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Income Support Advice?

(25 Posts)
BabyGrainger Wed 17-Jun-15 17:15:29

Hi Everyone
I'm very new to this benefits business, so a little help will be great!
Background: I'm 28 and my husband is 32, we are pregnant and due on Jul 22nd. My husband is a building contractor and has just finished his latest contract but doesn't have another one to go to, and doesn't know when he will next have work. I called DWP to claim income support for the both of us on Monday (15th Jun) and had the interview at the Jobcentre the following day. Today is the 17th and to my surprise, everything seems to have gone through quickly and I received a text message from the DWP saying:

"We confirm you will now get Income Support. We'll send you a letter about this. Your payment of £82.04 will be paid to your account on 22.06.2015"

Now, I don't meant to sound ungrateful in the slightest, we have been trying to get by on my husbands low income for a while now and getting the benefit will mean a lot less money troubles for a while, with now being entitled to a Maternity Grant and Healthy Start Vouchers, but I'm a little, nay, a fair bit concerned about the amount..
Having done some research prior to putting in the IS claim, I can see that we should be entitled to £114.85 per week, due to us being a couple where we are both over 18.

My question is, those of you who already claim, or have previously claimed Income Support, do you know why the payment is what it is?
The only things that come to mind are:
1. They've somehow made an error and not taken my husband into account?
or
2. IS is usually paid on a specific day, and therefore we are not getting a full week's worth of money this time, but will in future payments.

Any help or advice you have to give will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you smile

TantrumsAndBalloons Wed 17-Jun-15 17:32:16

I don't know about the amount but are you talking about IS or JSA?
I can see why you might get IS but I would have thought your husband would only be entitled to JSA?

BabyGrainger Wed 17-Jun-15 17:49:51

Hi TantrumsAndBalloons,

The amount I'm speaking about is the IS claim.
As far as I'm aware, we are jointly entitled to Income Support as I am the main claimant and unable to work due to being in the last 11 weeks in pregnancy, if we were tying to claim earlier in the pregnancy, or while not pregnant, then we'd be getting JSA...does that make sense? (I think i'm confusing myself!)

AnthonyPandy Wed 17-Jun-15 18:16:10

I think your husband will only be entited to JSA. Here's the criteria for IS:
To qualify for Income Support you must be all of the following:

*between 16 and Pension Credit qualifying age
pregnant, or a carer, or a lone parent with a child under 5 or, in some cases, unable to work because you’re sick or disabled
you have no income or a low income (your partner’s income and savings will be taken into account)
working less than 16 hours a week (and your partner works less than 24 hours a week)*

And, later,

You might still qualify if you do unpaid voluntary work or go on parental or paternity leave.

So you get IS, he gets JSA until you give birth then he gets IS with you as he's on paternity leave, then he goes back to JSA and you continue on IS.

But I say this as someone who is mostly baffled by the whole benefits system despite getting various benefits of random types for years.

LIZS Wed 17-Jun-15 18:18:01

Think he should claim JSA too. Have you been working during your pg or in a the year or do beforehand?

expatinscotland Wed 17-Jun-15 18:18:56

'then he goes back to JSA and you continue on IS.'

Joint JSA claim it would be.

RepeatAdNauseum Wed 17-Jun-15 18:20:56

Yep, everyone is right. Your husband has no entitlement to IS - He'd need to claim JSA. His JSA will stop and you'll get the couples rate of IS whilst he is on paternity leave, and then you'll switch to a joint JSA claim until he finds work.

AnthonyPandy Wed 17-Jun-15 18:23:41

Joint JSA claim it would be.

But she wouldn't get JSA would she until the child is a certain age? It used to be 5? Or 8? But she wouldn't be getting JSA with a newborn as she wouldn't have to look for work, I don't think.

AnthonyPandy Wed 17-Jun-15 18:25:41

Ooh I think you're right, expatinscotland actually, sorry.

expatinscotland Wed 17-Jun-15 18:29:04

'But she wouldn't get JSA would she until the child is a certain age? It used to be 5?'

If she were a lone parent. She is not. So he claims JSA and gets it allocated for them as a couple and she goes in for work-focused interviews every 6 months until he gets work again.

BabyGrainger Wed 17-Jun-15 18:37:40

Thank you everyone,
Your advice is appreciated.

I asked both on the phone and again at the interview, whether my husband would have to go and sign each week/fortnight like what he did when on JSA, and I was told both times that he wouldn't have to attend any type of signing or interview unless we were both still out of work when the baby hits 15wks. At that point we'd have to decide which would be the main caregiver and that parent would claim IS, and the other would claim JSA until work was found.

