Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

How to Appeal Sanctions.

with 86 comments

LEAFLET how to appeal sanctions

Have your benefits been sanctioned (stopped)?

Do you want to get your money back?

Many sanction decisions are illegal because they are unreasonable, malicious, or because they are not in accordance with the benefits regulations. They could also be illegal if you were sanctioned because your jobseekers agreement or claimant commitment was set up to ask you to do things you were bound to fail at.

If you appeal, you could get your money back. Okay, it’s not an instant solution. It takes a bit of time. But look at it this way: if you don’t appeal, and do nothing, you’ll get nothing. If you appeal – and it doesn’t take up much time – you might not only get your money back. You’ll also be sending the DWP a message that they can’t mess with you. They don’t like having to spend time and money defending appeals. You’re less likely to get sanctioned unfairly again. And the more people who appeal, the less likely anybody is to get unjustly sanctioned.

Here’s how you do it:

If you had your benefits sanctioned before 28th October 2013, you can appeal straight to the office that stopped your benefits. Skip to the section on ‘appeals’, below.

If you have your benefits sanctioned after 28th October 2013, you first write, or phone, the office that made the decision, and say you want a reconsideration. There is a new rule that you have to do this before you can appeal. If you write, you need to give your name, national insurance number, address, the date the decision was made, and which benefit you were claiming.

If you can get enough information to prove the sanction was not in accord with the benefit rules (such as the Jobseekers regulations or other benefit regulations), you might be able to get the decision changed at the reconsideration stage. If your claimant commitment or Jobseekers agreement has been fixed by your job centre adviser to be something you couldn’t do, or so difficult to sustain that you were bound to trip over some requirement in it at some point, you could get the decision changed because it is obviously unreasonable. For example, if your job centre adviser told you to apply for jobs or put a CV online when they know you can’t use the internet, or you have difficulty reading and writing, or if they told you to agree to work hours, or sign on, when you have to take your children to school, this is unreasonable. These are just examples. There are other reasons why a decision might be unreasonable or illegal.


If you don’t get the decision changed and get your money back at the reconsideration stage, you can appeal direct to the Tribunals Service. You have to appeal by letter or by using an appeal form. You can use the model letter on the back of this sheet. For the north west region, send your appeal to:

The Tribunal Service, 36 Dale Street, Liverpool L2 5UZ.

For other regions, there are Tribunal Service offices in Sutton, Newcaastle, Leeds, Glasgow, Epsom, Cardiff and Birmingham.

The DWP should send you two reconsideration notices. You have to send one of them to the Tribunals Service with your appeal.

You can add further information to support your appeal after you get the appeal papers from the DWP, and up to two weeks before your appeal hearing. You need to post new information at least two weeks before the hearing date, or the judge might not get it in time to read it.

Model reconsideration letter

Your name

DWP office address………………. Your address…………………………..

………………………………………. ………………………………………….

………………………………………. ………………………………………….

………………………………………. ………………………………………….

Your national insurance number

I am applying for a reconsideration of your decision, made on [put the date of the decision] to sanction my Jobseekers Allowance [if you were claiming a different benefit, put the name of that benefit instead]. My reasons for applying are {state your reasons].

Model appeal letter

Set this out in the same way, but instead of applying for a reconsideration, say:

I wish to appeal against your decision, made on [put the date of the decision] not to reconsider the sanction you have placed on my Jobseekers Allowance payments. My reasons for appealing are [state your reasons].

For an appeal to be valid, it has to state the date of the decision you are disputing, the name of the benefit, and your reasons for appealing. The reasons do not need to be long, two or three sentences is enough to begin with.

If you want help with an appeal or reconsideration

Ask the person or place where you got this leaflet.

If your local law centre or citizens advice bureau still employs specialist welfare rights advisers, you might get help from them. (Not all of them still have funding for welfare rights specialists)

Otherwise send a text message to this number: 07743972236

Thanks to the Haringey friends!


Written by Andrew Coates

January 15, 2014 at 11:35 am

86 Responses

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  1. “Terminally ill people face being forced to work to keep their benefits under draconian new Government plans, it was revealed yesterday.

    Cancer patients who have more than six months to live could have to do work experience or see their payments slashed under the scheme by Work and Pensions Minister Iain Duncan Smith.

    And unlike fit and healthy job seekers, there will be no limit on how long those claiming Employment and Support Allowance are expected to work for free.

    The Department for Work and Pensions initially said rumours of the plan, which could affect 300,000 disabled people, were “absolute nonsense”.

    A spokeswoman said: “No-one on ESA will be forced to do work experience.”

    But she later admitted private firms paid by the Government to push people back into work will be able to compel disabled people to take placements or lose money.

    Mr Duncan Smith’s plan has dismayed experts and fuelled fury over the Government’s “workfare” scheme that forces the jobless to work for their benefits.

    Mental health and disability groups warn making the vulnerable work risks making their conditions worse.

    Neil Coyle, of pressure group Disability Rights UK, said: “The idea that disabled people should work but receive no financial recognition for contributing is perhaps a level of abuse in and of itself.”

    He added: “When Conservative backbench MP Philip Davies suggested disabled people should work for less than the national minimum wage he was castigated. But it now appears to be Government policy.”

    Department for Work and Pensions officials held discussions on subjecting people on ESA to “work-related activity” with disabled groups late last year.

    The groups were told: “There are no plans to introduce a maximum time limit.”

    The advisers also defended the idea of docking cash from those who refuse to take up work placements.

    They said: “Ministers strongly feel there is a link-up to support moving close to the labour market, and the individual’s responsibility to engage with the support. Ministers feel sanctions are an incentive for people to comply with their responsibilities.”

    Vicki Nash, of mental health charity Mind, said that work placements could be a “useful bridge” in helping people to get off benefits and into work.

    But she added: “We are very worried about people being pressured into taking unpaid positions before they are ready.”

