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Hello everyone,


I'm new to this forum and wondered if anyone could help me understand my current situation.


I am currently unemployed. I ran my own business from the end of 2006 until the end of January 2011.


I am currently seeking work, but have been told today that I am not eligible for either form of jobseeker's allowance because, as a self-employed person, I paid class 2 (and 4) NIC's and not class 1 contributions. I don't even pretend I understand why this makes me ineligible for jobseeker's allowance, but there you go!


I am not entitled to income support, but do not require this. My domestic situation is that my partner earns £55,000 per year and, currently, pays not just all of our household bills, but is also supporting me in my quest for work and paying for all of my food and personal requirements. I have used up all of my savings trying to keep my business afloat, and have had to leave my rented home to move in with my partner.


Can it be that, as my partner earns such a good salary, I am not entitled to anything at all?


I'm not interested in screwing as much as possible out of "the system", but I do feel I should be able to claim at least a little for transport to/from interviews. I am currently relying on my partner to fund my job search. For a woman who has previously been so financially independent, it hurts.... a lot!


I'm starting to feel that I would have been better off staying in my rented home and claiming absolutely every bit of benefit I could. Moving in with my partner has compounded any entitlement I would have had.


Where do I go from here? My job search is proving fruitless. I've applied for everything from waitressing jobs to general manager positions, have has eight interviews in the past two weeks with no results.

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If you are living with a Partner working full time, then afaik you would only be eligible for Contributions Based JSA, and thus, because you have not paid the "right kind" or "enough" of the NI contributions required, then that is why you have been declined.


If you had stayed in your own home, and thus your partner was simply a Girlfriend, not a cohabiting and working partner, then I would imagine you would have been eligible for Income Based JSA which is not based on contributions.


The difference is - Contributions Based, is only paid for 6 months, after that you can continue to sign on, but you will receive no cash benefits, nor any of the other "perks" of Income Based JSA, if in England, such as Free prescriptions and Dental treatment. All that you get for signing on post 6 months is your National Insurance paid.


You should count your lucky stars your partner is on such a high wage, its not fair that she is having to fork out for both of you, but, 2 years ago, I was in a similar situation.


being on Contributions Based due to Partner working, but she only worked 33 hours a week minimum wage, and after 6 months my JSA payments stopped, as she was paid about £5 over the "limit" we were not entitled to housing or council tax benefit, and after rent, we had about £200, we had to pay Council Tax, (£90) which left us with the grand total of £110 a month to feed and clothe 2 people, 2 cats, pay the electric (£12 a week), Gas (£10 a week) And from that she had to pay for prescriptions, when she was very ill at one point, and for a couple of rounds of emergency dental treatment.


We would have been far better off financially, had she gotten herself sacked or laid off, but she wanted to pursue that particular career.


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I'm not interested in screwing as much as possible out of "the system", but I do feel I should be able to claim at least a little for transport to/from interviews. I am currently relying on my partner to fund my job search.


This is what the government expects you to do - as a couple, you're meant to support each other. My mum earned way less than half of what your partner did 6 years ago and was expected to support my dad, pay the mortgage as well as three teenagers.

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Self employed contributions have never contributed towards entitlement to JSA. To qualify for JSA contribution based JSA you need class 1 national insurance credits which are only made through paid employment via an employer.

If you continue to attend each fortnight then your National Insurance record will be kept up to date.

Help with travel to interviews (TIS ended at the end of last tax year) and there are strict qualfying condiotions as to whether you can receive any help from a fund that is available for help with travel and clothing for interviews, CRB checks or help getting the appropriate idetity documents.

As your partner is on what is classed as a high wage they are expected to maintain the household.

When I had our first child I took an unpaid career break from work and we ran a household on £10k wages and a meagre amount of tax credits until they messed up declared we had been overpaid and we were left with my partners wage and child benefit for over 6 months.

It was hard but we mamaged because we had to.

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Hmm, OK, so now, at least, I understand my options as far as any kind of benefits are concerned: none!


Thanks for putting it in black and white for me, I appreciate it. I got no straight answers from any of the government agencies or citizen's advice people I spoke to and was left hugely confused.

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I am not sure there is anything in life as complex as benefits tbh?

It's not just the rules, it's the time it takes to get any response/money from them.

I never did get why we should rely on someone else to pay our way. Having 2 kids was part of the reason I never lived with anyone apart from their dad back in the day. Wasn't comfy with someone else paying for my children. Different when it's their flesh & blood of course.

Benefits are a strange business.

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