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    • Do as above, and we can find out if it's an enforceable agreement, often it isn't from Lowell.   But from another point of view, as long as they have your current address, why pay them if you only have £30 at the end of each month? It's not visible on your credit file, so won't affect your credit score in any way. This is in no way a priority debt.    
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Kaboodle23

JSA stopped, no warning or explanation

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Back on the 24th of June I had a meeting at the job centre about my benefits with a fairly nasty lady who tried to claim I had attempted to get out of going on new deal. What had happened was that my Grandma had died and I decided to sign off for a short while to look after my Grandad whilst he got everything sorted and got himself used to living on his own. The previous time I had signed on before this I had been booked a meeting with an advisor and was not told what it was about, but this turned out to be the day of my Grandma's funeral so I had to pospone it. On coming out of the funeral I had a message on my mobile from the nasty lady saying she had rebooked me for a weeks time (both of these were on Tuesdays, which is the day I do volentary work which I arranged through the job centre) and that if I did not attend my benefits would be stopped. This added to my desision to sign off, plus I had recently gone through other personal problems and wanted a bit of a break (my grandad lives out in the Lincolnshire countryside).

 

Since I had little expense I ended up stopping there for almost two months, then came back and signed on, and everything seemed fine, until I got called in the the meeting on the 24th. She claimed I was trying to get out of going on new deal and that it was "convienient" I had signed off just before I was supposed to start (I must thank my Gran for choosing a convienient time to die), despite me not knowing I was due to start new deal. She also picked up that I had "convieniently" got a temporary job for 3 months last time I was due to start new deal (she seemed to not realise I'd been on new deal for 2 months at that time, and isn't that the idea of the scheme, getting a job?), despite this being well over a year before.

 

She even had a go because when I had reclaimed the adviser asked me if I was still looking for work in the same three areas, and I asked her if I could have "Warehouse" removed because it was added when I started volenteering as it related to the work I was doing, but what I had done wasn't relevant to the sort of jobs coming up (half of which were forklift drivers and the like) and when I restarted my volenteering I had moved to doing different work anyway (sales). She said Ok and took it off, but the nasty woman went on about that they would only do that if I had insisted on only having two (she told me I only needed two when I did my claim, or else I would happily have added another, I even told the nasty woman I would).

 

Anyway, she said I could fast track onto the New Deal to get back where I was before I signed off, and I said OK, thinking this would show I was commited and wasn't trying to get out of it, and things seemed fine, and she arranged an interview with another advisor (which I thought would be to to start New Deal). She even said "if everything goes alright I probably won't see you again", which I assumed to mean I would be fine if I went along with New Deal, which I was happy to do. I attended the meeting two weeks later (8th) which turned out to be discussing Flexable New Deal which a nice lady and arranging for another meeting with a New Deal advisor to start it (don't they just love meetings), but then says that the nasty woman had booked me a meeting for the next Tuesday, the 13th (Tuesday, my volenteering day again), but assumes this would not be needed as I was going for new deal, but she rings up and get's told that the nasty woman still wants to see me before I get booked to start New Deal. I then tell her that unfortunatly I'm going away for a week so can't do it attend anyway, and get told it will be re-arranged and I should have a letter waiting when I get back. I fill in a holiday form, and sign as normal as it was my signing day, and leave thinking everything is fine.

 

I did have a letter waiting for me when I got back, 3 letters actually, telling me that "Due to a change in your circumstances we will be unable to pay your benefits from 09/07/10 (the friday), two dated the 12th and one the 14th. There is no explanation as to why. I'm really worried about what I am going to do now, yet also surprised that they have stopped my benefits just like that with no warning (I didn't even realise they could do that). Oviously I can't ring them until Monday. I've never even had any sanctions before, and only had one threat which was due to not attending an interview which I was only told about on the day and had finished before I arrived (someone was interviewing at the job centre). I really don't know what to do as I need the money. It's also potentially buggered my future because I was hoping to start night classes at my local college in September so I could get to University but without JSA or IS I would end up paying about 10x more in tuition fees which I could not afford even if I was still getting benefits.

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First, send off a complaint about nasty woman - there is absolutley no need to speak to people in such an accusatory manner. If they think you have conveinently done things, yes they can ask questions to establish matters but they should never communicate their opinion to you as fact when the facts have not been established. Not acceptable.

