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Grrrr Stupid Jobcentre

PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:40 pm
by LemonJuice87
I'm not one to usually whinge about the jobcentre, as I'm grateful for the benefits I get. But they have really narked me off this morning.

I got a letter on Thursday off them saying that I didnt turn up to a work focused interview on 17th Novemeber. I didnt even get a letter to say I had an interview so, obviously yes thats true I didnt go.
The next day I get another letter saying they have stoped my benefits because I didnt phone them in the next 5 days to re-arrange this interview. :o

So I have spent all morning on the phone (Hate phoning them on Monday mronings) trying to get in touch with someone to find out whats going on. They said they did send a letter and were still stopping my benefits. They kindly let me re-arrange this interview for the 3rd, so hopefully it will get sorted then. It's just sooo the wrong time of the month to be stopping my benefits. All my bills are going out in the next few days and the brown stuff is gonna hit the fan if there's no money in my account.

ANNNNND, I've been told that the Jobcentre can do these interviews at the Childrens Centre at my local Primary School. It's soooo close, like, over the road kind of thing. So I asked them about it and said it would be alot easier for me to get to the Childrens centre. Then they fobbed me off saying they dont do that and dont leave the office.
My Dad is a Governor at the school and has told me that they can do these interviews there. Thats one of the reasons why they had a Childrens Centre built.
So my Dads gonna gather all the information so I can take it to this interview. Haha.

I'm just really annoyed. If the bus is running late, stops for a long time at one stop or i miss it i'm in trouble. If i am ONE second late for this interview, they turn me round and send me home. I cant afford that with the bus price's these days. Plus I dont wanna drag my daughter out in the cold for no reason. I dont want to go out for no reason.

Ok, rant about the Jobcentre over. Lol.

Re: Grrrr Stupid Jobcentre

PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 1:59 pm
by sazzled
I completely sympathise you. I've had to deal with the incompetent staff of Job Centre for the last 7 months. Same as you, I am grateful for the Job seeker's allowance but it's annoying when you abide by their rules and they still mess you around - especially when you hear in the news about all these benefit did they manage it?
It first began when I first made the claim, they took ages to process the payment. I phoned them daily and got different answers each time, eventually it got sorted. So everything was fine, then I had my first fortnightly sign on. There was me thinking that they would help with the job search, but no...I literally sat down, they asked if I had worked within the last 2 weeks, I said no, they quickly glanced over my job search diary, I signed and dated where they wanted me to and that was it...all in the space of about 2 mins. I got the impression that they were meant to help you look for a job - wishful thinking!
So that happened for 6 months, I did everything I could to look for a job, had several interviews with no luck, benefits were always paid on time. Then, after 6 months the contribution based job seekers would run out (which I had no idea of), instead of them telling me with plenty of time to sort it out so that I wouldn't be affected, I got a letter a week before stating that my contribution based Jobseeker's would run out and that I would need to go onto Income based jobseeker's. Turns out the difference is that instead of the money coming from your N.I earnings, it's now the government's actual money. So, on my next appointment, I showed them the letter and they said that I'd need to fill in another form. So I went home, thoroughly annoyed, and filled out their stupid form...identical to the last form I filled in. By this point, they had notified the Council and they put my housing benefit on hold, which was also annoying as the Jobcentre are so quick to stop your benefits, but take so long to start them! I took the form back the next day and I was told that they'd process it in their system that day - as it was a Friday, I waited till the following Tuesday before I called them, if needed. On the Tuesday, I checked my bank account...and surprise, surprise, no money! With no benefits coming in, I was poor and getting very frustrated. So I called them, and explained the situation...they said that they'd process it as quick as possible - HA! That was the cue to phone back every day....
So as each day went by, I phoned them back and kept getting different answers each time. One lady tried to do it over the phone and apparently couldn't, I have no idea why...and it sounded like she didn't know what she was on about. So, I kept trying. I eventually spoke to someone who actually sounded like they knew what they were on about (rare, I know). She processed my claim over the phone...funny that, considering the other lady couldn't! So, I left it for a few days, checked my bank account...and my backdated benefits were finally there!! Hooray!! I then got a letter through to confirm that I was on Income based Jobseeker's, so I sent it to my local council, who then paid me the backdated housing benefit. Finally, the benefits are paid and everything was sorted...or so I thought...
I was then put on this "New Deal" thingy as I'm between 18-24. I had to broaden my job search :roll: so instead of looking in Accounts/Finance & payroll (which I have experience in), I had to broaden it, so I chose retail and cleaning. She even said that I probably wouldn't find much in those 2 as I don't have the experience. I also had to broaden my work availability, so the hours were changed from 8am - 8pm. Great.
I told her that I was studying part time towards my AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) 2 evenings a week, which would, of course, interfere with the work availability. I then had to explain to her that it is beneficial towards my job search as I am part qualified and some job ads have specified that they want people who are studying towards an accounting qualfication. So, she then had to put my benefit on hold because she had to send my case to a "Decision maker" (I would love that as a job title!) to see if it was ok to narrow the work hours for those 2 evenings. This meant that they notified the council, again so my housing benefit was stopped, again.
I received a letter a few days later that said that they couldn't pay me the job seeker's, naturally, I was annoyed and I phoned my personal advisor. I said that I had received a letter saying that they couldn't pay it and where could I go to complain. She asked for the date on the letter, and then said that it was a generated letter whilst the benefit was on hold - so kind of them to annoy me and say that they couldn't pay me! She said that she had spoken to the decision maker the day before and he said that it was acceptable. So, a few days later I received another letter to say that I was fine and that my benefits would continue. So I sent it off to the council and they continued my housing benefit.
So, everything is fine at the mo unless I don't get a job by next Thurs. That's the next time I see my advisor and we are going to the next stage of the new deal. I don't know what it is but I'm not looking forward to it.
I am trying so hard to get a job, even my advisor could see by my job search diary how much I've tried. I've had 19 interviews now and the last 8 have come back saying that it was between me and someone else and they picked the other person. Mostly, because they have more experience. I have one tomorrow...hopefully, 20 is my lucky number!

