Are foster carers able to claim income support?

(14 Posts)
ohoneybeeo Sun 02-Mar-14 19:35:17

I've googled this but unable to get a clear answer.
My situation would be that I'd (hopefully) be a foster carer. Apart from fostering, I would have no income.
I'd be a single foster carer, and although wouldn't have a mortgage to pay, I still will have my monthly bills.
Does anyone know?

Gillian1980 Sun 02-Mar-14 20:26:04

I think you can while you are actually fostering but not between placements. As you are unable to work due to caring for a child. But you can't work in any other employment for more than 16 hours per week.

I think while you're without a placement you're not entitled as they consider you available for work.

ohoneybeeo Sun 02-Mar-14 20:45:59

Thankyou. That's a bit of a pain, as it wouldn't really be possible to get short term jobs with very little notice in between placements.
Good to find out you can get it during placements though. Thanks smile

Fostering allowance isn't taxable income, so yes. But you would have to sign onto jsa between placements confused

ohoneybeeo Sun 02-Mar-14 20:52:45

Thanks Elrikur, it's all sounding a little complicated lol.
I haven't even started the process yet (hopefully April), but obviously I need to look at options as I will need to pay bills.

Hopefully you wouldn't have much time between placements, especially if you foster for a local authority. You also might find they would negotiate a small retainer for empty weeks, that might bridge the gap.

ohoneybeeo Sun 02-Mar-14 21:04:39

Thanks! I will definitely ask these questions on the initial visit smile

scarlet5tyger Mon 03-Mar-14 10:40:11

Yes you can claim income support if a single carer - I do.

At the moment you have to change to Job seekers allowance if you have a break between placements, but that is to change with universal credit.

You can only claim income support for children under 5 though. As younger children are being brought into care less frequently you might want to weigh up the chances of having a more regular fostering income with older children against the more likely gaps between placements with younger children.

scarlet5tyger Mon 03-Mar-14 10:42:59

I forgot to say - I think you have to be fostering for your Local Authority (as opposed to an agency) to be entitled to benefits.

ghostinthecanvas Mon 03-Mar-14 10:46:21

Perhaps you should consider permanent fostering? That way you won't have gaps. Research local authority payments and independent. Decide which is better for you.

ohoneybeeo Mon 03-Mar-14 15:38:51

I was going to ask for ages 0-10.
So if I'm fostering an 8year old then I won't be eligable for income support?
Thanks for the help everyone x

scarlet5tyger Mon 03-Mar-14 19:56:26

No, you wouldn't be eligible for an 8 year old.

Some carers I know claim working tax credit but I'm not sure how that works.

newfostermummy Thu 06-Mar-14 19:47:25

I'm a single carer, don't have any children of my own. I am able to claim Working Tax Credit. (Don't claim JSA as I foster babies). Apart from fostering, I get a small income from a pension scheme. I'm with LA.

ohoneybeeo Thu 06-Mar-14 20:23:13

Newfostermummy, I also don't have any children of my own.
Are you able to claim working tax credit with over 5s also? And can you claim in between placements? Thankyou

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