I don't know how old you are, but i'm 38, I grew up in the last conservative governement (and on one of the toughest council estates in mid kent - medway towns)....this is how it used to work, how the system was played:
Say you had 10 friends all living on the same estate, the parents of each child would write to the dole office to say they had kicked there child out (even though they hadn't) the parents of their mate would say they have offered a room to them, so you would get housing benefits which each family would split evenly, then the child of the second family would write and say they have kicked their troublesome kid out, in comes the next family to 'offer them a room'.....so on and so forth.....you could do this ten fold and cream the money in....add on top of that that job seekers allowance wasn't checked back then, also, you would leave it 6 - 8 weeks, claim your bed had broken in your new digs or your cooker and given up and claim 200 - 300 in a 'crisis loan' which never got paid back as you didn't ever earn enough......(i'm not including my own family in this, I had working parents - but all my mates and their parents were at it)......massive scams like that were common place....
Now whilst i've had times of no work in the 20yrs since then I haven't claimed anything...but I would bet my house that the same or similiar scams are still working, so something has to be done, unfortunately people like you get tarred with that brush and have to jump through hoops to get your benefit.........maybe the current system is wrong, but something needs changing...
That's crazy. lol I heard of stuff like that where I'm from, a friend of mine used to rinse the crisis loans I know that. (grew up in bad area as well in Scotland)
I personally don't claim benefit, I have a job. Been on it a fair few times though, never once got a job through the Job centre or had any help from them. I went to college while my best friend/housemate supported me. Which we are both now in debt because of.
I know most of this stuff because one of my closest friends is on it and he struggles really badly. They constantly mess him around, even gets missed payments, less money than others but hardly has time to sort it because he's actually doing something. He is constantly trying for work, he works week days volunteering at a dog shelter. So he's not work shy at all.
I could see a system where you get rewarded for doing more. Like people who do voluntary work should get a bonus or something as it gives them a higher employment rate.
It's a hard subject to cover, there is no easy way. It needs a collection of people who actually know what they are talking about to sit down and discuss it. Instead we have rich morons sorting it, what do they know about poverty?! lol