    French firm Atos currently interviews the sick and disabled to decide if they must join a “work-related activity group” in order to keep getting paid.

    They have to have meetings with advisers and take courses to ready them for work.

    More than 8,000 claimants had their payments docked or were hit with other sanctions in the 12 months to August for offences such as missing interviews “without good cause”.

    Currently, ESA payments, of which the top rate is £95 a week, can only be docked to the £67.50 a week level of Jobseekers’ Allowance.

    The DWP spokeswoman last night claimed it was “ludicrous to suggest” that the sick and disabled will be “forced into unpaid and unlimited work experience”.

    But she added: “The DWP cannot mandate any ESA claimants to do unpaid work but we can require ESA claimants to take part in work-related activity as long as it is reasonable to ask them to do so.”

    Andrew Coates

    January 15, 2014 at 12:14 pm



    January 15, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    • Do you have a link to the FOI, please Peter.
      I had a quick look aon WDTK but i did not see anything there.


      January 15, 2014 at 12:59 pm



    January 15, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    • Im sorry peter but posting the actual retrospective law doesn’t really address Eds kindly put request. I appreciate that one can take steps to track 5751 but this is rather a protracted process that takes some considerable time so it only stands to reason that you could get your point more quickly across with creditability if you yourself obtained this request from your brother and posted it online in a manner often practiced by those claiming to have done such.

      If you are unfamiliar with how this is done I am always about and am totally willing as im sure others are, to help you achieve that aim.


      January 15, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      • my brother made foi request by email to freedom-of-information-request@dwp.gsi.gov.uk and was sent a reply to his request by email which contained a pdf file with the dwps reply(sorry dont know how to post pdf fles here ) .my brothers foi request asked Dwp “you failed to give an anwser concerning the CAIT RIELLY win in high court stating you failed to issue proper paperwork when sending us unemployed out to do free labour/please reason behind that and if you intend paying compensation in light courts ruling you was breaking the law ?

        Gaia i hope this is now creditable enough for you .and i will not be posting my brothers email on here and for the record my brother sends the dwp at least 10 foi reqests everyday and thier usual reply after a few weeks is it is not in the public interest to give you the information you have requested-bolloxs that hey???my brother made the above foi request on 5/12/13 and got the foi 5751 reply on 14/01/2014 FROM labour market interventions stategy division .


        January 15, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      • First and foremost, no ones saying your lying peter and as for creditability its not a me but a we be they regular or one off guests. Im sure you can appreciate anyone can say anything online and with that said im implying this site like so many would rather display fact as opposed to fiction which can only really be achieved by full co operation of the originating poster.

        As I said earlier FOIs aren’t instant but putting things online that have already been obtained are if you know how.

        For instance you could open up a live.co.uk email account and upload your PDF to their skycloud, then on this site post an invite to one of your other email accounts. Next right click the link you sent yourself and select COPY SHORTCUT. From then on simply post that URL LINK on a new post here by right clicking again but this time selecting PASTE. This process takes minutes, not hours trust me.

        Im not looking to stifle you peter, actually quite the opposite as what you bring to the table is a very important document believe it or not so any contribution you make is very much appreciated and I for one although I suspect im not alone do thank you greatly. Im not going to twist your arm, hell, I cant twist anyones virtual arm considering where we are, im just trying to help in anyway I can to bring to light your brothers findings.

        I would imagine if your brother posts that many FOIs that hes quite the freedom fighter so I wish to commend him to for his positive contributions. Im amazed his not already aware considering the prowess, of this site


        which will heighten his efforts still further as credits dew where credits dew, right.


        January 15, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      • Bollocks to appealing sanctions, eh gaia? Just smash the jc adviser over the head with an iron bar… then you will be sent to prison… at least then you will be fed, watered and have a roof over your head without fear of sanction 🙂 It’s a no-brainer. eh gaia? 🙂


        January 15, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      • And, first and foremost, no ones saying your lying gaia 😉 lol


        January 15, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      • … or should that be you’re lying, gaia? lol


        January 15, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      • Oh looky looky, another troll, hello Mr troll, noticed everyone’s switched blogs now have you, that your earlier comments went proportionally un-noticed, oh don’t be dis-heartened as I would have got their eventually.

        So what do you have for me today

        “lol gaia, lest we forget that you have already been exposed as a DWP plant or was it retired civil servant”.

        Actually, nope, but hey if you can point to proof/evidence, im sure we will all take a look at it for you?

        ” No amount of blame-shifting, semantic gymnastics or whatever will get you away from the fact that you were, either deliberately or knowingly encouraging readers of this blog (and I am sure you had young impressionable minds in mind) to choose a path that would lead them being sent to prison”

        Encouraging eh, im afraid the only encouraging was in an individual or collective standing up for their rights, demonstrating common sense and cunning. Im sure you could call the police if you like as what you suggest does constitute a criminal offence so IF your right im sure they will be in touch, which they wont as you have no idea what your talking about as usual I suspect.

        *Why aren’t you encouraging other to have fuck all to do with the police/courts/prison system in any way

        Have I got this right, are you trying to encourage me to behave in a manner you have already suggested I had ?

        Bollocks to appealing sanctions, eh gaia? Just smash the jc adviser over the head with an iron bar… then you will be sent to prison… at least then you will be fed, watered and have a roof over your head without fear of sanction 🙂 It’s a no-brainer. eh gaia? 🙂

        Wit I can see isn’t really your forte and what I said in that blog is very much correct actually as prisoners dont, do they. This effort by yourself to try and use prison life to confuse the audience to some inescapable FACTS will really do your cause NO JUSTICE.

        I will still be here long after you have, well quite frankly given up as so, so many have in the past, yep that’s right my friend, you are very far from being the first and yet again make the very same common mistakes trolls make that gives them away.

