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Fed up with JobCentre - and want to stop signing on


NewSAHD
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Hi, after some urgent help here and appreciate that my questions may raise further questions.

 

Briefly, I've been signing on since last Summer. Contribtuions based JSA, so the @£65 per week finished around December and I've been signing on since for NI contribitions only (I may have the phrase-e-ology wrong, but hope that's clear).

 

We receive no other benefits, save Child Tax Credits, due to my wife's salary, our savings and so on - the CTC are now in my name and paid to me, rather than my wife, for the following reasons...

 

I left school rather early :) and have worked ever since, without any particular break for, say, 20 years. Since the beginning of this year my wife and I 'swopped' roles and she now works full-time (loves it, well, most of the time, plus she comes home to a home cooked meal!) and I am a full-time stay at home Dad, looking after three young children (eldest is six, twins are three, STILL can't believe how knackering it is :)).

 

The prospect of my doing consultancy has since arisen recently and - having had a friend sort professional indemnity insurance for me at no initial cost to me, for which I am eternally grateful - I now have my first client (wahay!) and the prospect of a second this week.

 

So, my question is that I really, really want to stop signing on and I want to do so, but with out later harming NI contributions/state pension (if there is anything left for us all twenty/thirty years from now)

 

I'm really fed up with signing on anyway, plus, the twins have to come with me, so as to avoid the cost of childcare (my wife's salary is less than what we were used to previously, so have cut unnecessary expenses where we can).

 

Come September the prospect of signing on will muck up the chance of preschool too and, for me, kids now come first.

 

So, what do I need to be aware of in terms of NI contributions / state pension should I stop signing on?

 

Also, I have heard there are grants available if you are signing on, to help start a new business, but haven't got to the bottom of this, so don't want to lose the prospect of securing any grants, if available.

 

I have been given various helpline numbers to call (from JC to Child Tax Credits to HMC&R etc), but each time I get passed on to some one else who passes my call on - and I'm no further on with clarifying the position.

 

Typed at haste, whilst the kids play quietly :) , but can anyone, please, give me some pointers as to what I need to be aware of before I stop signing on?

 

My aim is to stop signing on with immediate effect, so long as I do not harm future state pension rights.

 

Hope that's clear, can anyone help point me in the right direction?

 

Thanks all.

As for me, happy to help out. I am not a Landlord, but I have been in the past. I am not an Agent, but I have been in the past. I am, therefore, a has been, so always seek independent and suitably qualified advice elsewhere before relying upon whatever has been posted here :-)

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but can anyone, please, give me some pointers as to what I need to be aware of before I stop signing on?

 

I would think it would be more obvious to yourself before you stop signing on money for a start you won't have that coming in and can you survive without it? was your JSA money very important to the contribution of your household expenses that's what you need to think write down what you have coming in and what you have going out if you can live without the JSA money then by all mean you can stop.

 

My aim is to stop signing on with immediate effect, so long as I do not harm future state pension rights.

 

If you stop suddently because you don't like the idea about signing yes it would be quite harmful for future state pension because if you decided you need to claim again they will ask you why you stopped claiming in the first place unless you have a good reason enough why you stopped then you might open up a bad can of worm. There are times in life that we have to do what we don't like regardless of whether we like it or not just think of your family especially you have young children so money is important for their needs.

 

 

Thanks all.

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Hi, thanks for the quick reply

 

With regards

 

"money for a start you won't have that coming in and can you survive without it?"

 

I do not receive any benefit money.

 

As I understand it there is limit of @180 days at @£60 a week and once you reach that - and if you have savings (we have a small amount) and your partner works, as my wife now does - then there are no further benefits paid. My benefit payments stopped in December 2009.

 

So, my reason for signing on currently is about maintaining National Insurance contibutions.

 

I've heard it said, however, that if you worked for enough years - and I've worked and paid my taxes for 20 plus years - then there comes a point when you don't have to sign on for 'x' period as you've paid enough in previous years.

 

I've also heard it said that there is a calculation that can be done to determine how many months / years you don't have to sign on for before you have to consider getting back in the Job Centre queue each fortnight.

 

With regards

 

"There are times in life that we have to do what we don't like regardless of whether we like it or not just think of your family especially you have young children so money is important for their needs."

I think I understand where you're coming from :)

 

My wish to stop signing on, however, is partly born out of sheer frustration... simply because I receive no benefit money, there is now no discount on my Council Tax, plus, the JC Executive & Professional Recruitment people have interviewed me and can't fault my CV, or my approach to seeking work, it's just that there is little work out there at the level I was on previously, hence my wife now working full-time and my being a stay at home Dad.

 

On a practical level my wife did not claim any form of benefit when I was working full-time - save Child Tax Credits - and as I understand it she would be entitled to a state pension upon reaching retirement age.

 

So, as I am now the 'wife' :) at home with the kids, what do I need to consider before stopping signing on?

 

Maybe I am asking the wrong questions, but as I said at the outset I fully appreciate my initial questions might raise other ones, and I would welcome any assistance.

