Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Benefit Claims to Go On-Line Only.

with 31 comments

Britons will be forced to apply online for government services such as student loans, driving licences, passports and benefits under cost-cutting plans to be unveiled this week.

Officials say getting rid of all paper applications could save billions of pounds. They insist that vulnerable groups will be able to fill in forms digitally at their local post offices.

The plans are likely to infuriate millions of people. Around 27% of households still have no internet connection at home and six million people aged over 65 have never used the web.

More here.http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/nov/20/government-services-online-only

People may have noticed that the ‘insert link’ function on this site is not working. This is because Suffolk Library Computers have problems.

I have therefore had to insert the whole http  string.

It is not hard to foresee that people may have ‘problems’ when they fill in their JSA, Council Tax Benefit, Housing Benefit forms on-Line.

That is if they have access to the Net, free.

Whether they feel confident about trusting their details to such a system, or are at ease with typing on the screen, is another matter.


Written by Andrew Coates

November 22, 2010 at 10:10 am

31 Responses

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  1. But many people for JSA don’t use forms anymore. They do it over the phone. Will this still be available?

    I have never been to a single Post Office with a feature of doing digital forms… furthermore, I am talking about big Town post offices… those without internet are likely to be more rural.

    It is to save money by forcing people unable to claim or delaying claims… not by getting rid of paper. They will still keep paper records.

    Work Programme

    November 22, 2010 at 11:50 am

  2. I had to reclaim this year – after the FND Placement – and this was by a combination of phone and form.

    Andrew Coates

    November 22, 2010 at 12:01 pm

  3. I just remembered. The online version is a scam. I tried it once thought it be easier than phone. They actually call you. Then you go in for a NJI interview.

    The problem is, they don’t call you (or didnt call me) and a few weeks later you are left still trying to chase it up.

    It then happens to be a backclaim application to get the first few weeks.

    Work Programme

    November 22, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    • If you want to make a claim for JSA Work Programme, get off your lazy butt and GO to a Job Centre – a claim form isn’t going to come knocking on your door 🙂

      Job Seeeker

      November 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm

      • Well, I personally just picked up a telephone and called a freephone number…

        Work Programme

        November 22, 2010 at 3:02 pm

  4. This may not be a terrible idea, as long as provision is made for those without computer access. Having been unemployed for nearly two years, and only Christmas temp work now. I have become all too familiar with the job centre and concluded that it is a pointless organisation.

    The main problem is its split personality. It is suppose to be an enforcement body, to appease the daily mail crowd’s desire to punish what they see as the undeserving poor. At the same time, it is suppose to help and assist the unemployed in getting work; that one is for guilt ridden rich Hampstead guardian readers. As a result it does neither role very well.

    Its enforcement role consists mainly of the weekly signing on, and the standard have you been looking for work questions. The purpose of signing on, I have no idea. All it proves is that somebody can get to the job centre at a set time once or twice a week. If they want to work cash in hand, that is hardly going to stop them. The job search questions are like those questions they ask at airport security; no one ever admits to trying to smuggle drugs or guns through an airport. In the same way no ever admits to not trying to find work. There were times when the sheer pointless of looking for work wore me down. Filling out applications longer than war and peace for a crappy Mcjob, and not getting a reply; well anyone is going to get disillusioned after that. Did the job centre find out about this? No, I just said I had looked in the job paper, applied to a few online, and they sent me on my way.

    Which is why it is no good at its second role, helping the unemployed. When your at a dead end, lost all your motivation, you need an objective party to talk to. Job centre staff can’t help you find work, because they can take away your only source of income. Who is going to be honest with someone who drive them into poverty, or force them to work as a slave for a profiteering private company. It is the same with the job centre computers, in theory a good idea, allow people to search for work in the local area. Except the system is full of agencies trawling for applicants, poorly worded job ads, and adverts that are completely out of date. Using it is a waste of time, as is the job centre itself. If you think I’m being harsh, try going in there when it isn’t your signing day. I did this once, I was passing by, and in a moment of madness decided to use their computers to search the local jobs. The security guy stopped me, asked me what I was doing, and it took a couple of goes to explain I just wanted to look at the ads. Imagine going into a library, being stopped and someone thinking it odd you wanted a book. The Job-centre is hopeless at helping the unemployed.

    So if we need to save money, shut it down, and pay people their benefits direct into bank accounts. Job centre staff cost far more than the unemployed, and they don’t do anything useful. With the added bonus being, we could sell all the buildings that are currently being used as job centres and save even more money.


    November 22, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    • Oh sorry, when I mentioned signing on, I have said fortnightly.


      November 22, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    • “try going in there when it isn’t your signing day” lol you can’t just go and use the jobpoints when it’s not your signing day ffs you’re only lucky that you didn’t waltz in to use the phones, even when you’ve been given a job to apply for that is a no-no – you’d have been grabbed by the scruff of the neck and marched out the jobcnetre.

