Spennyriver Dispatch – Job Centre Sanctions Under The Microscope

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Spennyriver is a small town deep in the heart of the Midlands, UK. The Spennyriver Dispatch is the local paper bringing you all the local news, keeping you up to date with all the happenings in this strange town.

It’s like a regular town with regular people. Just weirder.

Job Centre sanctions under the microscope

Following a Freedom of Information request from local disability activist group, ‘Rolling Thunder’, the reasons behind sanctions to disabled people’s benefits have been made public.  Several cases stand out:

* Man, 56, Couldn’t get his wheelchair into the Job Centre as a result of the three large steps at the entrance – sanctioned 4 weeks benefits for missing his appointment.

* Woman, 40, Visual impairment.  Lined up in a queue thinking it was for her employment advisor.  It turned out to be the queue for Greggs The Bakers.  Sanctioned 4 weeks. 

*Man, 59, Had a heart attack during his fitness-for-work assessment.  Sanctioned for not completing the assessment.

* Woman, 32, Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly Multiple Personality Disorder).  The wrong personality attended the assessment.  Sanctioned 4 weeks.

*Man, 44, Single leg amputee.  Followed a rival football team that was not the Thickets.  Sanctioned 4 weeks.

*Woman, 48, hearing impairment.  Did not hear her name when called for assessment.  Sanctioned 8 weeks for missing the assessment.

We presented these reason to Councillor Hinton, who had this to say:

“Our Job Centre advisors and our medical assessors have a very difficult job to do.  It is the responsibility of disabled people to present themselves for assessment or interview at the appointed time.  I have heard ‘but I can’t get my wheelchair up the steps’, or ‘I’ve had a heart attack’, but I say that if you believed you had a case to make, you wouldn’t let anything stand in your way.  Even if you can’t stand.”

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