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zohar

JSA Claim Stopped - No Reason

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I went to sign on this morning and after waiting for a long time, one of the advisers came over and asked me who I was there to see. I told them and she went off, and then came back and asked me to sit with her at her desk and asked for my NI no. which I gave her.

 

She then looked up my details and informed me that my claim had been stopped.

I was then asked if I'd missed any appointments, to which I replied 'No', and then she told me to wait as she needed to speak to someone.

 

I was then called over by a manager, who after doing some digging around, told me that it seems to have been an 'error' and that I could be signed on as normal, and my claim would be 're-started', although he wasn't sure when I would receive my money and I'd need to drop in next week to find out.

 

BUT...

 

....on my last signing a fortnight ago, I saw a new adviser who told me that my jobseeking log 'may not be adequate'. I asked why and he got quite impatient, and refused to tell me how I could amend it to meet the requirements and he said if I wanted to discuss that he would make an appointment for me to speak to someone, to which I agreed.

 

At this appointment, I spoke to the same manager I saw today and actually found him to very helpful. He said my written activity log was basically OK, but I should write the job location and ensure that wherever there was a reference number, to include that for all entries, not just the ones found on Universal Jobmatch. He also confirmed that although it was mandatory to have an Universal Jobmatch account - which I have - that it's not mandatory to give them access -which I haven't - and that my written diary of jobseeking activities which I take to each signing, was acceptable. I asked if he could make a note of our conversation on their records, which he agreed to, and I left that appointment feeling better informed and as if I'd been treated fairly.

 

But then today, I go in to find that my claim has been closed down.

 

 

So, I'm just wondering if anyone can see if there's any possible reason for this to have occurred, or if it's, as the manager told me today, simply an 'error'. I'm pretty stressed about this so any thoughts/advice would be useful.

 

 

Thanks.

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Time to speak to the center manager I think


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The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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Cant help with why it happened but I had similar a couple of years ago

 

 

Signed on one week and all was fine, the following week I got a letter saying my claim had been closed (if I hadn't got the letter I would have been like you, gone to sign on and found it had been stopped)

I went straight to the job centre to see my advisor when I got the letter, she got on the phone (not sure who it was to) and my JSA was reinstated, no delayed payments, everything just continued as normal

 

 

Hopefully yours does the same and just continues as normal now the manager has re instated it

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Cant help with why it happened but I had similar a couple of years ago

 

 

Signed on one week and all was fine, the following week I got a letter saying my claim had been closed (if I hadn't got the letter I would have been like you, gone to sign on and found it had been stopped)

I went straight to the job centre to see my advisor when I got the letter, she got on the phone (not sure who it was to) and my JSA was reinstated, no delayed payments, everything just continued as normal

 

 

Hopefully yours does the same and just continues as normal now the manager has re instated it

 

Thanks. It's just that the new advisor I saw 2 weeks ago, and who was a bit on the difficult side, which resulted in the appointment with the manager the following day, has made me feel anxious even though, as I say I above, the manager seemed quite helpful at the time. No one has indicated that I have been sanctioned and I've not received any letters about my stopped benefit so I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that it is just some sort of administrative error.

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Zohar,

 

Sorry to read of your predicament, the origin of which, as I see it, begins with the adviser who signed you on a fortnight ago.

 

It appears that this adviser raised a Doubt about the adequacy of the evidence you provided for actively seeking employment.

 

When an adviser raises a Doubt he/she then presses the button, or enters the information, that automatically prevents the processing of the payment to proceed.

 

This should trigger a letter to the claimant informing him/her that the payment of the benefit has been stopped, the reason for it and the next steps to take. You appear to be saying that you were not given any written notification, even still, several weeks later.

 

Since those you have spoken to seem to agree with you that a Doubt should not have been raised and that there was some sort of a mistake, I can’t see any logical reason why the payment cannot now be made.

 

In your predicament I would write a letter, in the first instance, to the Jobcentre manager, as a matter of urgency. Outline the problem as distinctly as you have done here and emphasising the supportive comments of those you have spoken to. Emphasise also that you believe yourself to be the victim of serious maladministration for which you will be seeking redress.

 

I would refrain from mentioning Universal Jobmatch, or any other reason why you believe or think that your benefit was stopped. It is up to them to tell you why they did what they did, not for you to help them by suggesting or giving then justifications.

 

Best of luck to you, any further assistance you require just ask. I will endeavour to help if I can.

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lapsed workacholic - Thanks for your reply. The thing is, the manager that I saw a couple of weeks ago said that any possible sanctions would first go through him before being referred to a Decision Maker, and when I spoke to him again today, he had no idea why my claim had been stopped, so it doesn't appear that an adviser ever 'pressed any button' to raise a Doubt. He also said that if there had been a Doubt, it should have affected my last payment - which I received - since benefits are paid in arrears and they would have been looking at the previous two weeks' job-seeking activities.

 

He concluded our conversation this morning by asking that I return to the Jobcentre on Monday, so he could tell me when the money would be paid. I think I'll perhaps wait until Monday to see if it has been an error or if there's something else going on. Perhaps I'm being naive but I assumed that if a claimant was sanctioned there was actually a process in place that could be audited/backchecked. In my case, though, no one seems to know anything and nothing, apparently, is even showing up on their system.

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Seems very strange for a claim to be closed down without someone ticking - or not ticking - a box somewhere.

