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A Visit To The Job Center - Dear God !

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Well the short-term savings nearly cover the short-term debt.

That just leaves the mortgage

145,000 over 9 years (till she's 65) at 5% means a payment of £1700 per month =£20,000 per annum.

That's a hefty mortgage for a single person with a child at Uni.

It's absolutely frightening how indebted a lot of people are as they reach retirement.

Salutary, ain't it?

Very worrying, and she is not alone by a long shot...ideally retirement should be debt free giving freedom from a long working life working to build a stable future to relax and enjoy...how many will be free to take advantage of that due to HPI and spending their future today. ;)

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i spent 15 years on the dole on and off.

one things for sure, they're not there to help you.

its a dehumanising process designed reduce claiments into obedient servents.

by the time i ever got to the front of the queue i could barley remembrt my name, its a process designed to weaken you up for their, 'questions'.

Just wait until you get called up to do some Back To Work Training.

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Guest happy?
I don't think anyone is suggesting she live on JSA for the rest of her natural. 64 quid a week is still 64 quid. It would be downright foolish and fiscally irresponsible not to take every bit of help she can get. Would you say no to £250 if you were looking for work for a month?

It is of course more than £64 quid. NI contributions are also made automatically for those signing-on. This may make a significant difference to someone as a pensioner - particularly women who may not have had a regular / full contributions history.

As an environment for getting yourself a good job - take a look at the person the other side of the counter. If anyone ever found a good job in a job centre these people would be the first to know about it - that they're still there is conclusive evidence that there are no good jobs to be found in a job centre.

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No, im deadly serious. Do you really think people would choose to employ someone who can take a year off work, that I have to keep their job open for them. Even though by the time they come back they have probably forgot how to do everything. AND I probably have to pay over the odds to employ a temp to do their role as well.

Or was your comment re the dolly bird on the reception?

Apparently the feminists who concocted this brilliant idea didn't consider employers perfectly natural reaction to it.

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This morning, I went with a very distressed friend of my Wife's who has lost her Job at the end of last week. She had been in constant employment since 1980, so it was a shock and as a friend of the family, I went with her for support.

The visit to the Job Center in Oldham (Lancashire) is a soul destroying seige and an successful attempt to lower you from a person to a numpty of the state. How many people a year commit suicide after their first visit to the job center, I do not know, but I bet a large proportion of them found have a smile on their face, as they will never have to endure such indignation again.

Let me tell us some non identifyable back story.

Our family friend is 56 years old.

Female

Never been unemployed.

British/White

1 Child (Studying at University)

No dependants

1 House with mortgage (145,000 approx) outstanding.

£29,000 in savings

Car on finance £12,000

Credit card debts/Loans outstanding £20,000 approx

This is what she was told today.

The reason for the visit to the JC is because if you were not aware, you cannot claim Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) if you have a certain level of saving. The computer says no.

We went to ask the possibility of using the savings in her account, to pay off her debts, get the car repossesed, buy a new smaller run around car etc.

We were told "This is classed as disposing of the savings, in order to claim state benefit and we still wouldnt pay any benefits, only national insurance".

We asked what help is there regarding payments on her mortgage.

We were told, "We do not cover mortgage payments, you should have taken out payment protection insurance, to cover you, in thisw situation".

We asked if she treated her savings as income and lived off it, until she found a new job, when her savings were depleted could she then apply for benefits.

We were told "As long as the adjudication officer does not think that you have disposed of any assets, then you may reapply".

She was in a pretty bad state before we went into, she was a wreck when we left. The system does not work in its present form to provide a safety net for those who have just lost their jobs. It only works for career claimants, who know the system and play it very well.

She has gone to the CAB (Citizens Advice) for further information.

Do not cancel or miss payments on PPI, if you need it and dont have it - YOU MAY LOSE YOUR HOME !

Really though, what the hell else did she expect?

Welcome to Browns Britain.

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Really though, what the hell else did she expect?

Welcome to Browns Britain.