I think that I've worked out (through a lot of confusing calculator work) that they are planning on paying us 5 days of IS, and I presume that this is because they work out the week Sat>Fri and the 23rd is the first day of the two week period.. so we should expect the £82.04 on the 22nd and then £114.85 on the 6th and then £114.85 every two weeks from then.

expatinscotland Wed 17-Jun-15 18:42:06

' At that point we'd have to decide which would be the main caregiver and that parent would claim IS, and the other would claim JSA until work was found. '

No, it doesn't work like that when you are not a lone parent. The main caregiver is part of the one looking for work's joint JSA claim. And that means, at a minimum, the caregiver needs to go attend 6-monthly work focused interviews. You only get IS if you are a lone parent or, in some cases, a carer once your baby is 15 weeks old.

BabyGrainger Wed 17-Jun-15 18:50:56

ExpatInScotland

Ah, I see..well they're just trying to confuse me now! What I wrote is pretty much exactly what the guy said to me in the office! As if having baby brain isn't enough to deal with, let alone giving me the wrong information..

I was told that legally they cannot and therefore won't contact me (I think he meant me specifically when he said 'you' as apposed us as a couple) until the child is 1 year old with regards to looking for work, not that I plan on being out of work for that long.

Oh, and also, in response to LIZS no, I was working as a contracted chef, working away until the season ended and my last day of work was Jul 18th '14. As I was looking for my next job, we got pregnant and unfortunately couldn't get a job due to this, so have been unemployed for the entirety of this pregnancy.. next time we'll be sure to plan things a little better!

BabyGrainger Wed 17-Jun-15 18:58:03

What is concerning me now is, the fact that we were told that we could claim IS as a couple.. and if that is not what is happening, then why have they not told us so?

At no point, during the hone conversation, or my interview did either of the DWP workers inform me that we have to apply for benefits separately.

So, now I ask, what are they considering me as, as I am not Single, a Lone Parent nor a Couple (if the claim does not include my husband)
and what are they working out that I am entitled to, as at the time of payment, I will have been claiming 7 full days (Mon-Sun) and yet get more than any of the claim allowances for either the Lone parent or single person...and how long should I expect for this amount to last me until the next payment?

This is VERY confusing!

LIZS Wed 17-Jun-15 19:07:25

If you were working last year have you tried claiming maternity allowance? Yes I think the you meant you singular and doesn't apply to your dp who is expected to be looking for work regardless and claim JSA .

BabyGrainger Wed 17-Jun-15 19:15:26

LIZS unfortunately, i can't claim Maternity allowance as I'd have had to work for at least 26 of the 66 weeks before baby is due, and as I stopped working 52(and a bit) weeks before she's due, then I'd have only worked 14 weeks out of the 66.

The bit I'm getting the most confused about is that both DWP parties I have spoken to have made it very clear that my husband isn't expected to work from the date of the claim (as I am below 11 weeks until due date) until the baby is 15 weeks old as that's what he'd be taking off as paternity leave if he were still working.. so if that is categorically NOT the case, like everyone is saying, then why did they make such a point of saying it?

expatinscotland Wed 17-Jun-15 19:19:33

No, that is not what people are saying. What they are saying is that once your baby is 15 weeks old your husband needs to switch to JSA on the basis of being a couple. You cannot get IS anymore as you are not a lone parent and he will need to sign on and comply with all the rules to find work.

BabyGrainger Wed 17-Jun-15 19:21:42

Ah! I SEE!! (Slaps forehead)

Sorry, I must have been reading it all wrong.

BabyGrainger Wed 17-Jun-15 19:25:09

so.. about the payment.. is it £82.04 because we've started claiming in the middle of the 2 week rotation or some other reason?

AndNowItsSeven Thu 18-Jun-15 22:10:00

Yes the random amount will be because it won't be a full two weeks money you are receiving.

AndNowItsSeven Thu 18-Jun-15 22:11:15

I think it's the first three days you can't get any money.

BabyGrainger Fri 19-Jun-15 19:48:40

That makes sense, thank you so much AndNowItsSeven, that's very helpful. Do you happen to know if they 'pay' for weekends? (Is the money spread out over 5 or 7 days?)
Thanks again ��

DustWitch Fri 19-Jun-15 20:52:26

It's now the first 7 days that are not paid when you first claim.

Yes, weekends are paid for, your entitlement is calculated as a weekly rate over 7 days.

AndNowItsSeven Sat 20-Jun-15 22:51:40

DustWitch , really seven days, for IS ? That's really bad.
Op you no should receive the normal amount next time you money is due.

BabyGrainger Sun 21-Jun-15 20:05:25

Thank for your help guys, it's good to know where we stand.
DustWitch, are you sure it's not paid for the first 7 days? As surely that would mean that we wouldn't get any payment until the 29th? (Having started our claim on the 15th..)
Again, thank you all for your help.

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