Benefits stopped ‘due to red tape’

Martyn Lawson with letters for jobs he has applied for
Martyn Lawson with letters for jobs he has applied for

A JOBSEEKER claims his benefit money has stopped because of red tape over how many jobs he has applied for.

Stunned Martyn Lawson, 47, says he is hours away from losing his electricity after he didn’t receive his fortnightly Jobseeker’s Allowance.

The dad-of-three had a meeting in Hartlepool’s Jobcentre Plus earlier this week and was told it was because he hadn’t been applying for four jobs every two weeks, the amount required for him to claim the benefit.

But Martyn, who lives in Turnbull Street, in the town, claims he has evidence to show otherwise.

He said: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw the money had not gone in.

“I have to apply for four jobs a fortnightIn the last period I applied for two plus I had two interviews. I thought this would count but apparently not.

“The problem is the jobs just aren’t there. I apply for absolutely everything I can.

“I have 50p left on my electricity metre, it is going to go anytime now. Then what do I do?”

Martyn says he will now not receive another payment until Monday, July 11, at the earliest and is penniless until that time.

He has been unemployed for two years and has featured in the Mail on a number of occasions in the past.

Five years ago he was left unconscious with a dislocated hip and all of his ribs broken after a smash on the A1 near Stevenage while working as a self-employed driver.

The accident left him unable to work in construction so he turned to voluntary work and was awarded 21 certificates for helping children, as reported in the Mail back in 2008.

Despite his impressive CV, he has been unable to get a job in youth work and has been left scouring around for any other job opportunities.

He says he has applied for hundreds of jobs in the last two years and only been given a handful of interviews.

Martyn, a dad to twins Gareth and Emily, 18, and Bethany, 12, added: “With no money at all how am I supposed to live until I receive my next payment?

“I had to tell my 12-year-old daughter she couldn’t come round to see me this week because I was worried about the electricity.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions, said: “When someone applies for Jobseeker’s Allowance they sign an agreement stating they are available for work, and that they will continue to look for employment.

“If they fail to do what has been agreed with their Jobcentre adviser their benefits may be stopped.”