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Working less than 16 hours a week - not entitled to Working Tax Credit?

Discussion in 'benefits and housing' started by AnnO'Neemus, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. AnnO'Neemus

    AnnO'Neemus Is so vanilla

    Sorry to ask such a dumb question... but I'm a bit confused...

    I've been fucked around so much by the Job Centre it's unreal. I've been looking for work for ages, to no avail, but eventually, a week ago, managed to land a job, working in a local bar. They had a notice in their window for full-time/part-time staff, and when I asked how many hours I'd be working, because it's a rota that changes, I was told about 20 hours a week.

    I thought, that would be okay, because even at minimum wage that's about 110 quid a week, which is better than JSA, and I don't have any rent or mortgage to pay, just a fucking horrendous council tax bill to sort out.

    But I only worked about 10 hours last week, and got paid about 55 quid.

    And this week, I should have worked three shifts, one at the usual bar, and two shifts at a sister bar. But it turns out there was a mix up and the other bar covered the shifts with a new starter, so I only worked one shift, a few hours at lunchtime.

    So I've only worked three hours this week, for which I can expect to be paid a grand total of 17.40.

    I had a look at Working Tax Credits, but the website says that you have to work at least 16 hours to be eligible.

    How come you can't get Working Tax Credits if you're working less than 16 hours a week? Surely I should be eligible for it, if I'm working and on a really low wage? :confused:

    What can I do? I can't live on 55 quid or 17 quid a week. Well, I might be able to eat, just about, but as for paying bills and paying off that council tax bill... no chance. :(
  2. scifisam

    scifisam feck! arse! girls! drink!

    You'd still be entitled to some income support and possibly to various other benefits - you definitely would get council tax benefit. (I know you know need HB). Look on that entitledto website.
  3. N_igma

    N_igma Epistemic nuisance

    Don't you have to start paying taxes to get tax credit?
  4. scifisam

    scifisam feck! arse! girls! drink!

    Not exactly - it's a misleading name.
  5. scifisam

    scifisam feck! arse! girls! drink!

    BTW, Ann, the 16 hours don't have to be from a single job, so if you could get more hours somewhere else, that'd be fine. They also don't have to be every week, just averaged out at 16 hours (excluding annual leave).
  6. N_igma

    N_igma Epistemic nuisance

    Aye. Don't worry Ann, 'Big Society' will look after you.
  7. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat lumpen proletaricat

    ^ this.

    you can still claim income support / JSA if you're working less than 16 hours a week, although from what i gather, it gets a bit convoluted if your earnings / hours vary from one week to the next.

    and you won't end up much better off than if you were on JSA and not working at all - from memory, you can keep the first £ 5 a week (woo) and after that, you lose pound for pound what you earn.

    also bear in mind this will be income related JSA so any savings you have above £ 6K will be treated (in part) as income, and also it's 'household' income so if you have a partner (married or not) living with you (a house-sharer is NOT a partner but you might have to argue about this) , then it's means tested on your joint income (apologies if that's irrelevant to you)

    again, subject to the bit about it being means tested, you may be eligible to claim council tax benefit - it's not an 'all or nothing' - the council may have a different way of dealing with fluctuating income, when i did housing benefits (which broadly work the same way) we would take an average of so many weeks' income and stick with that, although if your circumstances changed (like you ended up working a lot more hours regularly) you should probably tell them.

    This (from CAB) has more about claiming benefits when you're in work, including IS / JSA if you're doing less than 16 hours a week.
  8. Frankie Jack

    Frankie Jack Not a bloke..

    No work under 30 hours is worth taking if you want to get help with housing and council tax.. and tax credits.. Even my Jobcentre realises that most of the jobs advertised are not gonna be helpful at all under 30 hours a week.. Most jobs advertised in my area are well below that as employers are trying to get under the tax and NI thresshold for busineses..

    Catch 22..

    Employees need over 30 hours.. Employers are looking for under 16 hours..
  9. weepiper

    weepiper Jock under the bed

    unless you've got young kids, in which case 16 is the optimum number, because then you get tax credit help with childcare costs.
  10. AnnO'Neemus

    AnnO'Neemus Is so vanilla

    I've just tried. But it said I'd be entitled to standard council tax, with a single person's discount. But I need more than that, because I'm in debt because they fucked up my previous council tax benefit claims, so I need money to pay off the debt. But I can't do that when I'm receiving 55 or 17 quid a week. :(

    ETA: It said I'm not even entitled to Income Support. :(
  11. N_igma

    N_igma Epistemic nuisance

    If I was you I would just scrap all the fucking about with tax credits and the shit job. I would go on the dole and search for a proper full time job.
  12. scifisam

    scifisam feck! arse! girls! drink!

