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Job Seekers Allowance - Entitlement?
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# 1
Nemo
Old 25-07-2007, 6:44 PM
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Default Job Seekers Allowance - Entitlement?

Sorry if this has been answered before.

At 40 years old, I packed in the only job I've ever had due to it getting too stressful and just not enjoying it anymore. This was 5 weeks ago. I'm intending getting a 'regular' job, say in admin, rather than in I.T. as previously.

I have a few tens of thousands of savings and have just paid off my mortgage. I live alone and have no dependents.

I went into the job centre and told them the above. I said I presume I can't claim anything due to having resigned and having savings, and she said it was very unlikely. Thus, I didn't sign anything, and they didn't take any details at all.

Someone has mentioned to me that the first 6 months is paid based on N.I. contributions, rather than means testing. I wasn't aware of this, but doesn't the fact that I voluntarily left my job mean that I couldn't claim anyway? Therefore, can't claim first 6 months due to having resigned, can't claim afterwards due to means testing?

To be honest I'd feel somewhat uncomfortable claiming anyway, but if I'm entitled I guess I should.

Anyone know the position?

Thanks in advance.
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# 2
shelly
Old 25-07-2007, 6:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo View Post
Someone has mentioned to me that the first 6 months is paid based on N.I. contributions, rather than means testing. I wasn't aware of this, but doesn't the fact that I voluntarily left my job mean that I couldn't claim anyway? Therefore, can't claim first 6 months due to having resigned, can't claim afterwards due to means testing?

Its been awhile since I claimed so rules might have changed but my understanding is.....You can claim JSA based on your NI contributions, this is called contribution based and isn't means tested. You can get that for 6 months but after that you switch to income based which is means tested. I believe though that to get either you can't have left a job voluntarily without a very good reason.....i.e stress/depression which you have seen your GP for.
If you just left a job voluntarily they may impose a sanction of a few weeks before you can claim.


As I said, its been awhile since I claimed and I might be totally wrong. Then again I might be right
I would put a claim in for contribution based anyway. The worse that can happen is you get declined.

Also I would ask about signing on to continue getting your NI paid at the very least.


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# 3
diddlydum
Old 25-07-2007, 8:25 PM
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I'd need to check the rules on capital for contributions-based JSA, I'm fairly sure it has no effect but I wouldn't want to be wrong. Resigning from your job doesn't automatically stop you receiving JSA.

If you left because of ill-health, or because you were forced out of your job because of bullying, you may still be able to claim.

Resigning doesn't prevent you claiming, your claim would be "sanctioned" (i.e. you wouldn't receive anything) if you left work voluntarily. The decision is discretionary, though, and the decision maker can decide that you didn't leave voluntarily. You might have to appeal to get the decision, though, and if you're in two minds about claiming it's something to consider.
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# 4
healy
Old 25-07-2007, 10:26 PM
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Just to confirm that capital has no effect on Contribution based JSA.Also if you did claim and were sanctioned it could be anywhere between 2 and 26 weeks, if you can show good cause for leaving you may not be sanctioned at all and as said it is appealable to an Independent Tribunal. The more detail you can give as to why you left the better the decision you are likely to receive.
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# 5
Nemo
Old 26-07-2007, 8:40 AM
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Having never been out of work before, this is all new to me. Even if I think I can't put a claim in, should I have officially registered somehow as being unemployed?

When I went to the job centre, I was told I probably couldn't claim, here's a phone no. if you want to try, basically on your way. No details taken at all.

I'm just wondering if say 6 months down the line, if I said I've been out of work for 6 months, they might say 'We don't have any details, you're unemployed only as of today' sort of thing.
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# 6
shelly
Old 26-07-2007, 9:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemo View Post
Having never been out of work before, this is all new to me. Even if I think I can't put a claim in, should I have officially registered somehow as being unemployed?

When I went to the job centre, I was told I probably couldn't claim, here's a phone no. if you want to try, basically on your way. No details taken at all.

I'm just wondering if say 6 months down the line, if I said I've been out of work for 6 months, they might say 'We don't have any details, you're unemployed only as of today' sort of thing.

I'd still put a claim in now. If they say again you probably won't get anything I'd say that you want to make a claim and see and also that way you can sign every 2 weeks for your NI conts to be paid.

Also if a claim is accepted they rarely backdate it to the day you were unemployed from, it will start from the day you claimed.
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# 7
seven-day-weekend
Old 26-07-2007, 5:33 PM
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Also, even if you don't get any money, signing on as unemployed will protect your State Pension as your NI contributions will be credited, so it is still worth doing.
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# 8
healy
Old 26-07-2007, 8:26 PM
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Contribution based JSA is affected by a pension of over 50 per week, I did not mention it in this instance because it was not relevant.The lower earnings limit is not 9000.The latest tax year would not be a relevant year for this benefit.I think you should take your own advice because you are posting incorrect infromation.
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# 9
kelloggs36
Old 26-07-2007, 8:26 PM
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If when you make a claim you produce a letter from the Doctor stating that your job was making you ill it may go in your favour when they consider whether to sanction you. I don't know if this has been reversed again but it used to be that whilst they made up their minds, you got paid if you had enough NI conts. In the old days they made you wait anyway and if they decided NOT to sanction you they would pay you all the arrears, but if they decided that a sanction is appropriate they stop your claim for a certain period. It is not often that it is for the full 26 weeks.