        Im quite flattered you find me so, I suppose best described as influential as you haven’t missed the usual mark where a troll first tries to smear but as so is often the case comes with absolutely no evidence whats so ever, oh what a surprize.

        I will finish now as im done chewing my food so I will leave you with this thought as I wont be bothering to reply as message done.


        Goodnight, god bless, and Elvis has left the building.


        January 15, 2014 at 7:42 pm

  4. Regrettably, it will be too late for this ESA sanctions victim to appeal:

    “Ingeus had texted him on January 7 to tell Paul he had an appointment on January 8 at 2.55pm,” said David.

    “It came four hours before he died. They haunted him to the last.”

    Report here:


    It is just as well there are not too many spare Kalashnikovs lying around!


    January 15, 2014 at 2:13 pm

  5. The plight of the young and unemployed is truly scary – and this government seems to have no answers: A blistering report on the now governments lack lust assistance on youth reform.



    January 15, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    • “START PAYING YOUR TAXES OR HANG YOURSELF”: Jobcentre official suspended for Facebook rant targeting unemployed father-of-three



      January 15, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      • gaia: I read that article as well. JCP employees should remember that if it wasn’t for us, they’d be on the dole.

        jj joop

        January 15, 2014 at 4:19 pm

      • One good thing may come from this, I can almost guarantee that the DWP will have sent a memo around all Jobcentres instructing advisers not to say anything to a claimant that could be taken the wrong way.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        January 15, 2014 at 4:44 pm

      • Oh dear, if DWP are investigating it, we all know that’s just going to get swept under the carpet.

        I urge that the correct authority should deal with it, namely the police on account of the accusation of hacking which is a CRIMINAL OFFENCE. So why aren’t the police conducting this investigation, when someone is doing something in their free time does it then become a matter for DWP to get involved when all they should be doing is suspending said employee which they have done then await the outcome of a police investigations conclusions ?

        Its amazing how every time an individual gets caught saying something that perhaps they shouldn’t or wouldn’t retrospectively that they always claim they have been hacked.

        Don’t take this the wrong way but this facebook account is this womans own account, theirs no joining with DWP, nor was she petitioned by DWP to open it.
        Everybody, I repeat everybody in their own time have a right that needs NO LAW to the freedom of expression, the freedom of action. This DWP employee wasn’t dragging up this persons personal details that they hadn’t already surrendered.

        She said what she felt irrespective of anyone’s views or political correctness and as such makes her comment an OPINION, NOT A FACT UNLESS SHE STATED AS SUCH.

        When we talk law I can only find grounds for possible liable which is civil and if its proved she lied and infact wasn’t hacked then theirs fraud and deception which is criminal.

        Now im not sure how DWP are going to handle it as lets face it, their I.T record is far from the greatest and some might say positively technophobic but as a person myself whos grown up with PCs and the internet from the ZX spectrum and 56k internet to what you now have I can say with all certainty it isn’t that hard at all to deduce. For a start I would obtain the server records from facebook and study entries and exits to this said account. From this I can ascertain whether or not it was a blind attack or a targeted one (ie, how quick access was gained). From this if it was a single entry and for the moment we assume her claim of hacked is genuine I would start looking at her other accounts like email accounts and messaging services that are commonly hacked to gain personal details like contacts, account passwords on emails not destroyed and so forth. I would again request server records and carry out the same procedure as before.

        This process will highlight the type of element we are dealing with and what their attempts or successes were for which for the record is seldom ever, ever to take on the identity of a nobody so as to enrage another and on blind luck if her version of the story is to be believed.

        The other possible angle is she owns in all likely hood a smart mobile phone, Now the main reason excluding work I do not own such a device is because their just so hackable its embarrassing, seriously it takes next to no effort to trigger someones access and that’s if which is liable to be the case that it isn’t already on and she forgot.

        No matter what though we must remember that theirs zero chance of this being industrial, meaning theirs a unique footprint which inturn leaves a unique trail that can be tracked if people are serious in their attempt. A prime example for instance and this is industrial is Stuxnet. Now for those that don’t know industrial espionage/sabotage uses the most elite I.T experts one is ever likely to meet, their footprint is so small, its easily and often overlooked, meaning extremely hard to track. Now despite the overwhelming odds it was tracked and tracked back to the states proving no hack no matter how good goes untraced even if you cant go directly to its originating source which in all likely hood is mobile or instantly disbanded after the event in the case of stuxnet.

        So with bated breath im looking extremely forward to DWPs findings or lack of them.


        January 15, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      • Wasn’t Michael Green/Grant Shapps/Chuck Champion’s youtube account hacked too or so we were led to believe when Mr Green/Shapps/Champion was caught impersonating a libdem and forgot to log off to change identiies? lol 🙂

        Chuck Champion

        January 15, 2014 at 5:33 pm

      • It seems the UK isn’t the only place to sneer at the unemployed


        Isn’t it odd you think that what happens here echo’s across the pond and vice versa ?


        January 15, 2014 at 6:50 pm

  6. I wonder who much longer – and how much lower – this can go on? People are already dying horribly, but still it goes on…

    I doubt if they care.

    But there is this evidence, (2nd January 2014)

    “One in 10 young British ‘have nothing to live for’
    YouGov poll also reveals two in five suffered suicidal thoughts, self-loathing or panic attacks as result of unemployment”

    “Hundreds of thousands of young people feel they have nothing to live for, with the long-term unemployed being particularly pessimistic about their prospects, a youth charity has warned.

    The warning is based on the findings of a YouGov poll for the Prince’s Trust Macquarie Youth Index, which also reports that 40% of jobless young people have experienced symptoms of mental illness, such as suicidal thoughts, or feelings of self-loathing and panic attacks, due to their unemployment.

    Of those polled, 9% said they did not “have anything to live for”. This statistic, if applied to the population as a whole, equates to 750,000 people aged between 16 and 25, the Prince’s Trust said.

