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Benefit entitlement

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My daughter and her partner claimed jobseekers allowance at the beginning of November, 2012 when their seasonal employment came to an end. They were entitled to £111 a week. In that time my daughter got some part time employment up to 8 hours a week and declared this. She has now found that this has been deducted from her benefits even though technically she earnt nothing. (The two hour shifts did not even cover transport costs). Her partner now has employment even though first pay will not be until the end of January and they are struggling to pay their bills.

Housing benefit has not been forthcoming. I was sat with my daughter and she spent over 3 hours on the phone to the housing benefits (they put her on hold, said they could not speak to her without her partner's permission, which he gave. Then they told her they had lost her file. Then she was cut off and had to start again and after having hung on another 50 minutes was told that she would have to have his permission to speak to her. She said he had already given permission but had been cut off so she had to start the whole process again. Then after another 50 minutes the line was cut off again because the office had closed. All of these phone calls cost her in excess of 10p a minute and she is now getting to the end of her tether with all the aggravation and the worry of how they are to pay their bills.

They have had approximately £300 to live on since the beginning of November, less the amount it has cost her to work and will receive no other payments until the end of January.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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The only thing that springs to mind at the minute is a crisis loan, as far as living costs go.

 

Regarding Housing Benefit, I have always found that the best way is to visit the office in person, and to get receipts for everything that you hand in, be it forms or supporting documentation. Did she do her HB application at the same time as she did her JSA application? If she did, my experience with that was a complete calamity, and in fact my application was lost too. If she did do it like that, I would advise her to start a new application and request that it be backdated due to the lost application. Her Job Centre may be able to reprint the form that stated that a Housing Benefit application was being made, and the date that it was made on.


"Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me". Martin Niemöller

 

"A vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done. A person ignorant of the possibility of failure can be a half-brick in the path of the bicycle of history". - Terry Pratchett

 

If I've been helpful, please click my star. :oops:

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The part time wages would have deducted from the personal allowance of JSA with a £10 disregard as they are a couple.

I would suggest visiting the council offices to discuss the issues surrounding the housing benefit claim and take a letter from her partner giving permission to discuss the claim.

A crisis loan may be something to consider for living expenses until the first wage is received.

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Thanks for your response LaughingGirl. Yes, she did submit her Housing Benefit application at the same time as her JSA application. As the Housing Benefit office is around 50 miles round trip she doesn't want to have a wasted journey which is why she has been trying to ring them first but has just spent so much time/money on the phone now. As her partner is now working, albeit on a temporary, casual basis, the jobseekers has now ceased. They still do not have enough to cover their expenses and as they were not even paid the minimum wage in their last job they did not have much in reserve to cover themselves. She is not one for doing nothing and when taking on this part time job she did not realise that she would be much worse off with having to pay travel expenses for two hour shifts. I think that if she had turned down the job she would not have received any benefits anyway so she could just not win. Also, they have deducted tax from her wage although I know she will eventually recover that, but it doesn't help her at the moment.

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Definitely go to the HB offices, and plan on digging in if it's that much of a trip. Tell her to tell them that she can't leave until she has it sorted, because she can't afford to make the trip twice and make sure she takes every last bit of documentation that they have.

 

As Flumps said, take a letter from partner with permission to discuss - or better yet, actually take her partner!

 

I know quite a few people who've had problems with HB claims made as part of a JSA application. I'm not sure what the issue is, but there's definitely some sort of problem.


"Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me". Martin Niemöller

 

"A vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done. A person ignorant of the possibility of failure can be a half-brick in the path of the bicycle of history". - Terry Pratchett

 

If I've been helpful, please click my star. :oops:

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