After trudging through the application form for Jobseeker's Allowance, answering a load of irrelevant questions, dredging up memories of when you or your partner last claimed benefits and working out exactly what savings you might have hidden away somewhere, you then have to dig out all the paperwork that verifies your claims - including requesting ones that might not already exist. How do you prove exactly when such-and-such course ended? Where is the tenancy agreement that you signed nearly nine years ago? What forms of ID are accepted and do you in fact have enough of them?
Then you wait and get told when to turn up and to bring "all the requested information" with you - although you'll be lucky if anyone can tell you what that information was. You trudge across town and wait in an overcrowded room with insufficient seating, and then you get asked the questions you couldn't answer on the application form while at home with access to all your files and all the time you wanted, presumably in the hope that inspiration will strike suddenly. The folder of everything you could think of to bring will inevitably contain many things that are not needed and yet not everything that is, so you're given a form listing the other bits of evidence you need to provide before they can send your claim off to be assessed.
And then you have to go speak to someone else. If you're very lucky, that person will actually explain that they're just setting up a skeleton Jobseeker's Agreement and that this will be added to when you first see your adviser. You'd better own up to any health problems then as no doubt no-one will care to check later on. You may have to fill in details about education and what sort of work you're looking for and quickly think up other ways you can search for jobs beyond checking a few websites, as they all get lunped in together. The Jobcentre must be the only place that assumes people still buy newspapers rather than doing everything online. You sign five or six bits of paper and get sent away having promised to do everything you can to find work and to keep a record of it, which someone may or may not check every time you come in to sign on.
Because of course, then you have to go back once a fortnight to wait in an uncomfortably crowded room where you may get a seat if you're lucky, or you can waste time using the job points which contain all the jobs the jobseekers.direct.gov website does but with a worse interface, only to see someone who doesn't really want to hear about all the jobs you've applied for and sign a bit of paper again so you can continue to receive your money. Occasionally, you'll have to have another interview, which seems to mostly consist of having your ambitions quashed and being made to apply for jobs you don't really want to do. (Maybe, just maybe, I had an unusually bad experience last time, and this time will be better.)
And at some point you might have your claim approved, hopefully before the council decide to reject your claim for housing benefit because you're not actually receiving Jobseeker's Allowance. Suddenly, life becomes affordable again, and while your savings might not actually recover, at least you don't have to worry about putting off dental check-ups any more. You just have the every day grind of checking websites in the hope real actual jobs will appear which you feel you can do and the worry that you won't be able to find enough to apply for to keep the jobcentre off your back and then the constant rejections or just not hearing back which, despite your attempts to be rational, start to feel like a personal attack on your very worth.
Of course, if you do manage to get a job, and you have to immediately tell not only the Jobcentre , but the council's benefit office and the Tax Credit people....and then they may or may not respond before the job finishes. And then you have to go through it all again.
Of course, all this is just if you're capable of working full time. If you have a disability or health problem that prevents that....well. You have even more paperwork to do and ATOS to deal with, and I wouldn't wish that on anyone. I hope to whatever supernatural forces may exist that I never find myself in that position. I just don't think I'd have the energy.