Jobseeker Sanction Advice

Posting this because people may find it useful

Link to the site here:-


Jobseeker Sanction Advice Home Page

Job-Centre-ImageHello and welcome to the website of the J.S.S.A.

Now we wouldn’t blame you for wondering, who are JobSeeker Sanction Advice?

So let us give you some background information.

The organisation is ran by Denise Symonds, Andrea Nicholson and Jean Calvert.

One thing we’re most certainly not, as is made clear throughout this site, is to have any connection whatsoever with any government agency, neither are we solicitors, so, with who we are NOT out of the way, let’s focus on who we ARE.

We’re a small network of 3 disgruntled ex, Department of Work and Pensions civil servants who left the service for a variety of reasons, not least of which was our dissatisfaction with the pressures being placed on staff to achieve what many of us saw as targets, which were designed in our eyes, to punish people financially for the smallest error or indiscretion.

Not surprisingly this is regularly denied by government ministers and their spin doctors, however we were the people at the front end, tasked to undertake and implement these measures – and we felt differently, however, watch the video below and you’ll see that the Guardian newspaper has uncovered evidence that targets ARE indeed being imposed on D.W.P. civil servants – the truth usually gets out eventually – by hook, or by crook.

Not many individuals leave the civil service, many are still there because at the end of the day it’s a job, with a number of perks which are not available in the private sector – however members of our small group were in a position to leave because they could – some were close to retirement and decided to choose an early end to their career rather than remaining in an environment where they were no longer happy because they felt that the D.W.P. was becoming more and more draconian in it’s outlook and modus operandi.

Rather than regard that as the end of the matter, our small group decided to actually do something about the reason for their premature departure from the civil service and with their new found freedom launched JobSeeker Sanction Advice.


To ensure the service could be offered free of any charge we have had to keep our costs to a minimum, we operate from a home base in Newcastle upon Tyne so there are no office expenses and this website is our ONLY means of publicising our service.


Even the web design company who created this site and the promotional video, have done so completely free of charge and this has helped us enormously.

Because we help people from all over the country, including our native North East of England, we could be snowed under with telephone calls if we supplied a contact number, therefore we operate by using email as the initial form of contact but will supply a telephone number wherever and whenever it’s felt appropriate and necessary.

Our time is spent researching the law as regards the Department of Work and Pensions, one member of our team in particular is a highly experienced ex D.W.P. employee who has held many roles in the service over the years including managerial positions too and makes a point of keeping abreast of current legislation.

Indeed, we’d go as far as to say that we know the law relating to Job Centre Sanctions and agreements sometimes much better than the front line staff who are engaged in implementing them.

Very few Advisor grade staff have the time or the inclination to bother checking the law, they merely follow instructions given to them from their line managers, who they assume are more informed than themselves.


Please note: We can only deal with enquiries in connection with benefit sanctions and/or issues with Job Seeker Agreements, unfortunately at this point in time we cannot assist with disability issues or anything else other than what we have already mentioned – if that situation changes, rest assured any amendments to our range of services will be shown on this website.


We are in regular contact with various Members of Parliament throughout the country where people who seek our help live –  if practical, we have also attended tribunals with JobSeekers to act as their representative, in short, below, are some of the services we offer, completely FREE of any charge.

1: We will study your case and undertake all of the necessary research to ascertain the legalities of what has occurred – in many cases, based simply on experience, we know instantly if a particular sanction, or a Jobseeker’s Agreement can be challenged – and on what basis.

2: As mentioned earlier, where possible, we will attend any tribunal which you have been asked to attend in order to overturn an unfair JobSeeker’s Agreement or Benefit Sanction – and act as your official mouthpiece, this option is available in the North East of England, elsewhere we can help in many other ways.

3: We can also, with your permission, speak to the D.W.P. local office on your behalf, we understand the system and are always extremely careful with what we say, sticking with how your particular case relates as far as the LAW is concerned, we don’t become involved in personalities and put you at risk in anyway.

4: We can deal with M.P.’s as well, assuming you want us too.

5: Everything you tell us is 100% confidential, GUARANTEED.

6: We have succeeded in having a number of Benefit Sanctions overturned by tribunals as well as JobSeeker Agreements deemed as unfair and untenable.

7: We can offer other advice relating to benefits in general, e.g., expense claims etc.

One final thing we should make clear is this, we don’t profess to offer a 100% success rate, absolutely no one can promise that – but what we do promise is THIS – if we find, in anyway that your Sanction or Jobseeker’s Agreement is unlawful (and trust me – many fall into that category – or very close to it) we’ll do everything within our power, knowledge, experience and expertise to have it overturned.

