Job Seekers Allowance

sheila oneill made this Freedom of Information request to Government Office for the South East

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Government Office for the South East should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

From: sheila oneill

1 June 2009

Dear Sir or Madam,

Can a direct number be called a direct number if you cannot speak
directly to the person in that department.

The service on the 08456088580 number to request information about
the processing of a Job Seekers Claim is manned by telephone
answering staff who cannot communicate with the processing team to
whom you need to speak to.
That is if you are fortunate enough to get to speak with one of
them. It has taken me since 9am this morning to get through only to
be told that they cannot help.

I was informed by the same person that due to the high number of
job seekers it has caused long delays in payments.

I would like to make a suggestion. Why does the department not
employ someone from the job seekers desperate for work.
I for one would be happy to apply.

Yours faithfully,

sheila oneill

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From: MARY RUSH
Government Office for the South East

8 June 2009

Dear Ms O'Neill

Thank-you for your correspondence received today.

Unfortunately we do not hold the information you have requested in our
office, however I have today passed along your question to Mark Atkinson
at Job Centre Plus in Guildford.

Mark will ensure that your query reaches the correct department who will
respond directly to you in due course.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need anything further, my
details are below.

Yours sincerely

Mary Rush

Mary Rush
Senior Policy Officer
Stakeholder Advisory Panel (SAP) Secretariat
Strategy Connect Team
Government Office for the South East
Ground Floor, Bridge House
1 Walnut Tree Close
Guildford
Surrey
GU1 4GA
Tel: 01483 882303
[mobile number]
Fax: 01483 882284

>>> sheila oneill <[FOI #12728 email]> 01 June 2009
15:20:48 >>>
Dear Sir or Madam,

Can a direct number be called a direct number if you cannot speak
directly to the person in that department.

The service on the 08456088580 number to request information about
the processing of a Job Seekers Claim is manned by telephone
answering staff who cannot communicate with the processing team to
whom you need to speak to. That is if you are fortunate enough to
get to speak with one of them. It has taken me since 9am this
morning to get through only to be told that they cannot help.

I was informed by the same person that due to the high number of
job seekers it has caused long delays in payments.

I would like to make a suggestion. Why does the department not
employ someone from the job seekers desperate for work. I for one
would be happy to apply.

Yours faithfully,

sheila oneill

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From: Reeves Heather JCP GUILDFORD RANGER HOUSE

9 June 2009

Dear Sheila

Thank you for your email regarding the service that you have received
from Jobcentre Plus, which has been forwarded to me and I apologise in
advance for the service that you have received. In order to escalate
your enquiry with the appropriate people, could you please let me know
where you live and if possible your national insurance number? We have
different sites dealing with benefit claims based on where the person
lives.

The number that you have quoted in your email is our our Social Fund
telephone number which takes enquiries from all over the South East of
England and is possibly why you could not get the help that you were
after.

Thank you in anticipation for your help.

Regards,

Heather

Heather Reeves
Jobcentre Plus
Guildford

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From: sheila oneill

12 June 2009

Dear Reeves Heather JCP GUILDFORD RANGER HOUSE,

Thank you for your reply.
The general number is one given to everyone in this area (East/West
Sussex).
Employees of job centre plus also feel frustrated for clients who
cannot get information regarding their claims.
My enquiry was finally sorted out following 2 emails to the
processing team from my local job centre plus.
The delay in speaking with the processing department meant my
benefit was 6 days late which caused hardship.

I would like to see clients given more consideration and better
communication.
After all no-one likes being out of work, the financial hardship
when benefits ARE being paid is quite difficult to cope with
without the added burden of money being stopped or delayed without
explanation.

It also came at a time that I was having to bury the father of my
children (separated) and being refused a funeral payment because he
had a live in carer/partner for 6 months. This person wanted
nothing to do with the funeral arrangements, there was no-one else
to take responsibility and my sons were too young to apply. Yet I
was refused payment on behalf of my sons.
It caused a lot of distress to my sons, especially with the
difficulties with my job seekers in arranging some flowers and
travel etc

Thank you again for your reply.

Yours sincerely,

sheila oneill

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From: sheila oneill

12 June 2009

Dear Sir or Madam,

Just as I emailed you to say my job seekers finally arrived 6 days
late. I find that today when due again, it did not go into my bank
account.
This has created further charges on my account for non payment of
direct debits.
It also means my phone being cut off including my internet usage
which will restrict my job search. Also my tv licence not being
paid.

I rung the processing office again in Worthing to speak again with
the same man Graham who I spoke to last week. Again could not speak
with the processing office but he did manage to inform me that the
payment was activated yesterday 11th June. (Payment not clearing
until next Tuesday, with no promises)
Should have been done on Tuesday for payment today Friday 12th
June.
He again informed me that the reason for late payment was the over
load of people claiming Job Seekers.
This does not help me already on poverty line trying to feed two
teenage sons at college with bills to pay and charges being made on
my bank account.

Yours sincerely,

sheila oneill

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From: JCP HASTINGS BDC Correspondence Team

18 June 2009

Sheila,

I have been forwarded you recent enquiry. Apologies if your enquiry has
already been resolved.

Please telephone me on the number given below and I will do my best to
resolve your enquiry.

If you would rather email back please provide your National Insurance
number as I will need it to locate your benefit details.

Thanks

Simon Birch
TASS Team
2nd Floor Heron House
St Leonards On Sea
East Sussex

TEL: 01424 452173
VPN: 7 8533 2173
FAX: 7 8533 2001

Courier: Hastings JCP
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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
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Chrisboote left an annotation ( 4 August 2009)

Quote-marks I have also had nothing but trouble from Hastings BDC, including all correspondence going to an address that I have never heard of
Following a request for information by Jenny Willott MP, you can download a list of perfomance figures showing that Hastings BDC is the worst in the country
http://www.parliament.uk/deposits/deposi...

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robert head left an annotation (18 August 2009)

Quote-marks I live in Birmingham and signed on 5weeks ago and still have no money coming in--on no less than 4 occasions I have been told it has been processed only to find the papers are with the decision maker...why? because I stupidly said I am doing a course with the Open University and they are trying to figure out if an online open course takes too much time--how hypocritical when we are told to better ourselves--I have been promised two phone calls back and they have not materialised---I want to make a complaint but to whom do I direct it....!!!!!!

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sheila oneill left an annotation (29 May 2013)

Quote-marks Was only on Job seekers because the govenment delayed the pension that we worked for, over 30-40yrs service without a private pension as civil servants etc get. Feel so sorry for all of you trying to survive with no jobs on offer while the richer have 2 homes or more, fat private or civil service pensions and take off the poorest. They seem to forget they are only richer because the poorer made them that way by working themselves to death for the richer to get richer.
I can only advise to work for yourselves and dont forget where you came from, but forget the ones who forgot you x

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