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Jobseekers after Carer's Allowance - Carers UK Forum

Jobseekers after Carer's Allowance

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Hi all,

I'm 35 years old and spent 16 years as a carer for my disabled mother. I took the difficult decision just over a month ago to move in with my partner (difficult in the sense that mum would mainly have to rely on social services to care for her), and so she found us a flat which we are currently renting. She doesn't earn a lot of money, but we decided to take the plunge hoping I could get a job soon and at least there'd be a few quid coming in each week from Jobseeker's allowance and just accept that things will be very tight financially until I've found work.

However, I've found out today that I'm not eligible for a penny of Jobseeker's allowance, because I'm living with someone else (income based) and that I couldn't claim contributions based because I haven't been credited with enough Class 1 National Insurance contributions over the last 2 years. This creates a problem in that both myself and my partner will have a major problem paying off our bills, then there's also the problem of us having signed a 6 month contract to stay at our current flat when it looks like we may not be able to afford the rent, even though that's only a modest amount. I wish I'd been dishonest and said that I was lodging with somebody instead of living with my partner.

I was always under the impression that carers had their full national insurance class 1 contributions paid, but it seems that isn't the case. I was always under the impression that carers get a rough deal for what they do and this further confirms it. I think it stinks and I feel I should mention this in case there is anybody else close to being in my position.
From a quick search on the DWP website I found this, I searched for "Carers Allowance NI contributions":
If you get Carers Allowance you will get NI credits and will not usually need HRP.
Find out more about Carers Allowance on the Directgov website
and this on the Directgov website]Carer's Allowance and National Insurance contributions
For each week you receive Carer's Allowance you will normally get a National Insurance (NI) contribution added to your NI record up to the tax year in which you turn 60 (unless you are a woman who has chosen to pay reduced rate NI contributions).

You will also normally be credited with an NI contribution for any week you are entitled to Carer's Allowance but it is not paid because you are also getting Widow's Benefit or Bereavement Benefits at the same or higher weekly rate.

These NI contributions may help you to qualify for the basic rate of certain other benefits or entitlements in the future.[/quote]

Did you make a telephone application? Unfortunately the telephone advisers are not always exactly very knowledgeable and it's not unusual for them to tell people that they aren't entitled to benefits that they are entitled to. It would seem that you should be entitled to contributions-based JSA but I'm not a welfare rights advisor and most of my knowledge relates to disability benefits, etc. I would suggest that you go to your local CAB or Welfare Rights Organisation and ask for assistance; your local social services department may have a welfare rights unit too that, as your mother's carer, you may have access to, they are normally very good at getting the right benefits for clients. I'd also put in your claim for JSA if you haven't already done so so that you don't lose any backdating.

Also do you still provide care for your mother? Is it still 35 hours or more? If so you should still be entitled to CA, you don't have to live with someone to qualify.

Dependent on your partner's income you may be entitled to some Housing Benefit or Housing Allowance which is replacing Housing Benefit for private tenants, to help you pay the rent, it might be worth looking into this as well.
Hi Mr. Eric.

I'd contact your local Welfare Rights Unit, Carers Centre or CUK's CarersLine, which can offer advice on benefits.

The service is free. Unfortunately the service is currently only open for 2 days a week. However there is an answerphone service if you leave details an advisor will call you back.

Telephone 0808 808 7777

Open Wednesday and Thursday 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm

What I will say is that there is nothing to stop you still claiming Carers Allowance as long as you are still caring for your mum. You don't have to be living in the same home.