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Is this OK?

(11 Posts)
Katkins1 Sun 11-May-14 17:46:15

Just looking for a bit of advice. I finish uni soon.. if I can get everything handed in on time (and pass!). I've been really very poorly after a bereavement, depression s/h thoughts, suicidal, am sick every morning, barely go out sometimes, cry all of the time. I've got a freelance (fee paid) p/ t role for when I finish, and a PhD if I like (accepted already).But I want to take a couple of months out, and look for a p/ t job instead of rushing. I think I need some space to get well again, and that means signing on for a bit. Is this OK? I just don't know what to do, I will be looking for work at the same time, but I feel so guilty. It's a bit of a personal question, but how do others manage p/ t work around mental heath issues? I just need a little time to get myself back on track- should I apply for JSA or something else? I know I'll be freelancing, but the pay isn't yet and its very few hours. What do others think ? If it helps, I'm a single mum, one DD, 6. I can barely get her to school at the minute- no idea how I'm coping at uni!

Thank you

HeartHotWaterBottle Sun 11-May-14 17:57:44

Should be fine, you could go on ESA for a few months. If you go on JSA you will need to fulfill certain criteria for job hunting

Sounds like you deserve a break!

buddhasbelly Sun 11-May-14 18:07:20

Look at applying for ESA rather than JSA - Employment support allowance gives you the option to work up to 15.9 hours/week without this affecting any benefits you may be on. JSA will need you to be actively seeking work (with proof eg job interviews etc) which you may find difficult with ongoing mental health issues (sorry if that sounds condescending).

To qualify for ESA you usually need to attend an interview to assess your ability to work full time after filling out a health assessment questionnaire. It sounds like ESA would be more suited to your needs right now and it wouldn't be a long term thing. The benefit I can see to you being on ESA rather than JSA is that it takes the pressure off actively seeking work and signing on every week.

Sorry if that was a bit vague but hope it helps and good luck with everything OP thanks

Katkins1 Sun 11-May-14 18:13:36

Thank you that's helpful. I don't really want to,but I won't be the only student seeking work! I'm thinking a couple of months max anyway, a stop gap until I'm a bit better.

henleytop Sun 11-May-14 18:15:11

I get DLA and ESA rather than try to work around my mental health issues. I'm in the support group and get HRC/LRM DLA, so that gives me over £800 a month and all my rent/council tax paid, plus max child tax credits/benefit (one child also) so it's enough to manage on without having to worry about work. I'd worry about freelance work as it's not reliable and also I couldn't rely on my mental health being well enough to manage work to fit in with other peoples' deadlines.

buddhasbelly Sun 11-May-14 18:18:03

think of it this way - a few months on ESA to spend some time on your mental health whilst doing some p/t that isn't too mentally draining so that you can care for yourself and your dd or doing f/t work as soon as you graduate and draining yourself completely? I know which I'd choose. As you say, it's a stop gap on to better things smile

Katkins1 Sun 11-May-14 19:13:01

If I don't have a break, I will totally break down. I'm close now, not even sure I will get my big assignment done in three weeks and I'm on an extension. Will just try my best.

SilverStars Sun 11-May-14 21:41:01

I have no idea how benefits work but why not go and see the relevant people, tell them you have completed uni ( are about to), have accosted a phd slot but are not well to care for a child and work right now - am sure they will know what forms to fill in and what you should be claiming!

When do you start your next course? Ay chance you can delay starting it till as you say you are more recovered from the stresses of recent times?

Katkins1 Sun 11-May-14 22:38:49

I'm going to defer until next year (2015 entry), just look for p/t work in the meantime. I just think I need a couple of months to breathe. I think I am well enough in that I have completed a degree (nearly); but its come at a high cost in terms of my sliding mental health. I'd benefit from time to get medication sorted , and counselling, I think.

Tired10years Tue 13-May-14 22:01:40

Definitively claim ESA. Good luck

Katkins1 Wed 14-May-14 01:08:49

Thank you. I have an interview for JSA tomorrow, I'll put in my claim the switch to ESA once I have the doctors note and stuff.

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