      Cheesed Off Job Centre User

      November 22, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    • i agree the job centre needs looking at,waste needs to be cut out.there is to much emphasis on bureaucracy trying to snare people with sanctions costs considerable time and money,rude say what they think staff are increasingly common.this may well be a highlight of desperation.

      as you highlight there is little the job centre can do to help the especially long term unemployed,this with addition of the disabled will add further burdens to those that need help and support the most,dictating that someone has to do a months work and work hard is of no use either.

      sadly i agree to the labour market system is overloaded with agencies advertising vacancies that do not exist,louring job seekers to agencies often miles away,eating into jsa only to be told at the finish if theres anything we’ll let you know.

      i agree to that vacancies are often poorly advertised the few that they are,how many have arrived or spoken to on the telephone to be surprised at the additional criteria of a vacancy not mentioned.

      unfortunately too all this is at the worst time in economic cycles that are more and more common,to then portray as the evil of all is totally unfair/unjust and totally unforgivable,however with that attitude it isn’t surprising the situation the country’s in today.


      November 22, 2010 at 2:22 pm

      • Well the Direct Gov website frustrates me so much that I decided to do my own job site using a better search system and means of excluding fake jobs.

        The problem is, however, Jobcentre Plus wouldn’t give access to its job database to anyone or any company. I thought the best way around this would be a trial system before implementing an SLA for such access. (btw many other job sites have access somehow to the database – whether its official or unofficial).

        I requested 1000 old jobs from the database of publicly viewable information… this is to give a likely multi-location, multi-job type and multi-employer example of what a full system would be like.

        Well, they sent me out the database (although I asked for a digital format) on paper (I then had to recycle it all so the Special Delivery of such was a waste of taxpayers money). What I found extremely funny was how they exempt all the “private information” from the FoI request. This is elements such as name of employee to contact and any form of contact details (company phone numbers, email, mailing address etc.)

        Work Programme

        November 23, 2010 at 11:18 am

  5. Talking of that, in Ipswich there is a 20 hour a week “work from home” telephone sales scam – no experience necessary. Earn over £1800 per month. A name is given, a gmail email account is given and the company name is generic: Money Market. No other details given. Jobcentre Plus approved of such advert.

    Work Programme

    November 22, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    • lol work programme. I saw that advert too.. it will be nationwide (but count as a separate ad in each jc office lol).. I almost applied for it lol.. just seemed to good to be true lol..


      November 22, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    • here is a funny one:

      We Have a job offer available for you in response to your initial requesting the job search directory for USA, CANADA, UK AND AUSTRALIA. We are based in Asia. We have been receiving orders from North America which we have not been able to process completely since we do not have a payment receiving personnel in this area. So we have decided to recruit Payment Officer online hence we will be needing a representative to process out payment in this area and get 10% on each payment being processed. .if interested get back with this information.

      Full Name,
      Address in full ( No Po Box ) City, State, Zipcode,
      Phone Numbers,
      Present Occupation and Age,

      Name: Mike Davies.
      Position: Payment Officer
      Email: mikedavies011@gmail.com
      Time 24Hrs Daily
      Asian Market Exchange Company.


      November 22, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    • the job title is money mule.. i don’t know what the job centre code number is for it.. you’ll have to ask 🙂


      November 22, 2010 at 3:40 pm

  6. what’s the deal with it.. have you investigated it?.. why so many rubbish ads like this advertised by the job centre?..


    November 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    • A number of percentage?

      I’d say 85%

      I am not joking either!

      Work Programme

      November 22, 2010 at 4:23 pm

      • lol 85% is about right 🙂


        November 22, 2010 at 4:44 pm

  7. I don’t know about everyone else but my Jobcentre seems to have lost all interest in me.

    I now sign on the dotted line every two weeks and then they leave me alone. They don’t even bother to look at my jobsearches.

    Squiddly Diddly

    November 23, 2010 at 8:11 am

    • I find that funny. Many people are finding the same.

      It is a numbers game. They like to bully you when comfortable, but as soon as they are snowed down with so many unemployed people they no longer have the confidence to bully them.

      In Ipswich, although there are more claims than before, there isn’t a noticeable increase in staff. In fact, I wouldn’t say its changed much since an old claim I made 5 years ago before securing employment.

      Work Programme

      November 23, 2010 at 11:09 am

  8. Just a thought. How can passports etc. be done online?

    You have to have another person verify information including your photo. I also can’t see passport size photo uploads as you could be anyone.

    This said the Government was always more willing to keep homegrown terrorists in the country and let in oversea terrorists.

    How can you have a system where its easier to get into a country as a foreign national than it is to get out as a citizen?? Human Rights!!!

    Work Programme

    November 23, 2010 at 11:23 am

    • Today signing on I was told we have a new system.

