Main site > MoneySavingExpert.com Forums > Work & Benefits > Benefits & Tax Credits > Got myself into a pickle with the JSA... advice n... (Page 1)

IMPORTANT! This is MoneySavingExpert's open forum - anyone can post

Please exercise caution & report any spam, illegal, offensive, racist, libellous post to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com

  • Be nice to all MoneySavers
  • All the best tips go in the MoneySavingExpert weekly email

    Plus all the new guides, deals & loopholes

  • No spam/referral links
or Login with Facebook
Got myself into a pickle with the JSA... advice needed
Closed Thread
Views: 1,625
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
# 1
moneymattersman
Old 20-08-2011, 10:41 AM
MoneySaving Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 4
Default Got myself into a pickle with the JSA... advice needed

So I've been signing for a little while and I've never had a single problem before until now.

I live about 150 miles away from my father, but he's old and lives alone and needs regular care from family members. Due to emergency my uncle asked me if I could go and stay with him next week and I really couldn't say no. However, I explained on the phone to him that I needed to be at home until yesterday because it was my signing appointment.

When I went to my signing appointment yesterday the lady I saw refused to sign me on because she said my evidence wasn't sufficient for my job search. She asked me to go away and bring back all the applications I'd submitted over the two week period. I thought I'd be able to do it that afternoon but when I went to check my emails I realised I hadn't been keeping my 'confirmations' for all the online applications I make (I stupidly try to subscribe to that 'inbox zero' method of email) - I'd never been asked to provide any further evidence before so it never even occurred to me to archive these emails.

To make matters worse I'd already promised to come back and look after my Dad over 150 miles away and really couldn't let him down, so I had to leave home not having signed. Since I didn't think I'd need to be signing again I'm not returning home until next weekend!

So the situation is that for the 'evidence' of my job search I have all my covering letters and an offer of interview, but none of the emails to confirm the actual dates (the lady made a point of saying the applications needed to 'tally' with my work diary.)

Now I'm totally stuck and literally feel sick with worry. I'm 150 miles away from home, on Monday I'll be a day late to sign, I won't be back home until next Friday at the earliest and I don't have the evidence that was requested of me by the job centre. To make matters worse nobody ever picks up the phone at the Job Centre (I literally let it ring for 30 minutes last time).

Just to clarify, I'd gladly lose a week's signing if it means getting this sorted but what I can't afford to do is lose my housing benefit. I literally have no savings and if I lose a week's rent I'll be in major trouble with the landlord. I suppose what I'm saying is that if for whatever reason I get sanctioned for not being at home or not providing evidence, I need to make sure it doesn't affect my housing.

I'm going to go to the Jobcentre near my Dad's house at 9AM on Monday but I really don't know what they'll say. I'm so worried I'm even considering signing off until I'm back home and just explaining that for that period I wasn't available for work then reclaiming when I get back home?

Maybe I'm just making this worse in my head though? I just keep poring through pages and pages of information about JSA 'sanctions' and I'm terrified that it's going to happen to me!
moneymattersman is offline
Report Post
# 2
bestpud
Old 20-08-2011, 10:51 AM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 10,492
Default

Housing benefit isnt dependent on JSA so you are still able to claim that.

Short periods away from home should not be a problem for housing benefit but why not write to them and explain the situation? That should cover you if they receive notification of a sanction from JCP.

Don't call them - write and send it recorded delivery.
bestpud is offline
Report Post
The Following User Says Thank You to bestpud For This Useful Post: Show me >>
# 3
HappyMJ
Old 20-08-2011, 10:53 AM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: East Midlands
Posts: 13,683
Default

If you cannot prove you are looking for work then you won't get JSA. It's very simple look for work, write it down in the diary, apply for work, keep a copy and write it down in the diary.

If your JSA stops then your housing benefit will stop and you will need to make a new claim for housing benefit to continue receiving it.
HappyMJ is offline
Report Post
The Following User Says Thank You to HappyMJ For This Useful Post: Show me >>
# 4
moneymattersman
Old 20-08-2011, 10:54 AM
MoneySaving Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 4
Default

thanks so much for your help.... just to clarify do you suggest writing to my council re: housing or write to the JCP about the problem?

also do you think that the Job Centre near my father's house will sign me on providing I show them my evidence of job search and explain the family emergency?

