I'm scared that we are going to starve

(40 Posts)
Newlysingleandstuck Fri 05-Oct-12 12:07:27

I made ex-h leave the family home when we separated, as I was about to sit my degree finals, so didn't have the time to look for a place to rent. They are all over and done with, and I am now working f/t in London.

The family home is 6 miles from dd's school, and 8 miles from the station. We cycle in as the parking costs at the station are too high (£6 a day on top of a £22 commuters rail fare) so we have to leave the house at 6.55am, and don't get home until 7.30pm. Then there is tea, homework, a bath and a story, and dd isn't getting to bed until 9pm at the earliest. I then have work to do from home, so am getting to bed around 1am and am up at 5am to get us ready for the day.

It is killing us both, and I have decided that we need to move out, and ex-h will have to sort the house out until it sells. I have found a place very close to school and only 2 miles from the station, which is absolutely perfect for us. It is an average rental price for our area (Cambridge), but it takes up all of my income (It is £1000 pcm. There are places that are £950, but they are much further out, so I would rather pay the extra £50 and be sane!). I don't know what to do. I have tried renting bedsits and 1 bed flats, but no letting agents will let me as I have dd (apparently this makes me a Bad Person-she sleeps in with me most nights and she would have the bedroom anyway, I would have a sofa bed).

I am so stressed about all of it. I really do want to just curl up and die, but know that that is no use to dd.

I am on a full time vocational course, so was advised that I could possibly apply for benefits, but my decision came back stating that I am only allowed child tax credits. Dd is too old for me to get income support, but because I cannot be available for work I cannot get jobseekers allowance. I am therefore not entitled to any housing benefit. I really am at my wits end, as I cannot fit another job in during the week, and at the weekend I need to look after dd, as I have no friends or family that can watch her for me.

This is the first time I have ever felt that there is no way out, but I really can't see one. I'm petrified.

lilachair Fri 05-Oct-12 18:09:11

I'm on a full time course and receiving full Housing Benefit. They needed a Student Certificate from my college and details of any other income. They don't count maintenance, child tax credits or child benefit. If you have a one stop shop for your local council, go in. You may have to hang about a bit. Take as much info as you can with you. Bank statements, P60 etc. They will also sort out your council tax as it is linked.

Agree with going for free school meals, and because my DDs get them, breakfast club at their school is also half price. \

good luck x

lilachair Fri 05-Oct-12 18:11:02

Sorry. Missed half of the thread. Hope it gets sorted for you.

Whitecherry Fri 05-Oct-12 18:16:43

Are you working op? I'm confused?

detectivebeaver Sat 06-Oct-12 17:47:04

I got full HB as a single parent at uni. It almost entirely covered my rent. I had to pay about £30pcm as a top up. I am certain you have been misinformed. Definitely make a claim for HB.

ParsleyTheLioness Sun 07-Oct-12 15:16:19

Well done getting the degree! Sounds like things might be about to get better for you. Hope so. When do you expect to hear about Housing Benefit?

ponygirlcurtis Tue 09-Oct-12 21:36:25

Hey newlysingle, just wanted to say hi because I became a single mum in Cambridge too (five years ago), and so I know about the struggle with rental prices, parking costs, etc. I'm no longer in Cambridge, and I miss it! It's an expensive place to live, but it's a lovely place to be.
Hope you sort out the housing benefit, I agree that it sounds like you should be able to get it. I've just applied for it too, so fingers crossed we both get it.

Jennynero Sat 13-Oct-12 22:59:52

Hi Newlysingle, I hope you have managed to get some advice about benefits. Most council websites have a link to an online benefits calculator where you enter your income (and outgoings) and it gives you an idea of what you may be entitled to. I would take any Tax Credits with a pinch of salt though as they have lowered the amount you are allowed to earn before you are entitled.

I really can relate to you. I am a single mum to three boys and have recently moved to London from west yorkshire, as I secured a full time training job in the NHS, which also involves undertaking a part time masters.

The online calculator said I am entitled to housing benefit (I have not applied yet) and I earn £30,000 pa so I am sure you would qualify if you were on a student loan or bursery.

Life can be so tough at times but you are doing this for all the right reasons and your daughter will be so proud of you for not giving up. Life has a way of throwing things at you when you don't think you can take anymore, you just have to have the strength and faith in yourself that one day you will look back and realise what you have achieved.

I have been so fortunate that my brother lives in London and I have been able to stay with him until we find our own house (our rent will be £1,350- a typical 2/3 bed house in Walthamstow) and I have had to borrow money from my parents for the bond etc. Just when I thought things were manageable, I have had a letter from Tax Credits saying I owe them £5000 for last year and I have no idea why.

I wish the government would give more support to single Mums who study so we can work ourselves out of the benefit trap and work to secure a better future for our children.

I wish you all the best of luck X

achillea Sat 13-Oct-12 23:08:34

Hi Newlysingle, you might also want to try Gingerbread, they have a helpline and will give you a very detailed and thorough breakdown of your benefit entitlements.

TheObfuscatoryOven Sun 14-Oct-12 07:46:26

Have you thought about trying to find a flat share with another single parent?

Also wanted to say that there will be food banks near you - worth having a google. You won't starve. Good luck x

monicarhm Wed 14-Aug-13 14:48:09

Are you still living in Cambridge? I was considering applying for a course down there, but with a little girl too, it would be far too expensive and lonely!!!
How have you been coping recently??
I know how hard it it sad In in my early twenties, and have all my years of university with my daughter! This will be my last year of education...!!
We will get there! Will be worth it in the end!

KateCroydon Wed 14-Aug-13 20:13:48

Could you sell the car?

More importantly, good work on getting this far.

saggyhairyarse Thu 15-Aug-13 00:32:31

When I was studying and on benefits there was a box to tick that said you would be available for work, the advisor said I should tick that box...

PearlyWhites Thu 15-Aug-13 18:56:05

The advisor is WRONG you should claim housing benefit it has absolutely nothing to do with IS or JSA

mummylin Thu 15-Aug-13 19:05:34

This is an old thread

PearlyWhites Sat 17-Aug-13 21:23:09

Oh yes flipping zombies, hope the op got it sorted

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