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A question about Benefits for teenagers.


Lisa O`Brien
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My 19 year old son has never had a job and has never claimed any benefits. The first year of his HND has just finished and he will,obviously not be going back again to college until September [that is,if the second year of the course is even going to go ahead]. Looking on our local Jobs and Benefits website, I found out that he will be applying for Income Based Jobseeker's Allowance,as opposed to Contribution Based Jobseeker's Allowance [as he has never paid any National Insurance contributions]. Can I ask people,who maybe have teenagers who have gone through this themselves, is Sean entitled to claim Jobseeker's Allowance from now until September,even though he will be going back to college in September? Or is the fact he is a full time Higher Education student,albeit at the end of the first year of study, going to make him ineligible for financial help? He wants to get a job to tide him over the summer as soon as he can. Thanks.

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Thanks Alison. Yes I was already on that website. It says "Not in Full Time Education". He received a Student Loan and Maintenance Grant but it was only for during term time. He won't be going back to college for 13 weeks. As I said he is going to look for a job ASAP for the summer, but we were wondering what on earth happens if he is not able to find a job. Am I supposed to financially support him from now until September?  As it happens, after his work placement at the primary school today if he has time he is going to call into the local Social Security office and make an enquiry. They should be able to clarify if he is eligible or not.

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When my son struggled to find work during the summer at the end of his first year at uni, he was told he was not eligible as the student loan was designed at covering the whole year - England though. He is wise to call in in person and ask though as I believe they do consider applications on an individual basis in view of personal circumstances so the fact that it is unknown if the second year of the course is even going ahead may sway things in his favour as well as family arrangements.

 

With a 13 week break though I imagine he can find something. Its quite a long break - and especially if it is continuous.

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When my son struggled to find work during the summer at the end of his first year at uni, he was told he was not eligible as the student loan was designed at covering the whole year - England though. He is wise to call in in person and ask though as I believe they do consider applications on an individual basis in view of personal circumstances so the fact that it is unknown if the second year of the course is even going ahead may sway things in his favour as well as family arrangements.

 

With a 13 week break though I imagine he can find something. Its quite a long break - and especially if it is continuous.

Thanks 2dancers. Ideally he would like some sort of shop work, but it's nothing he has done before. However our local Hospice has a recently opened coffee shop and they are looking for volunteers to work there for a minimum of 4 hours a week. It said they don't mind if someone doesn't have any previous retail experience as they will train them from scratch and it also said it would be suitable for someone with an interest in health issues [Ties in with his Health and Social Care course]. But he still has Assignments to hand in ,before 3rd June which is officially the last day,even though classes have now ended. He will need these next few days to get these last Assignments finished,typed up and handed in before committing himself to anything at the Hospice. But he will also be continuing at the school every Thursday and Friday for the next four weeks until the end of the school year on 30th June.

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What does your son want to do job-wise when he has finished his course? Could he look for a job related to his chosen career? With his training jobs in care homes and with holiday play schemes may be a possibility. Unfortunately, Saturday and holiday jobs are harder to get than they used to be. Employers usually want experience and, in my experience, teenagers who don't have relevant experience often get jobs through connections. Sometimes, you have to do a period of voluntary work to get the experience that employers want. It's tough for young people and, imo, schools and universities have unrealistically raised their expectations.

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All he wants to do is retail work. He decided a while back that he doesnt want to do anything even remotely related to Health and Social Care in any way. But seeing as he has never worked in a shop he might hate it when he tries it out,I don't know. I asked various welfare/benefits advice people online this afternoon. The last payment he received at the start of April [maintenance grant ]was supposed to last him right through the summer as well. He spent a large portion of his on clothes. We both thought it was only for term time. [Not that I wanted him to spend his money on clothes you understand.]

Edited by Lisa O`Brien
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All he wants to do is retail work. He decided a while back that he doesnt want to do anything even remotely related to Health and Social Care in any way. But seeing as he has never worked in a shop he might hate it when he tries it out,I don't know. I asked various welfare/benefits advice people online this afternoon. The last payment he received at the start of April [maintenance grant ]was supposed to last him right through the summer as well. He spent a large portion of his on clothes. We both thought it was only for term time. [Not that I wanted him to spend his money on clothes you understand.]

Lisa, has he tried somewhere like McDonalds ? Both my (non dancing ) DS have done this in their holidays. Also the Co-op and as Bell Boys in local hotels....Good Luck. x

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My experience echoes that of 2dancersmum above - while my son was at uni (before dropping out with two years of loan and nothing to show for it...), he tried to claim benefits during the holidays and was told the maintenance part of his loan was intended to cover the whole year. The subtext is that parents are expected to pay, as the amount that they actually get loaned for maintenance is also dependent on the parents' income. My other son, having tried to make a go as a DJ straight from school for a couple of years, has now decided to go to uni and from the student finance forms it looks like I'm going to be expected to pay his living costs :angry: .  

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My 16-year-old found it remarkably easy to get a part-time retail job (big fashion chain that is part of a nationwide department store). She said she wanted to get a job in a shop (wanted the staff discount) and I helped her draft a CV (not that there was much to put on it!) We made it clear she was still at school, put on her week's worth of work experience - in the local cinema - her GCSEs, the little bit of baby-sitting she'd done, anything else that would make her look good - like Duke of Edinburgh's Award and National Citizen Service. She went to the relevant shop, handed the CV in. They phoned her after a week, called her for an interview, and then phoned to offer her a job the next day. She'd only handed in the one CV at one shop!

 

If only all job hunts were so easy! I was absolutely astonished. I'd been full of warning talk, like, "Don't get your hopes up too much. Maybe a bit of voluntary work first. Try a few other shops as well," etc.

 

Now, whether she was just very lucky or the timing was right (she applied before Christmas) I don't know. We do live in London, so  perhaps there are more opportunities. Also, perhaps shops might be keener on taking on younger ones because they don't have to pay them the same as older workers?

 

I'm with the other posters - I don't think your son will be able to claim any benefits. But he has lots of work experience, even unpaid, with his placements, so that should stand him in good stead.

Edited by rowan
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There's a job I found on a website which would have been ideal. Working in the Canal Court Hotel, Newry's only four star hotel. It's lovely in there. The job was taking orders from the customers who were seated in the restaurant, giving the order to the back room people, then serving the meals and drinks and clearing the tables clean afterwards. Nice place to work. Only problem is he needs the next four weeks free to be able to continue in the school until 30th June,and possibly increasing his hours as well. He is supposed to have a minimum 200 hours work experience this year and the same again next year. He has no-where near as many hours as that. He is hoping the school will let him go in and help more than just the Thursday and Friday he does now. Even though his actual lessons will have finished, most of the students do not have enough hours work experience. The course co-ordinator has had to write to each work placement asking if they would allow the students to continue their placements there for as long as possible. If we can financially just get through from now until the end of the school term, so he can make up the hours, after that he will be free after then he can ,first of all, maybe do some voluntary retail /coffee shop work first or apply for jobs [or both ,probably!]. So it is just going to have to be a case of managing financially for the next few weeks. 

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