Income support & single parent

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  • Hey guys I just wanted to check something out with you people... So I'm a single parent of a child under 5 - therefore under income support you don't have to look for work, right? I mean that's what it says on the citizens advice site and what a job centre phone advisor told I'm guessing the answers yes but I was just after some real life experiences really....I've gotta job centre "advisor" who likes to spin the truth and is a bit of a bully, so I'm preparing myself before my "benefit review" meeting. I've already told the moo that I'm exercising my right to take someone along with me to the meeting - so put that in your pipe and smoke it benefits lady ;) xxx

  • Cant help you out to much on your question , but i like the idea of you taking some one else along with you .

    A friend of mine took some one along with them about 2 months ago , and the job advisor changed there attitude from recent appointments my friend had had with them in the past .

    Good luck :thumbup:

  • Yes, of course that is so, you do not have to look for work if you are a single parent with a child under five.. Print this page out if you have any doubts, and take it with you:…benefits-for-lone-parents

    Towards the end of first paragraph under Income Support.

    A good idea to take someone along. The 'smarter' they are dressed, the better, as it makes these jobsworths think you have someone a bit important in tow, like a social worker, union official, etc, who may know more than they do. Even if it's only a friend, they won't know that, as these people go largely on appearances. It usually changes their attitude dramatically; they can't get rid of you quick enough, in case they say something they can be pulled up on, or get reported for.

    All the best with it, anyway:thumbup:

  • A good idea to take someone along. The 'smarter' they are dressed, the better, as it makes these jobsworths think you have someone a bit important in tow, like a social worker, union official, etc, who may know more than they do. Even if it's only a friend, they won't know that, as these people go largely on appearances. It usually changes their attitude dramatically; they can't get rid of you quick enough, in case they say something they can get reported for

    In my friends case they had Sanctioned him because he had changed address ,
    He took a social worker along , and the same staff in job centre couldnt do enough to rectify there decision and give him his money and lift the Sanction .

  • Tips from someone who has had previous experience on the ole dole moons ago.
    Go in dressed smartly. they like you to conform, charm them make friends with the civil servants.
    Spend ages asking lots of silly questions about job hunting. get them running around the office for you doing silly wee jobs like photocopying applications. aksing them to help you with computer stuff and how to work the touch screen job hunt screen.
    Keep them talking for ages so that they are behind in their future appointments
    Do that for two or three weeks... they will NEVER bother you again.
    Another tip is to have more children
    Another tip is to start your own business and get off the brew as soon as.
    If you want to pm me i can get you set up as self employed working from home earning £280-£300 per wk. 35 hours off the brew and away fae their bull shite

  • they like to hear that you're interested in returning to work in due course and LOVE it when you talk about "taking oppurtunity to really reflect on a long term career that is sustainable with my family responsibilities"

  • They certainly dont like to hear you say things like , the job they offer you is a 4am start and the public transport doesnt start till 5.30am wouldnt get you there on time .

    Or the case some one hasnt got any arms ,so the Box Packing Factory job may not be suitable ,

    These sujestions are taken as being Obstructive .


  • I think they will talk to you about the options if you work such as help with child care costs. They will also look at options such as part time work. They can do an assessment to see how much you need to earn to have to take home more money then benefits alone.

    i guess this info will enable you to make an informed choice to find a job and come off benefits.

  • Just to clarify a few incorrect things.
    -the job centre staff on the ground do not make decisions on sanctions, the decisions go to a special departmemt
    - I've never know someone to be sanctioned because they do not have arms to do a job.. If the person who has a disability is on JSA then they still have to meet the criteria. If there is a disability the employer makes reasonable adjustments and access to work will come in, the question can adjustments be made in regards to that job?
    - remember the staff work to the rules and guidance they are given

    and yes, people should be sanctioned if they are not fulfilling their jsa agreement!

  • @ agatha: It would appear that you may be unfamiliar with the procedures now undertaken in jobcentres. Staff can not only make recommendations to sanction particular individuals, but they are often under pressure to sanction a given number of individuals within a particular time period, in order to meet government requirements. Although officially, the government denies this.

    Perhaps you might like to download the Manchester CAB Report, “Punishing Poverty”, and familiarise yourself with the contents:…&authkey=!AJTbB-gzwsSCayQ

  • @ old Keith

    I used to work at a job centre, so I do have an idea of the system

    Sanctions are given when someone fails to meet the jsa conditions.

