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Right to see how they arrived at decision?

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My sister has been refused benefits because they think - erroneously - she is earning 130 a week, when in fact she hasn't worked since January. They said they based their decision on her tax return (actress, self-employed). When she asks, that's all they say. She needs to see their detailed calculations and what in the tax return they used to arrive at this wrong conclusion. Can we ask for that? Thanks.

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Hello welcome to CAG.

 

 

WHO??? is refusing benefits? Council or DWP??

 

 

If it's the DWP you can send them a SAR which is free.


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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I was never a Decision Maker (all new Self Employed claims are referred up to the DM) but I can take a guess at how the decision was made: take total annual profit from tax return, divide by 52, there's your weekly income.

 

 

Anyhow, as Bazooka Boo says, she can make a Subject Access Request for this information, and she can also request a written statement of reasons. What she should not do, though, is allow the time for requesting a Mandatory Reconsideration to expire while waiting for the results of any SAR/request for SoR.


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Thank you for your answers. It's DWP. What I don't understand is how they can calculate that money as projected weekly income when she's not earning NOW? They're saying things like 'they don't know how much money she'll earn this year', but she's not employed at the moment! Hasn't worked since January, her last pay-cheque on the 23rd. She didn't even claim until March because she was living on the last of her wages.

 

She is really frustrated. Should she talk to Citizens' Advice?

 

Please help! Thanks.

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Actually I'd talk to Equity, they have more relevant experience.

 

 

https://www.thestage.co.uk/advice/2016/paul-clayton-an-actors-guide-to-financial-support/

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Very good suggestion re Equity, never thought of that! Let's hope she's kept her dues up! Thank you so much.

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Equity was no use at all! They just confirmed that there was no new legislature to account for this decision.

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My sister is an actress. She is therefore Schedule D, self-employed. She only works when she gets a casting, and that by contract. It can last a day, a week, a year. The contracts all have end dates. She has not worked since January, when her contract for a theatre show ENDED.

 

The DWP is refusing to understand her situation. They have used her latest tax return to come to the stupid conclusion that the £19,000 she earned last year is somehow ongoing, and that she is paying herself an average of £120 a week. They don't seem to want to understand that that was LAST YEAR and she is no longer working, although she is still technically self-employed. They just say they conclude that she is a 'on-going' self-employed person.

 

We have appealed and appealed but despite the fact that she has never had trouble claiming before, and they MUST have other actors in the same position and cannot be refusing all actors JSA!

 

What can we do? Running out of money to lend her...

Edited by DamnGirl!
additional info

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Threads merged...one thread per issue please.

 

Andy


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Has your sister requested mandatory reconsideration of this decision? If she has and the result of the MR was not in her favour, has she proceeded to appeal to the Tribunal?

Edited by antone
Typo

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Has your sister requested mandatory reconsideration of this decision? If she has and the result of the MR was not in her favour, has she proceeded to appeal to the Tribunal?

 

Thanks everyone so far, for your replies. Sorry I haven't checked back for a while, but she's been writing letters and stuff and we were waiting to see what the outcome of those would be, plus ... my own life... Anyway:

 

Hi, yes, she is now waiting for the Tribunal, which they say could be in 22 weeks' time! When she asked the Tribunal people for an emergency Tribunal, they refused.

 

This is ridiculous.

 

The CA lady seems to think it's about her not making it clear she is seeking other work while not under acting contract, (she IS actually looking but has very little experience outside showbiz as she's been quite successful as a jobbing actress) therefore not a Jobseeker and not allowed JSA but the DWA is not saying that - they're saying they're basing their decision on this stupid nonsense that the money she earned last tax year means that she's earning the same money CURRENTLY, even though she has not worked since January.

 

The CA lady (Citz Adv) thinks they are concealing their true reason for refusal by pretending it's about the latter, not the Jobseeker technicality.

 

A) Can they legally do that? B) Can they possibly win the Tribunal, when the truth is that she is NOT in work C)or is the burden of proof on them, to prove she IS? D) How can she get a quicker Tribunal date? 22 weeks is LUDICROUS!

 

Any help would be massively appreciated!

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Local MP, get onto them.


Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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The CA lady (Citz Adv) thinks they are concealing their true reason for refusal by pretending it's about the latter, not the Jobseeker technicality.

 

A) Can they legally do that? B) Can they possibly win the Tribunal, when the truth is that she is NOT in work C)or is the burden of proof on them, to prove she IS? D) How can she get a quicker Tribunal date? 22 weeks is LUDICROUS!

 

Any help would be massively appreciated!

 

 

A) No they can't legally do that, and it's massively improbable that they are doing that. Why on earth would they? What would it possibly achieve? But in any case, they have to tell the claimant why they have denied a claim. That they must do so truthfully is, I imagine, so obvious that no-one really feels the need to state it explicitly. The CAB adviser is way off the mark here.

 

 

B) Yes, she can win at Tribunal. She has a reasonable case. I'm not saying she will definitely win, but this is certainly worth pursuing.

 

 

C) Sorry, I 'm not sure of the answer to that.

 

 

D) Tribunal dates are set by HM Courts and Tribunals Service, not the DWP. If she's looking for an earlier date that's who she'd need to speak to. I wouldn't give her much chance of getting an earlier date, but it doesn't hurt to ask, I suppose.


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The idea that all politicians lie is music to the ears of the most egregious liars.

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Local MP, get onto them.

 

 

This is also worth a shot.


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The idea that all politicians lie is music to the ears of the most egregious liars.

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Thank you all. So, they are, in your opinion, really talking about this nonsense about her last tax year's money being somehow relevant to this year's, even though she's been unemployed since Jan? Ludicrous. She already has ccd her local MP, but maybe a direct letter would help. I don't think she's done that.

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Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Interesting thread !

 

I would think that JSA was declined, due to earnings in the tax year before the claim was made.

 

The claimant should have paid relevant national insurance contributions based on that level of income and then claimed contributory based JSA. I think for contributory, you would have had to pay 26 weeks NI in the last 2 years, before submitting the claim.

 

 

Instead they have claimed income based JSA and been declined.

 

Is Universal Credit now rolled out in the postcode area ? Worth applying for this, but don't put self employed, if not currently gainfully employed. If and when they get an acting job, then to register a change in employment.


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Thank you. Her tribunal is on Monday; she's feeling v pessimistic about it, but I don't see how they can refuse her.

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