Claiming job seekers allowance due to redundancy?

(45 Posts)
freddiestarratemyhandbag Thu 16-Dec-10 22:16:10

Not so much an AIBU as I really don't know what I'll do on this (although I think my gut feeling says I won't claim anything).

I am currently on maternity leave, had every intention of going back when it ended in June. I am being made redundant at the beginning of March, I have a payout that will help pay the mortgage for a while but money will be pretty tight.

I've been told (and I know nothing really about this kind of stuff, haven't looked into it myself) that I would be eligible to claim jobseekers allowance.

Now, this is my gut instinct - the welfare state is there as a safety net, and since I'm getting my redundancy payout and wasn't planning to go back to work til June then claiming Jobseekers allowance from March seems a bit...I don't know, just not right?

BUT, quite a few people have said to me that I've worked hard and paid tax and NI for the last 10 years, I've been made redundant through no fault of my own (govt cuts) and I am entitled to jobseekers allowance and should claim it.

I just wondered what everyone else thought? Have no plans to claim it, but then wonder if I should use it and use it to make sure my DD's don't miss out on things they currently have? (by that, I mean like weekly music groups, toddler groups, baby gym etc)

DooinMeCleanin Thu 16-Dec-10 22:21:30

Yes claim it, they take into account any savings or redundancy payments anyway and adjust your entitlement accordingly.

You need to claim it, as you have to have been claiming for 6 months before you are entitled to help towards your mortgage. So if you don't claim and don't get a new job before your redundancy runs out you will be in a mess.

Adversecamber Thu 16-Dec-10 22:21:46

You will be entitled to contribution based JSA, I only know because there is a chance I will be made redundant next year so I looked in to it. I think you should claim it, it is about 65 a week at the moment.

BextheBambi Thu 16-Dec-10 22:21:48

If you DP works you could find it difficult to claim as i had the same problem when i was Pg.

It's worth applying though you can do so online, as you need jobseekers to claim for HB, and statutary (sp?) maternity leave as well.

Having 10 years worth of NI payments behind you is a plus as you'd be eligable for the NI based jobseekers allowance or something along the lines of that.

Hope that helps

freddiestarratemyhandbag Thu 16-Dec-10 22:23:54

Thanks all - my SMP ends around the date I'm being made redundant (baby is almost 6 months old now) so the March-June period was going to be unpaid ML anyway.

I guess it's more of a moral thing - should I do it? But interesting that I may not be able to anyway!

AuntiePickleBottom Thu 16-Dec-10 22:23:59

yanbu you maybe entiled to contribution-based Jobseekers Allowance.

but hopefully you'll be able to get another job by then

websticks Thu 16-Dec-10 22:24:27

They wont give you job seekers whilst you have redundancy money. My partner was made redundant 2 years ago and tried to claim job seekers (had worked for 20 years)He had a morgage to pay plus other bills. and they said whilst he had money in the bank he could not claim.

xstitchsnowscene Thu 16-Dec-10 22:24:29

Don't know what you would be entitled to if your DP works but I would complete the application. benefits are for situations like yours.

SlightlyMadSpook Thu 16-Dec-10 22:25:55

You should register with the job centre as unemployed whether you are planning to claim JSA or not becase I think that you will maintain NI credits (which you need to do to maintain entitlement to state benefits such as a state pension, sick pay etc.)

freddiestarratemyhandbag Thu 16-Dec-10 22:26:07

Websticks - that's really interesting. I know nothing about this kind of thing, but I know my MIL got a redundancy payout of thousands at the beginning of the year and still claimed JSA for 6 months, even thouh her DH is a higher rate tax payer.

I don't really know how any of it works!

classydiva Thu 16-Dec-10 22:28:10

If you want your national insurance stamp paid you have to claim it. Whilst you may not be entitled to anything you should claim to cover the break in your employment.

SlightlyMadSpook Thu 16-Dec-10 22:28:53

Webstciks think that is wrong.

I am being made redundant too.....and I am entitled to claim contribution based for 6m (it is not means tested) as long as I am available for work, and technically Job Seeking This will only last 6m and it will only be hte basic rate of £65 ish per week. After that it will be means tested.

This may be the sticking point for OP....will she make herself available for work if she has small child/considers herself on maternity leave.

AnnoyingOrange Thu 16-Dec-10 22:29:08

contributions based JSA is payable for 6 mobnths @ £65 per week, regardless of savings etc.

zisforzebra Thu 16-Dec-10 22:29:24

Go to your local CAB, they will be able to advise you on exactly how it all works. Definitely claim if you're eligible although they'll make you jump through hoops to get it.

