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Statutory maternity pay - am I seriously meant to survive on £128 a week!

(88 Posts)
Lozza05 Tue 10-May-11 22:56:35

can anyone help advise on whether statutory maternity pay will make me a low income earner? This is my first child and I'm confused about what help I can get in terms of benefits. My salary would not class me as low earner generally but once the 6 weeks 90% pay is over and I'm on £128 per week, will that put me in a low earner bracket?
I don't see how smp will cover anything but it's not clear what other benefits I will get. Any advice much appreciated, currently panicking over how my partner alone will cover all costs without a real salary from me!

Summerworld Fri 11-Oct-13 13:02:55

no, you won't be classed as a low earner just because you went on maternity leave. You are still regarded as employed on whatever terms you normally work. This is exteremely unhelpful and this is why so many mothers go back to work sooner that they would have hoped. The only thing you can do is to call CTC and estimate your income for this tax year and next financial year when it is there, so CTC award you the correct amount of money. But as to any other benefits, you are at a big disadvantage because you are classed as employed (FT?) and married, so unless you husband earns very very low amount, you are entitled to nothing other that CB and CTC. Worth checking the websites posted here, but your case does not sound too hopeful, sorry....

SoonToBeSix Fri 11-Oct-13 14:42:32

Kipling yes I realise that the op won't get maternity on top of a wage and their will be a shortfall. However the op will have £900 a month, plus another wage that is deemed to high for hb, no travel costs for the op or childcare costs plus tax credits and cb for her ds . I am confused about why she cannot cope financially am not saying she will have spare money but surely that would be enough to live on or am I missing something?

Rockchick1984 Fri 11-Oct-13 14:45:45

Soontobesix the OP has said she won't get tax credits, so will be around £650 per month not £900?

KiplingBag Fri 11-Oct-13 14:45:45

ah I get you now soontobe.

mummybearah Fri 11-Oct-13 14:48:06

debtcamel- thank you! I'll be a single mummy. I had a look at the turn2us website and it really didn't give me much hope! Maybe I'm doing something wrong so will try again when I get home.

DSM- oh how I understand your frustration sends a hug

I also feel at a loss. At this point I'm thinking I'll have to go back to mum and dads.. who live in a different city! But my only option. I believe once babies are born I'll score a few points in terms of benefits... (God that sounds awful!)

Thanks everyone for all the ideas !

SoonToBeSix Fri 11-Oct-13 15:26:11

Rick chic she hasn't said she won't get tax credits she said she won't get ct as in council tax benefit.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 11-Oct-13 16:34:06

The OP says she has never claimed a penny in benefits so presumbly doesnt claim tax credits or child benefit.

Given she doesnt want to work nights or weekends, she is very limited with regards to making up the loss of her salary but it sounds like the DH is a high earner so childcare vouchers via salary sacrifice may be an option to assist with childcare costs.

Babyroobs Fri 11-Oct-13 17:00:30

I've always worked nights and weekends around my husband even when we had 4 kids under 7 and had to go back to work when each one was 6 months old. It was incredibly tough but really there was no other option as we weren't entitled to any help from tax credits etc. I'd say my mental and physical health suffered and still is suffering after 14 years of working like this!

frogwatcher42 Fri 11-Oct-13 17:02:14

It does sound like ops dh is a high earner. Therefore it is highly unlikely they will get any help whatsoever.

Op - assuming the above, your only option is to cut back, move to cheaper accomodation, work more (either dh or yourself - you say it wont be enough but surely it will help as you wouldn't have any childcare costs if you worked weekends).

How did you manage childcare for ds1? That would be a saving if you worked shifts around each other as he wouldnt need any.

myBOYSareBONKERS Sat 12-Oct-13 23:11:02

Spread your council tax payment over 12 mths instead of 10.

Cancel landline and use free minutes on mobile.

Take out a 0% credit card and use it to pay off any loans. You can then save money each month by just paying the minimum amount.

Stop any pension scheme payments for now but do restart again when sorted!

thistlelicker Sat 12-Oct-13 23:26:00

I only
In 1st trimester of pregnancy and already worried about mat leave/money! I earn 14550 per year and dh earns 12300. So when I go on mat leave we in the shit because I'm the higher earner and sometimes it's 300 extra a month more than him! We already on the basics of life! We have a car due to my location of work, he gets the bus he doesn't drive, we rent, we also have a debt plan due to is having badly advised loans about 7 years ago! Baby was accident(told we need fertility treatment) but anyway it's happened
But I worry! We don't have luxury a and we don't smoke or drink! But we don't have spare to save for when may leave starts!

Im just a bit meh over it all!!

IdaClair Sat 12-Oct-13 23:56:59

When I had DC1 I couldn't get any maternity pay, and couldn't qualify for maternity allowance. Eventually I did manage to get income support, for a little while, then got tax credits. I tried to put the mortgage on a payment break, but they said no, I went deep into arrears and ended up in court trying to save the house (I did, eventually, with repayment plans). Then my gas and electricity went on prepayment meters. When DC1 was 4 months old the boiler broke and stayed broken until I was able to fix it 11 months later so we had no heating or hot water to spend gas on anyway. I had baths at friends houses. The food budget was £25 per week and that was a huge chunk of income. I BF and used cloth nappies. DH worked two jobs, one regular hours and three nights a week, I went back to work four evenings a week when DC was 11 weeks. We got there, it was all OK in the end. We saved the house, had a new boiler put in when DC was a toddler, payed off the debts, managed. DC was fine. For second DC, I actually got maternity pay and was able to take 5 months off completely, no debts, was bliss. It's not easy, I never saw DH, we had awful relationship problems, I hated leaving DC, I hated taking DC to court for repossession hearings - but the world did not implode and we're alright now.

debtcamel Sun 13-Oct-13 15:56:13

@Thistlelicker "We have a car due to my location of work, he gets the bus he doesn't drive, we rent, we also have a debt plan due to is having badly advised loans about 7 years ago!"

a debt, plan - who with? If it's with a fee chargging company you need to switch NOW to a charity that doesnt charge any fees so all your money goes to repay your debts, see debtcamel.co.uk/debt-options/dmp/

how much do you owe? because it may be necessary to rethink whether you can afford to repay ANYTHING to your debts.

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