Introduction

This entry is part 1 of 12 in the series JSA Survival Guide single 24 years and older

Introduction This series of articles is aimed primarily at people claiming JSA single and 24 years or older. Simply put that is the group I fall into. It would be to much work for me alone at the moment to include other groups read more about me but overtime I hope that changes. There are many great resources available online that can help you out in that regard. This guide does try to provide some basic benefit information along the

Read more

Open letter to Work Coaches

In light of another tragic death sponsored by the DWP I felt the need to ask those who administer this destructive regime a few questions. And to consider for one moment and take a long hard look at what you are actually being tasked with and the consequences of sanctions. You are carrying out orders that may result in others deaths. Do you honestly feel you are adequately trained to make those sorts of decisions ? Do you think it

Read more

RIP UJM And Hello Find A Job Service

Well an the end of an era is sadly upon us as Universal Jobmatch is set to be replaced in May. When you login to Universal Jobmatch you will be greeted with this message. Universal Jobmatch will be replaced by the Find a job service on 14 May 2018. Important: If you have an existing Universal Jobmatch account it will not move to the new service. Save any information you want to keep, like your CV, cover letters and application

Read more

How to feed a family of four jacket potatoes with 1 spud and a little patience

Ok before I let you in on the magic, potatoes were a just an example this can also apply to many other root vegetables and greens …………………… ….drum roll,…….plant it.. wait…. you got 4,6 maybe more. Yes absolutely is that magic or what !!!! It might be glaringly obvious but how many of us actually do this ? If you are a already a gardener and grow your own fruit and vegetables then great you know how much tastier your

Read more

Other help with Money

Hardship payments A hardship payment is a reduced amount of benefit payable if you have no other way of covering essentials such as food, heating or medical supplies. You might be able to get one if your benefit has been stopped because you’ve been sanctioned, or you’re being investigated for fraud, or have applied for a benefit and are waiting for a decision. Who can get a hardship payment? You need to be claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support

Read more

Universal Credit 40% Deduction Cap

‘Information required which explains how UC claimants with multiple debts have their debts prioritised and deducted in accordance with the overall 40% limit on deductions.‘. Deduction Priority Order Introduction There is a priority order for deductions in Universal Credit. However, it will only be applied if there is insufficient Universal Credit in payment or if the total deductions would otherwise exceed 40% of the benefit unit’s Universal Credit Standard Allowance. Deductions taken before the priority order is applied  The following deductions are taken before the priority order is applied (in order of precedence) 1.  Fraud Penalties. 2.  Conditionality Sanctions. 3.  Short term Advance (Universal Credit Advance (New claim or Change of Circs). 4.  First Month Advance (Universal Credit Advance (Benefit Transfer)). 5.  Budgeting Advance. Only one conditionality sanction or one fraud penalty can be applied to a claimant at any one time. However, both members of a couple can have a sanction / penalty applied. If a conditionality sanction is in place, and a fraud penalty needs to be applied to the claimant’s Universal Credit, the fraud penalty will take precedence. The conditionality sanction will be applied once the fraud penalty has ceased. If a fraud penalty or conditionality sanction is being applied, an Advance cannot be recovered at the same time. The penalty / sanction will take precedence. The Advance will be recovered once the penalty / sanction has ceased. If a penalty/sanction is only applied to part of the assessment period (for example,  2 days of the assessment period and the deduction totals less than 40% of the Universal Credit Standard Allowance) then other deductions can be taken up to the 40% maximum. If a claimant / benefit unit has more than one Advance outstanding, the priority order for Advances must be applied. Deductions priority order  Deductions are taken in the following order of precedence: Last resort deductions No 6- mortgage interest arrears (where the lender is not part of MID scheme) No 7- owner-occupier service charges arrears (where the lender is not part of MID scheme). No 8 – Rent and/or service charges arrears (minimum deduction rate of 10%). No 9- gas arrears (electricity arrears can come above gas arrears, if needed ) No 10- electricity arrears. Enforcing social obligation deductions No 11- Council Tax or Community Charge arrears. No 12- fines or Compensation Orders (minimum deduction rate) No 13- water charges arrears No 14- old scheme Child Maintenance No 15- Flat Rate Maintenance Ensuring recovery of benefit debt deductions No 16- Social Fund loans No 17- Recoverable Hardship Payments  No 18- Housing Benefit and DWP Administrative Penalties. No 19 – Housing Benefit, Tax Credit and DWP Fraud overpayments No 20- Housing Benefit and DWP Civil Penalties No 21- Housing Benefit, Tax Credit and DWP normal overpayments Enforcing social obligation deductions No 22- Integration Loan arrears No 23- Eligible Loan arrears No 24- rent and / or service charges arrears (maximum deduction rate of no less than

