Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

DWP Phone Scandal Back.

with 24 comments

When you’re on the Flexible New Deal you get sent on placements, and have a ‘training allowance instead of JSA. It’s around 10 pence more (I am not making this up).

When you finish the ‘training’ you have to re-apply for JSA.

Usual form-filling (I swear it’s grown  an extra few pages in the meantime). Usual letter off to – in our – case Bury St Edmunds.

Check. Always check after over 10 days.

Try to phone.

Friday. No luck.

This Morning, Monday. Two Hours trying. No luck.

Every time you get through to Income Support – not JSA. Every time. No phone queue, just this transfer. A different message half the time. We can’t say anything much. Try again. Try later. Try tomorrow. Try next bloody year no doubt….

It seems beyond the wit of the DWP to have enough people in their Call Centres, or to organise a proper queue.

I am still waiting.


Written by Andrew Coates

May 10, 2010 at 11:32 am

24 Responses

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  1. What would happen if enough people refused to accept the training allowance trick BUT agreed to do the placement for JSA only?

    Funny A4e Photos

    May 10, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    • Training Allowance is a loophole around the JSA conditions.

      It is because while on a placement you exceed over 16 hours a week of activity which deems you not available for work and potentially not actively seeking employment.

      Basically without this change you aren’t able to claim – so your claim would automatically close OR you become a benefit fraudster.

      So there is no way around it.

      Flexible New Deal

      May 10, 2010 at 7:23 pm

  2. PS. Presumably the jobseeker has to sign some paper agreeing to this in the first place.

    Funny A4e Photos

    May 10, 2010 at 6:22 pm

  3. STOP PRESS. Andrew, FND last for a year, and since it only started in October it’s not possible for anyone to have completed FND this soon.

    Funny A4e Photos

    May 10, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    • True… but everyone has to complete a Mandatory Work Related Activity period of atleast a month within the 12 months… so its possible to get the placement over and done with by mid-November.

      So after all this reclaiming nonsense, the person still is on FND. I wonder if after FND your claim closes again (although its just standard JSA not a Training Allowance like on New Deal)

      Flexible New Deal

      May 10, 2010 at 7:26 pm

      • Tip: when you want to contact the DWP over JSA go down the Dole and use their cabin phones. Got through almost immediately.

        It seems I still have a ‘live’ claim. Then, from the Dole itself, I learnt I would then have to sign on. Whether I get money I don’t know.

        Fortunately the signing-day was this same morning.

        I would have not realised this unless I had gone there today.

        Guess who never explained this side of things…..

        Andrew Coates

        May 11, 2010 at 11:41 am

      • OMG! Not that nonsense… that reminds me when it happened to me once… “front line” said my claim was closed…. call centre said it was live… (thus couldnt make a new/re claim) went back and forth a few times then finally got sorted.

        Cant remember what they did but it seems to work.

        I thought the dole phones were stuck in a queue deliberately. Interesting to know.

        Flexible New Deal

        May 11, 2010 at 9:45 pm

      • I’m off on the months work placement I have quadrouple checked with my provider RIP and they assure me that my claim will remain open and I don’t need to start a new claim at the end of placement again (and get the run around like you did) as nothing will have changed.

        I bumped into someone I know who is with TNG and he was saying someone there was moaning that they just finished their months placement and they had all the same problems you did becouse they had to put in a new claim at the end.

        I wonder if this hassle at the end of the months work placement has got something to do with the provider you get?

        I also asked at the jobcentre as I thought I better notiffy them that I was going on placement and may be late becouse Its pretty difficult to work out on placement yet also get to the jobcentre on time to sign And though the jobcentre didn’t know much they seemed to think that unless someone got a paid placement there would be no change to their circumstances at the end of placement so as long as they had kept signing on their was no need to start another claim.

        Lowestoft's Finest

        June 30, 2010 at 4:49 pm

  4. Andrew can you do a rapid reclaim? or do you have to put in a whole new claim from scratch all over again?

    lowestoft's finest

    May 11, 2010 at 4:49 pm

  5. normally on new deal a very small amount of jobseekers allowance was paid this was to cover council tax and prescriptions also there is dental treatment.

    there is no excuse having to reclaim jobseekers allowance,back then a few people seemed to have had problems’ with their claims on renewal.