Actually most of that stuff was introduced by Thatcher

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Guest joeschmo
Actually most of that stuff was introduced by Thatcher

exactly and i think you will find the Benefit Offices are slightly more comfortable now days. I hear Dave is already planning to take the comfortable chairs and central heating out ;)

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Had to go to the local jobbo with my daughter a while back after a nasty accident left her out of work, newly employed school leaver no sick pay. Same type of experience.

She was very traumatised after the accident and the job centre was as helpful as a midwife at a stag party. Oh the endless paperwork, phone calls, lost claim forms and never speaking to the same person twice. I got greyer and aged by the hour.

The upside was she vowed on a stack of bibles never, ever to set foot in the place again.

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Has everyone on HPC gone out of their tiny frickin minds this evening?

Yeah little old lady, hard working never unemployed. But seriously, shes got £29k in savings!!!!!

It may be true that a lot of scum manage to live nicely off benefits, but that means we have to stop those scum from being allowed to continue their trough snorting, it does not mean that everyone else is just as deserving so lets pay out to everyone else. Furthermore if someone has £29k savings then why the fvck do they need my taxes paid to them? The system is supposed to be there to help people that need it and if you've got £29k savings, you are not struggling to keep the wolf from the door.

Taxes are not a savings club (or redundancy insurance). Yes she's put in over many years but she has also taken out; lets not pretend that we only pay in so we can get benefits. Its the way of life. She does not qualify!!

I feel sorry for her as I am sure she feels a little nervous about life right now, but benefits are not the answer.

We need to get people off benefits. And that includes 'hard working families earning up to £60k per year' as well.

The culture of benefits is too ingrained in our lives that so many people have confused their sorrow for a confused and nervous old woman with a need for benefit payments.

And FFS - shes 56 with a £145k mortgage - WTF!

For what its worth, I've worked in recruitment for many years. She sounds like exactly the sort of person I would look for on behalf of one of my clients. And with the greatest of respect to the OP I would advise her at interview to lose the helper, as he is pointing her in the wrong direction.

She needs to focus on finding work, not scratch around for a few measly quid. She has worked all her life, by taking her to the benefits centre the OP has probably caused her more anxiety than is necessary.

"Well meaning but misguided and muddleheaded" is how I usually describe these helpers to the candidates I interview. Too many times I have seen people like this lady go from being a happy hardworking employee who never miss a days work to someone who fails to adjust to life outside of the company theyve been made redundant from. She needs positive people around her - not navel gazers. Ive lost count of the number of Cvs Ive seen where someone worked for 20 years without a break but nothing for the last 2-3 years. This happens whemn the economy is growing, so she has to be even more on her mettle right now.

This lady needs a few positives. Someone to work through her cv with her. This will be something she has probably never done, and can be done badly by people who do them all the time. But by focussing on her key strengths and achievements (no matter how small) she will be putting on a positive outlook rather than the navel gazing introspection that comes with wondering "what the fvck am i doing here?" when sat in a job centre surrounded by human scum. It will also get her over the hurdle of compiling her cv - at this stage that will be something she is afraid of.

Ive never been so maddened by someone elses post on HPC - and bizarrely, even though I have him on ignore, I found myself agreeing with Hamish!

Rant over!!!!!

Edited by Nick Dastardly

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Has everyone on HPC gone out of their tiny frickin minds this evening?

Yeah little old lady, hard working never unemployed. But seriously, shes got £29k in savings!!!!!

I agree in spirit with everything else you said, but she has 29K of savings and £32K of short term debt (loans and credit cards) So realistically she has no savings and is 3k in debt.

So yes she should revamp her cv and see whats out there, but she should also be getting some benefit from the years of paying other peoples benefits.

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I agree in spirit with everything else you said, but she has 29K of savings and £32K of short term debt (loans and credit cards) So realistically she has no savings and is 3k in debt.

So yes she should revamp her cv and see whats out there, but she should also be getting some benefit from the years of paying other peoples benefits.

This is the bit I can't get my head around. The OP said she couldn't pay off her debts with her savings as that would be classed as disposing of assets. How can that be? If you owe more than you have you have no assets to dispose of.

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Has everyone on HPC gone out of their tiny frickin minds this evening?

Yeah little old lady, hard working never unemployed. But seriously, shes got £29k in savings!!!!!