    The situation was found to be worse among the long-term unemployed (those unemployed for six months or more), with 21% agreeing.”


    Andrew Coates

    January 15, 2014 at 4:33 pm

  7. This Jobcentre employee should lose her job. I despair of the Human race when such wickedness is see by some as deserved. It is frightening that people processing the unemployed and vulnerable feel it’s okay to make such comment’s!


    January 15, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    • Perhaps put on MWA?

      Andrew Coates

      January 15, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      • I wouldn’t worry, the damage has been done now as her picture is in the newspaper report, she will be living in fear of retribution now.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        January 15, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    • I wouldn’t say things like that Obi Wan otherwise your liable to give credence to government employees getting a law drafted giving them anonymity in such cases.


      January 15, 2014 at 6:08 pm

      • Gaia:

        Blame the Daily Fail for printing her photo.

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        January 15, 2014 at 6:34 pm

      • yeh, but I bet we are both glad they sure did ?


        January 15, 2014 at 7:49 pm

  8. just tried the last link i posted and works fine for me


    January 15, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    • doesn’t work for me either.


      January 15, 2014 at 8:53 pm

  9. peter

    January 15, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    • Nice one, top one peter to both yourself and your brother.

      I gather this wasn’t the first of the requests on the subject judging by your brothers question.
      Out of interest, in both yours and your brothers opinion, do you consider this reply answers your question or avoids it as to me it appears all they have done is point to a law while failing to explain how said law directly makes this so.It appears DWP duck n cover reply.

      I wasn’t affected personally myself but do feel its a travesty that all those that did get sanctioned got no redress. Their going to do this again with housing now a certain cats out of the bag, whether it affects a claimants right to rebate I cant say yet but its rather sad I feel when the loser (DWP) has the power to just re-write law every time they have been found to be wrong.

      I must admit I find it interesting how a new law trumps an old one in this case of rebate entitlement as the very fact that the old exists or existed i should say proves guilt as the fault lies with that irrespective of the new one. I believe caits solicitors are looking into this turn of events.

      Out of interest can anyone say whether or not the sanctions in relation to this issue were removed at any point after the judges ruling or do they also still remain in place?


      January 16, 2014 at 7:42 am

  10. Get this, C4 has Benefits Street live debate commissioned



    January 16, 2014 at 7:44 am

  11. This Ex post facto law stuff is very interesting as its viewed in the UK as perfectly acceptable.

    Is a sanction considered legally defined as punitive even though welfare acts are civil ?

    I have to wonder if the housing benefit 1996 rule will be retrospectively changed and what else has been since this government have been in power. If a pattern can be formed it might be a good case for petitioning a change in law to prohibit them in the UK. How that would turn out however is anyone’s guess as it really depends on the individuals choice of

    Do you feel that an individual should be punished for something that at the time was legal ?


    January 16, 2014 at 8:41 am

    • Sorry everyone, please disregard the use of the word civil until I can substantiate its use.


      January 16, 2014 at 8:59 am

    • Fuck petitioning, gaia, just hit the JCP c!”£ who sanctioned you over the head with an iron bar… what have you got to lose? The judge is only going to send you to prison 🙂 whoopee 🙂 at least you will be and I quote gaia “fed, watered and sheltered with a roof over your head without fear of sanction”.

      Followed gaia' s advice - now stuck in freezing cold cell :-(

      January 16, 2014 at 9:02 am

      • What advice was that then, were waiting as clearly documented todate on this site, you sir are the only one that has mentioned any direct physical contact with another.

        I Quoted (dated January 13, 2014 at 1:21 pm | #9) article header post Poverty Porn: Off Our Streets!).

        “That’s right, show your concerns for your respective advisors as it cannot be denied even by them that their are those who will not hesitate to use it to their advantage, how everyday claimants on mass at wits end have NOTHING TO LOSE, how going to prison actually benefits you more as your fed, watered and warmed daily without a mandate, without fear of sanction”.

        Can you for the benefit of all of us demonstrate exactly where I have incited that a claimant should commit a criminal act, does showing your concern constitute as a criminal offence these days or are you being retrospective/Ex post facto?

        And for the record as you appear a little slow on the up take, the petition above has got nothing to do with DWP or JCP, its about a change to law on governance powers in relation to the doctrine of law in line with human rights (not the act) and decency.

        Well truly this is it this time as im afraid I have better things to do than try and reason with what can only be described as in denial. This said please feel free to exercise your right to freedom of expression as im sure we all will exercise out right to freedom of action, action to IGNORE to be precise.

        liquid crystal on a screen dude, what can you do?


        January 16, 2014 at 9:44 am

  12. (The message below was posted on another page of Ipswich Unemployed Action, but I think it might reach more people on this latest page here. It’s another flaw in Universal Jobmatch).


    I am currently in receipt of Unemployment Benefit and so sign-on with the local Job centre in Bury Lancashire. I have been sending out CV to employers so some two years of being unemployed. At my last signing I was informed by the Job Advisor that the Universal Job Match computer has not

    been sending out CVs to employers due to a glitch in the programmes.

    Apparently when a person saves their CV on the Jobcentre website it makes one CV searchable by employers. This is the prime CV but all the other are not searchable.
    If the person clicks on a link to send their recorded CV it will not go out to employers unless they first make it the prime CV on the system.

    As the person stores upto five CV and only makes one the ‘prime’ searchable CV it means that any other CV you send out to employers never get there.

    For example, I have five CV for different types of Jobs. One is clerical (the prime one) others are for warehouse, Customer Admin, General and Cleaning.

    In order to get any other CV to go to employers the unemployed person has to make the CV the prime one first. So let say you wanted to send a CV for a Warehouse vacancy then you would have to click that but make sure you switch off the Admin one first.

    As people are unaware of this they have just been clicking their relevant CV and expecting it to go through. This is what they were told to do.

