Ex Carers Discrimination?

For anyone who is bereaved or no longer providing care.
Hi everyone. I hope you are all ok. I have just received an email about discrimination to carers. Mum is in a care home now. This of course has put me onto the unemployment register. When I signed off Carers Allowance and made my claim for Jobseekers, I made a point of telling them that I have been a carer for four years. Since then I have been treated like I have been out of work for four years, but claiming a different benefit. I am so pleased that carers have some protection now, but I feel that ex carers are being discriminated against when trying to get back to work. In recent weeks I have been informed, by the Jobcentre office staff, that I didn't need to claim Jobseekers Allowance until four weeks after I had stopped caring for Mum to give me chance to clear her affairs up. Why didn't they tell me that when I registered to sign on at first. I had been given advice to the fact by friends, and I think on here, but I couldn't find anything in black and white to say it, and when it is the only income I have coming in, I didn't want to be left high and dry up the creek without a paddle so to speak. I have made a successful complaint to my Jobseeker Plus office and am waiting to see what they have to say. It will give me the chance to bring this point up.
All the best for now, Brian
Hi Brian, you're right that ex-carers get treated really badly.

But the Jobcentre was wrong - you get 8 weeks' grace before you have to claim Jobseeker's Allowance.
Brian, I don't know why I didn't spot your post earlier, but just wanted to say you have my support 100% in taking on the JobCentre as a former carer. I had a miserable experience with them two years ago, under slightly different circumstances. My Carer's Allowance was stopped four weeks after Dad went into hospital during his final illness, and I had to sign on for JSA and start looking for work while at the same time facing heartbreaking decisions regarding Dad's treatment, and this continued during the period when he died, the immediate period of bereavement and having to organise the funeral. (I had next to no savings after giving up my paid job 18 months earlier to look after Dad full-time.) Some six weeks after signing on, I was summoned into the JobCentre for a "group session" where I and my fellow jobseekers were hauled over the coals for having failed to find work within EIGHT weeks of signing on (no prizes for the JobCente staff's maths skills!). I was, to say the least, extremely cheesed off when one of the organisers of this session responded to my query if there was any help available for former carers by telling me that no, they were just treated like long-termed unemployed people who had been on Incapacity Benefit. I gather the situation has improved at my local JobCentre in recent months with the appointment of a staff member who specialises in dealing with carers.

BTW, my most recent encounter with the JobCentre, just three weeks ago, came about because I had been out of paid employment since a work contract had finished at the end of June. I had spent the intervening period doing voluntary work and training, so wouldn’t have qualified for JSA (assuming the need-to-be-available-for- 40hours-per-week rule still applies), and only went in to try and regularise my NI contributions situation. You might have thought they would have been pleased I hadn’t been claiming benefits but, no, they had a go at me and managed to imply that I had obviously been up to no good by disappearing off the radar for three months and might even have been in prison! Honestly, sometimes this country makes me want to weep.

Anyway, good luck for the future, hope all goes well for you!

Dee
How did I miss this thread Image

Ex carers are still treated badly by jobcentre staff who are like robots following a tick box culture.
Why is nobody actually raising awareness about this high up?

If anyone is interested visit “I give up!â€
I've not been an ex-carer so I don't really have any experience, but I've always thought it very unfair that carers are supposed to get straight back into work after being a carer for so long. If caring was an official job they'd probably let you have a long holiday/break after having to work round the clock for little pay. I don't think it really encourages people to get back into work if they have to deal with this sort of thing.
Hi everyone, I am an ex carer when my carers allowance stopped I was told to apply for jobseekers allowance. I had to fill a form in over the phone then go to the job centre the next day to sign it.

I rang up and the man was nasty I told him about my sister dying and I wanted to apply for jobseekers. we started to fill the form in I was crying just saying my sister name started me off I could hardly talk and had to keep stopping I was so upset but this man showed no compassion at all

He spoke in a very abrupt manner and he kept saying how have you been managing all this time, I told him at first their was 4 of us mum dad sister and me. Then he said again like I said how you have been managing he said this 3 times. I was sick the thought of going to the jobcentre the next day I didn’t sleep I told my friend and she said if your that bad don’t go. I phoned up and cancelled my appointment saying I had a job interview.
(I did call my old firm but they didn’t take me back)

Luckily, I had a little money in the bank and later on I came into some money so I don’t have to claim benefits.

The thing is do I still have to go and sign on even if am not entitled to anything I still want to work. Sheila
Hi Sheila and welcome back - it's good to hear from you.

To answer your last question - yes, you should go and sign on; even it you are not entitled to anything in the form of benefits or JSA then at least your NI contributions are covered, and that will make a difference to your state pension when you eventually claim it. Hopefully when you go 'in person' you will meet a much more sympathetic claims advisor than the 't*ss pot' you had on the phone.

I hope that you can find a job that you will like, but in the meantime perhaps you could volunteer at one of your local charity shops ? If nothing else it will give you some current work experience to put down on the JSA form.
Hi Susie. Thank you I used to love coming on the site glad to be back its been a hard few months. I am going to be a volunteer at the woodlands hospice. I start in Aug I went for the interview last week.

I will go and see about signing on this week. Thanks again. X Image
I agree with Suzie.
Also, if you do need to go and sign on I think there is a chance that you'll get someone who shows little sympathy, unfortunately they are there, so maybe it might help to take a friend or prepare yourself, maybe come up with some at-hand things to say. We do this when we know someone is going to be funny about disability / caring or anything, we just come up with some sentences that cover everything so that we can use them at difficult times.
Hi Susie. Thank you I used to love coming on the site glad to be back its been a hard few months. I
~Sheila you are always welcome here - even though your 'caring' has now ended, you are still a caring person with a wealth of experience and good advice to offer.

I hope that things are getting easier for you now, you have had a rough ride these last few years and it must have been tough for you. But hopefully the worst is now over and you can begin to look forward again - we're here whenever you need us to listen Image