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Job Seeker's Allowance - what a waste of time - does anyone understand it.

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by billji, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. I re-signed for JSA contribution-based Job seeker's allowance before Xmas but it has been a dead loss. Like many others I have had very little work but I have honesty declared it all on B70 forms every time I signed on.
    4.6 days in Nov paid in late Dec, I did not declare this until my next signing in January as signing cancelled because of Christmas holiday
    0 days work in Dec received £99.74 x 2 = £199.48 JSA in January
    0.4 days work in Jan paid Feb so no JSA in Feb
    6.2 days work in Feb paid in March so no JSA in March
    6.2 days work in March to be paid in April so presumably no JSA in April
    To cap it all I've just received a letter form JSA saying that I have to pay back the £199.48 JSA paid to me in January because I failed to declare my earnings in time, presumably because of the Xmas holiday signing postponement.
    I have thought of querying in this but, I know from experience, that this will involve an 0845 call which will include at least 10 mins on hold before I even get through to anyone.
    I'm due to have a JSA interview this Friday so that will be an extra long session with additional parking charge.
    SO why am I bothering to pay for petrol and parking to sign-on every
    fortnight when I am gettting absolutely nothing for it - it's actually
    costing me money.
    I'm seriously thinking of signing off as signing on is just costing me money.
    Does anyone understand this system? It seems if I do more than a effectively a morning's work I loose all JSA for the following fortnight. If I more than a day's work Ioose a month's benefit
    As far as I can see JSA is loaded to make it as difficult as possible to get any benefit.
    Billji









     
  2. I re-signed for JSA contribution-based Job seeker's allowance before Xmas but it has been a dead loss. Like many others I have had very little work but I have honesty declared it all on B70 forms every time I signed on.
    4.6 days in Nov paid in late Dec, I did not declare this until my next signing in January as signing cancelled because of Christmas holiday
    0 days work in Dec received £99.74 x 2 = £199.48 JSA in January
    0.4 days work in Jan paid Feb so no JSA in Feb
    6.2 days work in Feb paid in March so no JSA in March
    6.2 days work in March to be paid in April so presumably no JSA in April
    To cap it all I've just received a letter form JSA saying that I have to pay back the £199.48 JSA paid to me in January because I failed to declare my earnings in time, presumably because of the Xmas holiday signing postponement.
    I have thought of querying in this but, I know from experience, that this will involve an 0845 call which will include at least 10 mins on hold before I even get through to anyone.
    I'm due to have a JSA interview this Friday so that will be an extra long session with additional parking charge.
    SO why am I bothering to pay for petrol and parking to sign-on every
    fortnight when I am gettting absolutely nothing for it - it's actually
    costing me money.
    I'm seriously thinking of signing off as signing on is just costing me money.
    Does anyone understand this system? It seems if I do more than a effectively a morning's work I loose all JSA for the following fortnight. If I more than a day's work Ioose a month's benefit
    As far as I can see JSA is loaded to make it as difficult as possible to get any benefit.
    Billji









     
  3. laguna343

    laguna343 New commenter

    I signed off as I wasn't receiving anything from them.


    Basically they average out the amount you've earned over all the weeks between you earning the first lot of money and the second. Even if it's several weeks apart. Then if their averaged figure is over what you'd receive on JSA then it cancels it out and you don't get anything.


    That made sense with me because I was only getting a tiny amount on JSA anyway - about £18. But I don't understand why you're not getting any if you're entitled to nearly £100 a week.
     