Read more

WAR is MAD

MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) MAD has kept the world from the brink of an all out war. Basically it is a stalemate situation where neither side can win. There will be no spoils of a nuclear war, contamination will see to that. And whoever is left will be facing a bleak future and extremely long wait of thousands of years before the radiated dust literally settles. We are in perilous times indeed, the once unmentionable threat of nuclear is now

Read more

Toilet Paper And Other Useful Paper Recycling Tips

OK  as always looking at ways to save some money and help the the planet and health toilet paper is one area we can achieve all with equal positive results. I have not purchased toilet paper for many years and save at least £200 per year on average using old newspapers for various tasks Also recycling old discarded newspapers is one way to wipe the smile off the toilet roll manufacturers face. We have an advantage over those that work.

Read more

The continuing journey

This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series JSA Survival Guide single 24 years and older

So far So we have pretty much prepared out defences, understood our rights and why it it is important to use them and why we are using them. By using the job search notes which are also available here. We have Informed the uninformed or refreshed the memory of those who knows better what the law is. And how it applies to the way we are treated and how we expect to be treated. They are clearly informed of our

Read more

Stress and the effects on the workforce in waiting

Stress Stress and the effects on the workforce in waiting namely jobseekers  is another example of why this current regime is so wrong. We touched on previously why it is important to the economy to have a number of people unemployed. Who are ready and waiting to fill the gaps as new businesses emerge and existing business grow. Why then are the powers that be determined to cause as much stress as possible to those jobseekers. Determined to deteriorate the

Read more

New Work Coach Bullshit

New Work Coach I have a new work coach and our first meeting went exactly as I expected it would with the same old bullshit. Do you have UJM account NO I want you to sign up so you can record your job search there. NO I refuse to use it How do you record to your jobsearch ? That is my business, I verbally present my Job Search steps. it is so much simpler for me. As long I

Read more

Job Search Notes

This entry is part 11 of 12 in the series JSA Survival Guide single 24 years and older

Under current law I may present my jobseeking steps or work search requirement in the format of my choosing. In order to avoid any future confusion and to prevent repeatedly going over the same issues with either misinformed, ill trained or confused members of staff who seem to not be aware of the Law. I have decided this is my favoured format. Weekly Job Search Steps Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. 3 steps Logged on Email checked for any responses, viewed latest

Read more

Free Food Become A Freegan

So basically your saying eat food from a bin ? Well yes. There is simply too much food waste in the world. With a budget on benefits of £2.00 per day for food yellow stickers became my primary way to shop.This eventually led my to trying the freegan lifestyle. I enjoy cooking, always have.Will not eat from takeaways, fast food restaurants or whatever. I prefer to prepare and cook my own food from the basic ingredients. Anything they have to

Read more

The Pressures Of Signing On

This entry is part 10 of 12 in the series JSA Survival Guide single 24 years and older

This next part of  will deal with signing on. This probably the most stressful time for any job seeker but if you finish the guide it will just be a simple box ticking exercise as far you are concerned. But first lets refresh ourselves. You have negotiated and accepted a Claimant commitment that s right for you. You have refused to sign up to Universal job Match. You now know you only have to take 3 steps or more per

Read more

Universal Job Match

This entry is part 8 of 12 in the series JSA Survival Guide single 24 years and older

UJM If they mention Universal Job Match during your negotiations with the jobseekers agreement or claimant commitment or at anytime in Journey and generally they will. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SIGN UP TO OR USE UJM IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM, FACT!!!! They might disagree with you, then what ? Tell them, You use sites like reed,indeed monster that provide the best tools and opportunities. When you have spoken to recruiters in the past, they tell you they

Read more

CV And Covering Letters

This entry is part 7 of 12 in the series JSA Survival Guide single 24 years and older

CV And Covering Letters It is also likely you will be asked if you have a CV and covering letters by the Job centre and third party providers. Explain you have several CV and Covering letters to suit various sectors where it is likely you may find work and you are able to adapt them to suit any sector if need be. They might ask if they can see a copy. If you have one of the examples on your

Read more

Housing benefit to be restored for 18 to 21-year-olds after fears young people will be made homeless