    Apparently this will not work as they have to nominate it was the primes one first. The Job Centre Advisor told me it was a glitch in the system that should have been discovered.
    What this means is that for some two year of unemployment all the CV, I and Millions of other have sent to employers have not been sent by Universal Job match.

    The only CV going out to the employer are the prime ones in my case for Admin vacancies.
    I think this is appalling as so many people have had their CV go into oblivion and never get to their destination.

    This should be known by people and it is again an example of Government inadequacy.

    If anyone reads this the Newspapers should know about it please sent this to your local paper, I am sending it to mine.


    January 16, 2014 at 8:43 am

    • Nice find tobanem, I don’t suppose you remember the date it got posted ?


      January 16, 2014 at 9:04 am

      • Gaia

        It was displayed on here this morning under recent posts – it has disappered from there by now!

        If you look in the “archive” for the page entitled “About Ipswich Unemployed Action” and go to “comments”, then search for Peter Thornton, you should find the post in question.

        It was dated 15 January 2014, and it was posted at 9:16.


        January 16, 2014 at 9:21 am

      • I think it was my post but i am buggered if i can find the topic! The information i have is here and i saved the data on the 23 September 2013 so it could be any post after that date with UJ/Universal Jobmatch in the title.

        We need a better search option.

        When you check your jobmatch profile and look at the work history you can see if your application has been received or viewed. If your application has been viewed, the employer has seen your cv. If however the application says received, it means your application has been rejected by the job centre and not even passed on to the employer because, and I quote ‘keywords are missing from your cv’.

        Is the info passed to employers your name and interest, only? If it is then it is up to the employer to request a CV. In todays market they have so much choice they are unlikely to follow this through unless they have a shortfall in candidates. This process would hinder my chances of getting the job.

        Often I can’t log in with my user ID and password. This has happened to me often. This causes the user to have to jump through hoops requesting a new password which is given in two halves, the first half via the website and then the second half via email. Even after going through the trouble of making sure you got your password and the two halves are written down correctly and in the right order, IT STILL WON’T ACCEPT THE NEW PASSWORD IT JUST GAVE YOU. Despite numerous times trying, and each time double checking to ensure I have typed it correctly, it still won’t accept it. All you can do is give up in frustration and try again later, which appears to take up to 24 hours before it realises.
        This process is hindering my chances of applying for the job especially if the closing date is today.

        After being blocked out of my UJM account because the account number was no longer being accepted you can contact their support via email, they then purge your email address from their system allowing you to re register using your original email address, but, it takes 3 weeks for them to purge you from their system.
        This process is hindering my chances of applying for the job.
        When you apply for a job on Universal Jobmatch and attach your CV, unless your CV is marked ‘public’ the employer receives a blank CV.
        You can hold up to 5 CV’s on Universal Jobmatch for different job types, but only 1 can be marked ‘public’ and the rest must be ‘private’. If you choose to send a ‘private’ CV, the employer will receive a blank piece of paper.

        “Dear All

        It has come to the attention of the Jobcentre that when you apply for a job on Universal Jobmatch and attach your CV, unless your CV is marked ‘public’ the employer receives a blank CV.

        You can hold up to 5 CV’s on Universal Jobmatch for different job types, but only 1 can be marked ‘public’ and the rest must be ‘private’. If you choose to send a ‘private’ CV, the employer will receive a blank piece of paper.

        What a shame we’ve only just found this out. I apologise for this. It is a huge fault on Universal Jobmatch in my opinion that I hope gets rectified soon.

        In the meantime, what I suggest you do if you are holding more than 1 CV on your account is ‘save’ the jobs that you want to apply for. Once you have all the vacancies saved that you are applying for that day, start applying for them by job type making the CV that is relevant to that position ‘public’ before you apply.

        Hope this makes sense. Any questions please ask me at our next meeting.



        The problem with this reply from a adviser is you can only have one cv marked as public per day up to midnight. so changing cvs for different applications the same day will not work


        January 16, 2014 at 10:19 am

  13. And here is another “nice find”, this time on that other universal blunder, Universal Credit:



    January 16, 2014 at 9:23 am

    • Thanks Tobanem and I liked the story you posted after.

      I don’t know if its worthy of note but those skills conditionality courses I spoke of have included in the places I contacted anyway lessons on money management, computer literacy and the likes mentioned in that article.

      Whats interesting is it has absolutely nothing to do with ones skill set or lack of it when we talk gaining employment so maybe that’s how DWP are getting around the funding issue by possibly exploiting another.


      January 16, 2014 at 10:07 am

  14. Their short courses are psychological reprogramming and little else, its about lumping all of the blame at the claiments feet, does not matter wether you are a domestic violence victim, have disabilities, mental health issues, or simply got sacked and had your position filled by unpaid workers, ultimatly they want you to say its your fault and then how you will wave a magic wand to fix it

    Regarding sanctions, your talking about people that in many (not all) cases get off on putting people into hardship, the so called “deserving poor” as they would have it
    You also have an environment where those people are actually scared of being themselves placed onto PIPs (performance plans) for not meeting targets which the public are led to believe do not exist, but do

    So irrespective of efforts to do absolutely everything asked of you, if they decide to sanction you, they will either find cause, or conjure it through fabrication

    Which is why leaflets like the one in the article are so important.. in terms of “prevention better than cure” your only way to be 99% sure of recieveing a sanction decision each time you attend is if you either secure employment or fall critically ill.. I say 99% because as we are all aware people have had action taken against them in both outcomes

    random bloke

    January 16, 2014 at 11:34 am

  15. Should had gone to specsavers, forgive my typo in the last paragraph second line (your only way to be 99% sure of >NOT< recieving)

    Keep up the good fight, in many cases we are often out of work only for a short time but the dwp and government have gained alot of enemies for life that will never forget the appaulling treatment of people experiencing hard times

    The experience is anything if not eye opening when you come to realization the media is merely puppets of the state (papers and tv alike)

    random bloke

    January 16, 2014 at 11:40 am

  16. people with stress problems are already covered under the jobseekers act and are allowed to restrict availability in any week,you wont hear anything about that at jobcentre interviews as people are trampled on right left and centre and bullied.

    people with illnesses like cancer are covered under disability law,its hard to see it happening.but given duncan smiths record.once its said “laws are made to be broken now” its the DWP’s turn.


