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Old 31.08.2006, 13:45
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Unemployment benefit entitlement question and a tip

I have a question which I guess is aimed at any very competent Swiss qualified lawyers.

When you claim benefit there is a requirement to fill in monthly forms which are sent to the kasse who in turn pays your benefit.

If anything gets lost or is not otherwise to their satisfaction there appears to be no obligation on the kasse to inform you - assumption that you are no longer claiming.

You are not the type who is continually checking the bank slips for payments and a couple of months elapse before you notice that something is wrong. You mention this to your berater who finds out the relevant form never arrived at the kasse and promises you one at the next appointment. You fill both forms in the current month and the old one and send them off. They arrive and 3 months and 1 day have elapsed. You check your statement and find that they have only paid one months money. You ring the kasse and they say you have 3 months to fill in and send the form to their satisfaction otherwise your entitlement has elapsed.

They then send you a letter informing you that 3 years ago they paid you double the amount and please repay this with interest.

This seems to me to be entirely unfair and I question whether this is legally right. I know that the kasse can quote you the relevant paragraphs pointing out the 3 month deadline but in most situations in Switzerland well actually apart from this all others I know of you have a 10 year deadline. So why the exception is this legal?

Reason for asking is I am thinking of challenging it and cannot find anywhere in the Rechtssprechung that it has been challenged and lawyers basically point to the paragraph sort of saying you are mad there is the law but I wonder whether this is not flawed.

And the tip which interests most is simple check your bank statements for payment received from the Kasse!!! If it does not arrive act quickly you only have 3 months (currently!!).
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Old 31.08.2006, 13:53
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Re: Unemployment benefit entitlement question and a tip

If you didn't notice that you weren't getting your unemployment benefit for two-three months, then some people might question how you were paying your bills - after all the funds are intended to support you while you are seeking work here, assuming of course that you are doing that.
dave


Quote:
I have a question which I guess is aimed at any very competent Swiss qualified lawyers.

When you claim benefit there is a requirement to fill in monthly forms which are sent to the kasse who in turn pays your benefit.

If anything gets lost or is not otherwise to their satisfaction there appears to be no obligation on the kasse to inform you - assumption that you are no longer claiming.

You are not the type who is continually checking the bank slips for payments and a couple of months elapse before you notice that something is wrong. You mention this to your berater who finds out the relevant form never arrived at the kasse and promises you one at the next appointment. You fill both forms in the current month and the old one and send them off. They arrive and 3 months and 1 day have elapsed. You check your statement and find that they have only paid one months money. You ring the kasse and they say you have 3 months to fill in and send the form to their satisfaction otherwise your entitlement has elapsed.

They then send you a letter informing you that 3 years ago they paid you double the amount and please repay this with interest.

This seems to me to be entirely unfair and I question whether this is legally right. I know that the kasse can quote you the relevant paragraphs pointing out the 3 month deadline but in most situations in Switzerland well actually apart from this all others I know of you have a 10 year deadline. So why the exception is this legal?

Reason for asking is I am thinking of challenging it and cannot find anywhere in the Rechtssprechung that it has been challenged and lawyers basically point to the paragraph sort of saying you are mad there is the law but I wonder whether this is not flawed.

And the tip which interests most is simple check your bank statements for payment received from the Kasse!!! If it does not arrive act quickly you only have 3 months (currently!!).
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Old 31.08.2006, 14:21
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Re: Unemployment benefit entitlement question and a tip

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If you didn't notice that you weren't getting your unemployment benefit for two-three months, then some people might question how you were paying your bills - after all the funds are intended to support you while you are seeking work here, assuming of course that you are doing that.
dave
AFAIK the funds aren't means tested - they are effectively the 'insurance payout' in return for the premium you have been paying for 'unemploment insurance' when in work.

There's certainly no onus on you to stop claiming if you have been prudent enough to stash enough money in the bank to support yourself even without benefits.


This is most definitely a 'letter of the law' country. If the law says you only have three months to make a claim then unless you can find another law somewhere that clearly contradicts it, you're screwed.

Compassion, cutting a person some slack? Not in this country, mate.


However, I am glad to know that it's not just me who seems to constantly face situations where something grossly unfair like this happens. I guess that's another reason why society here is generally so anal and paranoid - you have to always be on top of things to make sure you're not screwed over as a result of some rule or other.


Gav
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Old 31.08.2006, 14:22
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Re: Unemployment benefit entitlement question and a tip

Yes Dave, but of course if you have been here for a few years and earned well then you have savings and if only one month is missing then it might go unnoticed for a while but obviously if we have every month missing then it might get noticed that bit sooner.