  4. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I used to work for the Jobcentre.
    Those who have P/T work have to submit a B7, as you know. You should have been told to send in your B7 for the 2 weeks leading up to the signing day that you didn't have to attend around Xmas.
    When you are only entitled to JSA Contributory, based on your past NI contributions, AND you are monthly paid, it can be pointless and expensive to sign on as they take your monthly pay (when you receive it) , divide it by 4, ignore £5 of the notional weekly pay and then compare the result with your JSA allowance. Just the equivalent of a day of teaching (or a part day) can cancel out your JSA.
    Those who are weekly paid by agencies get lower rates but can often do better out of JSA. If your 4 days in the month are all in one Benefit Week, and you are weekly paid, it will only affect one Benefit Week, with the loss of one week of JSA. But if the same work is paid at the end of the following month (as LAs do) it will cancel out 4 weeks of JSA.
    You are only entitled to 26 weeks of JSA cONTRIBUTORY IN ANY CLAIM year and should plan the best time to claim it.
    Work often falls off in July and if you don't get work in July and thus get your last pay of the school year at the end of July (from Jne work) you should make a JSA claim online on the 1st of August. Any work in September will not be paid until October and you will get your full JSA allowance throughout August, Sept and until the receipt of any pay in October.
    If Sept provides no work, you carry on claiming and getting JSA into November.
    You can also claim and close down your claim prior to a payday! Fill in the sign off papers and say that you are temporarily unavailable for full time work, or if you are planning a few days out of the UK, plan it for being abroad on the day when your pay is put in your account. You have to close your claim when out of the UK. They will pay you up to the last available day before you leave the country. You send you B7 with your sign off paperwork, detailing hours worked and days with no work up to the sign off day. You enter NIL in the pay received section.
    You then make a rapid reclaim on your return. Your pay does not have to be declared as your received it when not claiming JSA.
    You could claim from 1st July, get JSA for most of July if you don't exceed 16hrs of work per benefit Week and then have a short break when not available for work at the end of July, followed by a reclaim in August.
    Carrying on as you are risks using up your 26 weeks with no JSA paid and then getting nothing in the summer.
    You should also do calculations around Easter. With 2 weeks of school holidays in April and the possibility of no work at the beginning of the saummer term, you could make a claim on 1st May and be able to get JSA throughout May and June, signing off before any June pay is paid.
    Your 26 weeks can straddle the new Year an d be counted as the same claim entitlement. If you use up your 26 weeks in this calendar year, sign off as soon as it is used up. Then have a full 12 week gap from signing on. If that still leaves you in 2012, stay signed off until we are in 2013. If the 12 week gap takes you into 2013, make sure there is a clear 12 weeks since you last closed a claim and start a new claim if your are not expecting a pay packet imminently.
    In 2013, with the requisite claim gap, they will look at different NI years. they will look at your NI record in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012. If you paid enough NI you will qualify for a new allowance of 26 weeks of JSA - again claim only when you can guarantee getting some money, saving some of your claim weeks for the summer months if that seems more profitable.
    You've paid into the system by contributing to the State Insurance Policy; make sure that you claim on it when it will pay out!
     
  5. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I think the OP is entiled to nearly £100 per fortnight, not per week.
     
  6. Today I was abused by a member of the JobCentre staff on the 'phone. Normally I sign on but, having no benefit entitlement, I just do it for my 'stamp'. I have a four week sick note so tried to change to ESA on the same, 'stamp only' terms. The woman got abusive and said,"you don't need to sign on at your age."

    I explained that we had been through all of this at the JobCentre and established that I did need to and had signed on every fortnight without fail.
    The woman became hysterical and screamed, "I've been doing this job for 31 years and I'm not having scum like you calling me a liar. I'm recording this as an abusive phone call." She then slammed down the phone.
    My wife was sitting next to me at the time and heard nothing abusive except this woman.
    It's not as if I was wanting any money, just a National Insurance credit.
     

  7. The woman became hysterical and screamed, "I've been doing this job for 31 years and I'm not having scum like you calling me a liar. I'm recording this as an abusive phone call." She then slammed down the phone.

    Hi Hemingfordgrey..
    I thank God and the Lucky Stars that you have a wife and are able to see this grotesque unnecessary unbalanced and uncalled behaviour for what it is!
    You have been called a "Nobody" by a headteacher of recent and then this woman, who should know infinitely better, calls you "scum".
    Have you written in a letter of complaint? How dare she????????
    Basic decency and common courtesy costs nowt. All human beings should be treaten with respect. This is a basic tennet.
    God knows, folk have been pushed over the edge for far less.
    You are leagues above ALL of them. Take heart.
     