    January 16, 2014 at 11:40 am

    • Ken, you meet people all the time with serious health problems (physical or otherwise) on Work Programme and other ‘courses’.

      They don’t just make them sign on!

      Andrew Coates

      January 16, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    • Alas Ken, people with cancer are only covered by the Support Group Award, if receiving IV chemotherapy. The rules changed a while ago to include oral chemo, but plenty of people have been denied ESA or put in the WRAG and then onto the WP (with no end date) then sanctioned for not being able to do what the WP mandates them to do, because of the debilitating effects of cancer treatment.

      I know of 2 individuals who have enduring MH issues, both have severe problems with anxiety and both have physical health problems too. This has not stopped their WRAG ESA payments being stopped for long periods when the individuals attempted to limit the list of activities they could be mandated to carry out on WRAG WP. This has happened to both more than once. Sanction doubts were raised by JC+ staff and also WP staff, the DMs upheld the doubts and all monies stopped. Neither has ever been told of the impending sanction, one has been waiting 8 months for a tribunal hearing.

      A snowflake in hell would stand a better chance of surviving this system where the staff of the DWP, JC+, ATOS and the WP pimps seem to have no real knowledge of the rules and no real compunction to learn them or abide by them.


      January 16, 2014 at 1:04 pm

  17. Always ask for a ‘written statement of reasons’ for a sanction (the ‘decision letter is not the same thing). From this you can deduce the bollocks that the ‘adviser’ has input to the system – and it is this that the ‘decision’ is based on.


    Jobcentre Mole

    January 16, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    • Jobcentre Mole, both of the individuals I referred to asked for the SOR and it took so long to receive it they were told by JC+ and the BDC that they were out of time for an appeal. It’s taken one of them 4 months to get to the point (with the help of CAB) to even lodge an appeal. Every time the GL24 was put in, it was rejected.


      January 16, 2014 at 1:07 pm

      • From GL24: “If you request a written statement of reasons for the decision within one month of the decision letter, the time limit for asking for a reconsideration will be extended. [The date by which you must ask us to reconsider the decision will be explained when we send you the written statement of reasons].

        Nevertheless Lucy, I am sure you will have gathered that it is standard jobcentre ‘technique’ to not send out ‘decision letters, mandatory reconsideration notices etc.and I am sure that you will also gathered that jobcentre staff are NOT your friends.

        Jobcentre Mole

        January 16, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      • That is ok submit the gl24 for the appeal or reconsideration and put something like this this for grounds

        ‘This decision does not take in to consideration my / mental / physical health, Further grounds will follow once the DWP supply the Sor and any other material requested.;

        This puts the onus on the DWP to respond and time wasting dosnt help them because you can bring up any documented failure to supply the reasons as evidence at a tribunal

        Make sure you keep a copy and I normally hand it in in person and get a receipt .


        January 16, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    • You are also entitled to a copy of the ‘paperwork’ sent to the ‘decision maker’ but in all my time I have never heard of any jobseeker requesting this. Also the easiest way for an ‘adviser’ to guarantee a sanction is just to type up any old bollocks and input it into say, the ASE (Actively Seeking Employment) stencil. To avoid being fitted up for a sanction always follow your JSAG (Jobseeker’ Agreement) to the letter and and the Social Security Commissioner said: “it pays to maintain a robust job search diary”. – always be able to provide ‘other evidence of job-searching activity’ – screen-shots, correspondence with employers etc. DO NOT take sanctions lying down!!

      Jobcentre Mole

      January 16, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      • Good advice there for people on JSA Mole. But people on ESA WRAG who according to the rules should be able to limit their activities and cannot be compelled to apply or even look for work are being sanctioned every time they try to apply reasonable limits/adjustments to their activities. They don’t have a job search diary and submitting personal diaries of how their condition affects them, just gets rejected. What do these people do?


        January 16, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      • Tricky one, Lucy, I’ll give it a bit more thought, but it is similar to how jobseekers are being fitted up for a sanction for not ASE (Actively Seeking Employment); their job-search evidence is being rejected and the ASE stencil is then filled out (with-no to put too fine a point on it – LIES!!), the jobseeker is then guaranteed to be sanctioned. I watched 10 good people being sanctioned yesterday!

        Jobcentre Mole

        January 16, 2014 at 1:35 pm

  18. Apologies, as this isn’t on the subject.

    I’ve just had my post work programme appointment today and I’ve been booked on the Skills Conditionality assessment thing. Yep, turns out I’m unempolyed, as I need basic english & maths help.

    To be honest, if the jobcentre want to treat me as some kind of thicko then I’m quite happy to do that if it means that I’ll not be forced onto anything else while I’m doing it. Thing is though, is there any suggestions on how I can reasonably drag it without risking a sanction from these Nazi’s?

    Nephew of Anarchy

    January 16, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    • I got sent to one course on basic English.

      Can’t remember why.

      I took my degree with me and told them to fuck off in French (va te faire foutre).

      I did not have to do the course.

      Andrew Coates

      January 16, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    • Nephew of Anarchy

      I’ve heard of people with PhDs being sent on basic literacy courses!

      The man from Uncle

      January 16, 2014 at 4:52 pm

      • Thanks for the replies.. I dropped out of education when I was 16, so I’m not able to use the degree level of education to get out of it.

        But I remember being sent for something similar to this on the old New Deal thing. It was basically treating you like an infant.

        Anyway, I was just wondering if it’s worth the risk of dragging it out for the 12 weeks? of the course and still failing it.

