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Holiday booked for Signing on Day - What to do?

Discussion in 'benefits and housing' started by toblerone3, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. toblerone3

    toblerone3 Grrrrr

    I've just realised that I've booked myself on a holiday next month which includes the day when I'm supposed to be signing on for JSA. Its effectively only a long weekend (four days). But I will be out of the country. What's the best thing to do in this situation?

    I seem to remember that there was a thread on here recently about this issue but I can't find it.
  2. You could tell them what's happened cos won't you only lose 4 days JSA? Or ring them and change the date for a family matter-they probly wont check up?
  3. AnnO'Neemus

    AnnO'Neemus Is so vanilla

    If you tell them that you are out of the country they will stop and start your claim. Which will have a hugely fucking inconvenient knock on effect on any council tax benefit and housing benefit claims you may have. Technically, you would have to declare that you were on 'nil income' for that period, and you should still be allowed housing benefit and council tax benefit. But it will probably be a total ball ache and you'll have to provide proof for everything, fill in all the forms all over again and run the risk of the incompetent inefficient fuckers fucking up your claim and delaying payments.

    In my experience, when I was due to sign on on a Friday, but missed the signing on day, and I went in on Tuesday and explained that I was out of the country due to visiting a seriously ill family member in hospital in Germany because family members are serving in the British army over there, and I'd returned to the UK on Monday but due to blizzards and cancelled flights and stuff I'd flown to a different airport and didn't make it back home in time on the Monday, but here I was... Well, the inhumane totally lacking in compassion cunts stopped my claim (they told me "it's the rules", but I've since been told it's more discretionary than they led me to believe).

    You have a choice.

    You can either:

    (a) tell them the truth, that you're going to miss your signing on day because you're out of the country, in which case, you're going to be right royally fucked and thrown headfirst into a Kafkaesque bureaucratic nightmare of stopping and starting JSA claims, housing benefit and council tax benefit claims and hoping to god they don't fuck it all up and you don't end up in rent arrears and debt.

    (b) do something else that's outwith the rules and probably fraudulent.

    I - stupidly - told them the truth, because I went in to sign on two days later than I should, and they fucked me over. It wouldn't be so bad if they just docked you a day or two days pay or whatever, it's the fucking domino effect nightmare of having to deal with incompetent town hall administrators to sort out the fucking aftermath. I was end January/beginning of February. My council tax still isn't sorted out. :(
  4. toblerone3

    toblerone3 Grrrrr

    Whatever I do its not a good situation. :mad: :(

    I do have recent experience of accepting a temporary job for two days and managing to keep the claim ticking over. I think I did it under a rapid reclaim. A lot of paperwork and a lot of hassle but sorted out within two or three weeks. JSA was suspended for that week, but I can't remember whether HB and Council Tax benefit was affected.

    I'm wondering whether this is going to be any worse than that.

    I would prefer, it possible, to do it by the book. But hearing about cases such as yours makes me tempted to cook up some illness or family emergency. But I hate doing that sort of stuff. This pisses me off and makes me feel I wont even enjoy my holiday. What utter cunts they are. :mad::mad:

    I am on relatively good terms with the person I sign on with. I wonder if its possible for them to grant me some leeway. Sign on on Wednesday rather than Monday is all it would take.
  5. AnnO'Neemus

    AnnO'Neemus Is so vanilla

    The problem is, there are some piss-takers who got onto benefits and then fucked off to Spain or Thailand or wherever, and it was reported in the media. So as I understand it, to clamp down on piss-takers who were basically living in the sun while claiming long-term benefits, everyone else who's on benefits has to suffer, no one's allowed a holiday abroad, not even for a day trip to France. As soon as you leave the UK, that's it. And before anyone says, Oh, but people on benefits are still allowed to have a holiday in the UK, the snag with that is that a week or a fortnight's holiday in the UK can often cost more than a package deal to Costa wherever.
  6. StanSmith

    StanSmith Three Lions on my shirt

    Tell them you booked it and paid for it before you were out of work, ive done the same and they were alright about it. Just because you are out of work it doesnt mean you arent entitled to a life.
  7. AnnO'Neemus

    AnnO'Neemus Is so vanilla

    Really? Would you mind telling the cunts at my local job centre? Because they're under the distinct impression that not only are people not entitled to a life, they're not necessarily entitled to any money for any food to eat, if their bureaucratic fuck up leaves a payment in limbo somewhere in the virtual banking system over a weekend.
  8. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    You are allowed to go on holiday. However, you are supposed to go on holiday in the UK. You can get a form for it. Check carefully what the rules for this are – it used to be that you could leave a phone number for them to call if they have got you a job while you're away (yeah, right), and you then sign on when you get back. This was a few years ago, so it may have changed, but it certainly used to be the case that you were allowed to go on holiday when on the dole.

