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Darth Sid

JSA query - interpretation/meaning of a line in a letter I received today.

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Any JSA experts that could perhaps light my darkness?

 

I today (23 Jan 2013) received a letter (dated 18 Jan 2013) from the DWP stating that there had been a change in my circumstances; namely and I quote:

 

"We cannot pay you an allowance from 5 January 2013. This is because:

 

you did not attend attend to sign your declaration

 

If you do not attend this office when you are meant to we cannot pay you Jobseeker's Allowance"

 

I did attend on Friday morning (18 Jan 2013 - same as the date on the letter) for my fortnightly signing intervention, only to be told that signing-on for everybody had been cancelled due to concerns over people being able to visit the JC due to the recent snowy weather.

 

When I went to query the reason for the letter at the local JC office this morning, I was basically told "It's not because of the signing-on being cancelled last Friday, it's because you failed to attend an interview with your advisor on 7 January 2013."

 

I certainly do not recall being informed either verbally or in writing of an interview on 7 Jan (especially seeing I attended a signing intervention on 4 Jan - i.e. the Friday before my apparent interview!), and I have looked through my files to see if there is any mention in any form (appointment card, letter etc), but can find none. I doubt I would have forgotten to write on BOTH my calendar AND my diary.

 

But the main thing that niggles me is surely, if I had missed an interview with my advisor, :-

 

1) it wouldn't take 11 calendar days to formulate a letter? (i.e. wouldn't I have received a letter sooner? [i.e. nearer to 7 Jan?])

 

and, more importantly,

 

2) would it not say something to the effect "you failed to attend an interview on 7 January 2013"? Stating "you did not attend to sign your declaration" suggests (to me anyhow) they are penalising me for not signing-on on Friday 18 Jan (seeing that also just so happens to be the date of the letter).

 

TBH, I find it analogous to being charged with one thing (say, running a red light), when what actually happened was something completely different (say, parking in a no-parking zone)

 

I have contacted the DWP and have an interview on Monday (28 Jan 2013) - hopefully I will have the situation clarified then.

 

Any ideas/suggestions/advice/corrections-to-my-(mis-)interpretation(s) welcome!

Edited by Darth Sid
Bleeding typo!

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At my JC when they make appointments they give me a letter there and then, and I have to sign to say I've been given it. If your JC does the same ask them about signing for the letter....to show you where you signed acknowledging your letter/appointment.

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Yes, that's a good point; I certainly, as said above, do not recall anything like that regarding an interview on 7 Jan!

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in that case you need to ask the DM for a reconsideration on the grounds that you knew nothing of this socalled magical appt... otherwise they aint gonna pay you....make sure they show you the letter or proof that you were told, especially as you werent

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If you failed to attend an interview on the 7th January then you would have until the close of business the following Monday in which to make contact show good cause and have the claim continue.

Failure to attend on the 18th would not be closed yet until close of business on the 25th January so it won't be that.

Your paperwork is kept for a period of 1 calender month within the JCP so you can ask them to locate the claim that has been closed to determine if a signature was taken for that appointment, BUT if there is a conversation noted in LMS to state that appintment booked for 7th and letter handed to custome or verbally agreed then there will be no way of re-opening the claim.

Without actually seeing the paperwork and screens I can't actually say exactly what has happended or what you can do sorry.

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Thanks for the replies everyone!

 

I will do that debt4get; I have an interview with them on Monday.

 

flumps1976, now you have been much more helpful and informative in that one reply than the JC office has been. I get the impression they're out of their depth and don't seem to know the ins-and-outs (i.e. what the procedures are, my rights, their rights, etc.)

 

IF they did actually inform me (tell me verbally, by letter, or whatever) and I had genuinely forgotten, then I will "take it on the chin" as the penalty for being so bleeding negligent. But I strongly doubt they did (I know you probably hear that billions of times, but I speak honestly - regardless of my chosen name on here!), as I am certain I would have written it both in my diary and on my calendar.

 

I wish they had stated something like "you failed to attend an interview on 7 January 2013", or even better, something like "you failed to attend an interview on 7 January 2013 at am/pm with ", rather than the vague and easily-to-misunderstand/misinterpret "you did not attend to sign your declaration"

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The file you have attached is a familiar site to me, it means that yes you attended to sign on the 4th for signing and then as you failed to attend the appointment following that the claim has been closed from the day following your last actual attendance.

You need to contact the office to ascertain how you and actually if you were notified of the appointment for the 7th of January and tbh you need to do this on Monday as if you were advised of the appointment and forgot then you will need to make a rapid reclaim claim, but if you were not officially advised then you can request that the claim is re-opened as it is less than 1 calender month since the claim was closed.

 

Unfortunatelt the standard letters never make any sense, goodness knows who actually wrote the original letters but when closing the claims tere isn't any scope to state the date and time of the missed appintment/signing which is why it isn't printed.

On the JSAPs system there is purely a screen to update to state what date the claim is to be closed from and then codes to state the reasons for closure (failure to attend, gone abroad, started work, anoher benefit etc)

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They spent 17 millions on the new UJM site, at least they could send a reminder through email or SMS or on the UJM website rather than sending backdated letters.


"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Poundland"

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Thanks again flumps1976! I have an interview there tomorrow (Mon 28 Jan 2013). I will raise the topic and insist they check.

 

I really don't think the staff at my JC office are trained in the best/correct way(s) of advising people of their rights in such circumstances. Perhaps it's more the system that's overly fallible, as opposed to any wrong-doing/dirty tricks. At least, I like to think that's the case. :|

 

They spent 17 millions on the new UJM site, at least they could send a reminder through email or SMS or on the UJM website rather than sending backdated letters.

 

LMAO! Your line there is humorous, san_d, but also a seriously true and valid point! :!:

 

Thanks to all of you! You've been of great help. :-D

Edited by Darth Sid
Hopefully make it flow better than my original posting!

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I'm not being funny, they govt did really give Monster US a £16.7m check.


"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Poundland"

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I'm not being funny, they govt did really give Monster US a £16.7m check.

 

I know you were being serious (not funny); I was meaning what you said was true, but laughable that they can spend so much money on UJM, yet not be able to improve the clarity letters they send, or even send an email or SMS to remind people!

 

For the record: I got my JSA reinstated. They found the letter they had allegedly sent to remind me about the 7 Jan interview. It had been indeed been sent... sent to the floor accidentally and kicked under a desk! :!:

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