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to think certain benefits discrimate against SAHMs?

(73 Posts)
stuckinabureaucraticmachine Thu 29-Sep-11 12:28:58

Namechanging regular here.

I've been a sahm for a few years after working for around 7 years. In that time I have become disabled, but did not claim Incapacity Benefit (as it was then) because we could live perfectly well on dh's salary and I do not believe in claiming benefits that are not needed. I believed I was protected for a pension and future benefits claims by Home Responsibilities Protection.

I now realise that I am not. I could kick myself but am not sure that I could have done anything differently. I could not have gone back to work and we would not have been able to afford to make class 1 contributions. It is only now that I realise HRP is for Class 3 contributions only and does not count towards certain benefits.

The situation now is that we are running into trouble and believed now was the time to claim ESA. I get DLA but it goes towards the extra costs of living with the disability. We need ESA for normal living costs as I cannot work. My claim has been refused because I have not paid or been credited with enough NI class 1 contributions.

AIBU to think this is wrong and discriminatory against those who choose to sah parent? I did not claim benefits to stay at home, I lived off dh's salary, by no means well off but able to get by. But this law is saying that if people stay at home with their children for a period of time and then become ill there is nothing they can do? I cannot claim the non-contributory type of ESA because dh works more than 24 hrs a week, but we don't have enough now to quite scrape by. I feel that I have paid into the system when I was able, then made the choice to be at home with babies, and am now paying for that choice and for becoming ill.

AIBU? And does anyone have any advice, because I don't know what to do from now.

hairylights Thu 29-Sep-11 12:34:06

Yabu. You chose not to work and therefore not to contribute ni. Themselves the rules as it is a contributions based benefit.

Does your disability mean you are unable to do ANY work of ANY kind?

NinkyNonker Thu 29-Sep-11 12:40:29

What happened to the home responsibilities protection? As far as I was aware it was still there as long as you claim child benefit.

lindypops17 Thu 29-Sep-11 12:44:25

If your family income is below a certain level then you can claim Income related ESA. It sounds as if the JC+ have calculated that your dh's income puts you outside of that bracket.

stuckinabureaucraticmachine Thu 29-Sep-11 12:46:06

I didn't choose not to work, I got ill shortly into maternity leave and decided then to stay at home. However I think staying at home should be a choice. I could never have gone back to work as unemployable due to fluctuating condition.

HRP is still there but only protects pension etc. It is credits to Class 3 apparently. I am stupid for not finding this out years ago. I guess I thought there would be help if it was needed confused

ESA told me it was calculated on the fact that dh works over 24 hrs per week, lindypops, not our income.

slavetofilofax Thu 29-Sep-11 12:46:36

I thought NI contributions were protected if you claim CB too. I've wondered about this, because although I work, I don't earn enough or work enough hours to pay NI. I thought I would still be entitled to a pension, but now I'm not so sure.

It seems very very unfair.

NinkyNonker Thu 29-Sep-11 12:47:16

Oh ok, yes I was thinking pensions. Tbh I'm bot surprised it doesn't cover other things.

stuckinabureaucraticmachine Thu 29-Sep-11 12:51:33

It does cover pensions slave, basic state pension, until your youngest child is twelve, but you cannot claim contributory benefits on it. I always thought it was a credit recognising the fact that a lot of parents stay at home for a while with their children, but it doesn't seem to extend out to help when you get ill.

aldiwhore Thu 29-Sep-11 12:54:40

For people who have never claimed any benefits they simply don't know the rules as they don't need to know them. Once you need to know the rules you have to have a timemachine to go back and prepare for the unknown quanity of claiming.

DH had an accident and was off work for 18 months, he is self employed.... he owed £22 NI... due to an error, and this meant he was denied help.

The system leans favourably to those who know the system. The system is not at all helpful for those who suddenly find themselves in a situation that requires help (temporary or permanent).

OP it IS unfair, you cannot expect to be an expert in things that have never affected you, or were unlikely to affect you. If there is to be that expectation, then it should be covered at school. Many people don't even THINK about what benefits they may be entitled to if they find themselves in a certain situation, as there are so many situations!

It doesn't just apply to SAHP's but all manner of people who don't fit snuggly into certain boxes... NI has never been explained to me, I've paid it directly through work, the various conditions applied are still somewhat an unknown quantity.... especially when it comes to possible future benefits.

slavetofilofax Thu 29-Sep-11 13:00:42

Thanks for the clarification.

This stuff should be made more public and easy to understand. I am shocked that you are not entitled to help. There are people that have never contributed a penny that get plenty in benefits. But you have worked and have your husband works, you have a good reason for needing help and you are denied it! angry It's outrageous!

Sorry I don't have any advice for you, but you have my sympathy.

stuckinabureaucraticmachine Thu 29-Sep-11 13:03:55

Thankyou slave smile That does help.