    I disagree - if you've been out of work for a long time then it's worth giving it a try. Better than having an empty CV for years and the various psychological traps that long-term unemployment causes for many people, like having no structure to your week and being unwilling to answer when people ask 'what do you do?' This isn't true for everyone, of course, but for some it is, and then a bit of casual work is worthwhile even if it doesn't lead to proper employment (which it might very well do).
  13. scifisam

    scifisam feck! arse! girls! drink!

    Well, you could probably request making lower payments on your CT arrears.

    If you were only earning £17pw there's no way you'd be barred from income support. No way at all, unless you have lots of savings. There must be some mistake there.

    BTW, apparently it was understandable anyway, but 'I know you know' was supposed to 'I know you don't.' I'm so hungry that I'm too tired to cook and my brain's not working well.
  14. AnnO'Neemus

    AnnO'Neemus Is so vanilla

    I can't claim JSA. I've got a phobia about going to the Job Centre, like some people have a phobia about going to the dentist. They've made me ill. Over Christmas, one of their staff gave me incorrect information about bank holidays and when I was next required to sign on, which resulted in me missing a signing on day, which meant they closed my claim and left me with nil income. And then just after I'd reclaimed, I ended up going to Germany for a family emergency, because a family member was seriously ill in hospital. And I missed a signing on day, and they closed my claim.

    I have Asperger's Syndrome. I cannot cope with fucked up mindless inhumane bureaucracy. I'm not able to go in that Job Centre any more. I've ended up on sleeping tablets and my GP wants to put me on antidepressants. My GP says I'm fit to work, but not fit to sign on.
  15. AnnO'Neemus

    AnnO'Neemus Is so vanilla

    Yeah, I've been doing that. For the past year. There are no paid jobs in my field of work. There's been two jobs advertised by the local major employer, and there were hundreds of applicants. And one job I did get interviewed for, and I was weirdly offered some freelance work, when I'd applied for a staff job, well, a couple of months later, that company went bust. And stuff that's not in my field of work, I don't tend to get interviewed for, because they just look at my CV and realise I'm not particularly interested in the job and I'd probably bugger off if something better came along... I did some temping work, but that was only a few weeks...
  16. scifisam

    scifisam feck! arse! girls! drink!

    Ah, I see. I was using income support lazily as a term for non-contribution-based JSA, because that's what it used to be called (and I reckon you'll have used up your rights to contribution-based JSA). I do kinda understand your fear, but don't know what else to tell you other than you would be entitled to JSA if you were willing to claim it.
  17. AnnO'Neemus

    AnnO'Neemus Is so vanilla

    No, I don't have any savings at all. The trip to Germany due to a family emergency, buying expensive last minute flights, then getting stuck in the blizzards and flights cancelled and having extra expenses getting trains and taxis backwards and forwards to the airport and forking out for three nights hotels... that wiped out what was left of my bank balance.

    I don't have any savings, but will they take into account that I have an asset worth more than 16k, i.e. I own my flat outright? :confused:
  18. AnnO'Neemus

    AnnO'Neemus Is so vanilla

    If I could fill in a form, that would be okay, but for JSA, you have to go to building to sign on, and I physically can't, even the thought of going anywhere near that building ever again is making me upset and making me feel nauseous. They're utter cunts. You wouldn't treat a fucking animal the way they've treated me.
  19. scifisam

    scifisam feck! arse! girls! drink!

    I do understand - it's unreasonable, but I understand. I have what amounts to a horrible phobia of forms and have lost out on thousands over the years because of this. Just because you know it's ridiculous doesn't mean you can snap out of it.

    Would it be worth requesting to sign on at a different benefit office?
  20. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

    No, it's a ruse to subsidise low-paying employers without having to count it as part of the benefits bill.
  21. Shevek

    Shevek bldg cstles in the sky

    Hi Ann. Im glad you found some work even if it is casual. At least you have something to do now. Have you thought about those things I mentioned to you earlier?