        I can’t believe that it’s the first post work programme appointment and they’ve already nailed me with this nonsense.

        Nephew of Anarchy

        January 16, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    • Dropping out of school doesn’t help you much so for you, not DWP, could prove beneficial to take up the English and math.

      Did you tell them you dropped out and have no quals, and even if you did theirs no statutory law that says you must have an English qualification or math. You see DWP would like to think they have this power but actually they, they don’t oversee it or fund it, that’s a completely different department known as The skills funding agency so if DWP as per described on the operation guideline/toolkit stipulate DONT carryout any pre screening and they don’t know your qualifications which like a CV, you don’t have to tell them,




      If they attempt to deviate simply contact the skills funding agency immediately and they will arrange for a local team of theirs to contact said provider. Its best if you find out if they conduct a initial assessment prior to attending this mandated course as once they realise they have to do it, the rest is up to you to prove you don’t require any skills training which if you don’t means the provider doesn’t get paid by SFA even if you do attend meaning and I cant say what would happen next leaving DWP to pick up the tab if they really want you to attend, well providing they stop calling it skills conditionality that is.

      I would imagine on your agreement is a web address to a document outlining various back to work schemes, thats one piece of evidence.



      SELECT: Skills Conditionality Toolkit – Published 1 August 2011

      PRINT THIS WORD DOCUMENT ALONG WITH EVERY PDF (ignore power point one) IN ANNEX A and if you want to see the type of paperwork required ANNEX B.

      If your provider is like those reported and states prior to your mentioning anything that they don’t do a prior skills assessment (that’s before carrying out any skills conditionality lessons), believe me, mention SFA, showing the paperwork I listed and mentioning a certain relationship team that oversees them (your find out by contacting head office SFA).

      Their soon jump back into line unless they wish to declare that this isn’t actually a skills conditionality course which in that case makes your mandate null and void as the mandated letters I have seen so far all state



      TAKING PART AND MISCONDUCT: Basically you need it clarified as to do they consider enforcing ones rights in full accordance with a statutory law as either. They would be mad to say yes for allsorts of legal reasons BUT its important to get it from the horses mouth as so to speak. Getting in writing is even better as I would imagine their description to be as vague and non existent as DWPs who for the record REFUSED TO DISCUSS IT OR POINT TO ANY DETAILING which again is contrary to the paperwork you have if you actually read it.

      Hope this helps and do remember despite this DWP will still try and sanction you so handle your sh*t right ok, so if the problem is with the provider contact SFA and NOT DWP and theirs sweet fanny adam they can do about it as its not their jurisdiction.


      January 17, 2014 at 9:36 am

      • It is well nigh impossible to challenge the jc if you can’t express yourself (in written English) because what they do (like the Legal system as I am sure you know, gaia, being an ex-con and all 🙂 Didn’t you ‘serve time with Charles Bronson – The UK’s most violent prisoner? 🙂 Was that before or Anyway… ) is mostly a play on words. It is probably an inability to articulate themselves (in the same way that swearing is an abortive attempt of the brain to express itself) leads to some jobseekers ‘kicking off’ (and being arrested and sent to prison. At least “how going to prison actually benefits you more as your fed, watered and warmed daily without a mandate, without fear of sanction” I suppose 🙂

        Charles and Charlene Bronson - Britain's Most Violent Prisoners

        January 17, 2014 at 10:05 am

      • Thanks, Gaia. All good advice that I’ll take on board.

        Although, I have a good grasp of english & math. It was 20 years ago since I was last in education as I dropped out as it didn’t really suit me and my circumstances.

        To be honest, if a few hours a week for a 12 week course keeps the JC off my back and keeps them from making anything else mandatory for the foreseeable. I suppose, I’ll be happy enough to drag it out and survive. I just hope it’s not like prior New Deal assessments, where they ask you to spell CAT.

        I was also thinking about the possible consent they’ll need?.. Would it be a good idea to perhaps give the place who’s providing the skills course, a letter to not give consent for them to share any of my info with a third party (namely JC) similar to like the WP or wouldn’t that do the slightest bit of difference in this case?

        Nephew of Anarchy

        January 17, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      • Sorry, Nephew of anarchy, ive been busy but to answer your question.

        You cant stop them sharing information with DWP or another relevant government department, provider or any acting in their interest.

        A data subjects (that’s you) power under DPA law is actually more powerful PRIOR TO SURRENDING ANY PERSONAL AND OR SENSTIVE DATA so to circumnavigate this JUST DONT FILL OUT ANY PAPERWORK LIKE ENROLMENT FORMS FOR INSTANCE. DWP has already told them your name,address and a few other details so if we weren’t talking funding paperwork or getting you on the careers register which is optional by the way, then



        January 25, 2014 at 10:23 am

  19. FAO “Ed”

    Your post today on this page (#46 at 10:19am) was not on the same subject as the one I had mentioned.

    Your post described the difference between a “private” and a “public” CV on Universal Jobmatch – where a CV marked “private” would not in fact be seen by any employer. I remember reading your comments when you first made your post some time ago.

    The subject I raised earlier this morning by drawing attention to the recent post by “Peter Thornton” in the “About Ipswich Unemployed” page, described what happens when a user uploads more than one CV to Universal Jobmatch.


    January 16, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    • I was ‘directed’ to ‘register for Universal Jobmatch on http://www.gov.uk/jobsearch‘. The ‘adviser’ also said that I would have to make my profile ‘public’ but the actual ‘direction’ makes no mention of this.

      Jobcentre Victim

      January 16, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    • profie/CV public. Also tried to say that ’employers’ couldn’t view actual CVs, yeah sure 😉

      Jobcentre Victim

      January 16, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    • Ed

      There seems to be some overlap in your own comments and those of “Peter Thornton”.

