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To ask if this decision by the Jobcentre is correct ?

(30 Posts)
fourfingerkitkat Sun 20-Jan-13 18:14:29

I was claiming JSA from October 2011 until April 2012 (contributions based JSA as I live with my partner). Was signed off mid April and didn't find work until October 2012 for 3 months as a Christmas temp. I was not paying tax as it was a retail position which paid just above the minimum wage. I finished up at the end of December. I was previously advised that I should keep all wages slips etc as I would be able to claim JSA when I finished up.

Completed my online claim for JSA on the 7th of Jan, had a meeting in the Jobcentre last week during which they finalised my claim and said monies should be paid into my account by the 28th Jan. They also arranged two meetings for me this coming week at the Jobcentre to discuss some more info, therefore I assumed that everything was in order. I then received a letter yesterday telling me I am not eligible for JSA as I have not paid enough in NI contributions up until April 2012. Is the fact that I worked for 12 weeks from October 2012 not taken into account here ?

Thanks in advance to anyone that knows more about the benefit system than I do !

Euphemia France Sun 20-Jan-13 18:16:48

I think they always look at the previous tax year, so not any NI you paid between April 2012 to March 2013.

fourfingerkitkat Sun 20-Jan-13 18:21:42

Shite - in that case I've been given the wrong information. I would have thought the advisers in the jobcentre could have told me this last week ! I'm supposed to drag the kids up there tomorrow morning at 9am for another bloody meeting.

soontobeburns Sun 20-Jan-13 18:21:48

You can still get income based just not contribution based. Same money.

fourfingerkitkat Sun 20-Jan-13 18:23:13

Hi soontobeburns. I was previously told we wouldn't get income based as that takes into account my OH salary. Or was that the wrong info too ?

Euphemia France Sun 20-Jan-13 18:48:47

Your partner needs to be working fewer than 24 hours a week for income-based JSA.

fourfingerkitkat Sun 20-Jan-13 18:54:57

Thanks for the feedback Euphemia. We're snookered then. Am I correct in thinking that I wouldn't be able to claim until the beginning of the new tax year, i.e April 2013 ?

Euphemia France Sun 20-Jan-13 18:56:20

Worth speaking to them, but looks that way! I hope I'm wrong. sad

fourfingerkitkat Sun 20-Jan-13 18:57:28

Thanks again for the quick response.

lubeybooby England Sun 20-Jan-13 18:58:30

fourfinger you won't get anything then either as you've paid no tax in the preceeding year. You need a full year of taxpaying behind you when you claim or you can't get it.

fourfingerkitkat Sun 20-Jan-13 19:13:14

So even if you've been employed for a full year in a low paid job are below the threshold (or whatever the correct term is) for paying find yourself unemployed you still get f**k all ?

Also, is JSA itself not classed as a taxable income ( or am I talking nonsense here ? ) The only income I myself had in the period April 2011 to April 2012 was JSA.

MrsKeithRichards Sun 20-Jan-13 19:22:48

Is it not more about your ni contributions rather than the tax you paid?

OddBoots Sun 20-Jan-13 19:23:50

The lower earnings limit is £109pw so you only need to work 18h a week at minimum wage to be paying contributions.

Have you checked to see if your household is entitled to any tax credits?

fourfingerkitkat Sun 20-Jan-13 19:40:58

Checked all my wage slips, I only paid £1 or £2 the odd week when I did a couple of hours overtime My average weekly wage was £106. I was averaging 16hrs per week.

We did previously receive tax credits but OH salary is too high now since they changed the criteria for that last year. Bugger....

I'm just so bloody angry with the woman in the Jobcentre last week (yes, I know she's only doing her job). But if it is as black and white as "No NI paid during the last tax year = no benefit" then it was clear from all my paperwork that I hadn't paid NI and therefore couldn't claim. I wouldn't have wasted my time or their time.

susanann Sun 20-Jan-13 19:51:10

my partner works for job centre. here is what he says is the position. (and he knows what hes talking about! LOL)

Your previous claim for contribution based JSA is paid for a maximum of 6 months.
To re-qualify for contribution based JSA you must work another 2 complete tax years and pay NI contributions during that time. You cant claim income based if your partner works over 24hrs a week. If you have DC you may be able to claim child tax credit and if your partner is on a low income you may be able to get working tax credit. The job centre were incredibly stupid in advising you that you would get benefit before your claim was processed. (His words!)

fourfingerkitkat Sun 20-Jan-13 20:17:14

Cheers susanann. That clarifies everything. Will look into the child tax credit part again. I'm wondering if I should bother going to see this adviser at 9am tomorrow morning or just call and explain I received the letter and they're numpties. I've been filling in my bloody job diary and she'd given me dates for signing on etc. I know there are plenty out there worse off than us but I'm still very pissed off.

susanann Mon 21-Jan-13 11:10:12

Sorry I didnt get back on here till now. Did you go to the meeting at 9am today?
I have had issues with the job centre too, even though my fiance is one of them! lol. He doesnt work at our local one. Different job centres tell you different things, some staff have a horrible attitude. I was signing on last year and I hated it. I felt bullied and my advisor had no empathy with me and my situation. Im now living with my fiance so cant claim, although I could sign on so that my NI contributions are covered. However to get that I still have to sign on (a train journey to nearest jc) and do the job diary thing. I had an appt and went along, unfortunately at that time my depression reared its head so I was feeling awful that day. It ended up with me saying dont bother I cant deal with this now . I explained that I was not fit to be looking for a job at the moment and was told I could do it via some sickness thing. When I said dont bother she asked why and I said because Im not prepared to jump through all your hoops. I thanked her for time, got up and left. I wasnt rude. I think she was somewhat puzzled! I went and found a coffee shop and consoled myself with a coffee and some chocolate cake. Sorry Im rambling off the topic a bit. End of job centre bashing! Good luck

fourfingerkitkat Mon 21-Jan-13 16:39:14

Hiya, yes I went to the meeting. (DD and DS have actually been sleeping very well and later than usual in recent weeks - until 8.30 - so felt really sorry dragging them out their beds so early).

