QUOTE OF THE DAY:

WHAT IF MY BENEFIT IS STOPPED OR REFUSED? 

  • Discuss the decision with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP);
  • If you’re still unhappy, you can contact DWP again and formally ask them to look at their decision again. This is called ‘mandatory reconsideration’ - you have to do this before you can appeal a decision;
  • You can phone or write to DWP and ask for a mandatory reconsideration - the details are on your decision letter;
  • You have to ask for a mandatory reconsideration within 1 month of the date of your decision letter;
  • You must give reasons why you’re asking for a reconsideration. Always have further medical (GP or specialist letters) evidence to support your dispute or usually the decision will not be overturned;
  • You’ll receive a ‘mandatory reconsideration notice’ as a response.

If you are not happy with the mandatory reconsideration you will have to appeal the decision;

  • ​This needs to be in writing using aSSCS1 form, this can be downloaded and printed or completed on line;
  • How to appeal a DWP decision can be found here.
  • Hand written letters are also accepted but you need to ensure the word "appeal" is included in your letter.

Please note FISCUS can support you in the initial mandatory reconsideration but is unable to support any appeal and we will refer you to your local Welfare Rights Service for further support.  We always recommend that you attend any appeal.

SANCTIONS

  • JSA/UC - you need to ensure that you stick to your Job Seekers Agreement/Claimant Commitment:
    • ​Ensure available for work and agree to do the things in your Claimant Commitment;
    • go to meetings on time with your work coach and take part in interviews;
    • apply for suitable jobs your work coach tells you about;
    • do everything your work coach tells you to do to find work, such as attending a training course or updating your CV
      take part in employment schemes when your work coach tells you to – you’ll need to:

      • meet your employment scheme provider on time and do the things they tell you to do to find work
        still meet your work coach and do what they tell you to do

      • do all you can to find work.

​How long your benefit payment will be stopped for:

  • First lower or intermediate level sanction in each 52 week period = 4 weeks
  • Each sanction at the same level in the next 2 weeks=4 weeks
  • Any further sanction at the same level within 52 weeks = 13 weeks (about 3 months)
  • First higher level sanction in each 52 week period = 13 weeks (about 3 months
  • Each higher level sanction in the next 2 weeks = 13 weeks (about 3 months)
  • Another higher level sanction in the next 52 weeks = 26 weeks (about 6 months)
  • Each higher level sanction in the next 2 weeks = 26 weeks (about 6 months)
  • Another higher level sanction within 52 weeks = 156 weeks (3 years)

​IF YOU ARE SANCTIONED YOU CAN APPLY FOR HARDSHIP PAYMENTS

  • A hardship payment is a reduced amount (usually 60%) of your JSA.
  • Eligibility​
    • You can get a hardship payment if you can’t pay for rent, heating, food or other basic needs for you or your child;
    • You must be 18 or over;
    • You’ll have to show that you’ve tried to find the money from somewhere else, eg borrowing from a friend or working extra hours.
  • How to claim
    • Speak to your Jobcentre Plus adviser or work coach to find out how to claim a hardship payment;
    • Jobcentre Plus: Telephone: 0345 608 8545