Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder The_Normal Novitiate

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    Default First JSA claim questions for a 50+ year old.

    Hi.

    My dad was recently found out he was losing his job of 25 years. Unfortunately he only got statutory redundancyicon which equates to about 7-8k. My dad is still being paid up until the end of July.

    Today he rang up about JSA. He went to Citizens Advice and couldn't speak to anyone because it was appointment only, but someone mentioned to him to ring the JSA up so he did.

    Anyway he rang up today to find out about JSA and the women on the phone ended up putting a claim in for him. He didn't want to put a claim in as his circumstances are changing next week (I'm moving out into my own place) but the (overzealous) woman started a claim anyway. She threatended him with fraud because he mentioned I was moving out next week. She also rail-roaded him into taking a job interview next week (Tuesday) for a 40+ hour job in a kitchen???

    My dad still hasn't got his redundancy cheque and is still in 2 weeks lieu of wages. He is worried that this might jeopardise his redundancy. Plus he was planning on taking a two week holidayicon after his cheque clears and redecorating his house for a few weeks with some of his redundancy money. He also didn't want to return to kitchen work as the long hours over the last years have been making him ill.

    Now I've been doing a bit of searching about JSA and I'm worried that he has been issued a Notified Vacancy by the woman on the phone and that if he goes for the interview and gets the job, but doesn't want it, his JSA will be withheld?

    My dad is a bit worried about this and wonders what he should do? He is going to try and see the CA on Monday if possible. He is wondering if he can cancel, alter or delay his JSA claim? He doesn't want to jeopardise his redundancy payment by going for this interview while still in lieu of wages. Also, he doesn't want a kitchen job and as mentioned previously he has plans to take a well earned holiday of two weeks and do DIY on his house for another couple of weeks before seeking employment.

    What is the best course of action now?

    edit - My dad also lives in a council house (housing association). He has paid his rent for 25 years and is worried that any JSA problems might affect his housing benefit. Will this be the case?

    Thanks.

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  2. #2
    Basic Account Holder privatehudson Novitiate

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    Default Re: First JSA claim questions for a 50+ year old.

    Hmm.

    The first contact system is designed to take new claims, not deal with general enquires. The very first question is "Are you calling today to claim benefit". Advisors can give general information but not advice, that is usually provided via the government's website. If he made it clear that he didn't want to claim at that point he should have been directed to different routes.

    If the customer wants to go through an eligibility check to see what they might be able to get it goes through a series of questions culminating in a statement, namely: "from the information you have given you may be eligible for [benefit]".

    Immediately after this there are two important questions.

    Do you wish to continue with your claim?
    What benefit do you wish to claim?

    A short while later there's a question about whether the customer wants to claim from the day they are doing the call (or an earlier date if they are resuming a case). Assuming the system was followed correctly your father would have been given plenty of opportunity to avoid putting in a new claim on that day. He also should have been asked about whether he was able to work now, and looking for work, which if he'd said no to both would not have made him eligible for JSA in the first place.

    This all assumes the process was followed to the letter however, and without listening to the call its hard to say whether this was done. Calls are recorded however, so it would not be difficult for the department to check if a dispute arose.

    Any claim can be cancelled at any point, including after an interview has been booked. If that's what your father wants to do ring 08456043719 and ask for the appointment to be cancelled and the claim withdrawn. If he's not seeking employment for the better part of a month it would be better to put the claim in after then anyway.

    As for the Kitchen job you mentioned as I said the calls are recorded, so as long a he mentioned at the time that he did not want to apply for the position that should provide good mitigation for not accepting the job. If he did not mention it at the time it could be a lot harder.


  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder The_Normal Novitiate

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    Default Re: First JSA claim questions for a 50+ year old.

    Hi thanks for your reply.

    I've since spoken to my dad and he did start a claim as he thought this was the best thing to do (CA told him to start it). Also about the job, what happened was the woman asked if he wanted to do a job search now and my dad being obliging said yes and she recommended a job that was on the system, that was all. I must of misheard what my dad said. It was his JSA face to face interview that he has on Tuesday not a job interview.

    So really my dad has started a claim too soon? Like I said he wants to take a two week holidayicon from the 1st of August and then spend a few weeks decorating the house. He rang up to get the ball rolling so to speak as he thought this would be the best course of action, but obviously it wasn't.

    So would he be best to cancel the JSA claim and put a new claim in 6 weeks? Will there be any repercussions for cancelling the JSA claim?

    Regards.

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  4. #4
    Basic Account Holder privatehudson Novitiate

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    Default Re: First JSA claim questions for a 50+ year old.

    Well if he's not looking for work and/or not intending to start work for another 6 weeks then the best time to start claiming from would be in 6 weeks. He can however do an advanced claim if he knows what date he wants to claim from. So yes, he started a claim too soon.

    First he'd need to cancel the appointment and claim on the system, then he could ring 080000556688 and ask them for an advanced claim. They should book an appointment for the first working day from when he wants to claim and send out a claim formicon to him. This form will be essentially the same as the one he completed over the phone. He could alternatively just wait until that period finishes and then ring as normal.

    As far as I know he won't be penalised for cancelling the interview or the claim. He would of course loose out on any payments of benefit and being assigned national insurance credits for that period though. I don't think it would prevent him claiming Housing or Council Tax Benefit but don't have much experience with those.

    One thing you will want to check from some more experienced members though is whether spending a relatively large sum prior to making a claim might have an affect on the claim. I know that certain amounts of savings can affect benefits like Income Based Jobseekers Allowance. What I don't know is whether him spending money on a holidayicon/house re-decoration immediately prior to the claim might be considered what they call deprivation of capital.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: First JSA claim questions for a 50+ year old.

    Quote Originally Posted by privatehudson View Post
    One thing you will want to check from some more experienced members though is whether spending a relatively large sum prior to making a claim might have an affect on the claim. I know that certain amounts of savings can affect benefits like Income Based Jobseekers Allowance. What I don't know is whether him spending money on a holidayicon/house re-decoration immediately prior to the claim might be considered what they call deprivation of capital.
    It might be an issue, but probably not. It won't be a problem at all if he is eligible for contributory JSA, since capital is not considered. If he receives income-based JSA it could possibly be an issue if he has savings between 6000 and 15999.99, or would have had such savings if he hadn't spent them.

    Also, my understanding of current case law is that he would have to spend the money with the specific intention of qualifying himself for a means-tested benefit. I might be wrong about this, though, deprivation of capital decisions always go to the DMs - I would just implement the result.

    Certainly on ESA I saw very few such cases. Can't imagine JSA would be radically different.



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