    I am not pro job centre, why do think I left. ( because of the system and I was attacked) But I do believe that if someone isn't seeking work or applying jobs then yes, they should be sanctioned.

  • Can I add,I help people look for work that is my job now.. I work for an organisation where luckily I don't have any targets etc. so it is up to the person to work with me if they want. I actually have good results, but it's amazing the amount of people who don't contact me again once they know I can actually help them into a job!

  • You may have used to work at a jobcentre, and may have left because of unfairness in the system, which is commendable of you.

    But since then this sanctioning has become almost a fascist oppression of the unemployed, in an effort to get them to give up and go off the record. This is so that the government can say that the number of people on jsa has been magically reduced. Although I am retired, I speak to the victims of this oppression quite often; many of them are my friends and neighbours.

    Sanctions have proven to a very nasty way of attacking the poor and vulnerable, and have been of little discernible benefit in getting people into work. If there are no suitable jobs in one's locality, how can people apply for them?

    If there is no private work, the state should provide work at a living wage, so that those who are capable of work can earn a reasonable living. The present government will not do so, because this would upset their capitalist partners who seek to employ people for a mere pittance.

    So they are left with the difficulty of trying to force people on some of the worst jobless benefits in Europe into jobs with no security, uncertain hours, and some of the poorest pay in Europe. Or coerce them to give up, and go off the record.

  • Bugger I wrote a long reply and lost it...

    - I had to take sanctions against people many times.. Because they just weren't looking for work, literally nothing.. Why shouldn't they be sanctioned?

    - I agree about the living wage etc,.. But my husband and I work for minimum wage both part time due to reduced hours or redundancy... I would rather do that then claim benefits..and I know people who commute far for work.. My husband works for a private company and I find it hard that they won't pay him an wage which he deserves... He likes his job, I do as well which is always a good thing.

    - I work and live in a rural area and there are jobs, but there are many ways to find work, just looking at vacancies isn't enough.. I believe if you really want to work and come off benefits you can and I have helped many many people to do so...

    - now my question to the first poster ( please do not berate me for asking this) but why wouldn't you want to find work and come of benefits??! I didn't have children and one reason because I could never afford too.. Why should the state pay for you to be at home with your child??? I would like to understand....

  • If there is no private work, the state should provide work at a living wage, so that those who are capable of work can earn a reasonable living.

    Why should they do that? Why should we create jobs that are not needed to appease those who don't have a job.

    I knew many people that didn't have a job, as there were no jobs available that they 'liked', or in a field they knew. However society changes its needs, and if you're not needed to be an 'abc' any more, then you can train to be an 'xyz'.

    In my experience, those that wanted a job found one. A friend of mine has 4 young children between 8 and 2. She works 10-4 everyday. Yes, she gets assistance with her housing, but her attitude is that it is not anyone responsibility but her own to look after her children.

    Keith, Agatha never stated how long ago she left the job centre, so you cannot assume that she was not there during the 'sanctioning period'.

  • Going slightly Off-Topic ,

    Can i use this Forum ,and ask some of you folks in it with your experiance how you see the future with some of the unemployed .This is my personal take of the future {coming very soon }

    Cutting Benifits {the only life line people have when they are not bringing in a wage }
    Some people do want to work but jobs are few and far between , others dont want to work , and probably couldnt as being totally unemployable .

    So with all these Benifit Cuts {is it about £71 a week ? } JSA
    Its not a great deal of money to live on after a few meals and a few utility bills to be made ,

    Lets forget those who are unemployable and dont want to work , what about the genuine people who do but cant find any work because theres a shortage .

    Im on a good Pension ,ive got 4 Sons who have worked sinse leaving School , so its not a case of i or them want something for nothing , but there are people out there i see every day who have absolutely nothing , and some of them are really trying to better themselves ,

    With all these Cuts this Government {and the rest will do if they get into power } i see homelessness coming on a vast scale ,

    What is going to happen with these people , are we heading for Tent Cities and people given hand-outs by the Red-Cross !!!

  • Originally posted by oldkeith:
    If there is no private work, the state should provide work at a living wage, so that those who are capable of work can earn a reasonable living.”

    Originally posted by Fir-Tree:
    “Why should they do that? Why should we create jobs that are not needed to appease those who don't have a job”.

    What do you think the State is for? It is the responsibility of the state to care for all of its citizens, and to see that they have a decent existence, and do not live in fear and under stress. In return, it is the responsibility of all citizens to help the state to maintain these standards. Perhaps these things are no longer taught in schools?

