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    I just received a letter from the Jobcentre informing me to provide them more information regarding my jobseekers allowance. They wanted to know the reason why I haven't informed them about me working for a company since last September. Judging by the letter they seem to suspect that I'm being overpaid and need to decide on the recoverability of the payments.

    I'm worried because the reason I gave may not be good enough and action may be taken against me. I wrote down my reason as me assuming that they knew since I've talked to my personal advisor about it in my interviews and confirmed to him that I was still with the company who I'm working for.

    My position with the company is a volunteer role. I was aware that you have to inform the Jobcentre of being employed in order to avoid benefits fraudulent but the fact that you have to report to them about doing volunteer work is something I didn't know until now.

    I want ask if anyone has made this mistake before, and if whether or not my assumption was very bad and may lose benefits?
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    That's why you should declare anything and everything that results in you 'actively seeking work'

    Never give them any reason to sanction you as long as your all above board etc etc.

    With your current situation, get a company headed letter from where you are that will back you up and hopefully you wont loose benefit


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    (Original post by Smartcook)
    That's why you should declare anything and everything that results in you 'actively seeking work'

    Never give them any reason to sanction you as long as your all above board etc etc.

    With your current situation, get a company headed letter from where you are that will back you up and hopefully you wont loose benefit


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    I had to give a reason because the letter asked for it.
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    (Original post by lalalalalalamember)
    I had to give a reason because the letter asked for it.
    What I meant by it was by telling them everything you do such as volunteering and if you were to a job that was under 16 hrs.

    In this day and age their looking for the smallest thing to sanction you for.


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    In the jobseeker's agreement, that small green booklet, written that you must inform them on any changes, even if your address changes. Haven't you read that booklet?
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    (Original post by ForgetMe)
    In the jobseeker's agreement, that small green booklet, written that you must inform them on any changes, even if your address changes. Haven't you read that booklet?
    No and my fault.

    I did tell my personal advisor about the position. So I wasn't being secretive. I realise now it is not good enough. Would this lose benefits and Jobcentre taking action against me?
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    (Original post by lalalalalalamember)
    No and my fault.

    I did tell my personal advisor about the position. So I wasn't being secretive. I realise now it is not good enough. Would this lose benefits and Jobcentre taking action against me?
    Well, you should not only inform adviser but also the institution itself. Don't know because never faced with similar issue but you could ask your adviser. Even if they would sanction you, you can always (I'm sure) submit an appeal and explain that you've told your adviser about your situation but didn't knew that you had to inform the department as well. Your adviser knows the best so you should contact him/her.
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    This is what I wrote down on the form the Jobcentre provided.

    "I had an assumption that the Jobcentre knew about my voluntary position with [company's name] as I have talked to my personal advisor about it in my interviews with him. In my past interviews this year, my advisor would ask me about my position with [company's name] and I confirmed that I was still with the institution."
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    (Original post by lalalalalalamember)
    This is what I wrote down on the form the Jobcentre provided.

    "I had an assumption that the Jobcentre knew about my voluntary position with [company's name] as I have talked to my personal advisor about it in my interviews with him. In my past interviews this year, my advisor would ask me about my position with [company's name] and I confirmed that I was still with the institution."
    That is perfectly fine. You will not get sanctioned as your mistake hasn't resulted in any gain to yourself. Ignore the others saying otherwise, while benefits are of course being tightened, their view that they are trying right catch people out to stop paying them is most likely based on a knee jerk anti-cuts opinion and not actually based on reality.

    Its clear you haven't tried to hide this voluntary work and unless its preventing you from finding work then you've not done anything that would have resulted in your payments being reduced or stopped had you officially told them about it.
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    (Original post by ForgetMe)
    Well, you should not only inform adviser but also the institution itself. Don't know because never faced with similar issue but you could ask your adviser. Even if they would sanction you, you can always (I'm sure) submit an appeal and explain that you've told your adviser about your situation but didn't knew that you had to inform the department as well. Your adviser knows the best so you should contact him/her.
    Any volunteer work you are doing should result in the advisor giving you a form to complete. About 4 pages long and asks silly questions, plus it gives them a right to refuse your volunteering (stop immediately or get sanctioned) if they view it as too many hours (around 8 hours a week seems to be the limit my advisor was using). So I recommend simply misinforming them and say you are only volunteering 1 morning a week when in reality you are doing two days. They are unlikely to check it up and if they do catch you out you can say you were asked to cover another volunteer on holiday for that day as a one off.

