A former soldier claims he has been “punished for getting a job” after having his benefits sanctioned for missing an appointment.
Darren Veal, 33, has had £83.20 deducted from his Universal Credit after he had to miss a meeting at the JobCentre in August because he had found temporary employment as a wagon loader.
Mr Veal insists he called the JobCentre in advance to inform them, a claim that centre staff later acknowledged, but the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has sanctioned him nonetheless.
Mr Veal, who is originally from Hornsea, came out of the armed forces in 2006 and is currently living at the Hull Veterans Support Centre in Beverley Road.
Since moving to Hull last year he has been between short-term jobs and is now working as a delivery driver for Gift Aid, although he is still in receipt of in-work benefits to support his income.
Mr Veal said: “I keep getting jobs here, there and all over the place. I don’t enjoy being out of work. As soon as I get out of one job I want to be straight into another as soon as possible.
“When I realised I was losing the money I went to the JobCentre to ask about it. The staff said their computer records showed that I’d rung up to tell them but there was nothing else they could do to help.
“They gave me a number to ring at the DWP but I spent two and a half hours on the phone before being told the money was still coming off.
“The way I see it, they’re punishing me for getting a job.”