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Job Seekers Allowance


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Hi all,

 

I was hoping for some advice. I've been on job seekers a few months now and I'm attending Open University. I've had a tumultuous few months and subsequently have been trying to get my life back on track. I do fine juggling university assignments and job hunting. However, recently I've moved house into another area and this office insists on seeing me every week and my adviser has sent onto a CV writing work shop which lasts two full days. I rung them up on the morning I was due to attend to speak to my adviser. Unfortunately, I didn't explain myself very well. I told her (and her boss who answered the call initially) that I was unable to attend because I had coursework due. This is completely true, but the reason why I'm behind on my coursework and not able to go to the session is because I had been unwell for a few days before, I just wasn't unwell on the day. I was told by my adviser that my honesty has got me into trouble because now her boss is wondering why I'm on JSA when I'm appearing to turn down sessions that are offering me help. My adviser has told me to carry on signing on this week and to speak to her next week. I asked if they are stopping my claim and her response was something along the lines of "not yet but we have to talk," which has left me unsure of where I stand. It's not that I'm unwilling to work but doing well at uni means a lot to me as well.

 

Does anyone know what I should expect? Is there anything I can do to help my case?

 

Thanks in advice

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They will be looking at your availability.

Are you in the 18-24 age group?

those in the 18-24 group are required to have weekly contact to enable the advisers to ensure the correct level of support is given and that every opportunity for training, work experience etc is considered.

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You have to be availible for work to claim JSA, I appreciate that you have coursework but that needs to be done in your own time, if you were working you would have to fit it in at evenings and weekends, so I dont think that not attending a 2 day course because of coursework is a valid reason.

If I have been of any help, please click on my star and let me know, thank you.

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No I'm 26

 

I am available to work. I've had to cancel a uni trip abroad which was part of our course because I'm on JSA. It was just a one off because of a deadline and because I hadn't been feeling well before.

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I think you will have a problem as, if you had a job instead of "just" a course I am sure you would have been expected to turn up..and I expect you would not have phoned and cancelled work on the same basis?

 

..I wonder why you did you not just try for an extension of the Course assignment date on the basis that you had been unwell...I am also doing OU course and find my tutor flexible if approached in advance...

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I think you will have a problem as, if you had a job instead of "just" a course I am sure you would have been expected to turn up..and I expect you would not have phoned and cancelled work on the same basis?

 

..I wonder why you did you not just try for an extension of the Course assignment date on the basis that you had been unwell...I am also doing OU course and find my tutor flexible if approached in advance...

 

I've had extensions in the past for my personal problems and my tutor said I can't have more in the future. Every tutor is different. One of tutors hasn't returned a single piece of work to me and is barely reachable. The other is really helpful.

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If I were working I would have called in sick.

 

I'm doing a 2 module BA course atm and I'm trying my hardest, if people want to judge that's fine but it's hard work. I've had to move house recently because my former flatmate threatened me twice and I had to call the police. All I asked was if anyone was familiar with the procedure.

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I'm sorry you've had the reactions you've had, purple_rain, although I can understand them. My sister is doing an OU course and I agree it's damned tough and very time consuming. It probably varies a bit depending on the course but, if she didn't work for herself, I don't know how she would have managed. So respect to you for giving it a go.

On the bright side, your advisor hasn't closed your claim and just wants a chat. That would be the time to be completely upfront about the amount of time the course takes and your time being sick. Then fingers crossed and hope for the best. Sorry I can't be more helpful...

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Thanks for talking to me like a normal person.

 

It's always so easy to judge. I'm not one to expose my problems online or make excuses but people forget that behind the computer is a real person and they have no idea what's going on in their life. As OU students we're not recognised as students by the government or anything. I am willing to work and plan my way around things. I was panicking about my deadlines because I was expected to show up in France for a week for uni and I've had to cancel and not go. This will affect my marks but at the same time I know there has to be sacrifices to be made. I don't think people realise how much the courses range at the OU. I have 2 assignments to hand in every month!

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I am sorry if you thought me judgemental but I was just being realistic and answering the post with my opinion and information. That is all I can do is it not.

 

From my point of view the fact is that you made the choice not to tell the JCP you were ill (yet you would have had no such conscience if in work, as you imply you would have called in sick, interesting!)....sorry but I am a great observer of behaviour.....so in "being honest" you have left it open for a possible sanction or other issues about availability for work.

