I was forced to write this post after a phone call that my wife had with the DWP on friday the 20th of May about our joint JSA claim.
My wife is under a 12 hour part time contract with Bon Marche and I’m currently unemployed after being made reduntant from my last job last April. My wife is currently on maternity leave that she started on the 22nd of April. She gave birth to our son on the 11th of May, and on Friday we received a letter saying that the JSA claim had been re assesed and that the claim now was for £3.86 a weekbecause according to the DWP my wife is getting £102 a week maternity pay from her work, and she doesn’t even know how much maternity pay that she is getting from work yet as she has not received a pay slip from work. She was also told that the £3.86 a week was to top up her maternity pay, which makes my part of the JSA claim £0.00 a week and I’m still expected to spend money to find work an go to sign on while our small ammount of savings my wifes maternity pay and the £3.86 a week JSA that is topping up her maternity pay has to support a family of three.
How the hell am I supposed to go out and find work and go to sign on every forghtnight when technically I’m not getting any JSA to warrent me to do everything that the Job Centre asks of me?
My wife and I didn’t ask for the claim to be a joint claim, it was just thrust upon us when my single claim for JSA got switched from Contributions based JSA to Income based JSA. The DWPs answer was that I’ve got to take my wifes pay slips with me when I next sign on so that they can sort the claim out. Ther thing is that the Job Centre has got a revolving door system with there being that many people currently unemployed and you only get time to confirm your identity and sign on before they go on to the next person.
The people in the offices that work for the DWP/Job Centres don’t see what goes on in the front line of the Job Centres. The whole benifits system is a mess at the moment and I wouldn’t be supprised if the DWP bo this in the hopes that people that are unemployed say fuck it I want to sign off and try and live with no income coming in or with whatever minimum wage income that there partner is bringing in. I for one won’t be bullied into signing off without a job just to make the Governments fiddled statistics that says x million people found employment just to help mmake them look good and there over inflated pay packets look like thety are well earned.