  8. Oh, I've had a head teacher call me a f***ing yokel, another call me a c***. Teaching seems to me to be a foul mouthed profession out of the classroom. There is never any point in complaining. Supply teacher are nobodies. That was firmly established as part of the campaign to introduce Cover Supervisors

    The woman in question was unhappy that I disagreed with her. This is common enough for JobCentre staff so I'm sure she assumed I was one of the regulars.
     
  9. Someone on opinion suggested that because the school leaving age was 15, I could not have started work at 14.

    Here's my first job:

    http://whelk-stall.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/my-first-full-time-job.html
     


  10. It is good you have got this in proportion and not let it get to you!
    When folk are rude or arrogant or both!- it really is their problem! I had a man run up to me and hit me on Kings Heath High st the other week and then I got a mouthful off him and he called me a c***.
    Everyone passing stopped - momentarily (freezeframe style) and then proceeded on their way..
    It was like a scene out of a film.
    But I have met that many nutters living in Brum. You can't let these folk get to you and I just wish them love and forgiveness in my mind and get on with living! Life is too short and for living and being happy.The woman at the jobcentre sounds unhappy with herself and life to speak like this and she has to live with her words. These type of folks take out their unhappiness and lack of contentment on other folks.
    I wanted to ask you - the book on Amazon. Are you the author?
     
  11. Rockchick2112

    Rockchick2112 New commenter

    Wow! Did you report this to the police?! If not, you should have done, as we have the right to walk down the street without being abused- also, if he gets away with assaulting you he might be encouraged to go and do it to someone else. One of the local shops may have caught the incident on CCTV. It's disgusting that people who witnessed this incident just walked on by :(
     

  12. Thanks Rockchick.
    No, I did't. I was pretty shaken at the time as he ran up behind me and slapped me in the back hard and then the mouthful with him pointing in my face..went into the fruit shop and told the assistants who work behind the counter.
    With hindsight should have reported this to the police..And, yes, there are cameras up and down the High st. But was too shocked to do anything at the time!!!
    Wonder if he would have done this if i was some big beefy bloke with Popeye muscles!
    There seem to be a lot of "nutters" about. My friend, who is retired, got elbowed in the ribs by a man running past her in the park as she stood with her dog..In Kings Heath too!
     
  13. Sorry - this is ever so slightly off topic.
     
  14. Thanks Jubilee
    I knew it was something like that but it's so hard to get a consistent "story" from the Job Centre people and even worse know that the paying office is remote from the signing office.
    Am I right in understanding that, as a monthly paid supply teacher, the Job Centre average my pay out over the 4 weeks AFTER my pay day?
    Your advice on when to sign on and off is very useful, too, thanks.
    Thanks for your explanation and advice - more than I got from the JC paying office staff on a my recent expensive 0845 number phone call. A useful tip I have picked up is to ask them to phone me back as soon as I get through. However a problem with that is any phone call to them seems to involve an "obligatory" wait of wait of at least 10 minutes on hold BEFORE I get through.
    Regards and thanks
    Billji

     
  15. Pennyforyourthoughts

    Pennyforyourthoughts Occasional commenter

    If you choose supply teaching (effectively part time working) as a preference then you should take the rough with the smooth. Its a chosen part time lifestyle, therefore you should not sign on when schools are out on holiday. Signing on is for those out of work and seeking permanent work. However, if you are in the situation that you sign on for top up benefits then say so on this forum as it is not JSA. Signing on when schools are back because there is no supply work coming in due to the recession is somewhat more acceptable as you are seeking work but none around.. Only problem with this is that you cannot claim retrospectively for the weeks you do not get any work and if you do get work it is then averaged out over 2 weeks and becomes pointless and tiresome to stay signing on. No easy answer other than .................. don't expect the government to pay out to keep you if you have no wish to get a permanent job. Its there primarily for those who are genuinely looking for permanent work not as a top up for part time supply teachers.
     