ThisIsANickname Thu 29-Sep-11 13:09:09

You mean, in the same way that a lot of benefits are discriminatory against the child-free?

longtrainrunning Thu 29-Sep-11 13:10:56

I have a friend who has always worked and paid her NI, she then gave up for 3 years to do voluntary work. She then became very unwell and could claim no benefits because her NI contributions had not been paid for the 2 out of the previous 3 years!

lesley33 Thu 29-Sep-11 13:15:17

I think a lot of people don't realise that to claim contributory benefits you have to have paid the full NI. I didn't for 6 months when i wasn't working but not claiming benefits.

alemci Thu 29-Sep-11 13:23:39

how come though people who have never made any NI contributions seem to be able to gain benefits. I think that is what is so unfair about the system. Long trains friend had made some NI contributions.

tyler80 Thu 29-Sep-11 13:34:50

If you're claiming certain benefits then you get national insurance credits which count towards your contributions

PeachyWhoCannotType Thu 29-Sep-11 13:43:26

What all people who ahve never worked do you mean?

Like for example people who can't work? disabled, carers? What should they live on? I am lucky that I became a carer after a solid work history but manyc are from childhood and ds3 won't work due to his disability.

Otherwise it's basic levels isn't it. IS / JSa are very low for people without children; if they have children well there's plenty evidence about showing how the costs of poverty go far beyond day to day keep and into life chances / ctcles of deprivation so that not ging kids a certain standard of living costs the state more long term in health, education outcomes etc.
but it's short term and frankly anyone choosing that lifestyle is going to be back on basic rate really quite quickly and facing a rather bleak future. Not something to aspire to at all.

longtrainrunning Thu 29-Sep-11 13:44:15

My friend couldn't get any benefits because her dp (? am new here and unsure of the acronyms so please forgive me!) worked too many hours and earned too much money to enable her to claim income based JSA/ESA

RhinoKey Thu 29-Sep-11 13:46:43

I worked for 5 years before becoming a carer. Luckily I have a small private pension which I pay into.

Does CA cover your NI contributions?

PeachyWhoCannotType Thu 29-Sep-11 13:50:14

CA covers HRP, but not all NI entitlements IIRC

The HRP thing is being reviewed: heck the Government current line on carer's is 'we don;t know what to do with it' becuase apparenlty £55 PW isn;t enough to help at all but they can;t put it up

Er it does help. A lot. It pays the utilities and school bits!

PeachyWhoCannotType Thu 29-Sep-11 13:51:28

Longtrain that's standard; there are two types- contribution absed and income absed; it means that if you pay in long enough you arecoverd short term but longer term it's down to household income

Seems fair to me

Mind plenty of people get fobbed off on the cont-based ones and never know they could claim until too late sad

RhinoKey Thu 29-Sep-11 14:06:20

Oh yes - CA is a massive help to us!

slavetofilofax Thu 29-Sep-11 14:08:23

Peachy, I was thinking of people like my cousin, who I love dearly, but who left college at 18 then deliberately got herself pregnant at 18 so that she could get a council house and not have to get a job. She openly admits that this is what she did by the way, and she has plenty of friends that did the same thing. She is an expert on the benefits system, but not on anything else unfortunately.

PeachyWhoCannotType Thu 29-Sep-11 14:12:59

Well how do you discriminate between those people and the ones who didn;t end up that way deliberately? And if you did is it OK to accept the fact that somewhere some children will be left destitute?

That's a personal philosophy thing of course- for me it's a no but I know others will say parental fault.

I keep ebinga ccused of being an expert on the benefit system as evidence I miust be a blagger LOl (not saying your cousin is not mind, don;t know her- that I know of anyway) but it's just related to my last job is all.

Tell you what though- look up what your cousin will get in income support and housing benefit once her child leaves home, and kids do grow up so much more quickly than we expect- it will not look good for her!

I do wonder why people do teh choice benefit thing, what happens to people that makes them think that is all theya re worth? I have yet to meet a child who does not want to do something (and I worked on Europe's biggest housing estate for a time), what goes wrong between 11 and 16 that some people give up?

NationalDisgrace Thu 29-Sep-11 14:13:28

The contribution based ESA rules are changing anyway, so anyone on this benefit would only be able to claim it for a year maximum. I think OP YANBU as the benefit rules for income related benefits always take the household income into account, which prevents any kind of independence for those who are disabled or when a lone parent moves in with a partner.

The ridiculous thing about the existing system is that it encourages families to give up work - I know a disabled woman in a similar position, the DH was able to give up work to go on income support and carer's allowance. With the housing benefit, it meant they were only slightly worse off but balanced against having the DH at home to care for her, it was easier to do that than stay in work.

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