Last edited by moneymattersman; 20-08-2011 at 10:58 AM.
moneymattersman is offline
Report Post
# 5
moneymattersman
Old 20-08-2011, 10:56 AM
MoneySaving Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 4
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMJ View Post
If you cannot prove you are looking for work then you won't get JSA. It's very simple look for work, write it down in the diary, apply for work, keep a copy and write it down in the diary.
That's the thing... I DID submit my work diary but was told it wasn't sufficient! Now I'm not home to go back and show them all the applications I sent off that week because I'm 150 miles away looking after my old man
moneymattersman is offline
Report Post
# 6
HappyMJ
Old 20-08-2011, 10:57 AM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: East Midlands
Posts: 13,683
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by moneymattersman View Post
thanks so much for your help.... just to clarify do you suggest writing to my council re: housing or write to the JCP about the problem?
Go to the council directly and explain it to them. They'll give you the forms straight away which you can fill out and return without delay.

JCP you'll have to speak to them first. Make an appointment to see someone at the Jobcentre to discuss it further.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moneymattersman View Post
That's the thing... I DID submit my work diary but was told it wasn't sufficient! Now I'm not home to go back and show them all the applications I sent off that week because I'm 150 miles away looking after my old man
How many entries on it? What does your jobseeker agreement say you need to do? I had to do 3 things per week so had to have 6 new things on the diary every sign on time. They did not count reading the employment pages and found nothing as a step.

Last edited by HappyMJ; 20-08-2011 at 10:59 AM.
HappyMJ is offline
Report Post
# 7
dookar
Old 20-08-2011, 11:09 AM
Serious MoneySaving Fan
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,623
Default

Depending on the nature of the emergency they should really be considering treats. Google 'decision makers guide' read volume 4, chapter 21 - specifically the parts about being treated as available/ase and domestic emergencies.

If you satisfy the rules, tell them so.
dookar is offline
Report Post
The Following User Says Thank You to dookar For This Useful Post: Show me >>
# 8
moneymattersman
Old 20-08-2011, 11:44 AM
MoneySaving Newbie
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 4
Default

Thanks so much for all your help guys, I think I might actually be able to eat something without feeling like vomiting now!! :S

Just to clarify - the issue didn't seem to be lack of job search on the diary it was providing evidence that what was on the diary was accurate... very strange - it's the first time I've ever been asked for that.

So I think the plan of action will be to get to the 'out of town' jobcentre at 9AM on Monday and plead my case - take my evidence of Job search and just see what happens.

In the mean time I'm going to get a letter off to my local council in the next 45 minutes via recorded delivery just explaining the situation. The below is what I was going to write. Do you think that this will be sufficient?


Dear sir/madam

My name is...

I am currently in receipt of housing benefit from the council as I am claiming Income Based Jobseekers Allowance. Due to a family emergency I missed my appointment at my local Jobcentre and although I hope to resolve the issue am concerned that the Jobcentre will sanction me for this. This letter is to inform you that if these steps are taken and the DWP contacts you to inform you that I am no longer claiming JSA I am still eligable for, and in need of my housing benefit as I am still unemployed and would ask that you do not shut my benefits claim down as a matter of course.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and if you need any further information please don't hesistate to contact me on
.....



once again thanks to all for your help!!!!
moneymattersman is offline
Report Post
# 9
bestpud
Old 20-08-2011, 12:02 PM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 10,492
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by moneymattersman View Post
Thanks so much for all your help guys, I think I might actually be able to eat something without feeling like vomiting now!! :S

Just to clarify - the issue didn't seem to be lack of job search on the diary it was providing evidence that what was on the diary was accurate... very strange - it's the first time I've ever been asked for that.

So I think the plan of action will be to get to the 'out of town' jobcentre at 9AM on Monday and plead my case - take my evidence of Job search and just see what happens.

In the mean time I'm going to get a letter off to my local council in the next 45 minutes via recorded delivery just explaining the situation. The below is what I was going to write. Do you think that this will be sufficient?


Dear sir/madam

My name is...

I am currently in receipt of housing benefit from the council as I am claiming Income Based Jobseekers Allowance. Due to a family emergency I missed my appointment at my local Jobcentre and although I hope to resolve the issue am concerned that the Jobcentre will sanction me for this. This letter is to inform you that if these steps are taken and the DWP contacts you to inform you that I am no longer claiming JSA I am still eligable for, and in need of my housing benefit as I am still unemployed and would ask that you do not shut my benefits claim down as a matter of course.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and if you need any further information please don't hesistate to contact me on
.....



once again thanks to all for your help!!!!
I'd have said that will do for now. If you do need to reclaim, they will obviously send you the forms so you can do so, but at least you've let made the first step.