The point here is not the money it is the principle - you pay in so you are entitled and if they want to impose a 3 month limit then it should cut both ways. The other point is irrespective of whether it is morally right or not I can still sue them up to 10 years after the event probably with ever diminishing chances...
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Old 31.08.2006, 14:28
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Re: Unemployment benefit entitlement question and a tip

Quote:
This is most definitely a 'letter of the law' country. If the law says you only have three months to make a claim then unless you can find another law somewhere that clearly contradicts it, you're screwed.

However, I am glad to know that it's not just me who seems to constantly face situations where something grossly unfair like this happens. I guess that's another reason why society here is generally so anal and paranoid - you have to always be on top of things to make sure you're not screwed over as a result of some rule or other.

Gav
Hi Gav,

that is just the point any monetary claim can be made valid until a period of 10 years has passed and it states any so why not then my claim for unpaid unemployment. It is clearly (urgh as fog!) a case of which law takes precedence...

Who said I constantly face unfair situations... Anyway lets form a society
Foreigners Against Unfair Swiss Treatment FIST for short
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Old 31.08.2006, 14:43
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Re: Unemployment benefit entitlement question and a tip

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Who said I constantly face unfair situations... Anyway lets form a society Foreigners Against Unfair Swiss Treatment FIST for short
You might be onto something there. Except if you use Swiss in the name of a society you have to be Swiss, and even then they make it very hard - so you might need another name. But I like the idea though - someone to go up against Blocher and his brownshirts....
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Old 31.08.2006, 14:50
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Re: Unemployment benefit entitlement question and a tip

If you can show that the error was recognised and highlighted before three month deadline, then they should show some slack. There is a complete book on the regulations. Have you seen this ?

I'm not sure how the premiums we pay for unemployment relate to the real cost of the premium (I'm pretty sure buying commercial insurance for such an eventuality would not be such good value)

As regards being pendantic, I am often surprised by how flexible they can be. The flexibility of the tax system here sometimes spills over into other parts of the bureaucracy. Look at the random treatment of late notifications for example for driving licence updates.

I still havent got over the postal forwarding service that tells everyone where you have moved...

dave


Quote:
AFAIK the funds aren't means tested - they are effectively the 'insurance payout' in return for the premium you have been paying for 'unemploment insurance' when in work.

There's certainly no onus on you to stop claiming if you have been prudent enough to stash enough money in the bank to support yourself even without benefits.


This is most definitely a 'letter of the law' country. If the law says you only have three months to make a claim then unless you can find another law somewhere that clearly contradicts it, you're screwed.

Compassion, cutting a person some slack? Not in this country, mate.


However, I am glad to know that it's not just me who seems to constantly face situations where something grossly unfair like this happens. I guess that's another reason why society here is generally so anal and paranoid - you have to always be on top of things to make sure you're not screwed over as a result of some rule or other.


Gav
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Old 31.08.2006, 15:07
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Re: Unemployment benefit entitlement question and a tip

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If you can show that the error was recognised and highlighted before three month deadline, then they should show some slack. There is a complete book on the regulations. Have you seen this ?
Yes indeed they have their own regulations as a government body which are one-sided IMHO. However the basis of everything in Switzerland including all of Arbeitsrecht (Employment law) is Obligationsrecht or OR(Civil Law code and Law of Obligations) and here it states nice and clearly that I can sue anyone for any unpaid monies until a period of ten years has elapsed. So they contradict each other... Oh and they can come after you for any monetary matter be it TAX or unemployment benefit OVERPAYMENTS for only ten years. As I said only...

And I nearly forgot, the slack they showed was to print out their kasse regulations which are the same for all the unemployment payment bodies (Kasse).
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Old 31.08.2006, 15:23
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Re: Unemployment benefit entitlement question and a tip

Quote:
Hi Gav,

that is just the point any monetary claim can be made valid until a period of 10 years has passed and it states any so why not then my claim for unpaid unemployment. It is clearly (urgh as fog!) a case of which law takes precedence...

Who said I constantly face unfair situations... Anyway lets form a society
Foreigners Against Unfair Swiss Treatment FIST for short
That's a cool idea - I'm in, in case you wanna do this for real. It's time to strike back.
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Old 31.08.2006, 15:49
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Re: Unemployment benefit entitlement question and a tip

I submit all my forms to RAV by email. It looks neater, then there is absolutely no way they can say they didn't get it and puts the onus back on RAV. Crazy thing is they only accept it in Word format that you can download (and cannot sign straight away). They will not accept a PDF version.

And Richards advice is correct. Check your payment slips. For example, I got a shock to see I only got paid 14 days this month. It appears they don't pay the rest until the Migrosschule tells them I turned up every day. This can take another two weeks or so.
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Old 31.08.2006, 15:59
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Re: Unemployment benefit entitlement question and a tip

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I submit all my forms to RAV by email. It looks neater, then there is absolutely no way they can say they didn't get it and puts the onus back on RAV. Crazy thing is they only accept it in Word format that you can download (and cannot sign straight away). They will not accept a PDF version.

