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Hello All.


Require a bit of advice on a strange situation I find myself in.


I was previously claiming Income Support as I was a single mother with 3 children (2 under 5).


My partner, a full-time student with no student funding (access course), was recently made homeless and has moved in with me.


I declared this change and my Income Support claim was closed as it now counts as a couple not single person. I was told to apply for JSA Income based.


I applied and had my interview today. The advisor explained that I needed to look for 40 hours work and that no exception could be made for me having to care for 2 children full-time. I was told I need to attend an interview with 24 hours notice. I explained that during the week, when most interviews take place, I had no childcare at such short notice. We have no local family and a shortage of childminders in the area. I was told it was my responsibility and that if I didn't attend any interviews they arrange my benefit would be stopped.


So a couple of questions if anyone can help.


Is it right that they can ask my partner not to attend college so he can look after kids whilst I attend interviews?


Is it right to expect someone to have instant childcare? Do childminders with flexible schedules like this exist?


Anything that may help me whilst I job search? The fear of having all money stopped is pretty scary!



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Hello Pickle and welcome to CAG.

Looks like you have got yourself into a fine pickle here. With hindsight it might have been prudent to have checked how your partner moving in with you was going to affect your benefits before you took the plunge.

You have explained your circumstances but not your partner's. I am not expecting you to answer this question here but ask yourself what he lives on, or expects to live on? Your benefits?

Rightly or wrongly if you claim that you live as a couple then I would think you will have to share the childcare and everything else as a couple too. If he is not prepared to fit his studies around a job, or looking for a job, to support both you and the children, then sadly you must.

The adviser will have explained the situation to you based on the facts as s/he knows them. I can't second guess that since I don't know the facts.

However, the Guidance in the following link might help you. Allowances are made for claimants with young children, but, as I said, only you, your partner and your adviser can know if or how those allowances are appropriate in your case.


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If you have an interview at jobcentre if you tell them you need childcare then they can arrange that - im not sure if thats for single parents only though


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