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  1. #1
    Premium Member KhunIanB-UK's Avatar
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    Default Claiming Benefits and attending a wedding in Sweden.

    Wondering if anyone has any advice...

    I was made redundant after 16 years on 9/7/2018 and submitted a JSA/benefits claim online that evening via https://www.gov.uk/jobseekers-allowance/how-to-claim. I have been looking for work and even attended an interview on Friday which I hope proves successful in getting a new job.

    Today though, I went for the JobCentrePlus JSA interview with all paperwork etc, but there was a complication as one of my nephews is getting married in Sweden on Saturday 23rd (fiancée is Swedish and he has relocated there) and I (not wife and children) have got flight booked for Friday 22nd to Monday 25th to attend the wedding with other family members from the UK, I am also the driver of one of the hire cars in Sweden as it's 2.5hours from the Airport, and the others I will be driving don't have the required conditions met.

    When I informed them of this the person at the JobCentre said that I have 2 options, cancel the application and reapply when I am back or cancel the trip for the Wedding, when I asked if that would mean I would not be entitled to anything from 10 to 26th July the shutters went up and it was an ultimatum of cancelling the application or continuing with it and cancelling the trip. I have asked her to continue with the application as she couldn't assist me with implications and I wanted to seek external advice before making a decision. She has now proceeded to make me 2 appointments on Monday that I must attend if I continue with the claim. I guess she is covering the bases.

    Now I do want to attend the wedding, it wouldn't be the end of the world if I couldn't make it, though they were disappointed a few months ago when I told them Aom, Kelly and James wouldn't be able to make it due to the impending redundancy. However, I said I would definitely go, and if I can't make it now there is also the problem of another nephew and his girlfriend who I would have been driving will lose their driver/hire car deposit which has already been paid for and other arrangements would need to be put in place at short notice.

    I have tried contacting Citizens Advice and doing websearches with no success, but will be going in person to CA tomorrow.

    Does anyone know if I can proceed with the application and wedding, would it be possible to have a deduction in benefits for the Friday and Monday that I won't be seeking work or if I will have to cancel it and start a new application after I have flown back on Monday? If I have to start a new application does that also mean I am excluding myself from anything that would have been due from the 10th until the date of the new application?

    Any help or advice would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    not heard it from me lie ,im sick ,you work all your life and these guys treat you like this ,write a couple of applications out online and press send on them days active seeking work and proof of it .

  3. #3
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ PlymouthNick's Avatar
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    Being a civil servant myself, lying will get you nowhere and all that would happen is that you would lose benefit entitlement. The government writes the rules/law civil servants have to follow it.

  4. #4
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    ha ha any one of age knows what a civil servant is like i have 2 in my family ,one basically runs the mags at manchester and the other dhss top nob in north west tell them nothing worst case they will ask for there money back ,i know were your coming from nick lol,,,,,,,,as peter kay says practice your sick voice

  5. #5
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    Ian,

    Firstly, 22nd July is a Sunday - you sure you don't mean 20th to 23rd?

    In any case, I can't see this being right. You have notified them of your job loss - even people on the dole are entitled to holidays. You are supposed to be available for work as I understand it and the only days you are not available are the Friday & the Monday. I would take this to a higher level - you have lost your job not your entitlement to be a normal human being. Of course I'm speaking on 'should be' basis, I don't know the rules.

    It sounds to me as if you've managed to pick a right **tch - it won't be easy but her immediate superior would be where I'd be going. She's made the Monday appointment out of spite so you can't tell here you've cancelled the wedding but still go.

    I'm not suggesting you should have lied but this is a clear case of trying to be honest and saying too much. I'd go in any case - keep your life as normal as possible. Try to sort it before you go but if you can't, keep fighting afterwards. If you get nowehere before you go and you get no concrete advice, I would put the whole thing in writing to them making it clear when you wish your claim to start from.

  6. #6
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    As nick says the rules are the rules and they wont change them saturday and sunday are not classed as working days .its the friday and monday and it will cause problems ,tell them you want to start the claim now and a sick voice on a monday wont do any harm ,dont trust a civil servant they think its there money lol,
    PS your talking 2 days here claim now and dont lose any sleep on it .you have more problems in finding work then to justify were you are ..

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samsung View Post
    PS your talking 2 days here claim now and dont lose any sleep on it
    No, if they get their way, Ian is looking at losing considerably more than 2 days - they will not allow his claim to start until after he returns from the wedding.

  8. #8
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    he isnt going to a wedding out of the country flip,, nudge nudge
    like i said dont lose any sleep put your claim in now .
    or delay it , i could write a list as long as my computer dosent run out of memory why not .
    cough cough peter Kay sick voice
    no you wont be able to claim as you are not in the country to look for work /throe its 2 days i wouldn't worry to much and a white lie no one is going to take you court or lock you up.
    you have been honest and that is what you get in return ,
    Now i could list what you get if you turned up in a container from Europe at hull if you want ,then you would be naffed off
    Last edited by Samsung; 17th Jul 2018 at 00:18.