      One half go to the existing door, the other to another one.

      We can turn up between half hour periods (e.g. 10 to 10.30).

      I waited half an hour to get seen to this morning.

      Whether the new arrangement will change this I don’t know.

      Andrew Coates

      November 23, 2010 at 11:35 am

      • Well they had changed their system before. They used to allocate you a timeslot at random (relative to when you start your claim).

        They then changed it so your NI number indicated what day you signed on. Which was a clever system apart from the fact that this didn’t account for the fact that naturally some days will be much busier than others as there wont be an equal number between the days.

        The new system sounds promising but of course as usual this doesn’t mean you wont be waiting for a long while.

        Most of this could be solved simply by signing on being divided into alternating systems. One time you see an advisor. The next you simply obtain a paper form (damn, I said it! lol) from the front desk which you fill in, sign a declaration and they stamp.

        Work Programme

        November 23, 2010 at 3:01 pm

  9. the problem job centre plus is facing is in many ways duncan smiths doing and has been long ongoing,he has done nothing to highlight any benefits of the service, it is currently debatable if there are any.only highlight sanctions and what it should do against the jobseeker,this must put morale under pressure within,it has lost the confidence of the long term unemployed who are very wary of the intentions’.

    it is not seen to be fairly balanced,equal and open minded of the facts surrounding its decisions’.the downgraded site directgov has vacancies way past the timescale and closed,these are occasionally deleted,this might well be after complaints people are still applying.

    the whole department needs a complete overhaul awareness needs to be increased,standards and fairness improved and be seen to be transparent,however this is unlikely ever to happen and the vicious circle will continue.

    they should stop paying vast amounts to private companies’,stop listening to unelected politicians with the failed ideas, who then turnaround and state this is wrong that is wrong when they were the ones who were behind the scheme in the first place,the mistaken belief in bring in advisers from america and listening to those too,their methods and ways of culture would not be tolerated in this country with tent cities’ popping up here there and everywhere in affect shanti towns dependent on charitable handouts’.

    this is not an acceptable solution to todays problems’.

    the idea of online benefits is that it is not face to face,documents need to be sent often personal,these have the potential to go missing and there is the possibility of fraudulent applications arising,without a person to deal with there are risks that claims not being dealt with.the fiasco of crisis loans when first started via a telephone number that no one could get through is an example also.


    November 23, 2010 at 3:54 pm

  10. Mind you, I’ve often thought that if the DWP really wanted to save money, they could implement an online database like the one at NHS Jobs Online, so that they can see your cv, and the number of jobs for which you’ve applied, and the responses of employers to your job applications.

    Squiddly Diddly

    November 24, 2010 at 8:06 am

    • Yes I hope this method is introduced soon. I have also asked the Jobcentre Plus to see if their IT department can implement the policy of making sure that you MUST enter nino when looking at jobpoints and the questioning you on the application progress when signing on. Just how many of you are pretending to be looking at the jobpoints just to be seen at the jobcentre. ?

      Huckle Berry Hound

      November 24, 2010 at 10:44 am

    • Wouldn’t there be data protection/privacy issues with the government being able to see the details submitted to employers/correspondence between employer and candidate though?


      November 24, 2010 at 11:47 am

  11. Just invest in an wap/internet mobile. and you are on line

    Huckle Berry Hound

    November 24, 2010 at 10:46 am

    • Perhaps the Job Centre will be able to monitor our actions durign the day via mobiles to make sure we are job seeking.

      At home a special Digital application will enable them to look at our efforts to get work via the television, and other terminals in each room.

      In the street CCTV could be used to make sure that we are really doing what we say we are.

      Andrew Coates

      November 24, 2010 at 10:54 am

    • Yes, what is your agenda Huckle Berry Hound? You appear to want the unemployed to be incarcerated in some sort of Digital Prison. Why are you so keen to encourage/force everyone on line?

      Do you want the unemployed to be *required* to give the Job Centre/Providers access to their internet activities? Picture the scene: “Mr Coates, it appears that you haven’t been visiting the Job Centre Plus website frequently enough to constitute an adequate job search. I also notice a discrepancy between your GPS data tracking data and the entry in your job search diary where you state that you visited Smith the Bakers on spec. I’m stopping your payment immediately”.

      The Raven

      November 24, 2010 at 12:30 pm

  12. Mind you, it’s fairly easy to avoid the really awful jobs that Jobcentre Plus pass your way, simply by sending the employer a really naff version of your cv.

    If the jobs not right for me, I can becaome really incompetent, and they can’t legislate against being incompetent! 🙂

    Squiddly Diddly

    November 24, 2010 at 2:27 pm

  13. no goverment should tell the truth getting rid of paper gets rid of jobs and we push more work on the staff before who were allready overloaded

    kevin blumer

    February 7, 2011 at 2:25 pm

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