    Re job creation, there are millions of useful jobs that could be created, especially in the areas of renewable energy, and the maintenance and repair of infrastructures. In my county alone, it is estimated that several tens of millions of pounds need to be spent in road repairs, because the roads have been allowed to fall into decay by successive governments. There is plenty of necessary work to be done.

    So far as sanctions are concerned, if there was state work available, there would also be state training, so there would be no need for anyone to be sanctioned, because they would be given training and a job, which is a far more positive way of doing things.

    In some countries, not so long ago, there were no beggars, because the state would see that you got a job, whether you wanted that or not.
    Here, the present government has closed down many of the employment units for blind people and the otherwise disabled who are capable of work, and is now trying to hound these people into jobs they are unsuited for, or knock them off the record into a life of isolation and penury. The Nazis had a similar programme in the 1930's, but they were more blatant about it.

    Solo, so far as the future goes, I have the same fears as yourself. You have only to study the UN Agenda 21, from the point of view of a plutocrat, or any kind of oligarch, to see what is coming.
    The State has become, and is still becoming, the Corporate State, run by big business and multinationals for the benefit of a very small group of privileged people.

  • Yeah solo exactly the effect I think I'll get with company. Maybe she'll behave herself this time. Instead of when I was pregnant and she tried telling me "you'll be expected to look for work once you have the baby" - gee that's a nice bit of bullsh*t to tell a pregnant lady! Some of these people really do just get off on scaring the vulnerable. I read an article on the observer page yesterday confirming me fears - a job centre employee whistle blowed to The Observer about how staff at the centre he worked at were given targets to sanction at least 3 people a week and had team work mottos like "saving the public purse" - great by increasing poverty, well done you...I always like to dress my best for them, appearances can mean everything and I like mine to tell them I am educated and informed so don't try it. Not too many real life examples on here yet but lots of great social discussion...if any other single parents have any more experience to share, it would be gladly taken! X

  • When I worked at the job centre, I decided who was sanctioned but the length of time and if the sanction was correct went to another department. If that is still the system I am unsure. I saw 1000's of job seekers in my time, many weren't really looking for work. The ones which were looking were successful in the end, they were my regular customers visiting me even when it wasn't their time to sign on. I met parents who were signing on bringing thier children to made a claim.. It was a right of passage.

    i didn't have targets, but sanctioned when people didn't look for work or didn't attend job interviews. That was the most common. I've also known the housing department having targets on how many people they didn't help!

    I actually now help disabled people into work. I have mixed feelings about 'special units' as I believe that disabled people should be able to apply for jobs which are open for everyone and adjustments need to be made to that they can access the jobs.

    with regards to training, there are free courses out there for example in IT or basic skills. Or do voluntary work to up skill.

    Even though I agree £70 isn't enough to live off, I also am very concerned over the withdrawal of services such as care for old people or bus routes etc.. I would prefer services to vulnerable to be kept than to pay people to sit at home and claim the dole for doing nothing.

    with regards to finding work once a baby is born.. (Or after a year, same as maternity leave) Why not?

  • I like the use of the word excuse if your a single parent on min wage and child care only just about covers that wage and nothing else you should just accept your lot and basically work for nothing...oh I work in child care too - when I can be bothered at least...

  • sorry i don't have any experience to advise but don't want to read and run, so will just say good luck, and taking someone along does sound like a good idea.

  • Oh right well the way our society is right now the working classes can't actually afford to work and have children without family support. So if we're only left with people who can who can afford child support then who is going to sustain society in low paid jobs? So low paid workers shouldn't be supported to have families as the cost of Living is now too maybe we should just sterilise anyone who isn't on a 30k+ wage? Since they are the only people who apparently deserve the natural pleasure and right of children...and come to think of it we should sterilise the whole world since 2/3 live in poverty anyway so they shouldn't have children your ignorance is incredible and really says it all about the helpful workers of the job centre....

  • My other question is why have a child if you can't afford too?


    So...,....if only the ones who can afford a child should have children............. who exactly decides at what point you can afford a child.........And then seeing that only the ones who fit this criteria should have children, I take it you are in favour of scrapping any type of Child Benefit at all ?

  • Such a materialist culture as we have creates a very disturbing idea of who can apparently afford children....funny cos some of the happiest children I've ever seen are in some of the poorest countries, but with that mind set they wouldn't even be alive......