I know how you feel and how frustrating it is that incompetent people like them still have their jobs and intelligent people like us don't. It just doesn't make any sense. :grouphug:

Re: Grrrr Stupid Jobcentre

PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:48 pm
by Jo
I'll join in with the group hug cos I remember what an absolute nightmare it is to be going around in circles with benefits - including housing benefit. I have been there and feel your pain! :grouphug:

Re: Grrrr Stupid Jobcentre

PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 4:09 pm
by LemonJuice87
It's so annoying. I get Income Support and all the other ones that come with having a child.
I do want a job, I would LOVE to get back into my previous job (which was bar work) but the hours are just not suitable with a child. My Dad was the one feeding my putting my daughter to bed and when it came to my night off, she didnt want me.
When I left that job it took MONTHS to get her into the 'Mummy puts you to bed' routine. I hated it.
Jobcentre don't see it like that, they just want you off thier records and to take the first job that comes up.

The point of my Work Focused Interview is to show me how to get back into work. Its not as bad as Jobseekers, i dont have to prove i've been looking for work. But i have to show i'm interested in looking for it. It's every 6 months and they pick and chose wether to send a letter to tell me when this interview is. And if i miss it or am late they stop my benefits. Usually it's not such a big deal, but I cannot afford it. I'm living on fresh air and need the money at the moment.

Last time I went they completly lost the plot, they must have. For some reason they were saying I should apply for this job that was going at the time. It was 40 hours a week, brilliant pay, working away sometimes. And was in Journalism :o . I asked them if they had the right person, because I have no experience or qualifications in that area and that I had a child and was not prepared to leave her 40 hours a week and to spend more time away from her by working away. Thier responce was comical "It doesnt hurt broaden your horizons" :o I laughed so hard.

I have to go on Thursday for this interview, I managed to get a later appointment so I have enough time to get there.
I've started a Open Uni course in Psychology so hopefully that will get them off my back for a while untill I finished this course.

People who work in my local Jobcentre are usleless, they really are. And no offence is meant to people on here that maybe work for them.