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single student working parent

(5 Posts)
nadine90 Thu 21-Nov-13 00:41:42

Hi all, hope I've put this in the right place? I'm a single mother of one 3yo child. I am also in my second year of studying full time for a degree and am working 16 hours a week. I managed ok last year although my time was very limited I just about got through with good grades. However, this year I'm finding it a lot more difficult. The work is much harder and my schedule is busier and I feel my uni work is suffering and that I'm not spending enough time with my lo. Further to this, in order to get into the field I wish to once I've graduated I need to do some voluntary work to gain experience but I have zero time to do this. I really want to quit my job but I'm worried if I do I won't be able to claim benefits. I have tried researching this but am getting nowhere. Has anyone else been in this situation and know what financial help I could get? I get no financial help from lo's dad as he's not working, I struggle as it is financially just scraping through each month.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 21-Nov-13 08:18:49

As a student you are probably best advised to talk to your Student Services/Welfare team at the uni. There are certain grants available to people in your situation that are not applicable to non-students.

I am not surprised that you are struggling!

You may be able to claim Income Support (depends on what grant you are getting). You will be able to claim Housing Benefit, Child Benefit & Child Tax Credit see http://www.turn2us.org.uk/?page=19668.

This page is aimed at students in Scotland but I think the refs to benefits are the same for students in England http://www.cpag.org.uk/sites/default/files/cpag-scot-factsheet-students-lone-parents-May-13.pdf

As a full time student you never have to pay any council tax.

(I never make any money from links in my posts.)

Pembers Tue 26-Nov-13 21:56:05

I was in your situation the past few years! Check with student welfare that you are getting your full entitlement to student grants and loans etc.
are you eligible for a student bank account with overdraft?

IMO, full time Uni and child is enough, the demands of Uni will only increase as the course progresses, and you don't want to end up regretting not having been able to put more time to your studies and with your child.
What is the degree and type of voluntary work needed? Speak to your lecturers, they might be able to suggest a way around it, eg doing volunteering as credits towards your course, or they might be able to suggest a volunteering opportunity that would fit in around your time?
Also, your are most likely eligible for access to learning fund and any bursaries.
Hope this helps

paperlantern Tue 26-Nov-13 22:34:31

Google government benefits calculator.
put in your situation as it will be if you weren't working. it will tell you exactly what you would be eligible for.
The other thing you might find that if your not earning student loans will loan/grant you a little more

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