 

Your holiday - was it abroad?


My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

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The woman actually said to me "I don't believe a word you are saying" which really annoyed me. I was struggling to answer some of her questions and being vauge about things, but she was asking me about something over a year ago. It did seem like she had formed an opinion and was just trying to confirm it. She reminded me of a driving examiner I had who intimidated me so much I failed miserably (I had failed the previous test due to slightly mounting the kerb when reversing around the corner, passed the next one with 4 minors, yet she managed to give me I think 10 serious faults and a couple of dangerous).

 

My holiday was in the UK, and I gave contact details and filled in all the "will you be able to return" etc questions correctly (i.e yes). The only one I put no to was searching for work, as I would not be able to when on holiday (no access to local papers and no access to internet), and I have had holidays before whilst signing on and said the same with no problems. That said it was about two years ago when I last took a holiday whilst signing on, so perhaps it's changed since then.

 

If they have stopped paying me because of the holiday, I presume I will just have to do another rapid reclaim on Monday and then end up getting more accusations of "convienience" from that woman.

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It may be the case that you were not actively seeking employment which has prompted this; but it shouldn't have.

 

Claimants who do not intend to be ASE (Actively Seeking Employment) and intend to reside at a place other than their normal place of residence can only be treated as ASE for a maximum of two weeks, for any reason in any period of twelve months, provided they have given notice of this - which you have.

 

Ring them on Monday to find out exactly why this has happened - tell them you have had no change of circumstances and therefore do not understand why your JSA has been stopped.

 

If it is because of your holiday, point out paragraphs 21741 and 21742 of Chapter 21 of the Decision Maker's guide and ask them to reconsider their decision, advising them that your absence fits within this category.

 

You can find this here - just enter 21741 into the search box to find it on the document.


My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

 

 

 

 

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Thank you for your help :)

 

My only concern is that if I get them to reconsider the desision, how long that will take? Presumably if they found in my favour they would backpay me, but if not would I then have to wait until after the desision to re-claim and therefore not be able to claim anything up until that point? Oviously my other option would be to just reclaim from Monday as I will be looking for work from that point.

Would it be possible to do a rapid re-claim and still get them to review ending my benefits before my holiday?

Who actually makes the desision about if a person is elegable for benefit, as when I filled in the form and said I would not be looking for work last week I pointed it out to the lady dealing with it and asked if it would be a problem and she said it was OK. Sad that my current feeling about the Job Centre is that rarther than "OK" meaning it would not be a problem, "OK" starts meaning "OK, that gives us an excuse to stop paying you."

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It's the benefit delivery centre that make a decision, not the jobcentre.

 

I think you need to find out the cause of your benefit being stopped before you decide to ask for a reconsideration. But you can appeal a decision and make a new claim at the same time. A reconsideration can take several weeks though, so I'd encourage you to get a new claim in to secure some income in the meantime. If it's revised in your favour, they will pay JSA up until the day before your new claim started.


My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

 

 

 

 

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Guest jsa12

the job centres behavior at times shows no depths of stupidity it will sink too.many years ago when my signing day was on the the day of my late mothers funeral they expected me to come in and sign straight afterward.

 

appeal straight away on this,while claiming standards of service/polite behavior the complete opposite is often encountered,she had no right to comment like that and as such is completely unacceptable and unnecessary.

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I rang up today the main number and I was told that my benefits had been suspended for two weeks. All she could give me was something to do with an incomplete job log (I had forgotten my log but told the person what I had done and the jobs I had applied for). She then gave me a number to ring about appealing, which I did and they asked if I had recieved a letter, which I said I had not other than the ones saying my benefits would be stopped from the 9th. They then said a letter had been sent to the job centre on the 15th and they were awaiting a reply, and I would have to wait until then.

 

It's not the end of the world, but I'm pretty mad as I can't see what I've done to deserve it (I've forgotten my log once of twice before and never had a suspension, and it's not been a habbit, just the odd isolated incident (and this is the first time on my current claim). If I hadn't got enough down, most of the time they prompt for some more things (for example I usually don't log all the jobsearch sites I visit unless something comes up on one, but I will if I need something extra). I could understand a reduction, but a suspension seems very harsh (it's basically a £130 fine).