It may be true that a lot of scum manage to live nicely off benefits, but that means we have to stop those scum from being allowed to continue their trough snorting, it does not mean that everyone else is just as deserving so lets pay out to everyone else. Furthermore if someone has £29k savings then why the fvck do they need my taxes paid to them? The system is supposed to be there to help people that need it and if you've got £29k savings, you are not struggling to keep the wolf from the door.

Taxes are not a savings club (or redundancy insurance). Yes she's put in over many years but she has also taken out; lets not pretend that we only pay in so we can get benefits. Its the way of life. She does not qualify!!

I feel sorry for her as I am sure she feels a little nervous about life right now, but benefits are not the answer.

We need to get people off benefits. And that includes 'hard working families earning up to £60k per year' as well.

The culture of benefits is too ingrained in our lives that so many people have confused their sorrow for a confused and nervous old woman with a need for benefit payments.

And FFS - shes 56 with a £145k mortgage - WTF!

For what its worth, I've worked in recruitment for many years. She sounds like exactly the sort of person I would look for on behalf of one of my clients. And with the greatest of respect to the OP I would advise her at interview to lose the helper, as he is pointing her in the wrong direction.

She needs to focus on finding work, not scratch around for a few measly quid. She has worked all her life, by taking her to the benefits centre the OP has probably caused her more anxiety than is necessary.

"Well meaning but misguided and muddleheaded" is how I usually describe these helpers to the candidates I interview. Too many times I have seen people like this lady go from being a happy hardworking employee who never miss a days work to someone who fails to adjust to life outside of the company theyve been made redundant from. She needs positive people around her - not navel gazers. Ive lost count of the number of Cvs Ive seen where someone worked for 20 years without a break but nothing for the last 2-3 years. This happens whemn the economy is growing, so she has to be even more on her mettle right now.

This lady needs a few positives. Someone to work through her cv with her. This will be something she has probably never done, and can be done badly by people who do them all the time. But by focussing on her key strengths and achievements (no matter how small) she will be putting on a positive outlook rather than the navel gazing introspection that comes with wondering "what the fvck am i doing here?" when sat in a job centre surrounded by human scum. It will also get her over the hurdle of compiling her cv - at this stage that will be something she is afraid of.

Ive never been so maddened by someone elses post on HPC - and bizarrely, even though I have him on ignore, I found myself agreeing with Hamish!

Rant over!!!!!

Calm down, Nick, no one is saying she should not do all of the things you suggest. Bet it does your head in to think that there are people (who, me?) who can game the system so as to be on the sick in one country, claiming unemployed in another and living the life of Reilly in a third, eh? :P

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It barely seems worth the hassle for £60 a week.

On the positive side she has around 18 months savings, but given her age, over £30K in debts and £145k mortgage looks pretty unsustainable doesn't it?

Some difficult choices and hard pruning look to be in order. Those debts could very quickly run out of control and the interest will suck up her savings. She needs debt counselling pretty sharpish i would suggest, and possibly get the bulk of those savings "offline" just in case. Unless she's expecting quite a decent income it's difficult to see how the numbers stack up.

56 years of age and £175K of debt against £30K of savings. Its over! Unless she can sell everything and walk away with a large enough amount of cash for a mobile home.

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Guest happy?
Actually most of that stuff was introduced by Thatcher

Careful, you're breaking a well-constructed self-delusion. Will you be responsible for the emotional fall-out of your actions?

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This is the bit I can't get my head around. The OP said she couldn't pay off her debts with her savings as that would be classed as disposing of assets. How can that be? If you owe more than you have you have no assets to dispose of.

The DSS regulations do indeed permit paying-down of mortgage debt.

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Guest skullingtonjoe
Calm down, Nick, no one is saying she should not do all of the things you suggest. Bet it does your head in to think that there are people (who, me?) who can game the system so as to be on the sick in one country, claiming unemployed in another and living the life of Reilly in a third, eh? :P

How`d you manage that? Let me know mate as I`d be up for some of the `extended holiday` in some sunny climes!

