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Claimant commitment - not fit for the purpose - treatment of subsequent sanctions

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WRAMAS, Bristol City Council

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Total Posts: 124

Joined: 24 August 2017

This just gets worse.
latest letter from the DWP:
“The MR request [made by the complaints manager] was made on the grounds that we had not been fully aware of [the claimant’s] health conditions when her claimant commitments had been drawn up. On review the legislation had been applied correctly and there was no provision in law that would enable them to be overturned”
I think there is some difficulty here grasping the concept of an anytime review…
And further…
“At the beginning of her claim [she]advised her work coach that she had asthma and heart palpitations… [she] also told her work coach hat she had an allergy to computers and was sensitive to electric. [She] was unable to provide any medical evidence, stating her doctor did not believe her. With [her] unable to provide any medical evidence, [her] work coach was correct in advising her that she should be looking for full-time work”
No medical history was requested, if it was, it would have demonstrated a clear history of medical problems.
It gets better…
“...the decision… to lift the sanction on order to pay the arrears is unprecedented and a highly unusual step taken to stop [her] from becoming homeless. The grounds were humanitarian”
I quite like the idea of the DWP being humanitarian in saving someone’s home but not giving them any money to be able to buy the basic necessities to actually live.
And finally, just to demonstrate how “humanitarian” they are, they close with a threat that as she has apparently ceased to engage with her support worker (this is not strictly true and is a misinterpretation on their behalf), she could be in breach of her claimant commitment, leaving her work coach with “no option than to refer her to the decision makers for failing to be available for and actively seeking employment”
And the reason why she is failing to engage…

So my vulnerable client, who has lost all trust in the “establishment” and authority, is suffering from deteriorating health, and is pretty much refusing to engage with everyone. And so the cycle continues. the DWP are struggling to see the wood because there are too many trees in the way and I have no walls left as well as a sore head. Meanwhile the possibility of sanctions loom, the miracle workers at Maximus wash their hands and the folk in their ivory towers polish their blinkers.

Apologies for the rant (again) but this is a clear example of how the “tailored to fit” UC process isn’t.