Waiting for 10 weeks

From ‘Pete’:

I have been unemployed for 2 years, my age 56.  I had heard of New Deal and requested many times to be included in New Deal, but they kept fobbing me off.  One day my personal advisor at Hoxton Job Centre got out of bed the wrong side, inspite of me providing jobs I had applied for, plus my voluntary work contribution, he decided to tell me I had not done enough to seek employment, consequently my claim was suspended.  I wrote to Gordon Brown, whereupon an enquiry was held.  The managers of the job centre were amazed that I had not been offered New Deal, their remedy was to send me to working links.

Working Links is a joke within itself.  Once again I was assigned a personal advisor, the first five weeks I was told not to return until my personal advisor had completed his paternity leave.  On completing his paternity leave, I had a complete session with him, we must have sent 15 C.V.s.  The following weeks I was required to report weekly,  generally he was too busy to see me, therefore no conversation was entered into.  Months went by, indeed he made an interview time with me and did not even bother to turn up.  The last time I saw my personal advisor, he wished to see me on a Wednesday, inspite of the fact that my voluntary was on a wednesday, he being well aware of this.  I arrived on time, the personal advisor on the phone talking to friends.  I am called to his attention 30 mins late, whereat he informs me that I have to go the computers and look for jobs.  Once again I inform him that wednesday is my volunteer day and that I am needed there, he insists, I remonstrate.  He then states that he does not have to see me, I walk out to my volunteer work and return to working links after 15.00 hrs, when my volunteer work has finished.

On returning to working links I find they have stopped my benefit.  I speak with the manager, but to no effect.  No one informs me of the process I have to go through thereon.  I wait until my benefit is due, no money, I then sign on at the Hoxton Job Centre.  The length of time to renew one’s claim is from the time of signing on, you are given a date to attend the job centre, my date was one week after the initial telephone call.  After my interview at the job centre, it took eight days to place my claim onto the computer, it takes a further eleven days before they will consider processing my claim.  My claim is to be considered for processing 5h  October, I have been waiting since 28th August.  I believe that 10 weeks is too long for a claim to be recognised and maybe payment issued.