Housing benefit will be restored for 18 to 21-year-old  A move in the right direction but I suspect there is a hidden agenda behind this move. Disguised as a altruistic gesture.  Maybe they want to re-engage with the yoot. In order to obtain more votes on the net round of whoever you vote for the government wins, merry go round. The young suffered the most since the major changes in the benefit regime compared to other young generations.   This

Read more

Data Poverty

 What is data poverty Data poverty is very common yet many people do not realise they are actually data poor. Unlike food or fuel poverty. Data, the internet, connectivity is not a luxury in today’s digital age. It is an essential resource much the same as water,gas and electricity. But very little is spoken about the impact it can have on peoples lives, especially those on a low income. A trip to the library or anywhere else for that matter

Read more

Oats Are super foods smashing great (JB RIP)

Oats Super foods remember them ? if not go to the liver is a super food article where I discuss what it actually means. So onwards to plain simple oats, again oats are classed as a super food they are really cheap for the weight and a kilo can set you back less than 80 pence. A kilo of oats can provide at least 10 servings for a single person so for £1.60, 2 bags, you have at least one

Read more

First Contact

This entry is part 3 of 12 in the series JSA Survival Guide single 24 years and older

Job Centre First Contact If this is your first contact at the Job Centre, a returner, already on the journey or meet a new work coach for the first time then do not fret. The following pages will guide you through the basic legal stuff and common issues where the threat of sanctions are raised. And show you how to protect yourself against sanctions and abusive work coaches you might meet along the way. So far we have prepared ourselves

Read more

The Job Centre

This entry is part 2 of 12 in the series JSA Survival Guide single 24 years and older

The Job Centre Apart from the claimants not everything is black and white at the Job Centre. Joking aside on the rare occasion where this might also be the case, and I am not talking colour here but attitude. Is your Work coach. At the Job centre there are generally two types of Work Coach you will come across. The good and the bad. You might be lucky, and your local office comprise mainly of good Work coaches and you

Read more

Liver Is A Super food And Cheap

Liver is A Super Food I have always enjoyed and eaten  liver along with kidney, Tongue which are classed as offal in the UK. So Following on from my freegan post I thought it would be a good time to explore other foods that can help us survive on benefits. Offal is the edible organs of animals that are not considered prime cuts. Liver is offal, you can buy most types of liver, chicken to pig to lamb and more.

Read more

Orange Is The New Green

Orange is the new Green Yes at the Job centre Plus Orange has replaced Green in the overall colour scheme. After the contract for crown properties ended all the Job Centres in my town merged into the local Council Office. It is now the largest signing on centre in the UK. 150-200 Work coaches in total. I say signing on place because it is no longer branded as Job centre Plus. The decoration is now a awful orange colour that

Read more

Online Poker

Gambling I do not like gambling. So you might think it bit odd I am writing a post about on-line Poker I do not play the lottery, scratch cards, bookies or any other such nonsense.The odds are always stacked against those that do. As a long term Job seeker you have to get creative if you want to survive on a pittance. See my freegan post as an example. This tip is rather more palatable. On-line Poker has been my

Read more

UC Natural Migration And Legacy Benefits

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series UC Survival Guide single 24 years and older

Legacy Benefits And Migration I have noticed there is some confusion amongst folk on legacy benefits when will they be migrated over to Universal Credit. This is not helped by Work Coaches who are confused by the process. They tell those on legacy benefits to prepare to be migrated in the coming months as UC is rolled out. The facts are there is no plans to mandate manage migrating clients on legacy benefits until 2019. “The Government has announced that

Read more

Remove Phone and Email letter

This is an example to get you started. At the bottom of the page is a download to the template which you can edit with most word processors. Remove the blue comments and replace the red sections with your own information. As always get a second third or fourth opinion before taking any action. It is your responsibility to do so. Join the forum if you have any questions.   Your address Date Jobcentre Plus Address Dear Sir/Madam Withdrawal of

Read more

The Appeal Process

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series JSA Survival Guide Part : 2 The Journey

The Appeal Process 1. After receiving a decision notice from the DWP Decision Maker. You must appeal via a mandatory reconsideration (see below) within one month from the date on the decision notice. 2. Send your mandatory reconsideration by recorded delivery to the address on the decision letter or ask Job centre Plus to scan and send directly to the Decision Maker. 3. After 7 days have elapsed check that the mandatory reconsideration has been received and keep checking every

Read more

News As It Should Be Reported

Jonathan Pie Our very own roving news reporter. Well to be honest he has no connection with us whatsoever. But if we did have a News reporter Jonathan would pretty much be it.   Sometimes it takes comedy to say things as they really are. Check this guy out on Youtube for more top comedy genius.