    If necessary, you can tell them you're going camping in Cornwall or whatever rather than abroad. They won't check – why would they, how would they? It is as 'safe' a lie as you can tell to the dole.
  9. Minnie_the_Minx

    Minnie_the_Minx someinenhhanding menbag and me ah bollox

    All very good unless they decide to ask for proof of booking as evidence it was booked when they were still working.
  10. toblerone3

    toblerone3 Grrrrr

    I'm tempted to brave it. If I can get a smooth 'Rapid Reclaim' process and only end up losing a couple of days benefits. Although the forms to apply for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and JSA are lengthy I've done them before and I can whizz through them without getting stressed by the bullshit amount of disclosure they ask for. My entitlement to benefits are (I think) rock solid and without complication.

    Snags due to incompetency of Council officials can (I hope) be minimised by taking the forms to the Housing Benefit office in person and talking through any documentary proof with the officials there. I dont want to get into debt but I can I cope with payments delayed by two or three weeks at a push. So long as I'm not losing out in net terms at the end of the day.

    Of the 'get out of jail cards' described I like LBJ's camping in Cornwall solution best. If I had to choose one.

    Ann mentioned a couple of things one which I find worrying and one which is hopeful

    Worrying. The domino effect on related local authority benefits and a mess which has taken more than six months to sort out. Could you have avoided this problem by being more proactive?

    Hopeful. 'Rules is Rules' is not completely true. JobCentre Staff do have discretion. This is supported by my recent experience over my last two signing on days which I have managed to persuade them to postpone by four and five days respectively. This sort of leeway would more than do the trick for me for my long weekend. However the reason I got this leeway was that I was on a course which the Jobcentre sent me on and lasted all day from 9am to 5.30pm.

    I am wondering if there are any complications and problems which I have overlooked here. It may still be possible to find a loophole or way through if I use my persuasive powers here. I do resent having to sit and think my way through this. I would much rather be concentrating on trying to find a job rather than spending time worrying about stupid benefit rules. :mad:

    Tbf the JobCentre Plus staff have been OK at times with me, but I can see this situation souring things up big time.
  11. Minnie_the_Minx

    Minnie_the_Minx someinenhhanding menbag and me ah bollox

    Remember if you do go "camping" they'll probably want your mobile number so they can contact you about jobs (as if!), so it might be a good idea to keep it switched off or not answer if you don't recognise the number
  12. S☼I

    S☼I Comic sans routine

    I seem to remember you can say you're looking for work over there, as long as it's in the EU. But I might have misremembered and be now talking jive.
  13. toblerone3

    toblerone3 Grrrrr

    I've been out of work too long for this to work and Minnie you are right they would almost certainly ask for proof of booking.

    One thing I could add to my spiel though. Is that I booked the holiday some time ago and did not foresee that I would still be signing on by September time. That's pretty credible and actually not far from the truth.

    If I ask to talk to somebody next week I will be dealing with the issue a month in advance of the holiday. I think that will play in favour to some extent and might help them smooth things over for me. I am trying to view the staff in the Job Centre as human beings being forced to implement rules which even they recognise are sometimes stupid. A lot of them look very unhappy.
  14. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    I just did a quick search, and the rules appear to be the same as they were. You are entitled to one holiday a year taken in the UK. You fill out a holiday form. You are supposed to give an address, but if you're camping, that's not going to be possible – you could just find a camp site at random and give that, but you can also legitimately say that you'll be moving from campsite to campsite. In that case, just give them your mobile phone number – but don't volunteer this: offer it if they get funny about your not giving an address. It's better not to give your number if you don't have to, but it's all a game anyway – there is no chance whatever that they will phone you up with a job, and even if they did, there could be many legitimate reasons why you did not answer your phone (don't answer the phone to them, of course).