In the first instance, please email us using the Contact Us form at the top of this page.

We only need brief information via this method, such as, is this a Sanction issue? A Jobseeker’s Agreement problem? Or is it something else relating to the D.W.P.?

We can dot the i’s and cross the t’s when we speak to you, we’ll ring you in order to keep your costs to a minimum.

So don’t live in fear or worry any longer, we’re here to help – and remember, it won’t cost you anything financially, just a little of your time to fill us in on the background to your case.

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15 Responses to Jobseeker Sanction Advice

  1. untynewear says:

    Reblogged this on UNEMPLOYED IN TYNE & WEAR and commented:
    This looks to be very useful – and interesting to see they give Jobseeker Agreement advice too… bad Agreements can set you up for sanctions if you’re not careful.


  2. This seems very useful, and I think vital for vulnerable claimants.


  3. Reblogged this on Mentally Wealthy and commented:
    This could be an invaluable resource for vulnerable claimants and their carers


  4. I often get lost on the internet & often loose contact with people I admire . However you who I admire are all tonight.


  5. I wondered where you’d gone…you’ve been on a journey by the sounds of it 🙂


  6. Melanie Edwards says:

    Dear Jobseeker advice. I am really worried. I have constant severe trigeminal neuralgia, The Ombudsman has written a report saying I have constant severe facial pain and I should not be put under pressure. I am 43 I worked full time till 39 and I have been working since, buy everytime I try to push my hours I lose my job. I was homeless outside for ten months between 2010 and 2011, right through the winter. I lost my job as a carer because my manager said I was too sick and letting the team down. I had MVD and brain surgery 6 months before and I returned to work too early. A few months before the surgery I had a terrible time with ATOS and THE DWP, this resulted in me trying to take my life and it’s left me with mental health problems. So whenI lost my job I ccouldn’t face the whole thing again so I didn’t claim any benefits at all, so I had to stay outside The health board made a lot of what they are saying now as administration mistakes with my diagnosis from 2007,so they give wrong information to ATOS, I went to Germany for a private scan this year and I have a longitudinal structure pressing against my trigeminal nerve. The ombudsman who investigated the NHS said. I have constant severe facial pain and I shouldn’t be put under any pressure. My job record inthe jjob Centre says I must not lift I must not work to pressure, I must not work to target and I must not work over 18 hrs a week and not more than 4hrs a day. This is even terribly hard for me and I’m on my 4th job this year. I keep on losing my job. I am down to 4hrs a week and I’m desperate to work over 16 hrs so I can be independent. I am in a homeless hostel in Boscombe and I’m trying really hard to support myself. Disability rights sent me a letter saying if I work 16 hours a week I qualify for working credits and it will increase as I increase hours. This will mean I will be able to support myself. My job advisor in Bournemouth Anne Dearden is lovely, she is by far the kindest most supportive job advisor I have had. Today I had a 6 months meeting and it is very scary for me. I am too sick now to survive outside for long, but I can’t cope with any pressure at all. The lady in the meeting today Debbie Sinnott was so cold, she said it’s not good enough, I have to work at least 30 hrs before I am entitled to working credits, she said it’s not true what disability rights told me. That I haveto be on DLA or PIP tto meet the criteria. She said I am going to have to go on work experience as well. I will never be able to do this. She doesn’t care that I’m sick and that I can’t cope with stress. She is ignoring all advice and it could end up with total disaster for me. It can be the end of my life. I’m not living my life in constant fear of the job Centre. I will end up back outside. It’s really not fair I have paid tens of thousandsiin tax. I worked very long periods for over 70 hrs a week. This is all because I was very badly assaulted when I was 17 and I had multiple facial fractures. A structure builtup oover time and there is friction on my trigeminal nerve and bowing of the nerve. I had my celleberium disected, but they can’t do this anymore and now I have to spend the rest of my life in severe pain, I can deal with that, but I can’t deal with stress from the DWP. I be so grateful for any advice, kind regards, Melanie Edwards


  7. Hi, i have failed to attend two appointments with work provider and im expecting a sanction.i have a few thousand in savings and cant do the work programme at the minute so is it best i wait until im sanctioned then appeal but if my money is stopped before the appeal that is i just sign off and inform housing benefit i have nil income but will live on my few thousand savings for a while? I dont know if i should sign off and inform housing benefit or wait untill sanctioned and inform them. I need to keep housing benefit. Can do without the jsa for several months.frank


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