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Work focused interview

(47 Posts)
ProtegeMoi Thu 05-Jun-14 14:23:43

What an absolute waste of time!

I am a full time student, at the end of my course now and starting my degree in September at university.

My partner is a stay at home carer to our disabled child and claims income support and carers allowance.

I have today had a letter saying I must attend a work focused interview so thinking it was a mistake phoned them up.

Turns out no mistake, it dosnt matter that I am student and so not available for work, it dosnt matter that my degree when completed will lead to a job and have us both of benefits. I am expected to look for a job regardless and waste an hour of my life doing so.

Where is the sense in this? Do they really expect me to throw away my degree and find a minimum wage job now instead?

It's compulsory though so I have no choice, yet another waste of tax payers money that is more likely to leave someone stuck on benefits for life instead of actually letting them better themselves in the long run.

Joules68 Thu 05-Jun-14 14:25:33

How do you support yourself at present then? Is it anoint claim for IS?

ViviPru Thu 05-Jun-14 14:27:05

Utter nonsense. How frustrating for you OP.

Babyroobs Thu 05-Jun-14 14:28:50

Is it to help you find a job for a few months over the summer?

OHforDUCKScake Thu 05-Jun-14 14:30:05

When you are doing your degree, you wont be in income support (if its a full time degree anyway) so you wont need to attend any W.F interviews.

Presumably the course is part time, so they assume you are available to work.

OHforDUCKScake Thu 05-Jun-14 14:30:41

*presumably the current course is part time.

hashtagwhatever Thu 05-Jun-14 14:30:47

It's what they do antagonise people untill they come off benefits. The whole system is ridiculous.

gordyslovesheep Thu 05-Jun-14 14:33:08

you must be claiming some benefits for them to be contacting you - are you on JSA? or is the IS a joint claim?

go - do the interview and in sept you will sign off - job done

it's a tick box exercise BUT if you refuse they could sanction you

WeAreEternal Thu 05-Jun-14 14:34:40

The process is simple, if you want to claim benefits you have to attend interviews, meetings and appointments that they set up.
If you d

ProtegeMoi Thu 05-Jun-14 14:35:20

The course is full time but is at college so no student finance available. My partner has a joint income support claim. I have already informed them I will be starting uni in September and of the student finance I will then be receiving and they tell me my partner will continue to claim but the amount will be reduced due to my income. I will be expected to attend work focused interviews still however due to my partner claiming.

WeAreEternal Thu 05-Jun-14 14:36:13

The process is simple, if you want to claim benefits you have to attend interviews, meetings and appointments that they set up.
If you don't want to attend you don't claim benefits.

I don't see the problem.

noraintoday Thu 05-Jun-14 15:38:19

I have to go to work focused interviews even as the f/t carer of my disabled child. They don't necessarily expect you to be looking for a job (though it might be different for the partner claimant) but just going over my details and checking they were still the same (yes, my child has not recovered from his lifelong disability.) It took about 10 mins, no pressure, you just turn up, answer the questions and it makes sure your IS isn't sanctioned (it will be if you don't turn up.) If your DP is a carer then he's entitled to IS which you'd claim as a couple, so they have no legal grounds to expect you to get a job right now.

Pumpkinpositive Thu 05-Jun-14 15:43:28

How often are these interviews going to take place, OP?

Fideliney Thu 05-Jun-14 15:45:58

Make an appointment with your Uni welfare adviser - you may find you are only slightly worse off if you close down the IS claim (your partner will then get to keep all of the Carer's Allowance instead of having it partially deducted from IS) and live on Student support, CA and tax credits.

If you or your DP could get vv PT work (1 or 2 days per week), so much the better. (Your DP can earn a certain amount per week £100ish- before (s)he loses CA, you could do childcare and write essays while (s)he did evening shifts one or twice a week?)

The degree is an investment in your future. You need to find a way to get out of the clutches of the jobcentre so you can concentrate on your studies.

Fideliney Thu 05-Jun-14 15:46:49

No student finance?! For a full time HE course? Or is it PT?

Joules68 Thu 05-Jun-14 18:00:09

How do you pay the college fees then?

From what you are saying then I can't see why you shouldn't be looking for work. September is z way off still, and things change

Fideliney Thu 05-Jun-14 18:20:17

Oh degree course hasn't started yet - missed that.

So what's the problem exactly?

ProtegeMoi Thu 05-Jun-14 19:00:43

I am on a college course now, funded by a 24+ loan that covers titution fees only. The appointments will be 6 monthly and an hour long and I am expected to be looking for work. The degree I am doing is midwifery in September, that means a 45 week year with 30 hours of placement each week on top of study, there is no way to fit a job around it! That's the reason you get extra bursery on this course.

The work focused interviews will continue throughout my 3 year degree despite the fact it's impossible to work around it and I will be expected to seek work or my partners income is stopped.

She is the main and only carer for a severely disabled child, she relies on the tiny income she gets from benefits and cannot work at all as childcare for my son is £15 an hour due to how specialist it must be.

I don't understand why full time students are not excluded from this, even if my partner stops claiming for me when I am receiving student finance in September I will still have to attend or her income is affected. My nhs bursery does not provide income for her only me and we not be able to support ourselves.

I'm faced with quitting my degree and seeking work or living apart from my partner and 3 children. This is wrong.

sezamcgregor Thu 05-Jun-14 19:11:35

I had this when I was at college FT. It isn't to make you look for work, it's so that they can say "hello" to a person and chat to you about your life so you an assure then that you are doing something to get off benefits.

It's just an exercise so that they make sure you're getting the right benefits.

Fideliney Thu 05-Jun-14 19:11:49

But you do live together? confused

Fideliney Thu 05-Jun-14 19:15:55

Why are you not applying for dependants allowance along with your bursary? That is the bit that is supposed to pay for your partner (instead of the IS).

So Bursary + Dependants Allowance + Tax Credits + Carers Allowance + Child Benefit + Child's DLA = Just about enough

Have you added it up?

Woozlebear Thu 05-Jun-14 19:24:02

Why can't you work over the summer, though, between now and the course starting in September? That's what everyone did when I was studying. If you're not studying for the next 3 months, I don't see why you shouldn't try to get a temp job for that period if at all possible. I also don't understand why you wouldn't want to.

Of course there's no way you should be expected to be job hunting after September, but I don't know enough about the system to know if that's what they'll expect you to do.

ProtegeMoi Thu 05-Jun-14 19:24:27

I have yes, bearing in mind that I won't get housing benefit its not manageable. Appointment is next week so hopefully can explain all this to a real person. It's laughable that before I went to college and I was on income support i went in asking for help in finding a job and was told to give up looking for work as my childcare costs would make it impossible.

ProtegeMoi Thu 05-Jun-14 19:27:13

I have no issue with working during this summer and in fact plan to, although I don't finish until the end of June and start again on the first of September so it's only actually 2 months. I won't be having the summer off once j start my degree though, only 2 weeks of it.

Fideliney Thu 05-Jun-14 19:28:08

Well you'll have 7 weeks each summer when you can either claim HB or work. Can't you get a job for the next three months?

Either way, your DP will end her IS claim when you start your course, won't she? So they won't be able to keep calling you in for WFIs.

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