Job Seekers Allowance

sheila oneill made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

The request was partially successful.

From: sheila oneill

1 June 2009

Dear Sir or Madam,

1/ Can you inform me whether it is an allowed practice to delay a
payment of Job Seekers Allowance without informing the claimant.
(Assuming the claimant meets the criteria for the claim and is not
guilty of breaking any rules)
2/ If so, how long can a payment be delayed?
3/ When a payment does not arrive to the claimant why is it that an
0845 number has to be contacted to source the reason for the delay
at the expense of the claimant.
4/ As the telephone number is never or rarely answered can you
inform me whether the DWP earns money from the 0845 number.

Yours faithfully,

sheila oneill

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From: DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request
Department for Work and Pensions

1 June 2009

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been received at the DWP Central FoI Team.

We will forward your request to the relevant information owner within the
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do please contact us.

For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
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From: DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request
Department for Work and Pensions

16 June 2009


Attachment FoI 1030 16.06.09.doc
37K Download View as HTML


Dear Ms O'Neill

Please see attached response to your FoI request

Kind regards

Central FoI Team

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From: sheila oneill

17 June 2009

Dear DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request,

Thank you for replying to all my questions so clearly.

In my question "How long should a claimant wait for payment of Job
seekers",
Could you answer the question in this context also.
When a claimant signs on, how long can it be expected for a
claimant to wait for a payment.

Example: Claimant signs on a Tuesday, payment would be expected on
a Friday.
If the payment did not arrive on the Friday but the following
Tuesday or Thursday

I ask this as my own payment was paid 10 days after signing one
week and 7 days after signing this time.
As this caused my direct debits to bounce in my bank causing
charges and therefore more hardship please could you let me know
what the rules are on payments.

I was also not informed that a delay would occur so therefore could
not inform my bank.

The problem also occurred that I had to spend an entire day the
first time trying to find out what had happened to my payment at
quite a cost to myself.
This in turn caused a break in my attempts to find work as 1/ I had
no money to travel to interviews and 2/ I had to spend a vast
amount of time trying to find out why my payment was delayed and
when I would receive a payment.
As the telephone service (when you can get through) cannot put you
through to processing I was left not knowing the first time when I
would receive payment.
I had to rely on someone ringing me back with the answer but I did
not receive a call. It was my local job centre who tried to resolve
the problem by emailing processing again.
By that time they had activated a payment against the request of
the local job centre (they had requested an urgent over the counter
payment) which meant I had to wait for clearing time between
processing and receiving payment in the bank. (which by then had
occurred charges)

Yours sincerely,

sheila oneill

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From: DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request
Department for Work and Pensions

17 June 2009

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been received at the DWP Central FoI Team.

We will forward your request to the relevant information owner within the
Department who will respond to you direct.

Should you also have any further queries in connection with this request
do please contact us.

For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.

[1]http://www.dwp.gov.uk/foi/

show quoted sections

Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.dwp.gov.uk/foi/

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Deedee left an annotation (16 August 2009)

Quote-marks I had the same thing.........I have signed now for a month and no adviser informed me of stopped payments. But since 16th July I have had no payments!!
Im sure its an error on their part as Im sure they would have wrote to me or stopped me signing on every fortnight for the last month!!!
Its not that but now Im overdrawn at £12 cost a month and have no money for food or bills!
And its not my fault........can someone tell me if this has happened often to others and is there compensation?
I know if it was me not abiding by my side of the contract my benefit would be stopped that day!!! It seems a tad unfair?

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sheila oneill left an annotation (17 August 2009)

Quote-marks If bank charges occur because of late or no expected payment, the DWP should refund your bank charges. So get your statements and take them to the office.

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Deedee left an annotation (17 August 2009)

Quote-marks After a weekend of stress, (office not open weekends), I called them this morning. They said the amount was suspended as I did not inform them of an address change.
Of course I had via a telephone adviser, so had not considered this as a reason for non-payment. I asked about refunding bank charges they advised me to find a bank that doesnt charge for overdrafts........;) thanks!!
Four weeks of signing on and no body sent me aletter or took care to question my address or inform me of the suspension.

