You're required to declare any earnings that arise during the period of your claim, and I declared a day's work on March 17th and another on March 29th.
On April 6th, I ceased my period of unemployment and started paying National Insurance contributions as a self-employed person. As part of that change in circumstances, I brought my claim to a close.
Today I have received a letter (dated July 14th, Friday of last week) which reads as follows:
- Dear Mr Spencer
Your claim for Jobseeker's Allowance
I am please to tell you that we can pay you Jobseeker's Allowance from 1 March 2006.
You will get £5.82 a week.
We cannot pay you an allowance from 6 April 2006
Miss K Hunt
Firstly, I note that the people at JobCentrePlus have taken four and a half months to sort out my benefit. I wonder if people in straitened circumstances suffer real hardship when they take unreasonably long to sort out relatively routine (two odd days working in five weeks of unemployment can't be rare) claims for behefit?
Secondly, in order to make my claim for benefit I spent a total of about eleven hours in the Job Centre, during four separate visits, and as a result of the requirement to turn mobile phones off missed a call from a paying client and lost a possible half-day's work. If a client took four months to pay me, and then paid me that amount of money for that amount of time, would I be inclined to go to them again?
Thirdly, the benefit is going to be paid directly into my bank account (I've just checked and it's not in there yet). I wonder what I'm going to spend it on when it arrives?