Small question about JSA...

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Small question about JSA...

Postby DoodlePlex » Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:54 pm

Right, before I begin, this isn't a topic about getting easy money. I'm questioning this option because I'm taking every possibility into hand right now for my situation. :(

I've just left university and I'm living in a student house for at least another year. Tax starts next month as I'm officially not a student then, and I'm currently trying to find work. I have a little bit of expenses left over to last a while but I don't feel secure enough for it to last on rent and bills alone. I'm sorry if this thread has been brought up before but I'm really worrying...

About JSA, I know that if I *did* sign on, I'd have to go back every fortnight or so for an interview and prove that I'd been looking for work. I'm fine with this, but I'm concerned that this means I can't go out and find a position for myself.

To anyone who's signed on before, is it up to the Job Seekers to find you a job? Someone told me that if they find you a place and you refuse it, they take you off the pay. Is this true? I'd rather look for work myself, I'm only considering JSA in case I don't have enough to last through the weeks. I just don't want to sign on if it means I have to take the first thing they throw at me, if they're the ones to find me work, that is.

Basically, I'd like to know... if I can still earn JSA while looking for work myself. I know some people look down on others signing on for it, as there's a stereotypical view now of them being "slackers" and "layabouts". :( This is why I'm troubled about the whole thing, do employers see it this way too?

Sorry about all the questions and the length of this post. If anyone has signed on before and could give me some advice I'd be so grateful. Thank you. :)
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Postby miaow » Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:37 pm


Not sure about this but am replying as no other replies. Have you rang your local job centre and enquired? You dont have to go in just give them a call They would be the best people to advise you in this situation. Other than that google it - see what you find.

Good luck...

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Postby louise06 » Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:19 am

I used to sign on before i found my job. U can still look for work yourself. As long as you can show the job centre that you are looking for work it should be fine. I had lots of applications that the job centre gave me. as long as you show you have applied for them there should be nothing to worry about.

good luck in your search.
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Postby Bel Bel » Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:19 am

why does it matter if they get you a job
Lot of people look for work while already in employment
It sounds like this is a win win option, they get you a job so you can earn while your trying to find the right job
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Postby Moose » Sun Jun 15, 2008 5:02 pm

You can certainly find your own job if you're signing on. If you're receiving Job Seekers' Allowance, it's because you're supposed to be seeking a job. In theory, the Job Centre are supposed to offer assistance in your search, I work with unemployed people and lots of them say they don't feel they get enough help from the Job Centre.

Once you've been out of work for a while and the Job Centre start getting on your back a bit more, it could be that they find you an interview or a work placement somewhere. It won't go down too well if you refuse to go, but hopefully if you're looking for work yourself, it won't come to this anyway.

In your initial interview, they will ask you what type of work you're looking for, so that will be the first type of work they'll look to find for you anyway (if they look to find you work at all).
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Re: Small question about JSA...

Postby retrochav » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:40 pm

I work as a welfare benefits adviser and i can give you the basic JSA rules and let you decide for yourself. JSA is available as a means tested benefit if you havent paid national insurance in the previous two years, or contribution based if you have. Rules vary slightly, but i will assume you would be claiming income based JSA so i will concentrate on that

Firstly, to answer your question, no the Job Centre doesnt actually "find" you a job. Their role is to satisfy themselves that you have been looking for a job. That is why you sign on as "actively seeking work". If they think you arent looking, or more likely you cant prove you have been they can cut part or all of your benefit - known as a sanction, and you would have to claim "hardship payments" - anyone in this positjion should PM me for further advice

After six months, if you havent found work they then step in and you have to attend new deal activities, these are intensive job searches and skills training that is seen as appropriate.

JSA is not an easy option. The money if you are under 25 is £47 per week. You have to wait for three days before the claim is considered. You also have to wait around in a soul destroying job centre and wait to sign on. You can claim housing benefit to pay rent on a single room if ylou are under 25 and not in social housing - this is usually set below what your actual rent is. It is known as the local housing allowance, and operates in private sector tenancies. If the rate they will pay is actually more than your rent, you can keep £15 of the difference without it affecting your benefit. Council tax benefit pays your share in full, if you have to pay it.

There are usually long delays getting your claim set up - the target time is two weeks, expect three weeks or more in reality. The money is lousy when you consider that it has to cover all your expenses. If you are over 25 the weekly rate is £60.50 per week. Some councils offer cheaper fares on buses if you are unemployed (london does for example) but many dont.

You are exempt from NHS charges for prescriptions and dental care and can claim expenses for hospital visits. You can get concessionary rates for many council leisure centres and college courses (but you cant study for more than 16 hours per week and it must be non advanced education)

It is a good idea to claim JSA whilst between jobs to protect your pension provision for later on. Additionally, as lousy as the money is, at least there is something comming in each week.

Good luck
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