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Tom Rawes left an annotation (17 August 2009)

Quote-marks I'm in the same boat.

I signed on over 5 weeks ago for the first time after setting everything up. I was credited approx £20 for the first 3 days before my sign on a week later which was fine, but since then it's been downhill and so hard for me.

I had to move elsewhere as there were no jobs where i live. I moved to Newport (S.Wales) nearly 4 weeks ago. I was told by my branch i would have to ring the new branch in Newport to transfer my details. I got round to ringing them and was then told to come down and go through the form to sort everything out. However my sign on day was on a Tuesday, but my transfer day was on a Thursday and i had already moved to the new location on the Saturday so wasn't able to sign on the Tuesday as i hadn't got my details changed and being in Newport now i couldn't go back to my previous address just to sign on for 5 mins (i live 5 hrs away from where i was based originally).

On the Thursday i went through the details i put on the transfer claim booklet i did on the previous day. After a good 30mins i was told that the sign on day i missed as i was based in my new location and couldn't sign on back where i was originally or my new location as my transfer claim day was 2 days after it, she said my payment won't come on Friday, but 5 days later. Basically by next Friday in other words.

So, i waited longer than expected until that Friday and nothing came. So, the week after i asked on my 1st sign on day in my new location what had happened. Apparently according to the person i saw, the people where i was based earlier were, i quote "naughty" and didn't process it for me to acknowledge i was in a new location for JSA. So, she did a few clicking on her PC and said shes very sorry and will be here on Friday WITH my current fortnights payment of £200 approx for this and lasts fortnights.

Friday came and nothing for my old or new sign on payments. I gave JSA a ring and was told sorry once again and a few more clicks, she said it's now been processed and will be with me Monday (which is today - 17/08/09) between (randomly) 4 & 5PM. Thats for both payments.

Nothing has come today as promised. I've now been waiting 5 weeks and I've amounted so much debt, bills and bank charges because of them. I have no help from family, friends or any one for money or food and i have nothing to sell to buy food, gas, etc. I'm doing all this work finding help and jobs and the Job Centre is doing nothing for me other than lying to me 4 times now.

I'm going down there tomorrow morning and demanding answers.

What else can i do?

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Deedee left an annotation (18 August 2009)

Quote-marks I feel the same way.............there must be some redress.

I will wait until Thursday when they assure me the money will be in my account. But reading your story I am now a bit worried.

If we make an error we get penalised, but when they do nothing doesnt seem fair?
The money I get just gets me back to square one, it is not a lump sum as bills have been paid each week.

I think the Job Centre should be liable as it would help them improve their service.

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sheila oneill left an annotation (19 August 2009)

Quote-marks It was the office itself that told me to take in a statements showing that charges have been made to my account because a payment did no arrive on time/or at all.
Will leave a note to the outcome.

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mac left an annotation (12 December 2009)

Quote-marks I have read all of your annotations and have experienced the same problems consistently with Jobcentre Plus. I have recently changed benefits from employment support allowance to Jobseekers because I am no longer ill and ready to work again. I have been told that I will be waiting until January 2010 before I get a payment. My claim started on 12/11/09. Maybe they think we should live on fresh air.The advisors will 99 times out of 100 just pay lip service. I hope your problems have been sorted out(as well as my own!) Good luck!

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Danielle: Baldwin left an annotation ( 8 February 2010)

Quote-marks Something really needs to be done about this. Made redundant, had to claim JSA in October, recieved first payment December 4th!!! Since, have only been paid correctly once, still waiting for this fortnights money, and the last fortnights only arrived last Thursday!

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Danielle: Baldwin left an annotation ( 8 February 2010)

Quote-marks And to add, an answer to the second request is well overdue!

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Julie .W left an annotation ( 2 August 2010)

Quote-marks The same sort of problem has happened to me,

I signed on on the 20th of June, and they still haven't sorted my claim out and it is now the 2nd of August!!.