AnnoyingOrange Thu 16-Dec-10 22:30:15

x post with slightlymadspook smile

AnnoyingOrange Thu 16-Dec-10 22:31:12
freddiestarratemyhandbag Thu 16-Dec-10 22:31:20

Slightlymad - that's a good point. I am going to actively be looking for work from my redundancy date in March as the baby will be 9 months then and I am fully expecting it to take a few months (at least) to find and start a new job. I will be very much actively seekign work at that point. Would be very grateful for the help actually!

tethersjinglebellend Thu 16-Dec-10 22:33:23

Surely you can't claim SMP and JSA? You are not available for work, as SlightlyMad says... Or am I wrong?

tethersjinglebellend Thu 16-Dec-10 22:34:40

What I mean is, wouldn't you be better off claiming SMP than JSA until your maternity leave is up?

freddiestarratemyhandbag Thu 16-Dec-10 22:35:06

Tethers I'm not planning on claiming SMP ending coincides with my redundancy:

Add message | Report | Message poster freddiestarratemyhandbag Thu 16-Dec-10 22:23:54
Thanks all - my SMP ends around the date I'm being made redundant (baby is almost 6 months old now) so the March-June period was going to be unpaid ML anyway.

freddiestarratemyhandbag Thu 16-Dec-10 22:35:54

Not explaining it very well!!!

My SMP ends in March and I get made redundant in March.

tethersjinglebellend Thu 16-Dec-10 22:39:29

Gah, sorry- not paying attention.

websticks Thu 16-Dec-10 22:40:23

Maybe rules have changes as this was over 2years ago. or maybe we were miss informed by job centre staff as we were told several different things at the time, anyway my partner was out of work for 6 months with no income at all. Which is wrong when he had paid Tax and NI for 20 years.

NonnoMum Thu 16-Dec-10 22:43:30

Just a thought...

Your baby is 6 months or so. You weren't planning on going back to work until June, but you are not obliged to stay off that long on Mat Leave. Would you be in a better position long-term (and with redundancy etc) if you chose to go back to work before March? I think you can just give a month's notice on when you want to go back, so perhaps if you do that, go back, then get made redundant etc, you might be in a better position all round (and won't feel so bad about claiming JSA or whatever)...

Of course, you'd have to sort out childcare etc, but it might make a big difference (it might not, I don't know the details, but was just thinking...)

OR, they might not make you redundant (isn't there a thought that women on maternity leave are the first to go??)

wubblybubbly Thu 16-Dec-10 22:45:56

You are entitled to claim contribution based JSA for 6 months, regardless of your savings or partner's income, as long as you are actively seeking employment.

I think redundancy pay is disregarded as capital for 52 weeks for Housing Benefit purposes. I would think the DWP does something along the same lines

freddiestarratemyhandbag Thu 16-Dec-10 22:47:53

Thanks Nonno, your points are all really valid. Have tried not to go too much into my situation just in case anyone recognises me (although why I should care I don't know?!)

Somethings I haven't mentioned - my employer is a government quango which the govt have scrapped, therefore every last one of us (2000 of us!) are being made redundant, there really is no leeway for going back and wangling my way into not being made redundant.

We have no family nearby and I have a clingy 2 year old as well who I took out of childcare when I went on maternity leave so going back for any period of time isn't really worth it at all (plus I have 6 weeks holiday whihc I will get paid for)

wubblybubbly Thu 16-Dec-10 22:48:01

websticks, that's apalling. It was four years ago I was made redundant and I was entitled to claim then. In the end I didn't as I decided to become a SAHM.

NonnoMum Thu 16-Dec-10 22:49:21

Bugger the ConDems!

freddiestarratemyhandbag Thu 16-Dec-10 22:50:13

Apologies nonno - I really didn't want that last reply to sound as smartarsed as it may have come out, it's my fault for dripfeeding!

One other thing I should mention - I need to pphysically wait until March to get a new job as I will have been there 5 years in Feb so I do really need to get past that date and be made redundant by them to get the maxmimum payout.

freddiestarratemyhandbag Thu 16-Dec-10 22:51:05

x-post - yeah, bugger them, the fuckers!

movingjenda Thu 16-Dec-10 23:08:56

JSA is assessed for each individual so it won't matter whether your partner works or not, as long as you have paid enough national insurace to qualify they will pay you the contribution based allowance. If you dont qualify for any money they will still pay your national insurance contributions so there won't be a gap in your NI payments but you would have to go in every two weeks to sign for it (or at least thats what i was told by my jobcentre). I wasn't eligable for any money when i left university two years ago and couldnt find work because i was only worked part time when at university. Because i couldnt work full time while a student i didnt pay in enough NI apparently, although i know of people who were awarded it this year in the same circumstances hmm. Also i would say deffinitely wait to be made redundant as one of the things they get grumpy about is if you have willingy left your last job (in my case i had no where to live and had to move back to my parents 120 miles away but that wasnt a good enough reason to leave my job confused) i gave up with trying to get it the end though.

freddiestarratemyhandbag Thu 16-Dec-10 23:12:00

Thanks movingjenda.

