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Widow Having To Claim Unemployment Benefit

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bond | 22:05 Thu 06th Jun 2013 | Business & Finance
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Hi, my mother lost her husband (my father) from cancer on 28/6/2012, since then she receives half his work pension (an NHS one), a widows pension and a bereavement benefit. Apparently the last two are ending after a year, ie the end of this month. Her retirement age (state benefit age) is 6/9/13, so she has been told she must sign on as unemployed between 28/6 and 6/9 (as a bereaved 61 year old). Can someone just confirm this is correct, but more importantly with the strict new rules will she be forced to take some job just for a couple of months? Will the benefits people be sympathetic to her situation? I'm worried for her. Thank you.


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Just had a google and yes widows payments end after 12 months. To be honest in your mothers position I do not think they will push her into a job for a couple of months, there may be some reduction in what she is entitled to due to her NHS pension entitlement.
It's possible she may not be entitled to any contribution based JSA (which is not means tested). That depends on past work record & NI payments or credits. If she is not entitled to that she would only be entitled to the means tested JSA if her works pension is low enough (below about £71 p wk) & her savings (if she has any) are less than £6000.

I suggest she goes to the local CAB for them to do a check for her. There may be no point in her claiming JSA.

If she does claim it she will have to enter into a job seekers agreement & abide by its terms or they may sanction her (i.e. withdraw the benefit for a period). All daft in her case, I know - tends to depend on whether she gets to deal with a jobsworth or a person using their commonsense.
at 60+ she should be entitled to pension credit
The age at which Pension Credit can be claimed is the same as the age for a woman to claim State Pension so she would not be able to claim that until pension age in September. With regards to the conditions for receiving JSA it is not a case of someone being a "jobsworth" claimants have to be actively looking for and be available for employment. Even if someone has a job lined up, those conditions need to be satisfied until the claim ends.
getting a job, or seeking work isn't a bad thing - working can be really good for the self esteem and psychological/emotional well being (not that i know anything about your mum of course - it may be she prefers not to work)
however, what the others have said is correct - she wont get contibution jsa if she hasn't been contributing, and the pension may be too much for means tested jsa
There seems to be such a gap in the state planning here, when your mum and dad planned their life and future they would have planned for her to retire at 60 and not have to worry about things like this. The goalposta have been moved and it has created this gap,
Unless she intends to work beyond her pension age (& my reading of the OP was that she won't) she will have to be on JSA for precisely 2 months & 8 days. The likelihood of anyone employing her for that short a period is - in my view -remote in the extreme.

I know what the JSA regulations are, but JC+ decision makers would - I hope - use a bit of discretion in cases such as this in the way they apply the regulations. It was in this context that I referred to jobsworths - not as a general comment on JC+s staff.

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