My notice period from work ran out last Thursday, so today I duly contacted the Job Centre to see about what unemployment benefits I may be entitled to. At the very least I’ll get my NI stamp paid, but I did think after 6 years of paying into the system in the “recognised” way (i.e. not self-employed) that I might be entitled to something.
And yes, because I’m not married either (although the “proper job” had more to do with it), it seems I “may” be entitled to Job Seeker’s Allowance for “up to” 182 days.
I had a long-winded conversation with them on the phone this morning, and I have to go through it all again on Thursday, in person, and I even have to take with me proof of the cash in hand I have … What do I do? Show it them? (Yes, apparently …)
I’ve not been entitled to unemployment benefit of any sort for so long because I was usually self-employed and married. So this time, while I get on my feet, I’m damned if I’m not going to claim.
They also reckon they can find me a job … or they did, until I told them what I do. Not much call for magazine editors in Barnsley. Or book editors. And when I say I’m also a writer, they ask if I’ve ever had anything published … I bet they don’t ask the out-of-work dustman if he ever empties any dustbins!
It was only an initial phone call, but already I feel dirty, sullied and violated. And I have to go through it all again on Thursday, when I also take them my proof of cash in hand …
Today it’s all hands to the pump. I need to clear the work I have and pitch for more, shift another assignment, and at the very least get some letters or fillers out. My target this week is 3 (fillers/letters). I also have a novel to kickstart.