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Benefits and right to reside for parents of schoolchildren

C211-12 (JSA)

This A8 national* worked in Northern Ireland for almost two years with the same employer before he was made redundant in the economic downturn.  He had registered his employment but as there was a gap of more than 30 days in the employment, he needed to re-register for a new twelve months period.  Neither he nor his employer understood this.

When he claimed Income-based JSA in November 2009, he was refused as he was found not to have a right to reside.  His daughter was at secondary school here and she was then taken into care, largely because her parents had no income and were homeless.

The Law Centre represented him at an appeal which was disallowed and we appealed the decision to the social security commissioner.  The commissioner allowed the appeal and found that he did have a right to reside when he made his initial claim as he had a child at school.

We convinced the SSA to pay JSA for the period when his daughter was in care and he was looking for work.  Housing Benefit was also backdated to cover the periods for which he was paid income-based JSA.  He has successfully made a fresh claim for JSA*.

We are currently helping him with issues of substantial housing debt and legal costs of eviction that arose when he was not paid benefit.

* A8 nationals are people from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia,Lithuania, Poland, Slovak Republic or Slovenia. Since May 2011, A8 nationals have had the same benefit entitlements as EEA nationals.

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