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About JayVelin

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  1. In order to qualify for the State pension you have to have made full NIC contributions for a number of years. Is this correct? If so, how many years? I believe the figure is 37 years. I have long been self-employed, low income, unmarried. I am fairly sure I have less than six years of contributions and will not achieve that State pension requirement by the time I reach retirement age, not even close. So, with regard to pensions, is there any point in making voluntary contributions?
  2. Come on, guys! No one has really offered anything on the original problem. Can I assume that we all agree that asking to re-arrange a same-day fresh claim appointment in no way proves a lack of availability for work? Can I also assume that the description of this presumed lack of availability as a 'doubt' about availability is a pretence? - when the system provides no discretion on the part of JC staff and the 'decisionmaker' doesn't seek further information (from the 'client') in order to make the 'decision', there is no essential difference between 'doubt' and 'certainty'. Can I assume that I'm screwed just the same, even though I had the courtesy to call and ask to re-arrange rather than simply not turn up? (It's no good saying "it's standard practice" - that something is standard practice doesn't make it fair or reasonable or respectful. It just means it's the way things are done. It doesn't stop it from being something we should try and overcome.) I mean, you could at least have recommended new clients apply on-line after 3:30pm, if they don't want to have to stay close to home all day waiting for a possible summons (with shirt ironed ready for that sudden and immediate new job offer - the one that's going to come the day after your last job finished). I mean, why wouldn't you have other commitments during the day, when there are jobs to be searched for on-line in the evening, and jobs which might start in the evening - should we be available for those too? Tell us. Please. Actually, don't. Please, just tell us how to overcome these absurdities and leave it at that.
  3. No, they don't seem like sociopaths. (But it doesn't matter how polite and efficient the staff might be, if the system is disrespectful.)
  4. That's a very sad story about the loss of discretion. However, I have to point out that it remains possible (perhaps likely) that clients will be treated unfairly. The system does not fit every situation and in some areas is patently unreasonable. This could be ameliorated by discretion.
  5. Also ... Interesting to hear that JC staff are able to exercise discretion sometimes. I guess discretion is more likely to be used in cases of urgent need or injustice than matters such as mine. My interview was re-arranged for five days later (the original was on the Friday and it was a bank holiday). Given the time elapsed and the so-called 'doubt' regarding availability, I would've expected to have been asked what I'd done to look for work in the interim. I wasn't. I fear the re-arranged interview was being treated as the first day of the claim and the 'doubt' was in effect a 'certainty'. Losing five days of benefit would be quite a penalty. Is there any way around this? Can I ask for a reconsideration before an appeal? Would I have to do that in person at the office? If it must be an appeal, what kind of argument or information could I supply in support of the appeal? (It's one thing for there to be a 'doubt' about availability on the day I first made the claim, but what about he next four days? How on earth do you show you were available on those days - on the other hand, on what evidence can they claim that you weren't available on those days?)
  6. It would be so much easier, so much more reasonable, and frankly respectful, to respond to a polite request to re-arrange a fresh-claim interview for the next available day. Job done. Instead, it's treated no differently to not showing up at all, treated as proof of not being available for work, although a fresh-claim interview is categorically not a job interview or a job offer or any such thing. Aggravation and extra paper-work introduced unnecesarily. But the department will save almost £50. Job done?
  7. Thanks, Flumps. The equivalence between a fresh claim interview and a job interview or a job offer is highly tenuous, even more so with regard to a same-day fresh claim appointment. If you were offered a job that same day, you would have no choice but change your plans; the standard interview regarding a fresh claim for JSA could just as easily be scheduled for the next working day (and frequently are), and thus, there cannot be said to by any necessity for the interview to take place at the first time proposed. The same-day appointment when used as a test of availability is a blunt instrument. Signing a document saying you were seeking and available for work (etc) from that date should be enough unless there is substantial evidence that you were 'unavailable'. (I mean, I was not told I would 'lose benefit' if I did not attend.) What further information could one possibly have?
  8. I recently made a fresh claim for JSA. I did it on-line. Later that day, I received an SMS advising me about the date and time of the interview. It was the same day. I rang to see if I could get it re-arranged as it was very inconvenient. The appointment was re-arranged. However, at the interview, I was informed that there was a 'doubt' about my availability for work on that day because I had asked for the appointment to be re-arranged. The matter was now with a 'decision maker'. The decision maker doesn't appear to require any further information. I suspect they will assess the matter entirely according to the system. In my experience, decisions are never adequately explained, which makes it difficult to know how best to approach an appeal. Does anybody know what would constitute grounds for appeal? (I imagine most appeals spend too much time complaining about the system, or missing the point. For instance, I would dearly like to make them aware that ringing up to re-arrange an appointment made at short notice is quite a reasonable course of action and not the same as refusing to attend, or failing to attend, nor is it analogous to a job interview or job offer - they're quite different.)
  9. Thanks, Tiger Lily. Yes, these pages go some way to answering my queries. I have a feeling they are being less than candid about the time periods used to guide their decisions - because they aren't stipulated by law. For example, it's not clear when a 'visit' becomes 'habitual residence' in another country, but I would expect some time period has been established, if only by precedence. (I'll have to look into the consequences of opening a bank account in another country, because this would have to be done as soon as possible if one was intending to work in that country.)
  10. Thanks. I would retain my bank account and I would be on the electoral roll. However, I no longer own a car and currently do not have accommodation in my own name. This would not change on my return. I would be no more or less 'resident' here than I have ever been and yet I have never been resident elsewhere. One question is this: how long would do you have to be away before you were considered by the government as having lived elsewhere? For tax purposes, I believe I would have to be away for longer than six months (in the tax year?) in order to be considered as 'domiciled' abroad. Would the DoE not apply a similar criterion? What about their obsession with the 13 week and 26 week period? I recently went abroad for a temporary job - less than three weeks. I was away for a similar period last year. On neither occasion was the residency issue raised. I was a rapid reclaim. If I went away for 12 weeks, I would still be a rapid reclaim, no? The nightmare scenario would be consuming 'savings' while searching for work abroad, or working and then not getting paid (it happens) and then returning to be told I was no longer resident. JV
  11. Hi I have a few vague invitations to go and live abroad and seek work. I'd like to pursue one of these at some point, but am very concerned about being able to claim JSA upon my return to the UK should the trip not work out as hoped. I can see two issues: the question of whether I had quit a job voluntarily and the question of residency. Do these apply? Would returning within six months obviate doubts regarding residency? I am currently claiming income-based JSA and I would likely be returning to live at my parents' house in the above-mentioned scenario. thanks JV
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