I can't see why you need to re-apply from scratch tbh - what a waste of resources if that is true!
bestpud is offline
Report Post
# 10
HappyMJ
Old 20-08-2011, 12:06 PM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: East Midlands
Posts: 13,683
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bestpud View Post
I'd have said that will do for now. If you do need to reclaim, they will obviously send you the forms so you can do so, but at least you've let made the first step.

I can't see why you need to re-apply from scratch tbh - what a waste of resources if that is true!
The council is not informed of the reason a claimant has stopped claiming JSA they are just informed that their client is no longer claiming JSA. The client could have come into several thousand pounds or got a job, baby or anything. The council rely on the DWP's asset and income test for income based JSA so don't ask for it again at that stage unless they are on contributions based JSA. Now the OP is no longer claiming JSA the council want to know why.
HappyMJ is offline
Report Post
The Following User Says Thank You to HappyMJ For This Useful Post: Show me >>
# 11
bestpud
Old 20-08-2011, 12:20 PM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 10,492
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMJ View Post
The council is not informed of the reason a claimant has stopped claiming JSA they are just informed that their client is no longer claiming JSA. The client could have come into several thousand pounds or got a job, baby or anything. The council rely on the DWP's asset and income test for income based JSA so don't ask for it again at that stage unless they are on contributions based JSA. Now the OP is no longer claiming JSA the council want to know why.
Thanks for explaining - that makes sense.

I guess it depends whether he stops claiming JSA altogether, or just receives a sanction? Would he need to re-apply for HB if he only receives a short sanction?
bestpud is offline
Report Post
# 12
Macro
Old 20-08-2011, 12:22 PM
MoneySaving Stalwart
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 644
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMJ View Post

If your JSA stops then your housing benefit will stop and you will need to make a new claim for housing benefit to continue receiving it.

Incorrect.

Quote:
The council is not informed of the reason a claimant has stopped claiming JSA they are just informed that their client is no longer claiming JSA. The client could have come into several thousand pounds or got a job, baby or anything. The council rely on the DWP's asset and income test for income based JSA so don't ask for it again at that stage unless they are on contributions based JSA. Now the OP is no longer claiming JSA the council want to know why.
Also incorrect! The LA is told whythe claim has ended and can also call the call centre/BDC for more comprehensive info if they choose.

OP, if your JSA is merely sanctioned, or suspended then sanctioned, there should be no effect on your housing benefit. Your claim will be adjusted so that the sanctioned period is shown on your claim, but this is merely administrative and will not affect you financially.

If you JSA ends, your housing benefit will be suspended and the LA will probably write out for proof of income/capital. If you respond to the request within the time frame given, your claim will be reinstated using the info you have provided. Usually that means that the claimant drops a note into the LA stating that they missed signing on/whatever, and they have no other income and are waiting for their JSA reclaim to come through. The LA woud then just reinstate the claim assuming nil income whilst they wait for the JSA to be processed.

The problem the LA have is when claimants don't keep them informed. I would suggest telephoning the LA/emaiing/writing/all three much as you have done with your letter above, but include that you have no capital/savings and will have no other income should your jobseekers allowance be terminated, and that you will be reclaiming JSA immediately if it is. Include your telephone number so the assessor can call you if they need to clarify anything. Call/email/telephone ASAP every time you have any further info for the LA.

Last edited by Macro; 20-08-2011 at 12:25 PM.
Macro is offline
Report Post
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Macro For This Useful Post: Show me >>
# 13
NASA
Old 20-08-2011, 12:40 PM
Fantastically Fervent MoneySaving Super Fan
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 5,356
Send a message via MSN to NASA
Default

There are provisions for signing on at other JCP offices so if you do go to the one local to your dad then they should be able to help you out. I think the form used to be called a JSA90. They would either scan or fax it across to the other JCP responsible for your payment.
NASA is offline
Report Post
# 14
HappyMJ
Old 20-08-2011, 1:01 PM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: East Midlands
Posts: 13,683
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macro View Post
Incorrect.

Also incorrect! The LA is told whythe claim has ended and can also call the call centre/BDC for more comprehensive info if they choose.

OP, if your JSA is merely sanctioned, or suspended then sanctioned, there should be no effect on your housing benefit. Your claim will be adjusted so that the sanctioned period is shown on your claim, but this is merely administrative and will not affect you financially.