    Double-check all this with them, but I have done precisely this in the past and the rules seem to be just the same as they were. Don't tell them you're going abroad – that will just cause a whole load of unnecessary grief.
    toblerone3 likes this.
  15. Minnie_the_Minx

    Minnie_the_Minx someinenhhanding menbag and me ah bollox

    I think you can attend an interview in the EU for up to 3 days, but that might be old and out-of-date info
  16. toblerone3

    toblerone3 Grrrrr

    Thanks for checking for me. You are very kind. :) I will ask for the form when I go into the JobCentre next week and have a look at it before making a decision on how to handle this.

    I will keep this thread updated for the record. Its useful info I am sure for some.
  17. toblerone3

    toblerone3 Grrrrr

    If that's true I need confirmation of job interview details in a certain city abroad.
  18. Minnie_the_Minx

    Minnie_the_Minx someinenhhanding menbag and me ah bollox

    This is on U75 but I've no idea how old it is

  19. grit

    grit an ugly force for good

    I know I'm going to get the wrath of U75 for this but anyway...

    How can you afford to go on holidays while claiming JSA?
  20. mr steev

    mr steev unkempt clacker

    Rendundancy money? Savings from when you worked? Partner helping out/paying? Family helping out? Doing it on the cheap?
    Why do you need to ask?
  21. grit

    grit an ugly force for good

    The content of the thread is essentially how to lie to welfare to get away with it, so I'm interested in the context.
  22. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    You ever signed on for extended periods, grit? The system has absurdities built into it, such as that you are allowed to go on holiday in the UK but not abroad. Once stuck in that system, you need to find strategies to deal with these absurdities as you come across them. Sometimes, even the dole office staff might suggest that you might think about not telling the whole truth.

    If you've never had to deal with it, you are in no position to judge those who have.
  23. grit

    grit an ugly force for good

    Yes I've been on the dole, however not in the UK. It was from these experiences that I find the post odd because when I was unemployed every last cent went towards feeding myself and rent the concept of a holiday was a fantasy. Any additional income I had went straight into savings which, to me, seems like the best use of the money.

    I dont see it as being absurd that a holiday in the UK is allowed but one abroad is not.
  24. scifisam

    scifisam feck! arse! girls! drink!

    Given that most jobseeking is online now, you can do that just as easily from abroad as from the UK, and getting back to your home area for a job interview isn't necessarily more difficult either.

    Sometimes holidays are almost as cheap as staying at home, and they can help your mental wellbeing a lot. And then there's the aforementioned cases where the holiday was paid for before you became unemployed or where someone else is paying for you to go.

    Hell, if you do manage to save up enough to pay for a proper holiday for yourself then why should you have to justify doing that rather than putting the money in the bank?
  25. Paulie Tandoori

    Paulie Tandoori shut it you egg!

    here's revol's thread on jsa and missing signing days

    you can be treated as being available for work when temporarily absent from GB if you are attending a job interview, provided you give your EO in advance and confirmed in writing if required to do so, for maximum period of 7 days.
  26. Maggot

    Maggot .

    LBJ Knows. Tis best to tell them you are goung away in this country. IME it is very unlikey they will try to contact you.
  27. toblerone3

    toblerone3 Grrrrr

    Well I've got the "Going on holiday in Great Britain" form ES674JP

    It asks the following questions
    1. Address and phone number of where you will be staying while you are away
    2. Can you be contacted at this address Y/N If yes tell us how we can contact you
    3. Tell us the address and phone of someone you will be in contact with while you are away.
    4. Are you willing to come home straight away to take up a job opportunity? Y/N
    5. Are you able to come home staight away to take up a job opportunity? Y/N?
    6. If you answered No to either 4 or 5 please tell us why
    7. Are you available for work as described in your Job Seekers Agreement while you are away? Y/N

    Thinking about what address and contact numbers to give out.
  28. geminisnake

    geminisnake a complex mass of conflicting ideas

    I can afford to lots of things on JSA but I don't smoke and rarely drink. I'm also good with money.
  29. mr steev

    mr steev unkempt clacker

    Why not?
    It's you're availability to work which is the issue, not where you choose to go on holiday.
  30. littlebabyjesus

    littlebabyjesus one of Maxwell's demons

    Whatever you do, the answers to 4,5 and 7 are all YES! (I'm sure you knew that)

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