How am i supposed to fulfill my side of the contract?

Rebecca Watkins made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Department for Work and Pensions should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

I am currently 3 weeks into a 13 week sanction on my jobseekers allowance and am currently receiving zero income. I asked about receiving hardship money but apparently am am not classed as being vulnerable so i will have to wait a few more weeks before i can get any hardship payments.
Yet today when i went to sign on at the job center i was told i must sign an updated jobseekers agreement. On this jobseekers agreement it said amongst many other things ''i will phone six employers a week'' and ''i will visit five employers a week'' and ''i will write to seven employers a week''. I explained to my adviser that i am on a sanction and that i have nil income so how was i expected to pay for all of these things? My adviser replied ''that's not my problem, you have to be available for work to be entitled to jobseekers allowance so sign this or i'll close your claim''.
Again i explained, and even pleaded with this adviser that i'm in a desperate financial situation with no access to ANY money. I asked if they would pay my travel expenses six days a week if i came to the jobcentre to use their phones, i was told ''no''. I asked if i could claim upfront travel expenses to visit seven employers a week, i was told ''no''. I asked if they would give me seven second class stamps for me to write to employers every week, i was told ''no''. So i was basically forced to sign a contract that i can't possibly live up to.
So my question is, how on earth am i expected to fulfill my side of the contract and do everything it says on it when you have sanctioned me and i have absolutely zero income?

Yours faithfully,

Rebecca Watkins

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been accepted by the DWP FoI mailbox.
 
By the next working day your request will be forwarded to the relevant
information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct. 
 
If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally
expect a response within 20 working days.
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.
 
For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.
 
[1]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...
 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Just to correct a mistake that should say . I asked if i
could claim upfront travel expenses to visit FIVE employers a week - not seven.

Yours faithfully,

Rebecca Watkins

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been accepted by the DWP FoI mailbox.
 
By the next working day your request will be forwarded to the relevant
information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct. 
 
If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally
expect a response within 20 working days.
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.
 
For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.
 
[1]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...
 

show quoted sections

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/freedom-of-informa...

Mary Sanderson left an annotation ()

Hope you received my pm

Mary Sanderson left an annotation ()

Rebecca

So sorry to ready about your plight.

You may wish to consider a claim to Employment Support Allowance for the duration of the sanction.

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

1 Attachment

Please see the attached reply to your Freedom of Information request

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI team

show quoted sections

JayneL left an annotation ()

Hi Rebecca what an awful situation you are in - to get a reply you might want to ask the questions as a hypothetical test case; this way the reply cannot be ignored due to it being a personal request.

Hope they sort it out FAST xx

Mr Harris left an annotation ()

Hi Rebecca, I don't think an FOI request is the right way forward. A JSAg is supposed to be practical and achievable. What you should do is ask for it to be altered to one that you can reasonably achieve.If you and your advisor can't agree, the issue has to be sent to a separate person called a Decision Maker who may be reasonable. You need to present a reasonable and non-confrontational case. Assuming you are now getting Hardship, you might present a budget that shows (EG) that you can afford just one stamp/week. So you'd commit to writing to one employer a week,