 

Child Tax Credits are paid to me now, but the CTC helpline cannot answer, neither can JC staff (although one suggested I should just stop signing on... but couldn't answer my questions... or say how my not signing on would impact on NI etc), and other helplines have so far shed no light on the matter.

 

My starting private consultancy/private work is, perhaps, a red herring to all this.

 

Hope that all clears matters up a bit though and I would welcome your further thoughts/comments - and, indeed, anyone else's comments too.

 

Thanks again for your quick reply too, appreciated.

Edited by NewSAHD
typo

As for me, happy to help out. I am not a Landlord, but I have been in the past. I am not an Agent, but I have been in the past. I am, therefore, a has been, so always seek independent and suitably qualified advice elsewhere before relying upon whatever has been posted here :-)

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If you stop suddently because you don't like the idea about signing yes it would be quite harmful for future state pension because if you decided you need to claim again they will ask you why you stopped claiming in the first place unless you have a good reason enough why you stopped then you might open up a bad can of worm.

 

The prospect of pursuing private consultancy - I already have one Client confirmed, a possible second in the pipeline, professional indemnity insurance has been confirmed in the past fortnight, plus, all the back office necessities pretty much there - could be good enough reason to stop.

 

Signing on takes up a morning in school term time (after the school run and preschool runs have been sorted) so half a morning to myself (very rare!) could arguably be a good thing to help pursue the private work - especially as it would take awhile for the private work to be fully up and running, even if I were able to pursue full time, seven days a week... which, with three young children, is not really an option :)

As for me, happy to help out. I am not a Landlord, but I have been in the past. I am not an Agent, but I have been in the past. I am, therefore, a has been, so always seek independent and suitably qualified advice elsewhere before relying upon whatever has been posted here :-)

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Your understanding of Jobseekers Allowance is basically correct: it can be paid for a maximum of 180 days when it's based on your NI contributions. Once this period is exhausted you can claim income-based JSA but then, as you know, factors like savings and partner's income are taken into account.

 

It's unlikely that signing off now would adversely affect any future claim you may make. They will ask you how you supported yourself financially, and "partner's income" is a perfectly common and acceptable answer. Although it's usually the woman (even in these enlightened times), there are many cases of one member of a couple staying at home to care for children and claiming no benefits while doing so.

 

So you're right - your NI contribution record is the real factor you want to consider. I think your age must be one factor to consider. You say you have worked and paid NI for about 20 years. These days you need 30 years worth of NI to qualify for a full state pension. If you think it likely that in the future you will work for another 10 or so years, there may be no issue to consider.

 

If not - that is, if you don't anticipate a return to full-time work before you reach retirement age, it is possible to pay Class 3 NI voluntarily (or Class 2 in some cases if you are or were self-employed). Here's a link to HMRC's NI page on voluntary contributions - I believe this link is acceptable under this forum's rules:

 

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/ni/volcontr/basics.htm

 

JCP staff are not usually particularly knowledgeable about NI matters as they're handled by HMRC these days. The Pension, Disability and Carers' Service (a different part of the DWP) handles matters related to pensions.

 

This post reflects my understanding of the situation, but I'm not an expert on these matters. Hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wildly off-base on anything.

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I am assuming your wife claims child benefit for the children. If this was put in your name instead, as you are the one staying at home looking after them, I believe your insurance contributions would be protected and you would no longer need to sign on. I also think this would only cover your future pension and not sickness or unemployment benefit. It's called home responsibility protection I think. It might be worth you inquiring about this.

Daisy

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Antone, daisy102, incredibly helpful posts, many thanks...

 

Tea time for the kids is now here! but will have a read through the links and google 'home responsibility protection' tonight too and post again as necessary

 

Antone, thanks again, your posts helped me out before (at http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?223858-Been-told-can-t-change-signing-in-day-%28&highlight= ) and seem likely to help me out again too.

 

Your point on

"...if you don't anticipate a return to full-time work before you reach retirement age, it is possible to pay Class 3 NI voluntarily (or Class 2 in some cases if you are or were self-employed). Here's a link to HMRC's NI page on voluntary contributions - I believe this link is acceptable under this forum's rules:"

 

is something else I had heard, but my concern would be that (and I'm racking my brains hard here) is that it used to be based on, say, 18, or 20 years (in which case I would be fine), but was then increased to 30 years, and - what with pressure on public finances and the like - I may well find the goal posts could be moved yet again.

 

I may be mistaken on this, but this is as I recall has happened with the state pension / NI contributions, and I would welcome any comments on this too.

 

What I don't want to find is that I do something in good faith now and find I am stuffed later on... hence being a little cautious before I just stop signing on, as was suggested to me by a JC member of staff.

 

Thanks all again for your replies, they really are appreciated.

Edited by NewSAHD
typo

As for me, happy to help out. I am not a Landlord, but I have been in the past. I am not an Agent, but I have been in the past. I am, therefore, a has been, so always seek independent and suitably qualified advice elsewhere before relying upon whatever has been posted here :-)

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