Didn't get to see the adviser, I just spoke with the woman at the reception part. I tried not to sound cheeky or agressive but couldn't contain my annoyance at them overlooking what seemed to be so f**king obvious i.e that I've not paid enough contributions to get JSA. I asked why I wasn't told this at my meeting on Friday when the Adviser had all of my employment/benefit claims history in front of her and she said the Adviser wasn't in a position to make a decision, the processing dept does that. Cop out...She spoke about me continuing to sign on as you've mentioned above but like you when I factor in the journey/fuel etc I wonder if it is worth it. I'm in receipt of child benefit so will (apparently) continue to receive NI contributions albeit at a lower rate...? I have no confidence in what they tell me to be honest...

susanann Mon 21-Jan-13 18:29:33

not surprised you have no confidence in them to be honest. You can always ask me and I'll ask my OH. My OH said the advisor wasnt in a position to say that as it hadnt been processed yet so the advisor shouldnt have told you the money would arrive.

fourfingerkitkat Mon 21-Jan-13 18:44:23

Just something else to chalk up to experience I suppose. No point in getting narky with the woman I spoke to today though I was fuming. She confirmed that I'd have to work and pay two years NI contributions and tax before I could claim again....so that's me just off to find one of many jobs that are flying around nowadays !

soontobeburns Mon 21-Jan-13 22:47:41

Thats outrageous that you can't get income based if your partner works! What ifs its 30 hrs a week NMW and therefore youse both have to survive on £750 a month.
Therefore it probably would be better for both partners not to work.
Outrageous.

Hope you can cope OP and sorry for my wrong advice before as I thought it was a given that someone who needed jsa got it.

susanann Mon 21-Jan-13 23:31:23

Soontobeburns, yes its not good is it? I was on JSA before I met my partner. I was made redundant and was given redundancy money by the company but I was dipping into to it frequently because theres no way you can live on JSA. Then my redundancy money ran out. It was scary! I spoke to a lady at the jobcentre and asked if there was anything else I could claim to top up my JSA and she said sorry no. So i replied so what do I do then? She looked uncomfortable and said ive no idea! Not her fault of course but its a crap system. But with so many unemployed I guess the government cant afford it. Its a pity it can afford however to give benefits to those who dont deserve it, eg people that have just come into the country and terrorists! AAARGH!

fourfingerkitkat Mon 21-Jan-13 23:31:42

Don't worry soon, not your fault ! Just one of these things like I said. I know there are people out there who are worse off than us. On paper OH has a good salary but when you factor in our mortgage etc there's not a lot left over at the end of the month. My p/t wage for the Xmas job was helping to get us out of the overdraft so I'm just getting worried now that in 6 months time we're going to be in the same situation. Back to the drawing board and keeping everything crossed that something turns up.

fourfingerkitkat Mon 21-Jan-13 23:34:20

soon meant to say if partner was on NMW then I assume that I would be eligible for income support as OH would be classed as having a low income but that's not the case for us...

sashh Tue 22-Jan-13 04:13:24

* I spoke to a lady at the jobcentre and asked if there was anything else I could claim to top up my JSA and she said sorry no.*

A friend of mine was at rock bottom last year. Similar to this, no idea what she could do, the job centre was closing so they kicked her out.

She was in tears, walking to the bus stop.

One of the Job Center staff caught up with her and said something along the lines of, "I have to obey the rules in there, but not outside"

She took my friend to the local shop, topped up her electric key by £10, her gas key by £5, bought tea and biscuits and drove her home, Handed over the tea and biscuits and told her to make a hot drink and look after herself.

So while we are slagging off the staff, and I've encountered some nasty ones, can we also give a cheer to the good ones, who try their best to help.

And if by any chance you are the person who did this, or know them, or know someone else who did similar then thank you.

OP sorry no help to you, I hope you find work soon.

fourfingerkitkat Tue 22-Jan-13 08:43:59

sashh, not it's a valid point. JC staff are people like the rest of us. I'm just angry because in my case they seem to have overlooked something that was apparent to 99% of people that I later questioned. Having limited contact with benefits and the jobcentre until last year, I didn't know any better.

But they must put up with some amount of crap and I can imagine they find it difficult not tar everyone with the same brush and become disillusioned. Nice to know there are still some really good people out there.

Jammother Tue 22-Jan-13 09:52:31

Also the tax year counted for contributions-based JSA and ESA runs from January to January rather than the conventional tax year from April.

fourfingerkitkat Tue 22-Jan-13 12:39:15

At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, you've confused me further Jammother grin. The letter that I received confirming I was not eligible for JSA definitely referred to contributions made up the end of tax years April 2011 and April 2012. Or have they got it wrong in the bloody letter too ?

torychicetc Tue 22-Jan-13 12:51:03

They may have made an elementary mistake Good luck with it.

susanann Tue 22-Jan-13 17:48:21

No that is right they work from jan to jan. so if youre unemployed in say March it wont count till you "start" from the following Jan. Im sure thats what DP told me. Sounds very unfair to me!

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