My problem has mainly been caused by relief work I do for just a few hours every month,if at all, I have told the Job centre about it but they haven't bothered to get in touch with my employer until very very recently, I have been tearing my hair out and have had to ask my parents for money for food and petrol!!! not great when you are 37!!

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Mr Taylor left an annotation ( 5 August 2010)

Quote-marks Having read the annotations left here the government appear to be sending out the very clear message that if you are on benefits stay on them!

As their intention appears to be to make it as difficult as possible for you to get payments, to which you are legally entitled, should it prove necessary for you to make another legitimate claim.

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younis111 left an annotation (17 May 2011)

Quote-marks I have been waiting now since Jan 2011 to get a payment for JSA. Everytime I go to sign they tell me either it will be another 2 weeks or give me another form to sign. I have now had enough and got in touch with my local MP to see if he can sort out why when I have done everything I have been asked they still have not given me a single penny. I have had to sell everything I own to pay people back, some days I dont eat (unless I can find someone to help me) and soon I wont be able to sleep in my car as I have to sell that too. It is a 26 mile walk to get to the Job centre and back to sign as I dont have any moeny for bus and cant put fuel in the car.
I am loosing the will to live with this as I cant support my children who really need me. I have been trying to find a job in the past 5 months with no luck.

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marc left an annotation (11 November 2011)

Quote-marks Marc T .
I have been on job seekers since 16th September now its the 11TH November and I have not received a single payment ,AFTER loads of phone calls and getting told I`d get a call back but nothing ever happens ....AND THIS IS A RAPID RECLAIM....like yeah..
I took on a full time job but after 12 weeks was finished due to factory closure . .
FIRST OF ALL
I was told my claim had been lost and someone would ring me back , that did`nt happen...
when I rang back I was told they had lost my contact number so could`nt contact me ,
I have also been told I have not rang but the phone bill says other,
Got told from one gentleman he would mark my call as urgent and if I did`nt get a call back within 1 hour to ring back and ask to speak to a team leader.....

1 HOUR LATER
rang back to be told it was`nt urgent as I have not waited 3 hours ......like yeah that was on the 2nd November ......a lot more than 3 hours considering I originally rang on the 28th September and loads of times in between,
I was also told my claim had been found and it was being sent to processing.....and would take 5 to 7 days.....
NOW 7 DAYS LATER........
I have been told I would get a call back within the next 1 to 3 hours ...but I`m not holding my breath,

is there any way I can get in touch with the claims in person as my advisor says its nothing to so with him I feel like I am going around in circles but getting nowhere fast.

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marc left an annotation (21 November 2011)

Quote-marks Hi its Marc again on the 11th November I got a phone call from job seekers telling me to go down to local office to re do my claim as it had been lost .....well its now the 21st of November and I still haven`t received any acknowledgement that my claim is being processed .I am lucky I still live with my parents but its really degrading having to ask for money at 21 years old .I am going to ring again today to see if my claim is any further forward .Thank you for letting me sound off.and I hope everyone that's wrote on this site is now sorted out or better still now in employment.
Marc T

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Pammy left an annotation ( 1 March 2012)

Quote-marks Oh Dear now im worried reading all these problems! Never had to sign on or claim benefits before until early January when my marraige broke down so its all a mine field.
I have signed on twice now and as yet no payments and no award notice which i need desperately to be able to claim council tax benefits. I just keep getting told these things take time but with three kids to feed and money running out fast, time is something i don't have.

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KymEP left an annotation (11 March 2012)

Quote-marks I dont know if this will help anyone but the same thing happened to us. When we started a joint claim we had to wait 8 weeks for a payment which made it extremly difficult to look for work and go for interviews. We applied for 2 Crisis loans as i was told that other people we know get crisis loans over and over again. After 8 weeks we kicked up a fuss and called them wanting to know what was happening. We were told that they would do an emergency payment which would reach my account on the same day or next working day and that once we had applied for the first crisis loan, it should have been sorted out asap. So if any of you can, i suggest you apply for a crisis loan to help get you through. I dont know how else they expect you to live. We're so lucky we've got family who have helped us so much but what if we didnt?? Doesnt seem fair. Good luck

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