Read more

Jim’s Journey

Jim Worked over 30 Years Outdoors in all Weathers Digging Roads and Pavements, The Weather and strenuous Work finally had a toll on Jim’s Health. Jim was offered alternative employment but he had only known manual labour, the office world was alien to him. He did not know how to spell computer let alone use one, he would say with a chuckle. His doctor agreed, continuing in his present Job Jim’s health would deteriorate. He should try to find something

Read more

ASE -List Of Acceptable Steps

This entry is part 6 of 12 in the series JSA Survival Guide single 24 years and older

Actions which count as steps towards actively seeking employment All these steps are valid steps towards actively seeking employment and you have to always remember. To be considered ASE you have to take 3 or less steps in some circumstances, and that might not include actual Job applications. asking another person, for example an agent, to help the claimant look for work seeking specialist advice, for example from a Disability Employment Adviser, to improve prospects of securing employment. drawing up

Read more

Corroboration Of Job Search Evidence

CORROBORATION OF JOB SEARCH EVIDENCE The requirement to provide proof  of your Job Seeking Activities. When signing on your work coach should accept your account of what steps to have taken since your last appointment without you having to provide evidence. Job search evidence is only required if your account is inherently improbable or contradictory. Remember not all steps can be evidenced. if a doubt is raised against your claim a simple log should suffice. In the cases where it

Read more

Remove Telephone And Email Address

This entry is part 9 of 12 in the series JSA Survival Guide single 24 years and older

Remove Consent to Store Telephone And Email Address. To store your Email Address or Telephone number requires your consent. (more on that later) Simply ask your Work Coach or third party providers such as the work programme that you require your Telephone number and Email address to be removed from the system. Or better still just send this letter inserting your own details. The must comply with your request. This will ensure you do not get bothered with pesky unwanted

Read more

Claimant Commitment Getting It Right For You

This entry is part 4 of 12 in the series JSA Survival Guide single 24 years and older

Claimant Commitment In order to receive benefit you must agree to a Jobseekers agreement (JSAG) or the new Claimant commitment (CC) Claimant commitment or Job seekers agreement as it used to be known is a agreement between you and the secretary of state. And not a contract. It is important to differentiate between contract and an agreement for this purpose. Because it is an agreement and not a contract there is no automatic penalty during your time on benefits should

Read more

Freezing Temperatures And Homelessness Should Shame Those in Power

Homeless man found dead near church after sleeping rough in freezing temperatures A homeless man has been found dead in a tent near a church, after sleeping rough in freezing temperatures. The man, named locally as Ben, had been sleeping near St Swithun’s Church in Retford, Nottinghamshire. Nottinghamshire Police said they were made aware of a “sudden death” at 8.40am on Tuesday 27 February. A file will be handed to the coroner. Scout leader Hazel Newstead, who knew Ben, said

Read more

Job Search And Evidence

This entry is part 5 of 12 in the series JSA Survival Guide single 24 years and older

Job Search And Evidence Guide This area causes the most stress and worry for claimants .I have seen people tremble with fear before and after the interview,sweat profusely. The look of fear is in the eyes of everyone sat waiting to sign on. And you can feel the tension rise as their name is called out . It is extremely difficult week in week out when you are having no luck and less options to satisfy your work coach that

Read more

Challenging Inappropriate Mandatory Activities

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series JSA Survival Guide Part : 2 The Journey

How to Challenge Daily Attendance & Other Inappropriate Mandatory Activity It is a requirement of claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance/Universal Credit that claimants take reasonable steps to seek work each week and undertake activities which will improve their prospects of securing employment. All decisions made by the DWP as well as its private contractors must be reasonable, rational and proportionate as well as appropriate for the individual concerned. Claimants have an equal say in what activities will support them back to work.

Read more

Consent

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series JSA Survival Guide Part : 2 The Journey

You have a few rights which can protect you from the abusive nature of the DWP. The one right we have which seems to tackle a lot of areas is CONSENT. Under the current Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), consent is required to be informed, specific, freely given and revocable. Who might ask you for consent ? The DWP  but mainly Private companies contracted by the DWP. Consent means just that, if anything or anyone asks / requires your consent

Read more