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Job Seeker Allowance predicament


meverett1
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Hi there I have just graduated from university and currently living with my girlfriend, who is still a full time student, in a privately rented one bedroom flat. I am currently looking for work, but due to lack of jobs and coming up to Christmas I filed a claim for jobseekers allowance at the beginning of September. I was advised to apply for a joint claim with my girlfriend as we are cohabiting, and thus she had to apply for an exemption as she is not applicable due to her studying. Nearly two months on, missing paperwork and dealing with uncaring, uninformed staff we finally received a response to inform us that we were not eligible for any allowance. We followed this up by calling the given 0845 number and were told by a particularly rude advisor this was due to the fact that my girlfriend’s student loan covered the government’s advised living allowance of £111.45 per week. I myself am in receipt of housing benefit, but my girlfriend doesn’t receive any other money, and her loan barely covers her share of rent and bills each term.

All things considered, could anybody help by answering a few questions I have:

Is this a valid reason for denying my application? Is there any point in disputing the denial?

Was a joint claim even the right claim for us to begin with?

Is there any other financial help that we could be eligible for?

What is the legal standing if I now changed my claim to a single claim despite us continuing to live together?

Other information which may be helpful is that we are both 22,have little to no savings and while we have both worked previously we have not saved up enough national insurance to be in receipt of the class 1 national insurance contribution allowance.

 

Any help or advice would be really appreciated as we are stuck with how to proceed.

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Whilst I'm no expert on JSA I do know that as you are living with your girlfriend you are obliged to make a claim as a couple and all household income, including your girlfriend's grants and loans, will be taken into account. Under no circumstances can you make a claim as a single person whilst living with your girlfriend and to attempt to do so is likely to get you in to trouble.

 

You say you get help with the rent - is that a joint claim as well, as it should be? Do you also get help with the council tax?

 

There is a website called 'entitled to' (sorry I don't have a link, but it might be in the forum stickies) where you can check if you may be entitled to any other benefits, but unless one of you is sick or disabled I think you're stuck.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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You should also be getting a single person (25%) council tax discount as your girlfriend is a full time student.

 

As for making a single claim - it would look a bit odd if you make a joint claim, get rejected and then try to make a single claim. Cag doesn't advocate fraud.

 

There might be some help from your girlfriends' university.

 

The website is http://www.entitleto.com RMW.

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Yes your partners student income is take into account so your income based JSA will be affected and reduced accordingly.

The joint claim wa the correct way of claiming as she is a student and therefore not able to sign so the exemption was correct it would only have been a couple claim if you have young children within your claim.

You cannot claim as a single person as you are not single you are part of a couple and a single claim would be fraudulent sorry.

 

The only other assistance will be in the form of help with housing costs via the local authority.

You can continue to attend the JCP for signing and the appointments which will keep your NI contribution record up to date you will then be able to access the support that is available via the JCP services (training courses, work experience etc)

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Be very wary about continuing to sign on just for NI contribution. Some training courses and work experience are compulsory and not always in an area that will help you find a job in your chosen sector. Then there is the dreaded Work Programme, which you may just be dumped on without a choice.

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