1. Claim Hardship/Emergency Help
To reduce the delay in hardship decisions, it helps to be able to fill in a JSA10 (hardship form) straightaway. There is copy here, simply click the red link to access it.
Then this should be taken to the appropriate Jobcentre and the JCP should send it using internal mail. This means they have a record of the date the form was received. It should be quicker. Include evidence to support the claim. Evidence of illness/ disability/ pregnancy/children could indicate vulnerability. For example, an asthmatic could perhaps argue, that as they have no money for electricity, they cannot vacuum and therefore would be prone to suffering an allergic reaction to airborne dust.
Include a bank statement too, that shows if there are are savings to fall back on.
1. If you have to beg or borrow food or money this should be recorded on the form also. Give the DWP the least number of opportunities to delay your claim.
Food Banks – click on the red link to the left, when you arrive at the Food Bank page, type in the name of your town.
2. Notify your Housing Benefit office you are receiving zero income
3. Prepare before speaking to a Decision Maker
Take advice if you are not 100% about what you are going to say. Write some notes before speaking to the Decision Maker. People often do not represent themselves well or say what they do not mean.
You are entitled to submit written reasons, despite what the Jobcentre staff may tell you.
4. Always appeal
You only have a month from the date of notification of a sanction or disallowance. More often than not, you will receive this letter more than 7 days after the sanction is applied. Therefore, you have very little time to sort out your finances and take advice. Some people never receive a letter, so you must take swift action when you realise you have not been paid.
5. Complain to your MP
The constant threat of sanctions creates fear and anxiety, which is not conducive to finding work. If you are sanctioned your chances of finding work become slimmer and your health as well as your mental state usually deteriorates.
Write to you MP for help and also explain the impact a sanction has had on you. Here’s a link to find your MP’s details. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/
If you don’t have Word on your machine, you can obtain a FREE download of some software which is compatible with Microsoft’s product and will allow you to open and edit it – it’s called Apache Open Office – you’ll find it by clicking HERE.
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