    May 12, 2010 at 1:58 pm

  6. Has anyone who experienced this made a formal complaint? It’s okay if you live near a jobcentre, but if you don’t it can be very expensive an inconvenient.

    Funny A4e Photos

    May 14, 2010 at 12:25 pm

  7. JSA is a “passport” benefit, so while on New Deal, etc you continue to get paid this at a rate of 0.50p a week.

    The Job Centre should have have your claim up and running again in a few seconds, just Sign the Claim Form & Go :-)..

    Raw Deal

    May 14, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    • I used to recall a payment of 10p and the rest under a different name. Can’t remember the exact details… anyone else have more idea about about?

      Flexible New Deal

      May 14, 2010 at 5:51 pm

      • I had this too. In the 1980’s – 1990’s It was a training allowance. It was run by the provider who at the time was the Borough of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk. You got your training allowance which was at the time Ten Pounds More than JSA or whatever it was called at the time. There was though a ”Supplementary Payment” of 10 Pence Income Support. This was the Passport Payment that kept open claims for things such as..Free prescriptions and eye tests etc. I seem too remembering things like handing in your P45 and having an HR department that you could deal with. While on this scheme, I had a Heart Attack at the age of 29 in 1986. I was given sick notes by my Doctor, In the event of this after the 3rd such certificate in the November of 1986, I was sent to the Council Doctor. It was then that I was told that I could not go back to the programme and sent back to the Jobcentre. From this I recall it was a Fresh Claim as even then being on a programme was considered work


        September 10, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      • I think the scheme at the time was called something like the JOB TRAINING SCHEME.
        This involved ditch digging Etc Etc

        Mr Greenford

        September 10, 2014 at 1:26 pm

  8. During this transition period from New Deal back to JSA :-), NI Credits have a habit of getting mucked up, so at the end of the Tax Year you get landed with a “bill” from HMC&R for 1 or 2 weeks NI.

    Raw Deal

    May 14, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    • I got a bill from HMRC for almost £100 because somehow Jobcentre Plus forgot to pay me NI credits a couple of years back (in a previous claim).

      Jobcentre Plus have assured me this has been sorted – not sure if thats true or not though.

      Flexible New Deal

      May 14, 2010 at 5:50 pm

      • The “bill” from HMC&R mentions an enclosed form to fill out if you dispute the charge – but there never is 🙂 These NI credits counts towards your pension entitlement; you have seven years or thereabouts to pay these missing “contributions”. You are only allowed so many gap years before your final pension is reduced.

        Raw Deal

        May 14, 2010 at 6:50 pm

  9. Qualifying years needed for entitlement to the full basic State PensionNumber of qualifying years

    Men Women
    If you reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2010
    30 30

    If you reached State Pension before 6 April 2010
    Normally 44 Normally 39

    Raw Deal

    May 14, 2010 at 6:55 pm

  10. If you really want to know how fnd and workfare operate, watch this:


    May 25, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    • I shall post this on the Front Page!

      Andrew Coates

      May 25, 2010 at 4:14 pm

  11. lol its even got the mindless brick building exercise that we always have to do on fnd – “revert them back to childhood dependence and mindless obedience” So that’s what that is all about!


    May 25, 2010 at 2:54 pm

  12. Very interesting! A must see for New Dealers!

    From the film: Your FND provider should act friendly and interested, get info and hone their weak spots… “tell us about yourself, take this personality test, write up a CV and then use this info to manipulate them.”

    From the Freud Report on Recommendations for Welfare Reform:

    “Role of Jobcentre Plus

    … Building a detailed database on each client handed over to the contacted provider to inform the contracting model…”

    Raw Deal

    May 25, 2010 at 3:27 pm

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    DWP Phone Scandal Back. | Ipswich Unemployed Action.

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    September 10, 2014 at 12:20 pm

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