Douglas Spencer (dougs) wrote,
Douglas Spencer

An argument in favour of benefit fraud.

I've been unemployed since March 1st, and have a current claim for job-seeker's allowance (JSA). To sustain this claim, I go to the local jobcentre once every two weeks, where a civil servant interviews me to satisfy the relevant government department that I am still actively seeking employment. They want me there at 11:15 on my "signing on day", which is today. The whole process takes about ten minutes.

I worked for seven hours on March 17th. I'm instructed to declare this single day's work at the following "signing on day", which is today.

I arrived at the job centre shortly after 11am, for my usual 11:15 appointment, and told the enquiry desk on my arrival that "I have one day's work to declare". Over two hours later, I finished signing on for today. Much of that time was taken up with my tame civil servant wallowing in total confusion because it's a day's work for a client, and not for an employer. I've had to fill in a load of extra forms, duplicating information that's already in their computer systems. And then my civil servant discovers that she should have given me a different set of forms, so I've had to supply all this duplicated information a third time, on different paperwork. And throughout that time my mobile phone has been turned off because we "customers" aren't allowed to use mobile phones while in the job centre, killing my chances of finding out about the half-day's work I might have had this afternoon, and ensuring that my potential client has now gone elsewhere.

Could someone please explain what incentive there is (other than wishing to stay inside the law) to declare my next few hours of consultancy work?

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