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Unemployed but getting SMP so can not claim benefits

(4 Posts)
Loulamummy Sun 09-Oct-11 17:32:09

My fixed term contract expired 6 weeks before the birth of my DD. I was still able to get SMP from my my last employer, but because I get this, neither my partner or I can claim income based benefits. We can't get job seekers allowance, or reduced council tax, and can not start the waiting period to get some mortgage interest paid. In other words, although we both are looking for work, we are much worse off that if we were childless (even though we get a small amount of child tax credit). It feels like discrimination! We either have to make do on this, or I risk stopping my SMP and then we apply for the other benefits. We will probably wait weeks to find out what we are due (nobody on the claims helpline is willing or able to estimate this prior to us putting in the official application), and during that time we would have to live on pennies. If it turns out we can not claim for another reason, I doubt I would be able to reinstate the SMP and get it back dated. Anyone experienced this themselves, or have any ideas???

vj32 Sun 09-Oct-11 21:37:01

You would lose about £25/week if you switched to income based JSA as a couple.

You should be able to get reduced council tax, as you have such a low income. I would contact your local council about it. In my area all the details, including a benefits checker telling you what you are entitled to, are on their website.

sleepevader Mon 17-Oct-11 09:54:01

You need to claim. The 12 week waiting period can be served whilst your income exceeds your personal allowance. Then you will make a reclaim when you reach mortgage qualifying date.

Main thing is to claim asap.

Peachy Mon 17-Oct-11 09:58:43

Have you been on the entitled to site?

plenty of people on maternity pay / working claim housing benefit and council tax: it is the actual income that matters, the household income.

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