July 12, 2013 | Benefits Loan | 1 Comment As part of his recent budget speach the Chancellor announced that he was going to increase the number of waiting days when claiming JSA from the present 3 to 7, meaning that claims are only payable after the 8th day for those who have not recenlty made a claim to state benefits ( if you have claimed in the last few months, your claim will ‘link’, meaning that waiting days have already bee served. Apparenly Civerl Servants are also concerened that the plans are not of help to the public, this was sent in by a member of the CPS. Can I ask who was responsible for advising the Chancellor on the increase to seven waiting days? I can understand the rationale ? that claimants should be using the first week out of work to look for a job, rather than sorting out a benefit claim ? but when you actually look at the way waiting days currently work I fear that there has been some misunderstanding of how they are applied to out-of-work benefits. Waiting days are currently applied to the first three days of a benefit claim, not the first three days of unemployment. Many jobseekers (if you discount those on short-term contracts who often don?t serve waiting days due to linking rules anyway) already spend the first weeks or months out of work looking for a new job before claiming. People who have been in long-term employment are generally loathed to make a claim until their finances become desperate anyway. My concern is that increasing the waiting days to a full week will actually encourage people to claim sooner, so that their waiting days will be ticking by while they look for work. Unlike Employment and Support Allowance claimants, who can automatically backdate up to three months with no questions asked, jobseekers must satisfy regulation 19 in order to have benefit payments backdated, and ?looking for work? is not one of the scenarios allowed under that regulation. Therefore, those who do spend their first few weeks looking for work before claiming are already disallowed benefits for that period. To make these claimants then have to wait another seven days after having done exactly what the change is supposed to encourage them to do, seems almost counterproductive.