And Richards advice is correct. Check your payment slips. For example, I got a shock to see I only got paid 14 days this month. It appears they don't pay the rest until the Migrosschule tells them I turned up every day. This can take another two weeks or so.
It is the Kasse that you are sending the forms to and just FYI email has no legal status. Fax does...
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Old 31.08.2006, 16:23
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Re: Unemployment benefit entitlement question and a tip

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It is the Kasse that you are sending the forms to and just FYI email has no legal status. Fax does...
Strange. Here I am required to send the RAV the form by the 5th of the month, and they forward it to the ALK. Again it appears to be another inter-cantonal inconsistency.
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Old 31.08.2006, 17:18
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Re: Unemployment benefit entitlement question and a tip

The RAV are independent from one to another. Each one sets their one rules. For example, in St Gallen, you are excused to send copies of the applications, in Zurich, you have to document everything. Also, the Personalberater might have a different say on the matter.... Best thing here is do as you are told
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Old 31.08.2006, 23:41
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Re: Unemployment benefit entitlement question and a tip

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The RAV are independent from one to another. Each one sets their one rules. For example, in St Gallen, you are excused to send copies of the applications, in Zurich, you have to document everything. Also, the Personalberater might have a different say on the matter.... Best thing here is do as you are told
Actually although you are right you are wrong. The RAV has very little to do with the process of getting your money in your pocket they are there to get you back to work and it is the AWA and ALK that decide on your right to get the money. Although the RAV might make minor changes you can challenge anything you do not like if it varies from the Arbeitslosenversicherungsverodnung(AVIV) or the same word with gesetzt at the end (AVIG). These rules are for possibly the only time ever in Switzerland harmonised across the whole of Switzerland... That means if you want to send the documents to the RAV and have them forward them fine but if you want to send them directly you can and there is absolutely bugger all the RAV can do about it...
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Old 01.09.2006, 01:25
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Re: Unemployment benefit entitlement question and a tip

Richard --> I stand corrected - i had completelly forgotten that the money comes from a different place

Litespeed --> If i remember correctly, you are also on the St Gallen RAV? If you are attending the Migros Klubschule, you can expect to be paid with some delay. They have to check the records the school sends them before they process the payment. After all, they mean "kontrolierte tage".... I got the money transfered around the 10th of each month, more or less.
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Old 01.09.2006, 08:02
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Re: Unemployment benefit entitlement question and a tip

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Richard --> I stand corrected - i had completelly forgotten that the money comes from a different place

Litespeed --> If i remember correctly, you are also on the St Gallen RAV? If you are attending the Migros Klubschule, you can expect to be paid with some delay. They have to check the records the school sends them before they process the payment. After all, they mean "kontrolierte tage".... I got the money transfered around the 10th of each month, more or less.
Just for your info, whenever you attend a course you will get a delay as almost always the timing of the paperwork for course and the ALK is not in sync! I had this once with a one month delay meaning I got paid 5 days in the first month! This was to me very interesting as I told my advisor and he simply said we do not set the rules...

If as Dave says and technically he is right, this money(at the time 7k per month!) is designed to keep your head above the water then receiving only a quarter of it will cause some problems...
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Old 01.09.2006, 20:51
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Re: Unemployment benefit entitlement question and a tip

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Litespeed --> If i remember correctly, you are also on the St Gallen RAV? If you are attending the Migros Klubschule, you can expect to be paid with some delay. They have to check the records the school sends them before they process the payment. After all, they mean "kontrolierte tage".... I got the money transfered around the 10th of each month, more or less.
Yep Lucy and Richard, I just got a taste of this now. I started my course in the last week of this month, and they have paid me only 14 days for August. I can expect the rest around the 10th as Lucy pointed out, and probably won't get the next payment until October 10th!
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Old 10.10.2006, 15:50
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Re: Unemployment benefit entitlement question and a tip

Quote:
Hi Gav,

that is just the point any monetary claim can be made valid until a period of 10 years has passed and it states any so why not then my claim for unpaid unemployment. It is clearly (urgh as fog!) a case of which law takes precedence...

Who said I constantly face unfair situations... Anyway lets form a society
Foreigners Against Unfair Swiss Treatment FIST for short

sorry to be anal about this, but it would really be FAUST ... or even FUST. much as I like the connotation of FIST...
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Old 10.10.2006, 16:10
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Re: Unemployment benefit entitlement question and a tip

FAUST is better, as we all sell our soul to the devil....
dave


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Who said I constantly face unfair situations... Anyway lets form a society
Foreigners Against Unfair Swiss Treatment FIST for short
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Old 10.10.2006, 16:27
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Re: Unemployment benefit entitlement question and a tip

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sorry to be anal about this, but it would really be FAUST ... or even FUST. much as I like the connotation of FIST...
That was actually the humour of it. Faust is German for Fist...
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