to hate A4E ?

(9 Posts)

I worked before I had children and when they were little until I found out that my youngest child had special needs. My partner worked throughout this but was very abusive. I finally kicked him out a year and a half ago.
I ended up on benefits and felt terrible about it as I knew people were judging me for it. After one year of searching for work I was made to attend A4E to get help finding a job. They agreed that I should only work full time as I have no family to help with childcare.
Anyway they found me a job as a support worker which they assured me was part-time and told me I had to take it. I was very pleased to be going back to work.
Three months down the line I'm still working there but now do about 55 hours a week which includes two nights away from home. I have tried to get the hours changed with work but they wont do that.
So I went back to A4E and explained that I couldn't work these hours as I had no one to look after my 11 and 12 year old sons. I was told to leave the children alone overnight or find childcare.
I can't afford this as I get minimum wage for the first 126 hours a month and a flat rate of £50 for the overnights which makes up the rest of my hours. My ex demands £50 plus money for food for every night he has them and I'm slowly falling apart having to cope with this.
No one will help despite the fact that i have a heart condition and money is a struggle. I am not claiming housing benefit despite the fact i would get it as I just feel so ashamed to be unable to afford to look after my children on my own. I still claim tax credits as without them I would struggle even more.
So question is what do I do? Increase my hours even more so i can stop having to rely on tax credits and not be a 'workshy scrounger' and accept that i will no longer be able to see my children or do I give up and go back on benefits?
would really appreciate some advice and thanks for getting this far and sorry for lenght, any spelling/grammar mistakes and ramble. I guess I just needed to get it all out

Whitecherry Tue 09-Oct-12 20:48:30

You give your ex money? No, it should be the other way round!

Whitecherry Tue 09-Oct-12 20:50:39

At those ages you would have to go on jobseekers. staying home with them is not an option

Claim housing benefit and council tax benefit.... There is no shame.

breadandbutterfly Tue 09-Oct-12 20:51:20

That is mad.Where do you live? Surely someone on here can help you get a better-paid local job? You can't leave 2 dcs alone 2 nights a week - that is crazy advice - feel for you.

What is this country coming to?

littleducks Tue 09-Oct-12 20:54:26

What dies your contract say your hours are? (do you have one?) could you switch back to only working contracted hours? Or get fired for not being available 55hrs a week, go back job seekers and look for a job yourself that suits your requirements (no overnights)

I live in Northamptonshire and I am looking for other work. I know I need another job as I will get no benefits if I give up this job because of the hours. I am not workshy. I love my job it's just the worry of my kids being alone for such long hours. The hours i'm working are starting to make my heart condition bad again but I don't feel able to stop work. I don't think I want too much getting a job of 40 hours at minimum wage. I just lie awake at night and cry as this is all too much for me to cope with

Claim housing benefit.

Stop paying your ex for "minding" his own kids. (Seriously??)

Check your contract of employment.

Start looking for another job. Long shot at the minute really but still look.

Stop worrying about being a scrounger. You arent.

littleducks Wed 10-Oct-12 09:46:07

It is hard to find another job (but harder if your not looking wink)

I think you need to cut hours. Claim HV and council tax benefit and take the consequences of cutting hours, even if that is loosing job and going on job seekers, which tbh dmsoubds better tab present situation

FolkGhoul Wed 10-Oct-12 10:51:27

Why are you giving your ex money?

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