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#JSA sanctions and Tory Britain today – A mum speaks out

Location: UK » Scotland » AB
#JSA sanctions and Tory Britain today – A mum speaks out

From Joe Halewood: http://speye.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/sanctions-and-tory-britain-today-a-mum-speaks-out/

My son was very recently sanctioned.

He lives with me, and I am unable to work, therefore I also claim benefits, which put the pressure on me, as clearly i am forced to keep him. My son is severely Dyslexic.

The Job Centre know this. My son complied with his JSA agreement, yet they insisted repeatedly he wasn’t doing enough to look for work. He did MORE than enough… he started with the minimum requirement, then he did more and more, every time they tried to fault him. Understand that for him, it takes him twice as long as the average person to do this.

All his efforts were recorded on the Universal Job Match site, all his notes were pinned – he visited the site most days, and only left it when the page was down or wouldn’t load, or if he had no access to internet.

He actively searched newspapers, walked miles, handed out CVs, asked at businesses and shops for work – yet all of this was just his word against theirs. Then came his referral to A4E, which faulted by not sending out his appointments, or sending him text messages late – yet my son got round this by being one step ahead and personally visiting A4E every other day to check on any ‘unknown’ appointments – and there were!

They had him do a full time course in Health and Safety for 6 weeks (unpaid), yet he still managed to continue his extensive work searches. He had no time for friends, and little time for family – he was completely focused and committed in trying to find work. It started to get him down, and make him very depressed.

Then A4E sent him for a work trial (unpaid) in a call centre, despite him telling them his learning disability would make this hard for him… after just one day, he came home traumatised, as he could not read the scripts he was given, his Dyslexia making the words move and swirl on the page – he was allowed no help, and this made him feel retarded as the person in charge of him told him he needed to do better.

Understand, I witnessed my sons personality change, he wasn’t himself, and his frustration grew as he started to vent his anger out on those around him, and also in the home… after telling A4E he couldn’t do the work trial, they insisted he do his work searches under their supervision, as they believed he wasn’t doing enough, yet all the evidence was there that he was on the Universal Job Match site… he would get random calls to attend A4E, and no excuse was allowed for him not to.

After being told there were no logged appointments for him when to re-attend, he would come home to find a letter saying otherwise.

One day, he was told at 9am that he had to until 11am to apply for 6 jobs or he would be sanctioned – this proved difficult, as he had already exhausted ALL jobs available, so he applied for anything, even though there was no chance he would ever hear a reply back for lack of qualifications – stupid!

The harassment from A4E was so bad, that he forgot to sign on, an easy slip for anyone under those circumstances, but this would have happened anyway with my sons learning disability – on the day, I was also unwell, so I forgot to remind him… and for this he got sanctioned for a month!

I have been to see Joe Benton’s staff, and we have lodged a letter to the DWP as we think their decision (under the circumstances) is too harsh, and we do not believe they have took my sons learning disability into consideration. I also have an appointment with Welfare Rights to appeal this, and I have my GL24 form ready.

Yesterday I went with my son to the Doctor, who agreed he is severely traumatised, stressed and depressed as a result of DWP and A4E bullying – he has now been signed off as unfit for work, been supplied with anti depressants, and an immediate referral for counselling. Thanx to the DWP, they have reduced my healthy son to a sick person – I know this is happening everywhere, it’s not right.

Today, I am trying to get my sons claim on to ESA, but I am expecting they will not make this process easy either. Just thought I would share, hope everyone finds solutions to their problems too – at least I have done my best here to sort this… but making my son ill like he is not something I can put right over night – I am appalled!!


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