  9. #9
    Premium Member KhunIanB-UK's Avatar
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    Flip,

    Thanks you are right it's fly out on Friday 20th and Back on Monday the 23rd, sorry my mind is a bit frazzled and I was also locating the £1 premium bond from 1970 that she wanted evidence of (I had declared this on the application). The Monday appointments were also deliberately added (2 of them) to make sure I wasn't going to "pull a fast one" they are listed below the 26th July appointment that she had originally booked.

    Samsung, I was completely honest with them and even though it now seems to be to my detriment and sometimes does cause complications, even if it crosses the back of my mind, I would not do that and would like it if others didn't do the same or even recommend it.

    I am going to the Citizens Advice in the morning to see them and enquire "my rights". Also found out that on 11th July Coventry has switched to Universal Credit and so a later application will result in a reduced benefit claim. The way the "shutters went down" when I informed her about the wedding (with the invitation as evidence that it was genuine and long standing) it did seem she was giving a too black and white response and surely there must be exceptions/rights. It's those exceptions/rights that I am trying to discover. If it was going with the whole family for 2 weeks in the Caribbean then I could more understand the response, as it's only me (though the invite also says wife and children) and it's Friday to Monday in Sweden, I would expect to be docked for those days, but not penalised in the way suggested. That will mean me losing any benefits from 10th July and having to resubmit/start the process again from 24th July.

    Also I am actively seeking work and the time all this is taking is not what I wanted to be doing. Got there today for a 11:50 appointment. Was then taken to a computer by one of the helpers at the door, they couldn't find my details to start with, but then at 12 they took us (I took wife and son too) up to the first floor where we were told it would be 5 to 10 minutes, then 12:35 we were called to the desk, with printer/scanner problems and not having Premium Bond it was 1pm when she informed us she should be at lunch and then a prompt 1:15 cut off. After got back home 50 minutes of phone calls and quite some time to locate Premium Bond (I also tried contacting NSI they are sending out forms to update for the £1 Premium bond). It's been a very non-productive day.
    Last edited by KhunIanB-UK; 17th Jul 2018 at 00:54.

  10. #10
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    Thats fine Ian ,i understand ,i would claim after you come back as it wont go anywhere complaining .nick said it with his post ,RULES ARE RULES ,
    And the people on the front desk of the DHSS are well not to clever on the rules only read a computer screen .I was trying to offer you a way out of hassell more than financial gain .which would have be minimum,compared to a free health check dental checks de louse ,food for free,night in hotel ,and kept till immigration status sorted ,and aint paid a bloody dime .

    .

  11. #11
    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์
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    I'm sure I read somewhere that appointments for your first claim are allocated in alphabetical order i.e. A-E on Mondays and so on.
    Lucky

  12. #12
    Premium Member KhunIanB-UK's Avatar
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    She told me the first appointment was based on National Insurance number and my number made the first appointment on a Thursday. However she then added a further 2 appointments for the Monday. I have attached copies, I have removed names and Area codes from the appointments, there are some codes noted, does anyone know their meaning too?
    Appointments.jpgReviews on Thursdays.jpg

  13. #13
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    Ian, how about a job interview on Monday 23rd. I'm sure I know a chap in Yorkshire that would vouch for you ;-). Its a long drive to Yorkshire, takes all day.

  14. #14
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    https://assets.publishing.service.go...7/dmg-abbs.pdf

    A link for DWP staff abbreviation codes.
    Lucky

  15. #15
    Premium Member KhunIanB-UK's Avatar
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    Thanks, there were no advisors at the Citizens Advice and there call helpline was no working, the receptionist there knew the person concerned and said she had been reported for "bullying" before so advised going to speak to the Manager there.

    Duly done and the Manager said the rules are clear, if you leave the UK or you are not resident in the UK then you have to cancel the claim and submit a new claim when you are back in the UK, there are NO exceptions. When I put it to her that I think her interpretations of Leave and Resident might be mistaken she did not like it one bit and when I asked for written details of this all I got was it's in all the documentation. I then said that if I had in interview with Ericsson's head office in Sweden instead of a Family Wedding would I still have to withdraw my application as I would be leaving the UK and not resident she said that would be no problem and they might even fund the flights, so it looks like there are exceptions then :-S That was not liked one bit.

    She also went on to say that if I withdrew the application and resubmitted on return I would then be on Universal Credit and that the first 7 days of my original claim would not be due any payment anyway so I would only lose a week or so of benefits. I asked her if the same 7 days would apply for the new application, which she confirmed it would, okay so that's more than 2 weeks of benefits then...