  16. Pennyforyourthoughts - thank you for your lecture and what appears to be a judgement on me. I find that judgement pretty incredible as you know nothing about me.
    A few facts, therefore:
    6 years ago I was pushed into stress related illness by a overdemanding H/T
    Threatened with a dismissal hearing whilst on long-term sick leave I took a compromise deal and resigned from my post as a Deputy Head
    Subsequently I have, for most of the intervening period, worked as a supply teacher without claiming any benefits
    I had many repeat booking so apparently was not such a bad teacher after all
    In recent months supply teaching has suddenly "dried-up" and so being GENIUNELY unemployed I claimed JSA in October 2011 after having only 3 days work that term
    Since Xmas I have been fortunate to get a few days work hence the problems with my JSA
    As I am in now in my late 50's and at the top of teaching pay scales I am unlikely to get a permanent post, when there are so many unemployed and "cheap" NQTs, I HAVE applied for permanent posts unsuccessfully
    I can assure you that I have no desire to sign-on for JSA and I am seriously thinking of signing-off as it is not worth the effort.
    I love supply teaching and I had hoped it would support me until I reached retirement.
    I was complaining of the unweildy and unreasonable way in which JSA is administered which certainly is NOT to the benefit of the unemployed. Even as a educated and intelligent person I find it hard to understand the system.
    So thanks again for your unfounded judgement - I can live with it as I have had a lot of experience of being misjudged over the last few years.
    Billji



     
  17. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    YES. It's actually from your pay day too if that coincides with a signing day.
    basically you submit B7s at each signing day with hours worked in the previous fortnight. If you received no pay in that fortnight (the 13 days prior to signing, plus the signing day), they pay you JSA. It's for the past fortnight but obviously is like pay in arrears.
    As soon as you get a pay, you enter the take-home amount in the relevant Benefit Week column on the B7 and indicate if it is weekly or monthly pay. If monthly, they divide the sum by 4 and then ignore the first £5 per week of the weekly-equivalent pay received. they compare the rest with your JSA and your JSA will be reduced or stopped for 4 weeks.
    They make a new calculation when you next declare pay. If you declare no pay two signing days later, JSA kicks in again at your full rate.
     
  18. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    That is a flawed assessment of the situation of most supply teachers.
    I'm a supply teacher and I'm available for full time work. You can't claim JSA in the first place if you are only available for p/t work.
    You don't have to be available for permanent or long-term work to claim JSA. it's there for those who are available for f/t work during their claim and who are actively seeking f/t work.
    Those who have an NI record have paid into the State Insurance Policy and are as entiltled as any other unemployed person to claim JSA when they are out of work or working under 16 hours per benefit Week.
    Working p/t whilst claiming is not the smae thing as only being available part-time! Working p/t, when the system can't make you take p/t work (you are signed on for wanting f/t work) saves the system money.
    Even signing on in the holidays is above board for those seeking teaching work. No other unemployed person is denied JSA claims on the basis that the weeks were their usual holiday weeks in previous years! Unemployed teachers can still be looking for work and completing application forms in school holiday periods, just as they can at weekends when schools are also closed; or do you think that they should only be claiming JSA on weekdays in term time?
    Once any claimant has been claiming JSA for 13 weeks, they can no longer just look for their usual type of work; they have to agree to look for any work that they are capable of doing, for the minimum wage if necessary. Such work is not constrained by school holiday periods. The difficulty for those who are prepared to take lower-paid, unskilled work is that employers are unlikely to take them on as they know that they will jump ship as soon as they can and the employer will be recruiting again.
     
  19. I am also not doing supply work by choice. I was made redundant last year and at the age of 54 on M6 I'm not very employable. I did supply five years ago and didn't sign on as I had long term work all the time, though not always full time. This time I've signed on, I get about £67 a week as I have savings and if I do one day's work I get nothing. I want my national insurance paid. This is my only income - I'm single with a mortgage. I have been signing on and off as three days takes me over the 16 hours. I think eventually I will have to find non teaching work, but don't want to give up so soon.
    Please don't judge people when you don't know the circumstances. There are many on supply in my position.
     
  20. I know how you feel, Nellymay. I was made redundant in 2010 at the same age as you, but I was on UPS 3, so not much chance there. I got to 55 last year, so took ARP. I did not want to do this, but it is the only way to get some sort of income, even if it is only £400 pm. Even though I signed up with quite a few agencies, I have only ever got TA work, and not much of that. A job I quite enjoyed was supporting statemented students, but if the student did not come into to school, I got sent home, so I ended up making a loss.
     

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