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Claiming JSA after finishing supply teaching

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by FB2015, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. FB2015

    FB2015 New commenter

    Hi, need urgent advice from someone who knows the answer to this!

    I've worked on a supply basis for the last 3.5 years in the same school. This work has now come to an end and the school has (allegedly) informed the LA that I am no longer required. I have done no work in any other school during this period of time.

    I'm claiming (or attempting to claim) Jobseekers Allowance but have received a questionnaire from the DWP which they say they will use to determine whether I am entitled to JSA. Among other things they want to know where I worked, for how long, whether I have had a letter terminating my work, my P45 etc etc. Several of the questions refer to 'a contract' - which of course I never had as supply!

    My concern is that the DWP fundamentally misunderstands the nature of supply teaching so I don't want to prejudice my claim by giving information which they will use against me.

    Any advice?
  2. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter


    I don’t know, but I would also post on Workplace Dilemmas to get a wider audience who may be able to help.

    Have you contacted your union?
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Claiming benefits isn't easy, so brace yourself.

    Expect zero sympathy from the benefits system as there are thousands if not millions of people claiming daily.

    However, you need to see if you are eligible and my very best advice to you would be to ring the Citizens Advice bureau ASAP and get an appointment to go and discuss your case with an advisor since they are experienced and there will be advisors who know the benefits system inside and out and will tell you exactly what to do. Also, they may know of other benefits you are entitled to in addition to JSA.

    In the meantime, get all your pieces of paper in order. They may want pay slips, bank account details, any details of anyone else in your home receiving money, etc...

    Your union may have additional advice but if you are seeking JSA then make an appointment with Citizens Advice to see them in person - do not attempt to discuss it over the phone.

    If you are in need of money to tide you over, ask your family if they are in a position to help - don't be shy about it. Perhaps they could you loan you some money on zero interest until you find another job.

    You may have to cut back until you find alternative work, but it is doable.

    If you need further advice regarding money, then the Citizens Advice will help with contacting mortgage lenders etc.

    Do not panic and do not worry as it will all fall into place, but you must brace yourself to do a lot of paperwork and following the instructions.
    agathamorse and JohnJCazorla like this.
  4. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    Was the work direct with the school or through an agency? If direct with the school I would have thought they would need to provide some evidence of your pay through P60s each year, and a P45 when they decided that you were no longer required. If through an agency, you will have had a contract with the agency and they should be able to provide you with what you need.

    As @pepper5 says, it would be good to contact the CAB (although that isn’t always easy!).
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    You can make a claim online. Your employer was either the school or the agency. In order to get JSA you have to prove that you are looking for work and are willing to do any job, and literally any job including cleaning. If you have made enough NI contributions, you should be able to get up to 6 months of payments, if you do not have a rich partner, i.e someone earning more than, I think, £18-21K.

    Just fill in the form online and if I remember correctly, you have a telephone call and then get invited in to the local job centre for an interview and then you have to sign on weekly or fortnightly.

    If you get JSA you will also get help with your rent (housing benefit) and have your council tax reduced, will not have to pay for NI prescriptions.

    Use the summer to register with as many agencies as you can and send off the odd speculative enquiry letters. You never know, you may get a response from a school and an interview.

    Good luck and I hope you land on your feet come September!:)
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. historygrump

    historygrump Star commenter Forum guide

    I would apply online for universal credit, I cannot see why the JC official is asking so absurd questions, you are an agency worker and your contract as finished, I have applied and got Universal Credit and the work coach was quite helpful. So it can depend on who you get as a work coach, as long as you tick the boxes every week, most are quite happy. If you have to, I would get advice from CAB, but on the form, be honest and explain that supply do not work on a contract basis, but work is dependent on the school wanting you, and can be a day by day basis.
    pepper5 likes this.
  7. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    I believe JSA is either income based or NI contributions based. So if you have more than 16,000 quid you ain't getting a penny of JSA or UC.

    So don't bother claiming that type of JSA if you have money in the bank over 16,000. Claim NI based JSA.