      Peter Thornton had 5 different CVs, and he used the word “prime” to describe the one single CV which would be sent to the employer irrespective of what particular one of his 5 different CVs he had selected.

      In any event, Universal Jobmatch is becoming an increasing embarrassment – to both the DWP and exasperated users!


      January 16, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      • Whether the word “private”, “public”, or “prime” is used to describe the status of a CV on Universal Jobmatch, it is only possible to have ONE CV “public” at any one time – and that is the CV which will be sent to an employer irrespective of what particular CV a user selects.

        I think that is what Peter Thornton meant when he used the word “prime”.


        January 16, 2014 at 1:51 pm

  20. Another annoying part of Universal Jobmatch is the distance feature.

    Very often if you search “20 miles” from any given place, you will get results coming in from far more distant places.

    Of course, if Universal Jobmatch told the truth, there would hardly be any vacancies returned within the specified distance – because very often there aren’t any!!!


    January 16, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    • I have noticed that when entering a town say for example ”Ipswich”, I find that the returns are ”within 90 minutes travel time”. This is AFTER you have specified distance. Is this to catch people out on the 90 minute rule {allegedly} ?


      January 16, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      • Philip

        At what speed will you be travelling at?

        The time it takes for any journey to be completed is always related to the speed you travel at, so it is completely irrational for the DWP to specify an arbitrary time of “90 minutes”, without also indicating the speed claimant will travel at!

        Point that out to the DWP!


        January 16, 2014 at 3:34 pm

  21. Thanks for all the comments : about to take the plunge and sign into the Universal Jobmatch. Well, gonna take the weekend first. No rush. Left work due to sad and depressed – so sanctioned from offset (I believe – not been informed yet)

    Will be making more of this site – ADMIN – Thanks


    January 16, 2014 at 2:49 pm

  22. I am watching these updates with great interest.

    The courts and power of law works in various weird ways. (i.e. corrupt as)

    Websites from back in the day such as unlawful sanctions, refusewp, and the like lead many to success – but soon as the department for work and pensions felt the free exchange of information on the internet to help others from being unlawfully ripped off and being robbed… was a hate “campaign” and therefore vexatious, they blanket banned almost all cases further on.

    If the first couple of hundred or so were perfectly in their rights, and their “independent” decision makers accepted the facts and agreed; how come finding a template letter online (for instance) can then make them decide that they will decline all future cases or start punishing a few people as a deterrent to discredit the facts?

    I think the DWP are more ruthless than the military when it comes to rule bending.

    I can remember when A4e’s figures got leaked (poor performance) and it was also revealed about a memo the DWP sent to all work programme providers which was the tipping point between everyone being successful and people finding it tricky…

    Universal Jobmatch

    January 18, 2014 at 12:24 am

    • DWP and tricky used in the same sentence was always going to be dish of day for this government and a certain minister who doesn’t need naming.

      For years now as many can attest, DWP advisors have without remorse prefabricated situations that never happened in a desperate hope to maintain order.

      We here daily now, lie after lie after lie, like you have to give access to UJM, that you have to present evidence as they require, that you have to give them your CV, and the list goes on.

      Your right though, despite correcting them, they still come, so what is the solution?

      Do we lay down and tow the line as C Bronson prescribes or do we stand up for ourselves ?




      January 20, 2014 at 7:19 am

      • Whatever the DWP keeps throwing at me
        I am going to stand my ground
        I won’t back down 🙂

        Tom Petty

        January 20, 2014 at 10:01 am

      • “Your right though, despite correcting them, they still come, so what is the solution?”

        There aint no easy way out 🙂

        Tom Petty

        January 20, 2014 at 10:02 am

  23. Gaia, I don’t think that C Bronson was suggesting that anyone should just lie down and toe the line; that would have to be the ultimate irony, wouldn’t it – a prisoner who is incarcerated for presumably *not* toeing the line suggesting others do otherwise. Nevertheless, where does a jobseeker draw the line between not toeing the line and becoming a ‘martyr for the cause’?

    Resistance is Futile

    January 20, 2014 at 10:50 am

  24. How to stop remote access to your home or any other computer:

    Go to Control Panel > System > Remote Settings, then untick the Allow Remote Connetions to This Computer Box, then hit the Apply button at the bottom of the page. That’s it.

    This is just one step you can take to keep the DWP from snooping around in your computer.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    January 20, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    • Do you feel or have evidence that DWP are tricking claimants through UJM to allow remote access Obi Wan ?

      Even with it switched on under normal circumstances, a window appears saying yes or no. This can be bypassed but one would have to break the law to do it.


      January 21, 2014 at 7:37 am

  25. Hi, to some things up I live on the East coast of the UK in Suffolk. 56 years old and had my money stopped because of where i live and a friends on the settee, was told if i move out and find my own place to live i will get my money again. why should i struggle to live on my own when my friend and me use to share buying food, cooking etc we all know it works out cheaper. Anyway I have had NO MONEY from dwp for nearly 2 years, as said 56 years old not in best of health, I steal and sell item’s from shops, push bikes break into houses all to sell items to buy food and toiletries. I can not get a job, but still try (even now) i look for work. do NOT do drugs of any kind, including alcohol or tobacco. no mobile phone. I use my friends computer to search for work or local papers. And that’s my life. summed up in short. Every day i wish i would just die. Yes i use to work, nearly most of my life. But at 56 i find it hard to get a job, but still keep on looking. And NO i do NOT enjoy stealing but have to for FOOD.

    People are sharing all the time, why should I be forced to move out and get into debt again.

    But there seem to be NO help for people like me, food-banks only help for 3 weeks they told me, so i am being FORCED out on to the streets again to get money and personally why should i be forced to move out into my own flat where i know on JSA i will NOT, be able to manage and this would mean getting back into debt yet again for this Government. I did appeal but the appeal court took sides with dwp (NO surprise there).


    July 25, 2014 at 9:44 am

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