 

When you sign on and the adviser is happy with your jobsearch then payment is put through there and then - I always make them show me the screen to prove they've done it.

 

I had a similar thing once; turned up to sign on and was was told my claim had been closed down. It turned out that an appointment letter I should have had was not actually sent out - though the appointment was logged on the system. Naturally I didn't get it, didn't attend the interview, didn't contact them and 5 days later... claim closed. Pain to sort out as I had to chase my Housing & Council tax benefits up too to get them restarted.

 

Hope you get it sorted out smoothly, let us know what the cause was in case it happens to anyone else.

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Seems very strange for a claim to be closed down without someone ticking - or not ticking - a box somewhere.

When you sign on and the adviser is happy with your jobsearch then payment is put through there and then - I always make them show me the screen to prove they've done it.

 

I had a similar thing once; turned up to sign on and was was told my claim had been closed down. It turned out that an appointment letter I should have had was not actually sent out - though the appointment was logged on the system. Naturally I didn't get it, didn't attend the interview, didn't contact them and 5 days later... claim closed. Pain to sort out as I had to chase my Housing & Council tax benefits up too to get them restarted.

 

Hope you get it sorted out smoothly, let us know what the cause was in case it happens to anyone else.

 

Yes, this is what I'm thinking. Presumably claims can't just stop - or start, for that matter - without someone, somewhere along the line having to do something. I know Jobcentres aren't the most organised of places but if they didn't have even some sort of basic system and procedure in place for something as fundamental as this, they would quickly descend into chaos.

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Does this scenario make any sense?

You signed on a fortnight ago and even though there was an unfriendly exchange between the adviser and yourself, you were not given any reason to suppose that the Doubt she raised would result in your benefit being stopped. An appointment was arranged with a manager for the following day to discuss the Doubt or issues raised.

The adviser would have had to make a decision there and then, whether to authorise the payment or not. This has to be done on the signing on day. The whole system, based as it is on days of the week and N.I. Numbers depends on this.

From the fact that you got paid one has to conclude that the adviser decided in your favour, probably thinking that if she had called it wrong then the manager could still reverse it the following day.

The following day at the meeting with the manager both yourself and he were happy enough with the points at issue to agree that there was not sufficient cause for stopping your benefit. You then asked the manager to enter something onto the system to indicate that any Doubt was unfounded or to be ignored.

I think it is possible that the act of entering any sort of remark about Doubt raised could have triggered the system to automatically set in motion the process of closing down your claim.

It is possible that this action would be too late to reverse the decision to allow the payment taken the day before, that decision having been already acted on and carried through. It would, however close down the claim to any future activity.

If this scenario has any credence then that manager is at fault, helpful as he appears to be he is not prepared to accept that he made a ****up.

As far as I know, from experience of asking about the status of my own claim, an adviser or manager can pull up instantaneously the details and status of a claim, why you or they should need to wait till next week for any details of yours I can’t figure out. If your claim is not reinstated today then today’s signing on will have been a waste of time and it will not be possible to authorise any payment to you until next Wednesday at the earliest, that is how the system works.

If you can afford to wait that long, OK. If not, I would proceed with the forwarding of a letter of complaint seeking immediate restoration of your claim.

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I got the letter through in the post from the DWP and the reason it gave for the claim being stopped was non-attendance to sign on. I called the number and spoke to someone and they said they can't understand why it had happened as the claim was shut down before my actual signing on date. He said I should get my money as usual next week, although he didn't call me back as he promised to do so, to confirm that. I'll check with my bank when the money is due next week and if it's not there, pay another visit to the Jobcentre

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Stranger and stranger! Possibly a mix up with another client of a similar name to yours, who really did miss their appointment and the adviser has actioned your claim instead by mistake? Some of the advisers tend to jot things down then do them all at the end of the day, rather than doing them immediately - that's why I always make sure they put my payment through at once while I'm there.

 

I've had advisers pull up someone elses claim on screen before when I've been sitting there and at one point there was at least one other person with my surname signing on, so it's quite possible to get claims mixed up.

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If it came about as you suggest Jasta then surely the adviser and the manager who must have pulled up Zohar's details on their monitors subsequently should have spotted it. Either way, maladministration?

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This seems strange to me. Normally, (at least when I was signing on) if you hadn't done enough, you were sanctioned. Your money was suspended; but your claim was open. You signed on as normal and then your money was reinstated when your sanction period was over. The only way claims were closed were if the claimant hadn't signed on and hadn't contacted JCP within 5 days or the claimant had closed the claim themselves. (new job, full time student, change over to another benefit, etc)

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Surely the adviser who claims to have signed on Zohar on his regular signing on day would have been blocked by the system from doing so if anyone had stopped the claim the week before without going through the process of re-opening it.

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If the claim had been closed down after signing on then I'd be blaming the adviser for not ticking the 'attended' box, resulting in the claim being automatically shut down after 5 days if no contact from the customer. It's the claim being closed before signing that's the weird bit. Someone, somewhere must have to either tick - or not tick - a box to create the error.

 

I'd be asking the DWP to send in an IT team - every keystroke staff make can be traced back to whoever was logged into a particular pc at any time. Shouldn't be too hard to spot who did what and when.

 

Sadly though, I simply don't trust anything the JC or DWP say these days - in the art of 'backside covering' they are true experts.

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