To expensive to sign on and look for work ! what would you do ?  

 

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I want to make a change in my claimant commitment and also make a request for postal signing.

Here is the the short version what the DWP say about postal signing and the main sections that apply to me.

I live 4.1 miles away from the city centre where the jobcentre is located.

Many people tend to walk at about 3.1 mph

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preferred_walking_speed

So it is fairly safe to say it takes me on average 1:45 hours to walk to the jobcentre and 2 hours back sometimes longer due to health or weather and that does not include the time spent waiting to be seen and then the time spent with the work coach.

Postal claimants 
Overview
1.  Postal claimants are those who are exempt from attending the Jobcentre
for Work Search Reviews and are required to provide evidence of their
work search by post instead.
2.  Postal claimants must meet the same conditions for receipt of Jobseeker’s
Allowance as claimants who are required to attend the office by showing
that they are Available for and have been Actively Seeking Work.  To do
this they must provide a signed declaration and written evidence of their
Work search activity.
3.  Postal claimants are required to attend Interventions.
Eligibility criteria
4.  Claimants must be offered postal status if:
  they have caring responsibilities and are unable to make arrangements
for short-term care to cover their attendance.  For example, for a child
during school holidays.
  they live more than one hour, door to door, in either direction, from the
nearest Jobcentre by using public transport.

If I were able to use public transport it takes on average 55 minutes each way so falls short by 5 minutes.

 

  attendance would result in an absence from home in excess of four
hours.

I am indeed absent from home for more than four hours at my average walking pace and taking into account the time spent waiting and seeing the work coach.

5.  If no public transport is available, postal status is determined by whether or
not the claimant can reasonably be expected to walk from home to the
Jobcentre in one hour.  Claimants must not be asked to walk more than 3
miles.  This will depend on things like:
  their age
  their health
  the terrain over which they must walk
6.  Rather than calculating the specific time span for each individual claimant,
decisions should be taken locally on which areas are beyond the one
hour/four hour limits.

My argument here is that due to financial restraints no public transport is available and therefore I am being asked to walk 4.2 miles which is far more than 3.

 

One hour travel
7.  The one hour travel criteria are calculated from door to door, home to
office, or office to home, with each way classed as a separate journey.  If
either journey takes longer than one hour, the claimant qualifies for postal
status.  The criteria are also based on public transport, as the availability
of personal transport may vary throughout the course of a claim.
Example  
  claimant leaves home at 9.00am
  bus is due at nearest bus stop at 9.10am
  bus is due to arrive at Any Town Bus Depot at 9.50am
  claimant walks to Jobcentre and arrives at 9.55am
  outward travelling time = 55 minutes
  walking time from Jobcentre to bus depot is five minutes

  next available bus is due to leave depot at 11.00am
  bus is due at nearest bus stop to claimant’s home at 11.50am
  walking time from bus stop to home is ten minutes
  return travelling time = one hour five minutes
  total time away from home = 3 hours.
8.  In this example, the claimant qualifies for postal status on the basis of the
return journey.
Four hours absence
9.  The four hours absence criteria are based on the time from leaving home
to returning home.
Example  
  claimant leaves home at 8.00am
  only bus available in the morning is due at nearest bus stop at 8.10am
  bus is due to arrive at Any Town Bus Depot at 8.50am
  claimant walks to the Jobcentre and arrives at 8.55am
  outward travelling time = 55 minutes
  walking time from Jobcentre to bus depot is five minutes
  next available bus is due to leave at 12.00 noon
  bus is due at nearest bus stop to claimant’s home at 12.40pm
  walking time from bus stop to home is ten minutes
  claimant due to arrive home at 12.50pm
  return travelling time = 55 minutes
  total time away from home = 4 hours 50 minutes
10. In this example, the claimant qualifies for postal status under the four
hours absence criteria, as they would have to be absent from home for a
total of four hours and 50 minutes, in order to attend the Jobcentre.
Claimant requests postal status
11. If a claimant requests postal status and they meet the eligibility criteria, it
should be explained to them that they must fulfil the same availability and
actively seeking employment conditions for the receipt of Jobseeker’s
Allowance.
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/postal_jsa

So the whole argument I guess rests really on the definition of available, would the very presence of public transport make it available or would not having the funds to pay for public transport make it by any legal definition unavailable.

I have no savings, no access to loans or any other means of obtaining money other than my benefit.

I cannot afford to use public transport I walk everywhere I go.

This then brings me to my next point which is negotiating a change to my claimant commitment.

Due to my location I have the same problem when it comes to attending interviews.

Most vacancies for menial work which is the type of work I am most likely to get is situated out of town requiring 2 buses at a average cost of £10 both ways, even those closer to home still cost on average £5 to attend.

claimant can reasonably be expected to walk from home to the
Jobcentre in one hour.  Claimants must not be asked to walk more than 3
miles. 

If my argument holds true and public transport can be regarded as unavailable if one does not have the funds, which I do not and most long term unemployed single 24 years and older struggle to even survive on the amount they do receive let alone spend it on public transport.

Then I believe I could also reasonably argue that my claimant commitment be also updated to reflect that fact

That when I am looking for work it should not be more than 1 hours walk or 3 miles away due to my present circumstances.

I have explored the wheels to work scheme but is only useful once employment has been secured

Any help towards transport costs from the JCP I will only get refunded once I have proven I attended a interview which does not help if I have no money in my pocket

And in order to get a refund would involve a 8.2 mile walk.

Here is a breakdown of my finances at present.

Weekly Outgoings

Gas                              £14.00

Electric                        £10.00

Water                           £3.50

Rates                           £3.50

Budgeting Loan          £7.50

Internet                        £5.00

Loans/debt                  £5.00

Toiletries                     £7.00 (razors,toothpaste,soap,shampoo,wash powder,washing up liquid, toilet roll) 

 

Total Weekly Out       £53.00

Total income =           £73.00

 

This leaves me £20.00 per week for food.

T bags             £1.10

Sugar              £0.70

Milk                £1:80

Bread              £1.80

Margarine       £1.00

Cereal             £3:00

1 Chicken       £4.00  (3 meals)

Potatoes          £2.00

Peas                £0.60

Curry              £1.00

Eggs               £0.60

Cheese            £2.50

Total         £20.00

This leaves me nothing for emergencies and buys barely enough food to eat, I feel hungry most of the time so walking over 8 miles can be particularly hard and frankly wastes energy I do not have.

So my question is,

  1. Postal signing: Is public transport considered available given my circumstances in that I have no money to pay for it.

 

 

 

 

Practising Anarchist, Pacifist and Minimalist.

unavailable

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Idioms, Wikipedia.

See: inaccessible, scarce, unattainable

Burton's Legal Thesaurus, 4E. Copyright © 2007 by William C. Burton. Used with permission of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/unavailable

If we follow those definitions through then "impossible" is a fitting word as it is not possible to use public transport without funds.

 

Maybe look if the Wednsebury test might have any bearing what would any reasonable person would do given the circumstances

The costs of transport was covered in News at Ten exploring the difficulties folk face travelling to work.

Rising costs of transport and lack of subsidies has seen fares increase yet benefits remain stagnant.

To me my and my simple mind that a bus journey to the Jobcentre will cut 25% from my food budget is beyond reasonable.

 

Jeremy Corbyn has now brought this up in the house of commons he must be visiting the forum

 

138. If a claimant places restrictions on their availability which are not connected to,
or consistent with their physical or mental condition, they must show they have
reasonable prospects of obtaining work within all these restrictions.

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