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JSA, Housing Benefit, JCP, Volunteering and Ingeus etc


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OK I am going to try and keep this brief but also try and explain myself properly.

 

I am in receipt of JSA(IB) and HB and also do two volunteer roles.

 

In one of the volunteer roles there is a possibility that if they get funding I can do 2 days a week paid for the same amount as I get on JSA so in effect rather than claim JSA I will get the same amount of income in a paid wage (approx £300/pm)

 

Obviously if I am not claiming JSA I will not get my 'stamps' NI contribution so I am not sure how this works. Also, even at this very low wage would I still be under the jurisdiction of the WP (INGEUS) to have to be actively seeking work and doing my tracker and also having regular meetings or as I am 'working' part time for the same as JSA could I come off of the WP and search for a full time job in my own time?

 

With the two volunteer roles I am looking at around 18 hours per week and any spare time would be used to job search but I don't want to be under the WP rules if I don't have to. Surely if I get say £75.00 paid per week for 6-8 hours work I am effectively not 'signing on'?

 

Also, if I did take this route as my income is the same would my HB remain the same and also my council tax relief amount?

 

JCP and WP's seem keen to get people off of benefits and although I would still need my HB surely this is a good way to get off of JSA/WP? Would HB still be eligible or do you have to be claiming JSA© or JSA(IB) to get this?

 

Obviously getting away from JCP/INGEUS is a big incentive so what I need to know is can I completely break free from them with no hassle and still get my CT relief and HB as well as this part time paid work?

 

The only concerns I have in relation to this are:

 

- Obviously my free healthcare (prescriptions, dentistry etc) would stop

- My NI credits would cease (unless you can just sign for these alone?)

 

Any help and advice would be appreciated.

 

Many thanks

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In one of the volunteer roles there is a possibility that if they get funding I can do 2 days a week paid for the same amount as I get on JSA so in effect rather than claim JSA I will get the same amount of income in a paid wage (approx £300/pm)

 

Obviously if I am not claiming JSA I will not get my 'stamps' NI contribution so I am not sure how this works. Also, even at this very low wage would I still be under the jurisdiction of the WP (INGEUS) to have to be actively seeking work and doing my tracker and also having regular meetings or as I am 'working' part time for the same as JSA could I come off of the WP and search for a full time job in my own time?

 

If you get paid £75 p/w, you would lose your JSA payments. If you continue to sign on, the DWP will be classed as your "main employer", so you would be taxed at 20% on your £75 - Whilst you can claim it back from HMRC at the end of the tax year, it is irksome to have to do so. Not sure if the DWP would continue to pay your N.I. contributions for pension purposes, I suspect not...

 

HB/CT is awarded on the basis of income, so if you are on a low wage, you would still be eligible - Discuss this with your local council and they should be able to advise you further on exactly what you can expect.

 

You may also get help with prescription charges under the NHS Low Income Scheme - I would recommend giving them a call.

 

Overall, if you get paid a similar amount to JSA benefit, I see no reason to continue signing on. Closing your claim enables you to instruct the Work Programme provider where to go and frees you from their grubby little hands. One final point: If you do decide to sign off, you are under no obligation to tell the WP provider or the DWP the reason why.

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Thank you for the reply. It is a way off yet as the organisation needs to see if they can get the funding to pay me for a part time role. What would make me happy though is working and keeping my skills up to date, not having to endure INGEUS but as I said my worry is contributions. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to free myself of INGEUS and work part time whilst looking for gainful employment in my own time with no pressure of doing a diary and pplaying for the sake of applying! I will investigate further with DWP and my council re implications - thanks!

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If you earn more than your JSA amount + £5 each week then there aren't too many compelling arguments to continue to claim. Yes, JCP would pay your stamp but you would still have to sign and jump through JCP hoops. I believe, though, that WP participation is optional for credits-only claimants. Don't take my word for this, though.

 

Credited contributions don't count for future JSA entitlement, so the main reason to do this would be to protect your State Pension. Whether it's worth it for that alone is really something you'd need to decide for yourself. It depends on how many years of contributions you already have. You can also pay missed contributions if you want to - I think you get a few years to do this.

 

Although your automatic entitlement to free prescriptions and dental care would end, you can ask at your doctor's office for form HC1, which is a request for help with NHS charges based on low income.

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the only problem may be Universal Credit

 

if you are in an area where Universal Credit has been rolled out, then signing off JSA may result in you being migrated to UC instead of HB only (which would then include conditionality)

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Thank you for the reply. This is still very much 'work in progress' but I will also need to do my own research and investigations. If it is any help I paid full income tax and NI contributions via my ex employer based on my salaries from September 1994 to February 2013 so quite a while.

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Also in relation to CTR, any impact would be determined by your LA's particular scheme

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