If you JSA ends, your housing benefit will be suspended and the LA will probably write out for proof of income/capital. If you respond to the request within the time frame given, your claim will be reinstated using the info you have provided. Usually that means that the claimant drops a note into the LA stating that they missed signing on/whatever, and they have no other income and are waiting for their JSA reclaim to come through. The LA woud then just reinstate the claim assuming nil income whilst they wait for the JSA to be processed.

The problem the LA have is when claimants don't keep them informed. I would suggest telephoning the LA/emaiing/writing/all three much as you have done with your letter above, but include that you have no capital/savings and will have no other income should your jobseekers allowance be terminated, and that you will be reclaiming JSA immediately if it is. Include your telephone number so the assessor can call you if they need to clarify anything. Call/email/telephone ASAP every time you have any further info for the LA.
Then you need to speak with my council. The 3 times I have stopped claiming JSA my HB has also stopped and I have to reapply for it. The last time it took 8 weeks for the payments to return. I didn't get my HB run-on until I asked for it and I was responding to the council promptly for any information they required. I used the word stopped maybe the word suspended would have been a better word but to me they both mean payments do not drop through the letterbox on a Saturday morning so they both mean stopped.
HappyMJ is offline
Report Post
# 15
Macro
Old 20-08-2011, 1:09 PM
MoneySaving Stalwart
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 644
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMJ View Post
Then you need to speak with my council. The 3 times I have stopped claiming JSA my HB has also stopped and I have to reapply for it. The last time it took 8 weeks for the payments to return. I didn't get my HB run-on until I asked for it and I was responding to the council promptly for any information they required. I used the word stopped maybe the word suspended would have been a better word but to me they both mean payments do not drop through the letterbox on a Saturday morning so they both mean stopped.
You would not have had to reapply for HB in the circs you describe, although claimants often do as they misunderstand what is required of them and what is happening to their claims. And although, to you, a suspension might appear to be the same as a termination in that both result in payment stopping, there are very important differences between the two. It is somewhat worrying that you are giving out (incorrect) benefits advice on the basis of your limited anecdotal knowledge, as there could be serious implications for the people you are advising.
Macro is offline
Report Post
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Macro For This Useful Post: Show me >>
# 16
HappyMJ
Old 20-08-2011, 1:17 PM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: East Midlands
Posts: 13,683
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macro View Post
You would not have had to reapply for HB in the circs you describe, although claimants often do as they misunderstand what is required of them and what is happening to their claims. And although, to you, a suspension might appear to be the same as a termination in that both result in payment stopping, there are very important differences between the two. It is somewhat worrying that you are giving out (incorrect) benefits advice on the basis of your limited anecdotal knowledge, as there could be serious implications for the people you are advising.
That doesn't suprise me that claimants don't understand what is required of them as the council can't word a document clearly enough for anyone to understand.

I am giving my opinion based on real world observations not the pefect world that the council thinks things should happen. All I know is that I stopped signing advising them of no income and no capital. I got a demand from council asking for the last cheque to be repaid ASAP then had to reapply for HB again.

Last edited by HappyMJ; 20-08-2011 at 1:20 PM.
HappyMJ is offline
Report Post
# 17
Arg
Old 20-08-2011, 3:22 PM
PPR
Serious MoneySaving Fan
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 871
Default

Quote:
When I went to my signing appointment yesterday the lady I saw refused to sign me on because she said my evidence wasn't sufficient for my job search.
Unless things have changed recently you should still have signed.
Arg is offline
Report Post
Closed Thread

Bookmarks
 
 




Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

 Forum Jump  

Contact Us - MoneySavingExpert.com - Archive - Privacy Statement - Top

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 6:00 AM.

 Forum Jump  

Free MoneySaving Email

Top deals: Week of 22 October 2014

Get all this & more in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email full of guides, vouchers and Deals

GET THIS FREE WEEKLY EMAIL Full of deals, guides & it's spam free

Latest News & Blogs

Martin's Twitter Feed

profile

Cheap Travel Money

Find the best online rate for holiday cash with MSE's TravelMoneyMax.

Find the best online rate for your holiday cash with MoneySavingExpert's TravelMoneyMax.

TuneChecker Top Albums

  • ED SHEERANX (DELUXE EDITION)
  • ELLA HENDERSONCHAPTER ONE (DELUXE VERSION)
  • STATUS QUOAQUOSTIC (STRIPPED BARE)

MSE's Twitter Feed

profile
Always remember anyone can post on the MSE forums, so it can be very different from our opinion.
We use Skimlinks and other affiliated links in some of our boards, for some of our users.