    I am looking for temping work/catering/admin work etc.. to get immediate money, also applying for a PhD scholarship and have a couple of projects that I am doing with my partner in meeja i.e. none of this is bringing me any money whatsoever at the moment. (oh I earned £150 for three hours meeja work for some quango)

    I tried to claim contributions based JSA last year but didn't have enough contributions so my claim failed. Time has passed and last week I went to try and claim it again. The girl at the job centre was quite friendly and let me off with my ID not being quite correct (address on my driving licence is still parents and I didn't have the photocard) she suggested a trainee engineer job which isnt up my street and she just said I possibly had enough credits to get JSA (164 i think) I have to wait a week basically.
  22. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat lumpen proletaricat

    No, the home you live in does not constitute 'capital' for means tested benefits, nor do things like a car / household goods (i'm not even sure that things like valuable antiques are counted) - it's cash in bank (etc), stocks and shares and that sort of thing.

    As for the thing about going to the job centre, that's a new one on me, and i'm not quite sure what the answer is. My first thought is that maybe if you can get your doctor to sign something about this, then you might be allowed to do it all over the phone or by post.

    With an emphasis on the 'maybe' and 'might' in the above.

    I suggest talking to the CAB about it all - might be worth a phone call to see if your local CAB works on a 'drop in' basis or appointments, or for that matter whether you can talk it through on the phone or by e-mail if you'd find going into their place difficult.

    If you can get this accepted as a valid medical thing (valid as far as they are concerned, i mean) then you might just have a case for back-dating of council tax benefit. back-dating is complicated, and again i'd suggest talking to CAB about this.

    alternatively, is there any sort of AS support association? do they offer assistance with welfare rights issues?
  23. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

    Ann, it might be worth talking to CAB. They may be able to help you through the bureaucratic nightmare. I sympathise - it's such a fucking nightmare my partner isn't even claiming his stamp. They're utter cunts, but the CAB has a lot of experience in dealing with them and will know the right buttons to push on your behalf.
  24. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

  25. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat lumpen proletaricat

    *smiles quietly*

    another thought - as well as CAB, some local / county councils (I've no idea where you live) have a 'welfare rights unit' that exits to advise and assist - separate from the council tax benefit people. might be worth a look at your local councils' web site/s
  26. Shevek

    Shevek bldg cstles in the sky

    If you just claim your stamp do you still have to go through the whole fortnightly job-search rigmarole?

    I am just asking this as I think my level of contributions is on a knife edge in terms of me getting any proper benefit and as Ive not had a proper job for a while I think I need the stamps
  27. Frankie Jack

    Frankie Jack Not a bloke..

    Yep Shev.. to qualify for stamp you have to sign on.. When you get the notice through the door saying you need to add to your top ups its too late..

    That's why anyone who is unemployed should sign on as even though ya may not qualify for benefits your insurance and pension stamp is being processed..
  28. Shevek

    Shevek bldg cstles in the sky

    Might aswell do it. I already owe them (future me) £300 and I have never been able to pay it off for a year due to not having any money so might aswell limbo up to jump through some hoops.
  29. yardbird

    yardbird Understands love.

    When I had to go to ATOS for assessment in Brighton I thought fixing an 'appointment' first thing in the morning or first thing in the afternoon would mean that. No fucking way!
    I asked for this because of my bladder and bowel control problems, but was told there was an hour's waiting in both cases. The front of house had no idea about Duty of Care and when I explained the problem all the bitch behind the counter did was point to the loo. NO understanding at all!
    Not just that, but the public entrance was disgusting and on my first visit I had to pick up a disposable sharp probably from the night before. The fire doors were illegally jammed open and when I complained about this I was marked as a trouble maker.
    We are dealing with uncaring, unprofessional people who are only there to fulfil a profit motive.
    I complained about an official form with mistakes in grammar. Bad move.
    I found it very difficult to go into the buildings and deal with these people, to the point of being nauseous and fearful.
    No understanding and no empathy.
    Not the way to deal with people under stress.
    And no way to help.
  30. AnnO'Neemus

    AnnO'Neemus Is so vanilla

    How can there be an hour's waiting? :confused: Surely, they could organise - if they wanted to - so that you would be the first person seen when they opened, or after lunch, and there would be no need for an hour's wait. :confused:

    That just goes to show that they are deliberately being twats.

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