation as I posted above. The fact that ESA-WRAG claimants can be sanctioned of all their money apart from £28 premium for being in that group is a scandal and yet nobody seems to be aware of this. This is the work of the DWP. They brought it in last December

  • I am not arguing with you or defending the DWP. You seem to have a couple of things back to front, thats all I am going to say on the subject.

  • No, it's you who've got things back to front and your constant niggling is getting very tedious. Let that be an end to it.

  • Anyone in receipt of a benefit can be sanctioned. Sanctions exist as a way of cotrolling whether people continue to satisfy the criteria for a specific benefit. However, I believe it would be fundamentally wrong to lump more than one benefit into an independent review. Due to the complexities involved, I'm sure more people would question as to what the gain would be to review sanctions so generically. It looks like the government are having a review and over haul of all benefits and the benefits agency. ESA claimants are likely in the minority as most tend to have very little contact with DWP staff. Small steps. I would be more interested in seeing an independent review of ATOS. I have never seen anyone or heard anyone who has sung their praises as they got it right. I have also never heard ATOS being questioned over the issue that they are effectively stating that GPs up and down the country are wrongly stating their patients ability to work or not to work. GPs should be livid that this private company are stating that they have an inability to decide whether their own patients are fit or not fit to work. By carrying out these medicals, and overturning benefit decisions, ATOS are stating GPs are not fulfilling their jobs and are incorrectly stating a patients fitness for work. This surely is ethically wrong?

  • Here, here.!!!!!! You are so right. Have the people at ATOS done the years of training like our GP's have. Have they got the degress our GP's have etc, etc, etc..... The only thing they have that is the same as our GP's is probably their wage packet. lol Keep smiling fellow sufferers, laughter is a good medicine :D x

  • I'm not suggesting they lump them altogether in one review. But as they have no such review for ESA sanctions it seems strangely perverse so I have mentioned it. I don't hear anything about the government having any overhaul of the benefits apart from the Welfare Reform Bill. I think, in fact, that this consultation re JSA sanctions has only come about because Labour insisted in return for not reimbursing claimants who'd been wrongly sanctioned after the Cait Reilly affair. As for Atos there is tons of criticisms of them but we let us not forget, it's the DWP who made the policies, Atos are just the overpaid stooges who the government pay to fail. If you've read the ESA manual compiled by Atos you will know just how much they hold GPs in disdain. 'They' Atos claim to be able to assess 'functional' disability whereas GPs don't have the training (only six or seven years versus 6 or 7 weeks of Atos). Go figure.

    As for ESA claimants having little contact with DWP staff that is only those in the Support Group. Those in ESA WRG are bullied and harried as much as people on JSA. See Jenko's reply below, which is sadly not an isolated example, it's on the increase since the DWP have bought out new laws to sanction the whole of a person's ESA WRAG claim apart from their £28 excess.

  • I myself have recently had an imopsed sanction on my esa benefit even though I called to cancel my appointment with plenty of notice as I had hospital appointment the same day and time.on returning home id been left a message from pathway to work advisor asking why I did not attend my appointment so I called them to explain id already cancelled three weeks before hand due to hospital appointment so she said as long as I have proof of letter from hos il be ok.very next they sent me letter sayin because I had not imformed them to cancel they have imopsed the sanction.i got my cpn to email them to make a complaint on my behalf as I was so stressed and angry they made my mental and physical health stil waiting for apology from them.seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

  • Sadly Jenko, this is happening all too often. It makes me really angry. Best wishes.

  • Thanks they realy think wed jeopardise our little amount of esa we get for the sake of it.camt wait for my next appointment with the advisor il tell her how iv had to get voucher to go food bank and how im struggling to keep warm and get community social care involved in my life for help.the system so unfair on us love to be able to hold down job for a better life but theres no way I can right wishes to you kirby for the future.

  • Thanks Jenko. Best wishes to you too. It's all so wrong. I try and do my little bit of campaigning but this government are the worst. Good luck with your community care and don't forget the warm home discount scheme which some of the service providers offer. I'm with n-power as they did award £130 against our bill. It's not a lot but at least it's something. x

  • Hi kirby thanks for advice and info.i sign the petitions against what the government do to us genuine people that realy need help to draining for the soul but alls we can do is fight back until they glad iv got community care to help me now they also called npwer for me for the discount but I wont receive til next march they say.they also trying to get me dla but the thought of another dreadful medical and another appeal to go through again onwards and upwards god give us strength. Take care kirby.x

  • Hi Jenko, glad to hear you've got community care. Yes, that's what happened with us. Warm Home Discount added after March and they were a bit slow about it too but at least we were eligible not like E-on who didn't recognise DLA. I hope you do get awarded DLA though I know exactly what you mean about all the hassle. I'm sure I should be on Care component too but I'm on low rate mobility and I got that for anxiety and agoraphobia. A friend who knows about welfare rights says I should try and get more but I can't be doing with the hassle or them taking it away so I stick with what I've got. You take care too. x

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