    Failure to fill in the form I would imagine would be an excuse used to sanction you as 'officially' there is no paper work done to show you are volunteering and perhaps this is another way to impose sanctions onto job seekers. I am already getting paper copies of everything ie next sign on time and date, any jobs to apply for... etc. I wont give them an excuse to sanction me. They tried to sanction me a few weeks ago and resulted in an argument with the adviser as "I had not applied for any research assistant positions in the last two weeks" which is not a requirement in my agreement and I was unable to apply as there was none suitable. I have been lucky so far they have tried but I get into arguments and threaten to make a formal complaint which gets them to back down.
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    (Original post by Politics Student)
    Any volunteer work you are doing should result in the advisor giving you a form to complete. About 4 pages long and asks silly questions, plus it gives them a right to refuse your volunteering (stop immediately or get sanctioned) if they view it as too many hours (around 8 hours a week seems to be the limit my advisor was using). So I recommend simply misinforming them and say you are only volunteering 1 morning a week when in reality you are doing two days. They are unlikely to check it up and if they do catch you out you can say you were asked to cover another volunteer on holiday for that day as a one off.

    Failure to fill in the form I would imagine would be an excuse used to sanction you as 'officially' there is no paper work done to show you are volunteering and perhaps this is another way to impose sanctions onto job seekers. I am already getting paper copies of everything ie next sign on time and date, any jobs to apply for... etc. I wont give them an excuse to sanction me. They tried to sanction me a few weeks ago and resulted in an argument with the adviser as "I had not applied for any research assistant positions in the last two weeks" which is not a requirement in my agreement and I was unable to apply as there was none suitable. I have been lucky so far they have tried but I get into arguments and threaten to make a formal complaint which gets them to back down.
    8 hours a week is pathetic... Well, if he didn't get any form to fill in then it's adviser's fault that he got into trouble.
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    (Original post by ForgetMe)
    8 hours a week is pathetic... Well, if he didn't get any form to fill in then it's adviser's fault that he got into trouble.
    Agreed. He would win if he was sanctioned and appealed.

    The MWP are of course exempt from the hour limit that normally volunteering is under.
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    Okay.

    There is just one more issue that I feel is worth mentioning. My situation is a bit complicated.

    I volunteered to work for the institution since September 2012. However, as of November 2012 my position is being put on hold as the person who started up the company is too busy with other tasks and doesn't have the time to deal with other fulfillments. Which is where I would be needed. I have to wait until the person is ready to work with me again.

    Because of the fact that I haven't fully left the company yet, I put on my CV the duration period as "September 2012 - Present," while in real life I haven't worked with them since November.

    With this situation should I change the period to "September 2012 - November 2012", or keep it as "September 2012 - Present"?
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    (Original post by Politics Student)
    Agreed. He would win if he was sanctioned and appealed.

    The MWP are of course exempt from the hour limit that normally volunteering is under.
    Honestly, 8 hours is not enough...
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    (Original post by ForgetMe)
    Honestly, 8 hours is not enough...
    Agreed.

    I have no idea if that is a standard policy or just my job centre seeking to end peoples volunteering so they can force more people onto the mandatory work scheme.
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    (Original post by Politics Student)
    Agreed.

    I have no idea if that is a standard policy or just my job centre seeking to end peoples volunteering so they can force more people onto the mandatory work scheme.
    Hmm, I might ask my adviser how much maximum you can volunteer for because I've already applied to volunteer for admin in hospital if am lucky enough to get it and thinking about charity shops..

    About that mandatory work programme, have you attended it already? If yes, when you are sent on it? And is it like you can choose in which sector you want to do it or they pick it for you?
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    (Original post by ForgetMe)
    Hmm, I might ask my adviser how much maximum you can volunteer for because I've already applied to volunteer for admin in hospital if am lucky enough to get it and thinking about charity shops..

    About that mandatory work programme, have you attended it already? If yes, when you are sent on it? And is it like you can choose in which sector you want to do it or they pick it for you?
    Asking your advisor is a good idea as I have no idea whether my adviser is trying to increase the number eligible for the MWP.

    No I have so far avoided it and I should not be eligible as I currently volunteer.

    However, I can give you advice on the MWP. The charity shop where I volunteer has had a few and to answer your question of do you have a choice? No. They will send you on a placement to a charity shop or a retailer such as Tesco or Pound Land. The last MWP at the charity shop I volunteer was working 30 hours each week for 4 weeks from another town (30 minute bus ride with infrequent buses plus there are plenty of charity shops in her town) and she had a degree in biology... The MWP will be zero help to you and I fully recommend you read up on the regulations so you can successfully avoid it.
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    (Original post by Politics Student)
    Asking your advisor is a good idea as I have no idea whether my adviser is trying to increase the number eligible for the MWP.

    No I have so far avoided it and I should not be eligible as I currently volunteer.

    However, I can give you advice on the MWP. The charity shop where I volunteer has had a few and to answer your question of do you have a choice? No. They will send you on a placement to a charity shop or a retailer such as Tesco or Pound Land. The last MWP at the charity shop I volunteer was working 30 hours each week for 4 weeks from another town (30 minute bus ride with infrequent buses plus there are plenty of charity shops in her town) and she had a degree in biology... The MWP will be zero help to you and I fully recommend you read up on the regulations so you can successfully avoid it.
    Probably I won't be eligible as well because I'm thinking of volunteering at 2 places as well. After how much time you are referred to MWP? I'm like 5 months on JSA and never been told about it.
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    If its volunteering, you won't be charged for anything!


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