There’s no getting away from it: if you get a Jobseeker’s Allowance sanction you’re in a difficult position.
However there may be some help for you.
But first you need to check whether you are getting income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or contribution based Jobseeker's Allowance. If you’re not sure, check with the Jobcentre Plus, but as you can only get contribution based Jobseeker's Allowance for 6 months it follows that if you’ve been on Jobseeker's Allowance for more than 6 months it must be income based Jobseeker's Allowance.
If you’re on income based Jobseeker's Allowance…
- You should consider applying for Hardship Payments.
- You have to show that you are experiencing hardship (as if!) and you have no other resources you can call on:
- You cannot get hardship payments until the 15th day of the sanction, unless you are in a vulnerable group (pregnant, responsible for a child or children, and - sometimes - ill or disabled, or a carer).
- The amount of a hardship payment is currently normally £43.86 for a single adult: it can sometimes be less if you are under 25.
- Just because you're sanctioned it doesn’t mean that you’re not entitled to Housing Benefit anymore. For Housing Benefit purposed you are still treated as being on income based Jobseeker's Allowance;
- The same may apply to your Council Tax Support, but this will depend on who your local authority is;
- If you are part of a couple, check to see whether your partner could claim Jobseeker's Allowance, or Employment and Support Allowance, with you as the partner;
- If you find that the stress of being sanctioned makes you ill, talk to your GP. They might decide that you are too ill to work and give you a medical certificate (sick note), and then you could claim Employment and Support Allowance.
following quotation is from the DWP's 'Decision
Makers' Guide, paragraph 35212:
"Note: It is not considered reasonable to expect claimants to rely upon charities, such as food banks, increase debts by seeking credit or using or extending overdraft facilities, sell or pawn items to obtain cash, find cheaper housing or ask friends and family for help in order to meet their essential needs. Whilst claimants may be prepared to request such help there should be no requirement to do so and claimants should not be denied access to hardship payments if they don’t"
You may need to remind Jobcentre Plus staff of this.
If you are on contribution based Jobseeker's Allowance…
- All the above applies. However you may also need to ask to be assessed for income based Jobseeker's Allowance as this needs to happen before you can get any Hardship Payments.