I left my job due to having my baby and didn't go back as I was breastfeeding and didn't want to travel 60 miles per day which took hours (travelling into London). They paid whilst they made their decison and then decided that I had a valid reason to leave and so didn't sanction me.
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# 10
healy
Old 26-07-2007, 10:22 PM
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Thank you for the sarcastic apology, but is not necessary. It is not a question of having a go, but about giving correct information. You started off by being critical of others and then went on to make a number of errors your self which I pointed out. I think it is important to give correct information as I am sure others do. If you are so sensitive and you real life is so cool feel free to go back there.
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# 11
shelly
Old 26-07-2007, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfdi View Post
Sorry for trying to help, OP - won't bother any more, I'll just go back to my real life.

Thats all we were trying to do and you told us not to post if we weren't 100% sure of facts. When someone points out the same to you you think they are getting at you?!?!?
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# 12
blondie21
Old 26-07-2007, 11:15 PM
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I was made redundant and have an appointment at the job centre with the hope of signing on for job seekers allowance. Am i entitled ? My husband works. I was working only a few hours in 2004 2005 and 2006 and didnt earn enough to pay tax but went full time in jan 2007. Think they said I may be eligible for contribution base JSA ? is this correct ?
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# 13
healy
Old 26-07-2007, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blondie21 View Post
I was made redundant and have an appointment at the job centre with the hope of signing on for job seekers allowance. Am i entitled ? My husband works. I was working only a few hours in 2004 2005 and 2006 and didnt earn enough to pay tax but went full time in jan 2007. Think they said I may be eligible for contribution base JSA ? is this correct ?
It would depend on whether you have paid enough National Insurance Contributions rather than tax. The time from January when you worked full time is too recent to be part of the contributions they look at. The Job Centre will check your record to see if you can receive Contribution based JSA, but even if you dont you can still sign on for National Insurance credits.
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# 14
Nemo
Old 27-07-2007, 9:12 AM
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I didn't mean to start a fight

'jfdi' and 'healy', is this type of thing part of your job?

Just trying to get a some 'final advice'. Is this correct?...If I try and claim now, I may be sanctioned for up to 26 weeks. All the time sanctioned for is lost forever. Alternatively, If I leave a claim until the 6 months is up, and I was still out of work (obviously hoping this won't be the case), I would then be able to claim for up to a full 6 months from that date. At this point I'd just need to prove when I was unemployed from, as currently they haven't taken any details.

When you've mentioned a pension of over 50, do you mean currently receiving? I'll receive 100 from my final salary pension, but not until I'm 60.

Thanks.
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# 15
blondie21
Old 27-07-2007, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by healy View Post
It would depend on whether you have paid enough National Insurance Contributions rather than tax. The time from January when you worked full time is too recent to be part of the contributions they look at. The Job Centre will check your record to see if you can receive Contribution based JSA, but even if you dont you can still sign on for National Insurance credits.
according to my employer i was paying the Big stamp ????
going to the job centre on tues so hopefully they will help me
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# 16
healy
Old 27-07-2007, 1:02 PM
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It sounds as if you were paying National Insurance contributions from what you have said so you should get the conts based JSA, but the Job Centre will check this and confirm if this is correct.
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# 17
diddlydum
Old 28-07-2007, 11:28 AM
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If you made enough NI contributions you'll get contribution-based JSA for 26 weeks, and this is paid at 59 per week approx. If you didn't you probably won't get anything, as your husband's income will be too high for income-based JSA (which is means tested).

Nemo, if you claim now you may be sanctioned for between 1 and 26 weeks, but if you can show that you left the job because of stress and ill-health then the decision maker should decide not to sanction you at all. It may be that they decide to sanction you anyway, but you can appeal this decision, although I know from experience that the appeals service have a backlog of about 3 months at present.

A sanction doesn't stop your claim, it stops the claim being paid out, so if you were sanctioned and you couldn't be bothered to appeal you'd need to wait for the 26 week period to end before claiming. During the sanction period the clock is ticking on your entitlements based on contributions, if you keep the claim active (i.e. if you get a 26 week sanction and you sign on you'd lose the lot).

I don't like to see people arguing about advice, it looks a bit unprofessional, really. Although a fair few of us on here are professionals dealing in this area, you should always get independent legal advice before making a life-changing decision. I, for one, end up posting here through memory (my books are at work) and my memory isn't always perfect...
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# 18
Optionalangel
Old 30-04-2009, 7:33 PM
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Hi,
Thanks for all the info so far, very helpful. I have a question, I would be very grateful if anyone could answer.
My husband has recently been made redundant but re-employed by the company on a freelance basis. So far he has not claimed JSA but the work looks like it will dry up soon, although we really have no idea. I am currently unemployed (I didn't go back after my 2nd maternity leave ended).
We have savings so he will prob only be entitled to 6 months but if he claims and then gets work do the weeks get extended or does he just lose the money? Also how much does he have to earn minimum to lose a weeks claim?
Also what happens if I get freelance work?
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