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Job seeker's allowance

I have a client at the end of his tether and I fear he is falling into depression. He has had no work for nearly a year but not for want of trying. He is struggling financially and has had no help from the benefits office.

He was previously contracted under CIS and paying class 2 NI and all other taxes as they fell due.

I have very little (read none except that which I've read from the internet!) experience of benefits and how to qualify for them.

Have any of your clients had experience of this? Any advice would be very welcome.


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19th Jul 2012 12:00

JSA starts at jobcentreplus


Unfortunately I had some experience of this last year. 

Your client should register as being available for work as soon as possible; the situation last year was that you had to register by phone (look up phone no in local directory) and an appointment is then made at the local job centre for completion of the process.  Your client could try applying for benefits such as housing benefit on their own but it is easier for all benefit claims if also registered for JSA as the systems do feed into each other (very slowly).  If they have delayed registering then they will be told that they should have applied earlier and may be able to apply for back dating of benefits but this is not automatically given. 

This is not an easy life experience and can be quite demoralising; I was told that I could not look for work and carry on with looking for freelance work and all the voluntary work I did.  I pointed out that the only difference in my life was that the salaried job was no longer there and that I was trying carry on as much as normal, which is what the person talking to me had just suggested.  

Please send me a direct message if either you or your client would like to discuss this further for some hopefully encouraging thoughts & ideas.

Thanks (1)