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Possible issue with new job and jobseekers allowance watch

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    I'm in a bit of a predicatment (well maybe not) with regards to the jobseekers allowance I received and starting my new jobs. Basically I signed up for JSA a few months ago and was actively looking for work. A few weeks later after signing on my uncle who owns a shop asked me if I fancied doing a few hours of work. It was only about 12 hours a week and I remember being told by the JSA people that I could still claim as long as I work less than 16 hours. Thought this should be fine and my uncle was paying me about £5 hour and because the money was so little he just paid me cash in hand. I never told the JSA people about this so I thought it wouldn't matter.

    However whilst doing the application for the job I just received I stated I was employed (uncle's shop) just to show that I was busy/skills etc. I also used my uncle as a reference and he told me he received an email from them and he filled out the form. But he told me I worked 16 hours a week instead of the 12 I usually did!

    Now my question is can the new job find out I was on JSA? Or can the Jobcentre find out I never told them about my part time job which is fine by their records however my uncle mistakenly wrote 16 hours on the form instead of 12 which means I wasn't eligible for JSA if it were true. So in essence can the JSA find out this info from my new employer (if I have to disclose it) when I terminate my JSA?

    Sorry for the long rant but slightly worried here
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    (Original post by Barça)
    Sorry for the long rant but slightly worried here
    I just wrote a really detailed response and it's just all been deleted so if this one doesn't make sense, just shout!

    Yes you can work up to 16 hours a week and still claim JSA, however only the first £5 of your earnings each week are ignored. The rest are taken off your JSA pound for pound.

    Basically I'll take your example of working 12 hours at £5 and hour. This is £60 a week earned. The first £5 is ignored then the remaining £55 is taken off your JSA payment and you're only entitled to what's left, in this example nothing! You would be signing on simply to have NI payments credited for you but receiving no benefit.

    Were you not asked at every signing if you'd done any work? When I was on JSA briefly last year, I was asked this at every signing and there's a separate form to fill out detailing work and earnings if you had.

    Not to sound melodramatic but the situation you've ended up in is basically benefit fraud. I'm not talking about writing 16 hours on an application form. Forget that, it's irrelevant. Basically, going off what you've posted, you've received months of JSA to which you're not entitled and if they find out you're going to have a huge overpayment to repay.

    I can't advise you as to what to do. You could go to the job centre, tell them your mistake with your job, ensure you receive no more JSA then set up a repayment plan. If I were you, I'd visit your local CAB for advice on possible consequences of doing this.

    I think if you do anything else, this could possibly come back to haunt you later. Innocent as your intentions may have been. Basically you have been working and claiming benefits. This is benefit fraud. If you own up now, there are one set of consequences, if they catch you later, it's a totally different situation. Please don't ignore this, it is serious and it's best you deal with it right away and seek some professional advice.
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    Alibee is asolutely correct and i would follow her advice.
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    (Original post by alibee)
    I just wrote a really detailed response and it's just all been deleted so if this one doesn't make sense, just shout!

    Yes you can work up to 16 hours a week and still claim JSA, however only the first £5 of your earnings each week are ignored. The rest are taken off your JSA pound for pound.

    Basically I'll take your example of working 12 hours at £5 and hour. This is £60 a week earned. The first £5 is ignored then the remaining £55 is taken off your JSA payment and you're only entitled to what's left, in this example nothing! You would be signing on simply to have NI payments credited for you but receiving no benefit.

    Were you not asked at every signing if you'd done any work? When I was on JSA briefly last year, I was asked this at every signing and there's a separate form to fill out detailing work and earnings if you had.

    Not to sound melodramatic but the situation you've ended up in is basically benefit fraud. I'm not talking about writing 16 hours on an application form. Forget that, it's irrelevant. Basically, going off what you've posted, you've received months of JSA to which you're not entitled and if they find out you're going to have a huge overpayment to repay.

    I can't advise you as to what to do. You could go to the job centre, tell them your mistake with your job, ensure you receive no more JSA then set up a repayment plan. If I were you, I'd visit your local CAB for advice on possible consequences of doing this.

    I think if you do anything else, this could possibly come back to haunt you later. Innocent as your intentions may have been. Basically you have been working and claiming benefits. This is benefit fraud. If you own up now, there are one set of consequences, if they catch you later, it's a totally different situation. Please don't ignore this, it is serious and it's best you deal with it right away and seek some professional advice.
    Thanks for the advice.

    I wasn't asked during each signing on if I was working. I simply remembered during the initial weeks being told I could work 16 hours or less and still get JSA, however I was never told about it the way you explained, i.e deductions are made etc. If I had known I would have told them. I was unaware of this as naive as it sounds.

    I guess the real issue is that I don't want to get caught and get a criminal record, however that doesn't mean I'm not ready to own up. To put it bluntly I would be more than happy to repay all the payments I've been getting since starting work however I want to leave it just at that. In other words no other ramifications or other possible charges. I guess my question is would they be happy with that I state my naivety in this part and tell them I would be happy to pay it back or would they bring forth a charge of some sort?
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    (Original post by Barça)
    Thanks for the advice.

    I wasn't asked during each signing on if I was working. I simply remembered during the initial weeks being told I could work 16 hours or less and still get JSA, however I was never told about it the way you explained, i.e deductions are made etc. If I had known I would have told them. I was unaware of this as naive as it sounds.

    I guess the real issue is that I don't want to get caught and get a criminal record, however that doesn't mean I'm not ready to own up. To put it bluntly I would be more than happy to repay all the payments I've been getting since starting work however I want to leave it just at that. In other words no other ramifications or other possible charges. I guess my question is would they be happy with that I state my naivety in this part and tell them I would be happy to pay it back or would they bring forth a charge of some sort?
    They will probably say that naivety isn;t an excuse as it is highly possible that you will have received award letters from them stating you should report any changes to your circumstances to them (such as changes to your income) - if you didn't read these parts of the letters they won't care. However, if you come forward I really doubt they will treat you fraudulently and apply an administrative penalty, it is more likely they will just create an overpayment of the amount you shouldn't have received (after asking you for evidence of how much you received and over what period - if you didn't get wage slips they will give you a form to have your employer complete instead as proof) and ask you to re-pay this. However, I would still recommend seeking more expert advice on this rather than just taking our word for it: go see an advice worker at the CAB or a similar agency and take it from there.
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    I honestly don't know. I'm really sorry. You'd hope they would accept it as an honest mistake and set up a repayment plan. I don't have any experience in this area at all though I'm afraid.
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    The new job can easily find out if someone is on JSA i.e. NI number. Your new employer doesn't exchange details with DWP/jobcentre so they will not find out.

    Like has been said before, you can go to your local CAB to get more advice.
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    I definitely think a CAB advisor would do their best to help you. Very friendly folks and if your centre has a benefits case worker they may have dealt with something like this before. I've only really done debt advice I'm afraid.
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    (Original post by Dekota-XS)
    The new job can easily find out if someone is on JSA i.e. NI number. Your new employer doesn't exchange details with DWP/jobcentre so they will not find out.

    Like has been said before, you can go to your local CAB to get more advice.
    Contradiction, no?
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    (Original post by Barça)
    Contradiction, no?
    Yeah that's a load of nonsense. Nothing about your NI number suggests you've been on JSA or otherwise. Obviously if you hand over a job centre P45 to the new job, they'll know you've been claiming.

    As I said, the job centre may routinely write to your new employer for information such as start dates, hours and wages.
 
 
 
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