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Saturday, November 27, 2010

The stress I have encountered after returning to work!

Hi everyone.
I just wanted to share my recent experiences with you. As you may know I recently decided to start work (you can find out more here!)
As a single parent I knew there would be a lot to sort out benefit wise; signing off income support, housing benefit and sorting out working tax credits. As I have no clue how to do any of this, I made an appointment with the lone parent advisor at my local job centre. I thought that she would sort everything out there and then for me..... this was not the case. She gave me a contact number and told me to ring the in work team. I did this and the man I spoke to didn't know what team I was asking for!
I then rang the income support office and explained I had started work and I needed to end my claim for income support. I thought once I had done this everything would fall into place..... this was not the case!
After signing off income support I rang up the working tax credit office and answered their questions and they updated my file. From friends I thought the tax credits would take FOREVER! But within a week I had received  my payment and award letter. Along with this I had received a letter from my local council saying I was no longer entitled to housing benefit because my job wasn't expected to last more than 5 weeks..... this was not the case! I was confused and didn't know what to do. I started to stress!
I knew my job was permanent and would last well over 5 weeks! After a number of telephone calls the problem was discovered. When I signed off income support they didn't ask where I was working or how long my employment was going to last. They presumed it would last no more than 5 weeks!
I went back into my local job centre yesterday and *fingers crossed* have hopefully sorted it out. Only time will tell and I will only know once I receive my award letter!
From this experience I can totally see why people who have been on benefits do not return to work. The job centre say they give you the support you need when you need it; but this was not the case!

Has anyone had any stressful situations when they were trying to return back to work?

Aside this problem, I am settling into my new role well and Jack is gradually accepting mummy is going to work and settling into nursery. He has picked up a number of colds and coughs (the joys of nursery's!) and brought mummy home lots of lovely paintings. The nursery tell me he is forming friendships there now as he is going more regularly. I am confident the tears I see when I leave him are only crocodile ones!