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Student Finance England making a balls up

(10 Posts)
FreeWee Wed 08-Jan-14 19:29:28

My DH is doing a full time PGCE and has been since Sept 13. I went on maternity leave in Feb 13 and have just returned to work on 70% of my previous salary part time. We applied for help with our child care costs through Student Finance England and his two course mates who have children have received money. We have been turned down. They have 2 children each but one only has one in child care. They have husbands who are presumably working full time in at least as well paid jobs as me part time. I appreciate you get 'points' or whatever for number of dependents but I just can't see why they have been given money and we have got absolutely nothing. I've worked with people in poverty in the past and checking the current figures a couple with one dependent child under 11 the poverty line is £272.16 per week. Our comparable income (with the same methodology of deductions) is £188.67 per week. So how can we be refused child care cost support?? We've queried it twice and are now appealing but I really can't see how we're not eligible. From the £188.67 we're supposed to (according to the government methodology) pay for food, heating and transport, as well as in our case child care costs of £111 per week!!! Our childminder is £10 a day less than the local nursery rate so we've already saved by going with a CM as we knew we couldn't afford nursery. Can anyone advise what we should do? Is anyone else in receipt of child care cost support through Student Finance who can show me if SFE have ballsed up or if we really are going to be even more skint than I thought?!

hotair Wed 08-Jan-14 19:58:07

Are you claiming tax credits? Can't claim the childcare if one of you is claiming the childcare element of wtc.
Is your dh a ft student? Is your childminder a relative of either of you? That can all affect it.
The income levels are for One child £13,274 per annum, Two children £19,849 per annum. (After taking off mortgage/rent, council tax and a few other bits and bobs). So unless you're a very higher earning part-time worker you should be under the threshold. It maybe that you need to ask them to do a current year assessment, as if you were previously on 70% that could have a big impact.
Has he applied for the parents learning allowance?
What explanation have they given for turning you down?

FreeWee Thu 09-Jan-14 06:57:40

Not eligible for tax credits as we both earned too much in the previous tax year but will probably be eligible from April (not much good now!) but no we don't claimed the childcare bit of that. He is a full time student (as are his colleagues on the same course who do get). Childminder is OFSTED registered person we found. Our income before taking off bits and bobs is just under £15k and after taking off is definitely under that level. I will let DH know that we need to do a current year assessment as my part time salary is higher than £15k but the last year from April because of mat leave has obviously been a lot lower. We didn't get parents learning allowance. The explanation was 'the assessor has deemed you have sufficient income after blah (whatever that was) to afford child care'. But we obviously disagree! Thank you for your insight into the criteria, especially the income level and suggesting we do a current year assessment. I'll check if we've done that. Thanks again.

hotair Thu 09-Jan-14 18:35:05

yeah from that it sounds like they have assessed you on your pre-maternity leave income, which would be normal (2013-14 would usually be done against your 2011-12 income). As your income is now much lower you will need to get them to reassess. Be warned this will probably take months. You should include a new application for childcare support (and parents learning allowance) with the current year application and send the whole lot recorded delivery. You can do this so long as you have both your CRN's, it doesn't need to be done by your husband.

FreeWee Fri 10-Jan-14 19:38:06

I've checked and apparently the most recent form I filled in was the current year assessment one. But that showed a much lower income than the first form. Aargh! I'm going to have to call them aren't I. I don't suppose they back date payment do they?

Didyeaye Fri 10-Jan-14 20:03:38
FreeWee Sat 11-Jan-14 14:14:10

See that's very interesting Didyeaye They never asked us about our outgoings and DH has spoken to his course mates who were asked to fill in a form about their outgoings. Right, gives me ammunition to phone right now.

FreeWee Sat 11-Jan-14 15:51:53

Turns out they don't check outgoings any more. But they did say they haven't yet calculated our entitlement on our recent (Nov) current year form, only the one we sent back in July. Lady on the phone was lovely but by god it's complicated!!!!

Didyeaye Sat 11-Jan-14 21:43:14

Sorry if that link was out of date!

FreeWee Thu 16-Jan-14 21:20:26

No worries. It only changed this year 2013/14 apparently grin

Spoke to a bloke on the phone who think we might be eligible so keeping everything crossed.

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