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I would rather taxes go to someone who is responsible with savings then some chav who will spend it all on booze and fags then go out stealing for more. Same goes for single chav mothers who only get knocked up for the house and benefits. I don't mind the real true cases getting help as accidents and bad luck hits all, but some of them just take the piss imo and its got to stop one way or the other. I signed on for 4 months (no money wasn't entilted to it) just to get my stamp paid but left when i found out the fookers wasn't paying it as for some reason i wasn't entitled to that as well!

Edited by casper_uk

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Guest skullingtonjoe
I would rather taxes go to someone who is responsible with savings then some chav who will spend it all on booze and fags then go out stealing for more. Same goes for single chav mothers who only get knocked up for the house and benefits. I don't mind the real true cases getting help as accidents and bad luck hits all, but some of them just take the piss imo and its got to stop one way or the other. I signed on for 4 months (no money wasn't entilted to it) just to get my stamp paid but left when i found out the fookers wasn't paying it as for some reason i was entitled to that as well!

Me too.

However, being responsible is not the way to go: I wish I was a drug-dealing asylum-seeking benefit-claiming lesbian single mother from Zimbabwe! I`d be laughing :lol:

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Not meaning to be funny but, she could run a window cleaning business.

If she can raise 8 new jobs a week for a tenner each at the end of the year she'd have a business doing 416 window cleaning jobs every 4 weeks and will earn over 50k a year.

Employ someone to actually do the job and pay them a percentage of takings.

Edited by Yorkshire Lad

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How`d you manage that? Let me know mate as I`d be up for some of the `extended holiday` in some sunny climes!

Social pays €204/week in Ireland. If you are a brit you are entitled to it, same as a local, no questions. You only have to sign on once a month. cheap flights, no problem. money is paid into your a/c. I have heard they may stop this though, as the econmy is tanking. So, if you were 'sick' in UK, and unemployed in ireland, you could have enough to enjoy a nice break. Not that I would ever condone such behaviour. I believe we must all work hard until we drop.

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Guest skullingtonjoe
Social pays €204/week in Ireland. If you are a brit you are entitled to it, same as a local, no questions. You only have to sign on once a month. cheap flights, no problem. money is paid into your a/c. I have heard they may stop this though, as the econmy is tanking. So, if you were 'sick' in UK, and unemployed in ireland, you could have enough to enjoy a nice break. Not that I would ever condone such behaviour. I believe we must all work hard until we drop.

Cheers mate ;)

`Knowledge is power` :rolleyes::lol:

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Guest skullingtonjoe
Not meaning to be funny but, she could run a window cleaning business.

If she can raise 8 new jobs a week for a tenner each at the end of the year she'd have a business doing 416 window cleaning jobs every 4 weeks and will earn over 50k a year.

Employ someone to actually do the job and pay them a percentage of takings.

And employ someone else to be `the gaffer` so she can still sign on /claim HB etc etc :lol:

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Indded, drawing all her cash and paying off debt would be a bad move if she still has debt left over. Most businesses fail because of cashflow problems, not profit problems. She is right to keep a float of cash. Once the wolves are at your door, it's all downhill. If you can pay them, you can buy time (and you are buying because it costs big time). It's better than the alternative though.

The job market is indeed grim and although I have been hiring lately, I almost feel I am exploiting people because I am getting people with superb skills at close to minimum wage. That's the way the market is though and business is tough. I hope personally to have some kind of bonus scheme for my employees tied to gross profits in some way.

The fact is that for any basic minimum wage job I advertise, I get over 200 CV's and get to take my pick.

Sad but true and it's only going to get worse.

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To anyone wanting to claim benefits it's important to A. know the system beforehand! B. To project yourself in a certain manner. I claimed JSA for 6 months after finishing UNI. For me signing on was like a social occasion bumping into friends from school and my old estate, happy times! :lol:

Tip#1: Aged <30 dress in Streetwear - tracksuit & trainers, Aged >30 wear an eclectic mix of randomness i.e blue denim jeans, black shoes (preferably scuffed) and white socks! Remember: It's all about perception, if the Job Centre Plus monkey sat behind the desk thinks they're better than you that's half the battle ;)

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