Life when the Jobcentre says you broke the rules


Benefit tales

Almost 400,000 people have lost their Jobseeker’s allowance since sanctions for claimants were toughened last year. But are the new rules hurting those they are supposed to be helping?

 

Peter Jones avoided a serious brain injury when he fell at work in November last year. But while he escaped with his health, his good fortune ended there – he was told not to come back to work and went to sign on.

 

This was a month after new rules for those out of work were introduced and he was about to find out all about them. “I’d worked all my life,” he says. “But they treated me as if I was cheating the system from day one. They didn’t even know me.”

 

Anyone claiming Jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) can be sanctioned for things such as missing a meeting with an adviser, not turning up to training or not…

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