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Benefit threat shock after baby sonís birth

Reporter: Iram Ramzan
Date online: 10 January 2014

A FATHER of three could have his benefits stopped after missing an appointment — because he was at the hospital for the birth of his child.

Richard Allt (32), who claims Jobseeker’s Allowance, received a letter warning he could face sanctions for not attending a work programme at the CTEC building in Oldham.

But he insists he phoned in advance to say he couldn’t attend on December 12 - because he would be at hospital with his new baby son, Isaac.

Mr Allt, from Clarksfield, was made redundant from his refuse-collection job in 2012.

He said: “It was a job search that I had to do. They treat you like a piece of meat.”

He was sanctioned in 2012 when he missed an appointment because he was in and out of the hospital for five weeks with his son Jacob, who has dialysis due to kidney failure. As a result he had to claim from the hardship fund for a month.

He added: “I feel really angry. Why is a child’s birth not a good excuse? My one-year-old child was seriously ill last year and even that wasn’t good enough. Family doesn’t count anymore.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Work and Pensions confirmed that they had sent out a letter to Richard on January 2, but claimed he didn’t tell anyone he wouldn’t be able to attend his appointment.

They said: “He has until January 14 to respond and tell us why he didn’t attend. He needs to get in touch with us. If you miss an appointment you have to let us know, and he has not contacted us. There’s still time for him to get in touch.”


Ah Mr Allt, you are labouring under the misapprehension that this has something to do with you looking for work. It is in fact a scheme by the ConDem government to reduce the number of unemployed and to save some money.
It's not about 'good enough excuse' they have targets for numbers sanctioned, and you gave them that excuse.
Everyone should be aware that the public sector doesn't tell the truth so write in by recorded delivery, take peoples name who you speak to etc etc makes it harder to lie

It is hard out there for many people but this guy seems to have all the excuses under the sun.the responsibility of his actions should not be on the head of an already overburdened welfare state

Dont lets get sentimental here - there is a well-publicised system and anyone wanting to claim JSA must follow it. Its only harsh when claimants think they have more important things to do. So, Mr Allt, contact the DWP & tell them why you weren't at your appointment & follow instructions in future.

Its not an excuse its a joint claim nd if his partner is in labour and hes there at th birth then thats a good enough reason its not an excuse!! Not as worse as there alki and druggies doing nothing to look for work an still get money and never worked a day in there lofe! amd also these illegal immrigants e.g romanians


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