 

I'm also more annoyed about that woman as I now don't know where I stand as far as her and New Deal is concerned, as she should have sent me a letter to arrange a meeting (I assumed she had not due to them stopping my benefit, but I can't see the reason if I'm just suspended). Oh well, I sign on Thursday so I'll take it from there.

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Guest jsa12

you need to pick up an appeal form from the dwp office,they are not keen on appeals'.the behavior of the job centre is completely unreasonable a mixture of bungling incompetence and contempt for the "customers" as it call's them.i have personally witnessed some atrocious behavior exhibited by staff for no justification.

 

new deal is nothing but a licence to bully unemployed people,the government outsources the dirty work as not to breach the human rights act under humiliating and degrading treatment and enforced labour.however the job centre plus office does fall into the act.

 

as mentioned do not take any of this on the chin,and get that appeal in now.

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I've now been told i've been suspended for two months. I don't know what I'm going to do. I live with my dad so I doubt I can even get hardship, but i've got a lot of my own expenses and bills. I'm also going onto stage 3 now, so they are expecting me to work harder whilst not getting a penny from them. Apparently it's due to a job I refused. If it's the one I'm thinking of (I only got called in to discuss one) someone was interviewing at the Job Centre for assembly workers and I was told about it, but they were only interviewing until 3 and by the time I had signed on and got downstairs to where they were they had already finished, plus I was told I needed a passport and didn't have one with me (as you don't carry one around all the time). I'm really mad and worried now. It's so unfair that they can stop paying me for 2 months, effectivly fining me over £500, for something like this, and still expect me to be looking for work, attending their stupid things etc. I hate them so much. I will appeal, but I don't know what I'm appealing against until I get a letter telling me. I'm already boarderline depression due to some other incidents and I think this might push me over the edge.

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Having recieved a letter a few weeks ago saying my JSA would be stopped "due to a change in circumstances" and ringing up to be told that it seemed to be something to do with an "incomplete joblog" I have now recieved a letter telling me that I will get benefits payed from as there was an issue with my "availability to work" (dates given for when I was on holiday) but this is no longer an issue. Right, that's good then, and I've actually been payed today as I should. The problem is when I went to sign on last Thurday I asked about all this and was told I actually had a two MONTH suspension for refusing employment! I was told I would recieve a letter about this, and could then appeal. Being confused I today rang the number on the letter and spoke to a very nice man who checked it out and confirmed that this was the case, sounded as shocked as I was when he told me it was 2 months, and then told me exactly what I need to do, ring the job centre (will have to be tommorow as I've been struggling to get through and I've been doing volentary work most of the day) and if they would not change it then to appeal (he's sending me out an appeal form) and also to apply at the job centre for hardship. I'm really mad and worried about the suspension, but speaking to someone like that really helps things. Hardly surprisingly he was on JSA himself before he got his current job, and he admitted he was surprised how often he gets people ringing up about having benefits stopped for things he did himself.

He couldn't tell me the exact case as it wasn't on the system, but the only time I've been threatened was over an employer interviewing at the job centre on my signing day where I was told "if you are quick you might still catch him". I didn't catch him. I explained this when I had an interview about it, and the person seemed to think I would be fine.

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Somewhere up in Scotland, I remember they formed a claimant's union, and had a system going where 'advisors' at the job centre could be blacklisted by claimants, who would refuse to see an advisor who had displayed a crappy attitude. A petition was signed by anyone who had experienced her rude, condescending nonsense. They managed to get one woman like your 'advisor' transferred away from any dealings with the public, the woman was sat there day after day with nothing to do and a catalogue of complaints about her on her manager's desk. We need more of that kind of thing, I think. What other public organisation would allow its clients to be treated like dirt? If nobody complains, she gets away with it, and people claiming benefits are very often already at breaking point. It's not on.

 

They've started playing games with people on working tax credits now, too. It's all a mix of psychology (create aversion to claiming anything) and saving money so the banks don't have to pay back what we bailed them out with. Anyway, with unemployment set to rise and rise, it's an appalling way to be treating people who find themselves in a position of having to claim on their national insurance payments. I'd like to see the people to blame for this trying to survive with no money for weeks.

 

I hope it all worked out for you in the end.

Edited by phobos2272

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