I guess I can only apply and be assessed. Will I be expected to find childcare for the appts do you know/think? (I'm assuming yes, and could use DD's old childminder, but if could get away without then I probably might try).

I graduated in 2000, worked full time until my return to work after DD1 in Sept 2009 after which I was part time (3 full days a week).

darleneconnor Fri 17-Dec-10 01:11:59

you can take your DCs along to your appointments, personally I prefer not to, though

SuzieHomemaker Fri 17-Dec-10 01:24:23

I am expecting to be made redundant around easter time after around 20 years. I will definitely be claiming. I dont think that there is moral highground to be had in this. Would the DSS (or whatever it is these days) let you off 6 months worth of 65/week if you owed them? I dont think so.

Engels Fri 17-Dec-10 01:26:41

If you have any kind of payment protection policy for your mortgage or other debts you'll need to sign on to claim those.

If you have enough NI contributions you should automatically get JSA contributions based. If you have less than (I think) £8,000 in savings they can look at income based JSA and other benefits.

Important things to consider: don't resign as it will forfeit your redundancy but do make sure your employer has paid you all your accrued annual leave and pension benefits.

When setting up your job seeker's agreement to get your JSA you should specify any reasonable salary & how many hours you can work. As a mother of small children you can ask for part time hours. If you don't get the salary and hours agreed then you could be asked to apply for jobs that would be unecomical (eg would cost more in childcare than you earn) and be penalised if you turned them down. A maximum travel time should also be specified. They will review your agreement after 3 months and you can keep those conditions for the first 6 months of your claim.

Finally, if you don't claim the government don't count you in the unemployment figures so I actually think you have a duty to claim.

SuzieHomemaker Fri 17-Dec-10 01:30:41

Thanks Engels, good points and useful to know about salary and hours. This hadnt occurred to me. I will have to get my spreadsheet out to work out where we stand and what the lowest is we can live on.

Engels Fri 17-Dec-10 12:47:59

Don't bother with a spreadsheet. Look at your previous job. You want something similar so you don't slip down the career ladder. This is about you going back into work at the same level as before or close to.

I've overhead a former marketing director painfully explaining that a marketing assistant role is not similar in either pay or status to a job centre employee who insisted she apply despite it paying less than a quarter of her previous job and was less than her mortgage protection insurance and didn't even cover her childcare. She was stuck because it wasn't on the original jsa agreement sad

You have to ask for minimum salary to go on. They do not offer it ime.

GlitteryBalls Fri 17-Dec-10 13:00:12

You will have to declare your redundancy pay-out when you apply. If you do that and you are still entitled then get what you are entitled to and apply for it as soon as you can. JSA is there for people like you, who want to work but through no fault of their own becoem unemployed. If you are always honest in your applications i don't see what is wrong in claiming what you are entitled to.

freddiestarratemyhandbag Fri 17-Dec-10 13:07:37

Thank you all, interesting I did not know that about the salary limit.

Engels Fri 17-Dec-10 13:46:40

Sorry glittery that's not quite right. For contributions based jsa only you don't have to tell them anything about redundancy payout or savings.

You will need to confirm that you were made redundant though.

Yes freddie they keep that minimum salary bit quiet. But if we were all applying for low skilled & low paid work it would have quite serious social and economic consequences. The job centre is helpful for some people but for redundant professionals they are woefully bad.

GlitteryBalls Fri 17-Dec-10 14:00:46

Ok I stand corrected. But IMO, if you are entitled, you are entitled. And if you are receiving a redundancy pay-out, presumably you were in that job for a long time apying income tax and NI and therefore earnt it. Not as though you are a long-term claimer. And redundancy pay-outs are there for a reason - to act as a buffer. You won't be able to live comfortable for long on just state benefits. Claim them to cushion the blow along with your redundancy - what they are there for.

GlitteryBalls Fri 17-Dec-10 14:01:17

Sorry, comfortably blush

Engels Fri 17-Dec-10 14:12:48

I agree. If you don't claim you don't appear on unemployment figures and it's important the government understands that there are a variety of people being laid off. It's bad enough they don't count how many men/women are out of work without having the right total figures.

<shakes bees from bonnet>

BinkyNic Fri 17-Dec-10 14:26:47

I was made redundant a year ago, just as I was about to go back to work after Maternity Leave. An idiot friend told me that you couldn't claim JSA during any notice period that you're paid for... Jobcentre staff told me that was wrong, so claim as soon as you can. I think the one thing that can affect it is whether you've taken voluntary redundancy, but even then, it's a bit of a grey area. I had quite a good redundancy payout but that didn't affect the Contributions only JSA that I could claim. I took my (then) 1 year old daughter to the appointments, but not the one I had with the special advisor for 'professionals' looking for work. That was free and she was quite helpful.
My DH is also being made redundant from a quango and he will definitely be claiming JSA if he hasn't found a job by then!

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