Arrgh Job Centre(12 Posts)
Some of you may have read previous posts about ds being poorly for more than 3mths due to vomiting every day. He has been off school for almost 12wks I sent him back last wk but he could only do 1 full day and 2 half days due to sickness. I've had to keep him off again this wk due to stomach pain and ongoing sickness.
Due to ds now being 7 JCP have changed me onto jobseekers in theory if ds was at school full time I could find a job (if any where available) and start immediately but while he is still poorly and i'm caring for him full time this would be difficult.
I went to JCP today with all the hospital appointment letters(we've had had 6 hosp app in 8wks)letters of attendance and 2 referal notices and 2 more upcoming appointment letters. The woman on the counter didn't even take my name or NIno just asked how I would support myself if not seeking work Why do they judge everyone the same without showing the slightest interest in the facts (she didn't even look at the letters)
I don't have a problem with going to work I'm studying 18hrs a wk with the open university and before ds became poorly I was working voluntarily in his school 5hrs a week I'm also partially deaf due to suffering Menieres disease which is a degenerative disease so since I last was in paid emploment my hearing has worsened considerably.
All I want to do is be able to care for my son before committing myself to finding a job it's just really frustrating when they judge without knowing the cicumstances
This is infuriating!!!!!!!
That is all I have to say.
In my opinion, this new move wont really help anything at all. I have recently been moved onto jobseekers from income support as my dd was 7 in January. I've always worked (have been a single mum for 12.5 years now). I've been made redundant four times in five years. The last time, 18 months ago. I have been looking for work ever since but so far have found nothing I can reasonably do.
My ds has some form of undiagnosed dyspraxia (another thread), I have also suffered from anxiety and depression for around 10 years and was diagnosed with ibs a year ago.
ibs isn't classed as a disability but when mine flares up I literally cant leave the house. Stress makes it worse, and the stress of having to justify to some patronising jobsworth every two weeks why I cant find a job has made me ill again. I've been in so much pain the last week I could cry constantly.
There's nothing i'd like more than to get another job, get out of this house and quit staring at four walls all day and night. Now I have the added worry that my money may be stopped despite the fact i'm applying for everything I would be able to do.
I understand what you are saying...my ds from the age of 5 months to six years had asthma and was often in hospital as a result of attacks, it would take him weeks to recover. How i'd have explained this to the jobcentre I dont know. I was very lucky in that my family cared for him while I worked...yet still...when my employers sacked me my ds's illness was one of the reasons they gave, they had the cheek to say I often called stating he had a hospital appt in the morning that they hadn't been told about in advance...well of course not. Your child has an asthma attack at 2am he's going to need a follow up the next day if he's not been admitted there and then!
I'll admit I've no experience of how the system works in practice. But the way I thought it works was that you are supposed to look for suitable work. And that being single parents, allowances would be made. So for example, if work was late at night and you had no childcare then that's a valid reason. But
Lone parents are always going to be a difficult group to manage since some are more "lone" than others if you get what i mean. Some can rely upon families/friends & ex's. Others cannot.
But I think in OP's case, if I was the adviser, I'd have expected you to have at least looked for work. Not perhaps found work but at least evidence you'd looked, sent applications, rejection letters etc.
Like it or not, the era of income support til your child is 16 with no questions asked is over. There are now conditions attached. As long as the rules are applied fairly and with a sense of understanding for lone parents then I think its a step in the right direction.
Can you not just go to interviews and mention your son's illnesses? Then it's up to them if they choose to employ you.
OP i'm in a simalar situation to yourself, in respect my dd has been poorly for about a year, not with sickness though and she does go to school still, but we have hosp apts every other week. My dd is coming up for 7, and i have been claiming IC since Jan 2010, i've now been told the "find a job or else"
Atm due to all this appointments, and dd's needs i feel i'd only be able to work part time. Despite franticly looking, and having a wealth of experience as a credit manager, i'm unable to find anything.
Can you apply for DLA for your ds? The lone parent advisor has told me the only way i can continue to live is claiming DLA for dd. We applied a few weeks ago, and takes about 12 weeks to process. You should be able to claim income support if you ds is still poorly, and possibly a carers allowance too. Book in to see a lone parent advisor they are really good and should be able to tell you what is available. As your son has been ill for 12 weeks now you should be able to claim DLA at the least.
I work for the Jobcentre as a Lone-Parent adviser.
I would advise you to make an appt with a Lone parent adviser asap. They should be able to tell you exactly what you need to do.
You should really have been made an appointment automatically, but as we know, things don't always happen as they are supposed to.
Take along all your letters and any other paperwork you think you will help.
I'm sorry to hear that someone at JCP was rude to you. Rest assured that your adviser should be very helpful.
Take a look at www.loneparents.org.uk and www.directgov.uk
I would second what Amieesmum says, my DS also has health problems and gets DLA, which means I can get Carers Allowance and Income Support. He was awarded DLA until he's 16 so I will be able to stay on IS until then. It's a huge relief to be able to concentrate on helping my DS and sorting out his appointments, therapies etc, without being hassled or judged about not working. I get additional tax credits as well so financially life is manageable without a wage coming in.
I get called in for interviews every six months but there's no obligation to look for work, they just check that the details have remained the same.
My lone parents advisor is lovely. Mind you, it's on record I have worked when I could since having DS (they can check on the pooter).
Just missed an appt due to school situation and she's rebooked the appt with no hassle & is gonna help me claim carers allowance. My kid is also out of school and is rising 7. I've asked her to look into what hours I can work, whether I can study, ideas for work from home. She's a gem who can only work within the system but if there is something I can do to avoid a yawniing gap on my CV we'll find it. I send in what I want to know before the appointment so she has a chance to look stuff up for me.
The reception staff tho' are 'orrible little jobsworth's. I take no notice as they have no clue as to my circumstances.
I didn't know there were lone parent advisers, what do they do? I've avoided job centres like the plague as from previous experiences and other peoples experience staff look down on you and talk to you like you are completely stupid. Anngeree I hope everything works out for you, you have enough stress to deal with
I have been advised to move my advert for lone parent research to the media section of Mumnet
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