 

You had the choice to behave as you would have if you were working but curiously did not do so. Is that because you have had the allowed two weeks/two appointments?

 

I applaud your wish to do the course...although the level of commitment seems to imply you may be doing more than one module at once if two assignments are due every month...so therefore maybe that will be an issue discussed too...why such a large monthly commitment if you are "genuinely" looking for full time work....?

 

Some courses allow you to stop and restart later (I took advantage of that in a Social Sciences course) and it seems you may have put pressure on yourself to do the degree faster than absolutely necessary? (I am not judging just asking, honest)?

 

I have also had to cancel and restart an entire OU module because life got in the way (yet again) and that is the harsh reality of life..it has a habit of getting in the way of our plans..:sad:...I am on my OU final warning and have to finish the one I am on to show I can do it!!

 

All you asked was about was the possible view that would be taken about the course and your availability to work and it just raised questions about your choice to call in as you did rather than call in sick..and also, to me, given what you have said, it raises issues as to the wisdom of doing the course at the rate you seem to be doing......bet you wish you had done the latter and just "been sick" now?

 

I am also a "normal person" and am graduating from the School of hard knocks shortly, I hope...:|

 

Good luck with it all.:-)

Edited by Slatted
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I do agree with the above post, while agreeing that it is comendable that you are doing the OU course the Job Centre may view it differently as they could say you are cutting down on the time you are availible for work, they may not who knows but it is a real possibility.

As another ordinary person I would just like to say that I did a 3 year law degree as a mature student at Uni and had a mortgage to pay and i did it with 4 part time jobs, sleeping was a luxury, my mum also died the week before I started my 2nd year exams and i had assignments to hand in, I didnt even think of an extension just got on with it but as you say everyone is different I am not putting this on to critisise just to clarify that I do appreciate how hard it is but I stand my my previous comments and I am a normal person.

If I have been of any help, please click on my star and let me know, thank you.

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QUOTE=assisted blonde;3908458]I do agree with the above post, while agreeing that it is comendable that you are doing the OU course the Job Centre may view it differently as they could say you are cutting down on the time you are availible for work, they may not who knows but it is a real possibility.

As another ordinary person I would just like to say that I did a 3 year law degree as a mature student at Uni and had a mortgage to pay and i did it with 4 part time jobs, sleeping was a luxury, my mum also died the week before I started my 2nd year exams and i had assignments to hand in, I didnt even think of an extension just got on with it but as you say everyone is different I am not putting this on to critisise just to clarify that I do appreciate how hard it is but I stand my my previous comments and I am a normal person.

 

To be honest, assisted blonde, you seem a bit super human to me...all that and still alive!!! Wow! and well done on the degree..:whoo:

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With regards to the open university course, it is treated exactly the same as any other part time course for JSA, as ong as the course is considered to be part time and you are willing and able to either give up te course or rearrange the days/hours to allow yo to start work there will be no problems.

If you are saying that your course work does not allow you the time to attend the CV writing workshop that is for 2 days then how would you manage to juggle the cOU and a full time job?

 

The JCP will be considering your availability as per the JSAg that you have signed and agreed to follow.

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Slatted I would love to be super human but alas I am a mere mortal, i seriously just consider that I am a normal person who choose to do a degree in my 40's in a subject that i have always loved and at the same time I still had to live. laugh.gif Lived on egg and toast for a while though.

If I have been of any help, please click on my star and let me know, thank you.

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I would not be able to cope like that. I get ill without enough rest..and my courses were cancelled more due to other peoples illness impacting upon me and the Coucil having to knock down walls and carry out substantial work on my block of flats...noisy and dusty and all the time for months and months....not condusive to good study methods...

 

... and have egg intolerance so would have to be beans for me!!...

 

Still sounds as if you coped where some would go under....so pat on the back...

 

Have you found your Law Degree helped you get better employment? Just as a matter of interest.:-)

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Yes it has even though I am no spring chicken now would love to say what i do now but too small an industry. All i can say is got agreat job, good company and a very reasonable salary now. having said that I have in the past done cleaning (not very well) shops, pubs and all the c*** jobs you can think of (except factory) its only the last 5 yeras that i have had it easy.

I think the thing with a degree like Law/history/English or any other traditional degree is that although you may not work in that field it shows a prospective employer that you can assimilate information and are literate, the trouble with some degrees these days is that they are too vague and dont really show an employer very much except in a specialist field.

If I have been of any help, please click on my star and let me know, thank you.

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