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The 11 most senseless benefit sanction decisions known to man

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Benefit sanctions, where a job centre can suspend or dock a claimant's welfare payments, are becoming increasingly controversial.

The impact of the sanctions vary: in the most extreme cases a person can lose their benefits for three years. Reasons for withdrawing benefits can range to being late for a meeting, failing to turn up on time, or leaving several jobs voluntarily.

In the wake of a diabetic ex-soldier dying after his benefits were sanctioned and three disgruntled ex-DWP civil servants going rogue to help welfare claimants who believe their payments have been wrongly docked, we look at the most ridiculous reasons for sanctioning benefits yet.


A man with heart problems who was on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) had a heart attack during a work capability assessment. He was then sanctioned for failing to complete the assessment.

Via Debbie Abrahams MP.


A man who had gotten a job that was scheduled to begin in two weeks’ time was sanctioned for not looking for work as he waited for the role to start.

Via the Guardian.


Army veteran Stephen Taylor, 60, whose Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) was stopped after he sold poppies in memory of fallen soldiers.

Via the Daily Mirror.


A man had to miss his regular appointment at the job centre to attend his father’s funeral. He was sanctioned even though he told DWP staff in advance.

Via Political Scrapbook.


Ceri Padley, 26, had her benefits sanctioned after she missed an appointment at the jobcentre - because she was at a job interview.

Via the Daily Mail.


A man got sanctioned for missing his slot to sign on - as he was attending a work programme interview. He was then sanctioned as he could not afford to travel for his job search.

Via Citizen's Advice.


Sean Halkyward, 24, said his benefits were sanctioned because he looked for too many jobs in one week.

Via Pontefract and Castleford Express


Mother-of-three Angie Godwin, 27, said her benefits were sanctioned after she applied for a role job centre staff said was beyond her.

Via Get Reading.


Sofya Harrison was sanctioned for attending a job interview and moving her signing-on to another day.

Via the Guardian.


Michael, 54, had his benefits sanctioned for four months for failing to undertake a week’s work experience at a charity shop. The charity shop had told him they didn’t want him there.

Via the Guardian.


Terry Eaton, 58, was sanctioned because he didn’t have the bus fare he needed to attend an appointment with the job centre.

Via the Guardian.


Several examples also H/T http://dwpunspun.org.uk/



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