    The NI one confuses me as they say you get it if you have paid full NI the last two years (despite savings over 16k) BUT it sounds like it means the previous two TAX years to me. Holes in your contributions might extend this. (Child benefit pays for any holes in NI if you get that)

    Citizens Advice will help but I'm pretty sure this is right :D
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Some years ago, I kept a claim open for months and continued to declare any earnings, so I didn't actually get any benefits some weeks as I'd worked more than 15 hours, but it saved me the trouble of going through all the rigmarole of closing/ reopening, closing/ reopening every few days.
    The whole strategy is to keep "scroungers" i.e. people who have to work for a living, away from the cash. This country is run by a Cabinet of millionaires, who don't know what a day's work is and they'd like to see you on the streets begging. It's hard not to get upset when you're being treated like a piece of trash by the DWP, when all you're trying to do is claim your entitlement.
    Take everything you're offered, including the food tokens, while you're on benefits. It's calculated to the penny so that you won't actually starve to death, but you also won't enjoy any quality of life. The days of fair and equitable treatment have gone, regardless of the contribution you have made to society as a law abiding, tax paying citizen.
    If it looks like your money is going to run out, banks and building societies will suspend some standing orders and extend your overdraft for no extra charge, if you give them notice and make an arrangement, also your building society will freeze your mortgage or reduce payments, again if you give them notice. I ran up a massive overdraft limit and never actually reached it, so ultimately it actually enhanced my credit score as I appeared to be a good payer!
    Make the situation work for you even if it is tough.
    You have to stoop to conquer.
    The sooner you register as unemployed the better. Don't wait for the appointment, register online, so the payments backdate to then or you'll lose up to a week's benefits which you can appeal but they probably rule against you.
    Another useful tip is call in at agencies in places you want to visit and claim the travel exps back from the workfare programme. You just have to produce evidence of job seeking, so again make the situation work for you. I got days out in London, St Albans and Norwich, by "seeking work" following up on those bogus job ads in agency websites. The agency posts a fake job, you go to the agency, you charge the DfE, then have a nice day out looking at the sights.
    Also, If you weren't ill before, you are now. Tell your GP that you're depressed (it's only a matter of time anyway) which gives you a bit of leeway, when they start hassling you. Get the doctor's note.
    You will treated like a liar at the jobcentre no matter what you say. Every form you fill will be sent back and queried. Nothing is done by email, so you have to keep going in to the office or waiting for the postman. thus dragging everything out. There are no direct phone lines, so you just get an automated call menu, finally putting you through to someone in Northern Ireland, who inevitably puts you straight back on call waiting. So cut out the interim period and get yourself diagnosed with stress induced depression, which gives you a bit of leverage if you get one of the jobsworth consultants at the DWP. Then you have a trump card to play. "I'm ill".
    It's an ice-cold environment on benefits, so look after number one. No one's going to do you any favours.
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. freshfriesan

    freshfriesan Occasional commenter

    Top stuff above. You can also get ssp off your agency, or umbrella group, and I'm in the lucky old me position where my agency forced me to change umbrella company a couple of months back, and I'm getting two lots of ssp now, you have to let them know youre sick quick tho, but there's a good free tip for anyone who's watching, if you've a few weeks work lined up, switch umbrella company, start the ssp running with the old one and do your few weeks work, then get your ssp running with the next one. It's perfectly above board, I wa esitant to try it in case it ******** me up completely but since getting laid off the other week I can't be dojng with the uncertainty of odd days here and there and it'll all help to making the bug retired on I'll health claim that's coming for the pension. There won't be much in my pot but nbe worth more I one lump now than a fiver a week in 20 years. That's what imgoing for and I've a trump card to play on them, which might leave them no choice but to pay out rather than let me loose in a class roomagain(tut tut, if tge daily mail only knew what some teachers get up to when they get home eh?) shhhhh hits a surprise. They won't want to let me continue in my condition that's for sure, in case of leakage if information regRding my way of life. Too risky I feel.
  10. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    What a sad state of affairs it is when somebody who has worked and paid national 'insurance' (emphasis on the insurance) can't simply be guaranteed of financial support from the dwp. You are entitled to this support. The citizens advice bureau can be really good at helping with this. See if you can get some support from them.

    When you go to the dwp be ready to be patronised, treated like a criminal and doubted over everything you say.
    agathamorse likes this.
  11. freshfriesan

    freshfriesan Occasional commenter

    A bit like being a teacher, supply or otherwise these days
    agathamorse likes this.
  12. freshfriesan

    freshfriesan Occasional commenter

    Getting treated like criminal, patronised and doubted

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