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A Visit To The Job Center - Dear God !

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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 !

Edited by debt-free

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Good god, you were a bit open with them.

You have to know how to play the blighters. I suspect that if you'd disposed of your savings by paying of your debts before you applied, you'd have gotten away with it.

Actually, my sis was unemployed after leaving uni, and was told NOT to mention her savings - and that was by an adviser at a job centre (mind you, that was in Wales).

My advice - go to CAB and go to a pub or cafe in a poor part of town where 'structural' unemployment is a way of life. You'll get some useful advice.

Gruff.

Edited by gruffydd

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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.

I claimed contributions based JSA £60.40 a week. This is paid irrespective of your savings if you have paid sufficient NICs.

Hope this helps

Chris

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Contribution-based JSA:

This is a non-means-tested benefit, so it is not affected by the amount of savings that you have, redundancy settlements or your partner's earnings. If there is other income, for example, part-time work while signing-on for JSA, or income from occupational or personal pensions and this income exceeds a certain limit, deductions will be made from the JSA.

This benefit depends upon certain National Insurance contribution conditions being met together with job-seeking rules (Who is eligible to claim JSA). Young people 18 - 24 years old must meet the same conditions but are paid a lower rate.

Contribution-based JSA is only paid for six months and no additional claims can be made for partners or dependant children on this benefit.

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What on earth is a person who has a years worth of savings (at least) and a great employment history doing anywhere near a job centre????? :blink:

Get on the web, and out to the agencies, and get another job!!!!!!!

Job centres are full of useless but employed idiots, whose sole function in life is to try and deny claims from useless but unemployed idiots.

Stay away from useless idiots if you want to find a job..... ;)

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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 !

Seems like you both need a crash course in the University of life! Of course the system doesn't work for you it's not meant to!

Unfortunately I think your friend won't be the first to have this condensed 1 hour seminar version at the JC, although I do worry when grownups trust the state very sheeple

Edited by Greg Bowman

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When claiming Job Seekers DO NOT disclose your savings, when I was unemployed I told them I had no savings just a few hundred £ in my Lloyds. They never check and its only £60 you get anyway.

Its always the fckers who never pay in who get the most benefit, and the deserving people get peanuts all out.

Being unemployed and going to the job center makes you feel like one of the wasters in this country. She will just have to shrugg it off and apply for jobs. Most jobs never bother replying when you apply (rude bastards). Eventually she will get something.

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What on earth is a person who has a years worth of savings (at least) and a great employment history doing anywhere near a job centre????? :blink:

Get on the web, and out to the agencies, and get another job!!!!!!!

Job centres are full of useless but employed idiots, whose sole function in life is to try and deny claims from useless but unemployed idiots.

Stay away from useless idiots if you want to find a job..... ;)

Exactly the JC isn't for genuine job seekers

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Thanks for the "front line" report debt-free.

I think some of the "advice" was wrong or at last self-serving.

JSA is not means tested and available immediately.

They DO pay mortgage payments but not right away - you have to wait a few months. However your lender won't even start repo action for 3 months so you've got a some time.

Savings is the knotty issue. On a first visit to the JC+ you should be rather airy fairy, "I may have a few thousand - I'll have to check - btw what's the limit and what counts as savings and what doesn't?" Probably the best option is to "repay some debts" to trusted family members before making a declaration. Advice needed.

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Hamish is Right, They are useless at the Job center. Tell her not to be frightened to contact all the people she knows as it was how I got back on my feet. friend of a friend recommendation.

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What on earth is a person who has a years worth of savings (at least) and a great employment history doing anywhere near a job centre????? :blink:

Get on the web, and out to the agencies, and get another job!!!!!!!

Job centres are full of useless but employed idiots, whose sole function in life is to try and deny claims from useless but unemployed idiots.

Stay away from useless idiots if you want to find a job..... ;)

She's probably there because at 56 and with the economy sinking into the sh1t at an alarming rate she imagined that all those years of paying Tax and NI might entitle her to some help in time of need ( and given the debts she is clearly in need ).

I guess she didnt see the state's betrayal coming.

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Signed on when I left Uni for a few weeks, chap interviewing me

was taken aback when I went to shake his hand after we had finished

I think he thought I was going to hit him or something :lol:

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How can paying off debts be disposal of savings?

Wasnt there a facinating suggestion on this forum about going self employed making no money and claiming tax credits to make up the difference? Do they take savings into account?

Though I would say she has a lot of debt for someone of her age, which is crazy that she has savings to pay off credit cards / loans. Why would someone take out a loan or have a massive credit card balance when they can pay it off?

It is annoying that we are forced to pay for insurance that wont pay out for us.

Edited by Johnny Storm

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What on earth is a person who has a years worth of savings (at least) and a great employment history doing anywhere near a job centre????? :blink:

Get on the web, and out to the agencies, and get another job!!!!!!!

Job centres are full of useless but employed idiots, whose sole function in life is to try and deny claims from useless but unemployed idiots.

Stay away from useless idiots if you want to find a job..... ;)

Hamish,

You've gone from 'Bull' to 'Neither'?

Great McAvatar by the way.

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What on earth is a person who has a years worth of savings (at least) and a great employment history doing anywhere near a job centre????? :blink:

Get on the web, and out to the agencies, and get another job!!!!!!!

Job centres are full of useless but employed idiots, whose sole function in life is to try and deny claims from useless but unemployed idiots.

Stay away from useless idiots if you want to find a job..... ;)

inclined to agree 100%

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She's probably there because at 56 and with the economy sinking into the sh1t at an alarming rate she imagined that all those years of paying Tax and NI might entitle her to some help in time of need ( and given the debts she is clearly in need ).

I guess she didnt see the state's betrayal coming.

Sorry, but nobody with enough sense to stay employed for that long, and have a house and a kid in Uni, would not know that the job centre is nothing but a front for dole scum and benefits scroungers to get their "I vote Labour" cheque every week.

There is no shortage of jobs for good, well qualified, hard working people. You may have to work harder, and for less money or less hours whilst the recession lasts, but in most areas, there are always jobs for good people if you go about finding them the right way. A job centre is NEVER the right way. And for all the good 60 quid a week will do someone with 30K in savings, it's rarely worth the hassle of even asking about benefits.

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What on earth is a person who has a years worth of savings (at least) and a great employment history doing anywhere near a job centre????? :blink:

Get on the web, and out to the agencies, and get another job!!!!!!!

Job centres are full of useless but employed idiots, whose sole function in life is to try and deny claims from useless but unemployed idiots.

Stay away from useless idiots if you want to find a job..... ;)

I think that is probably the most unhelpful advice I have ever heard on this subject.

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Just to reiterate what has been said. I found myself in a similar position at the start of this year and have savings above the £16k threshold. Because I had made contributions for more than 2 years with no break in employment I was able to claim Contributions based JSA. Anyone can claim this for up to 6 months - it's only £64.50 a week, but it's better than nothing.

Even my dopy advisor at the JSA was able to give me correct advice for what I could claim even if I did have to reach across the desk to type some numbers in for him as he was apparently totally innumerate.

It's not nice going to the JC - and luckily I am now back in work - but your friend's not alone and there will be plenty more in her place over the next couple of years unfortunately.

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Hamish,

You've gone from 'Bull' to 'Neither'?

Great McAvatar by the way.

I was always neither. I am bearish on house prices short term, and bullish on house prices long term. Neither is the only appropriate setting. ;)

I'll change it to Bull early next year.

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