    I have handed her a letter requesting the rules and options in writing and have also been to the Law Society who have give me some numbers to call for further advice.

    She also clarified the CC SCS abbreviations and was surprised that her subordinate had not done that on my initial appointment with them as it is just to utilise the pads on the desk for the Signature Counter Signature checks which should have been done on that day.

    Flip, thanks for the suggestion, but as previously said I want to remain honest about this, but it is incredibly frustrating and I feel that I might end up losing out or taking this all the way to the Breach of Family Rights especially as the Manager said if the wedding was in the UK I would be okay, it's just that it's in Sweden, if it was in the UK I would still be able to be doing things like checking online for jobs. Got me thinking if only Sweden had the internet I would be able to do the same there too, think I will write a nice letter to my MP/MEPs too ;-)
    Last edited by KhunIanB-UK; 17th Jul 2018 at 14:39.

  16. #16
    Guest Flip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KhunIanB-UK View Post
    Duly done and the Manager said the rules are clear, if you leave the UK or you are not resident in the UK then you have to cancel the claim and submit a new claim when you are back in the UK, there are NO exceptions. When I put it to her that I think her interpretations of Leave and Resident might be mistaken she did not like it one bit and when I asked for written details of this all I got was it's in all the documentation.
    As your contacting the Law Society Ian, I think our thoughts on that statement are the same. I'm no expert but I don't believe that for one minute - yeah right, so someone who goes away for a long weekend is classed as leaving the country. I can possibly understand that they would not pay benefit for the Friday and Monday as you were not available for work. I think its a load of crap! And if it ain't, it damned well should be!

    Isn't one of our members an ex benefits adviser? Can't remember who.

    Although............a quick google search suggests that you can have up to 2 weeks holiday per year whilst on JSA but the holidays must be in the UK.

    I admire your honesty Ian but I know what I'd be doing. Think of all the muppets out there with no intention of finding a job!

  17. #17
    Premium Member KhunIanB-UK's Avatar
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    I have to go and queue for the Coventry Independent Advice Service tomorrow, with the risk that I still might not be seen. I have handed this letter over today so that I can at least get something in writing rather than just the verbal blocks. By all accounts though it looks like the Wedding being in Sweden will scupper me from being paid any benefits until at least the 31st July if I have to get a reappointment to initiate claim again on Tuesday 24th :-(

    Letter to JobCentrePlus.jpg

  18. #18
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    I used to help people with benefits when I worked in the UK but have been living in Thailand for 5 years nearly so I'm not up to date with any rule changes in recent years.

    I can see that you have good intentionally made the usual mistakes claiments do by giving more information than necessary. The good thing is you have not lied. Please don't lie as some have suggested.

    I can see you want to attend the wedding and that is a choice you alone can make.

    This my suggestion, should you attend the wedding and you have not withdrawn your claim, is this.
    Call on the day of your appointment and tell them you cannot attend. If they ask why, tell them. If they don't ask, don't tell. Ask for a new appointment as soon as possible, or even go in to the office as soon as you can. This shows you are trying to meet the set requirements to claim as best you can.

    My reasoning is this, if you withdraw your claim this will always be their postion " You withdrew your claim"

    If they stop your benefits, you can question the reasoning. If they stop your benefits , you can claim hardship allowance, which is around 60% of JSA. This will mean you will get something before the end of July.
    As said I'm not up to date with changes but withdrawing your claim could have some effect on council tax and housing benefit components of the benefit you are claiming.

  19. #19
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  20. #20
    Premium Member KhunIanB-UK's Avatar
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    Well, some good news at last, I went to an advice walk in this morning, first one was cancelled so back in the car and shot off to the other side of the Coventry, got ticket number 5 :-) and only had to wait a couple of hours, got seen and passed across all the details. The consultant needed to check some things with her boss and said she would call me back. Just had the call...

    Coventry Independent Advice Service:-
    Definitely not true that upon return from Sweden I will be put on Universal Credit it will be Job Seekers Allowance New Style as it was contribution based.
    Temporary Absence rules are clear for when already on benefits, Cancel on going away and Reapply on return via Rapid Route ~10mins. In my situation it's not clear as still applying and not yet receiving benefit, but have completed first interview and 2nd interview is really 26th, not the weird 2 on Monday 23rd. If application is withdrawn then I will unfairly lose more than the 2 days that will have been absent. They suggest don't withdraw and then complain/appeal based on what action the JobCentre take. If they insist on Universal Credit of penalising more than the time away then get back in touch with them and they will contact the Partnership Team to correct them. As I have told them the truth and not hidden anything then I can't be charged with Benefit Fraud. Have their number to contact on if needed.

    So it looks like another Government Agency not really knowing their own system and giving out bad/contradictory advice

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