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The UK Benefits System for the Unemployed Workers

Friday, April 26, 2013 By: Debra Mills
Category: Job Hunting

Unemployment has been a hot topic for debate for as long as most can remember; it is an issue that has long overshadowed this country with periods of unemployment causing great concern. With state of the current economic climate, unemployment is at an all time high. More people are being made redundant, struggling to find employment and are having to resort to applying for benefits. Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) is applicable to those aged 18+ and that are able to work. For those who are not in employment, JSA is the only source of income into a household and enables them to stay afloat.

The benefits system in this country has not always been considered a success.

For those who have spent many years in employment, paying their taxes, it is the perfect support system in a time of financial need and is a monetary stopgap whilst new employment is sought. For these people, the system is ideal.

However, there are those that consistently apply for benefits without any intention of becoming employed. There are those that for some reason genuinely cannot work, whether it is due to health reasons or having to care for another family member. But there are those that simply do not want to work for no real reason other than they prefer to be at home and receive a weekly payment of around £56.

Around 2 million UK residents are currently claiming JSA, and many of those are actively seeking work. But there are those who are long-term claimants with no desire to work and it is these that cause the greatest upset amongst society.

The job centre is the place that decides whether or not a claim is acceptable, if you will receive your payments each fortnight and whether or not you are actively seeking work. In order to receive your payments on time, claimants must attend the job centre every other week to ‘sign on’. They must sit with an advisor, discuss what they have been doing to look for work and then sign a booklet, which then results in them receiving their money. It is all very simple.

Although there is a lot of emphasis on not committing benefit fraud, on actively seeking work and preventing people from being on benefits long term, there seems to be no real redress on any. There are no real penalties for those that get caught committing benefit fraud, no motivation for long-term claimants and no check up on those that claim they are applying for jobs.

The job centre and its policies are responsible for those who claim JSA and if their systems and procedures were stronger than it would dramatically reduce the number of people that spend their lives on benefits.

There are a number of ways to look for and apply for “jobs” and although the competition is fierce, it is not impossible to become employed. The Internet is probably the best way to look for positions of interest and with so many having access to the Internet there is no reason not to utilise this source.

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