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Who really gets £500+ weekly state benefits?

(713 Posts)
vivizone Wed 21-Nov-12 21:04:49

I find this shit so hard to believe. Reading the media, you would think this was a common figure on life on benefits.

Yesterday and today's Metro newspaper - people writing in saying they agree with the cap of £500 and why should people be sat on their arse and be rewarded by £500 per week. . Why should they earn £200 per week working and people are getting £500 a week doing nothing.

Seriously, who gets this £500 per week that is being peddled out of the media? I spent 7 months out of work after redundancy and I could not live on the pittance I received for me and my children. I do not know how people do it. I really don't. I had a decent redundancy package and that was the only way I could make it.

How many people do you know (forget the newspaper stories) that are RECEIVING £500 or more every week? I thought so.

How come if life is/was that cushy on benefits, not enough people are/were packing in their jobs to join a life of riley?

We have been had. Life on benefits is HARD and DEMORALISING. I have tried it and I can tell you you get PEANUTS.

The reason why stories run on people living in million dollar homes/getting thousands a week in benefits is because it is RARE. It is SO rare, that it gets reported on.

GailTheGoldfish Wed 21-Nov-12 21:35:57

Mamamibbo surely the DLA would be for your DS, not for you?

Meglet Wed 21-Nov-12 21:36:33

When both the DC's were at nursery I was on almost £300 a week in childcare tax credits alone (more than I earn), which still didn't cover the full cost of childcare.

I don't receive housing benefit but if I did I can easily see how despite working someone could recive £500 a week in benefits if they also have large childcare costs.

ethelb Wed 21-Nov-12 21:36:37

@whiteandyellow like people who earn under £381 a week grin

like me on my national average salary

Mintyy Wed 21-Nov-12 21:36:37

Do some people really think it is £500 after housing and/or disabilities taken into account?

takataka Wed 21-Nov-12 21:36:55

yeah..i dont know figures, but there are people in my family who live very well on benefits; go on holidays, run cars I imagine its probably in that region.....I think probably if you are long term benefit claimant you become more aware of what you are entitled to claim??

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 21-Nov-12 21:38:48


That's very very odd because if you rented a 1 bed place in Buckingham palace the max hb you would get is £250. PW

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 21-Nov-12 21:40:50

ethelb, well, i was thinking more able people that struggle by on minimum wage
the nmw needs to be increased to a living wage

and yes yes some people will argue that will put firms out of business, but if they cannot pay their employees a living wage then its not really a proper business

ModreB Wed 21-Nov-12 21:40:51

I am a Housing Officer for a Local Authority. I know of 2 unrelated families on my estate with 10 and 12 (yes 10 & 12 shock) children who get £2000+ per week in benefits, when you factor in Child Benefit, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credits, Income Support, DLA, Income Support and Carers Allowance.

This is on an estate of about 600 properties. It's not as rare as you think.

ethelb Wed 21-Nov-12 21:42:20

I live in a v expensive area in London. To be near DPs work. The irony hmm

£250 pw is still 1250pcm. That's the take home for someone on about £21k. Pleanty of people on £21k don't have £250pw to spend on rent. Plenty of people on a duel income of about £30k don't have £250pw to spend on rent.

That would only be doable with £40k income before tax if you wanted to be able to afford to turn the heating on tbh.

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 21-Nov-12 21:43:00

takas right, plus if you live in an area where alot of people are on benefits and its the norm, people will discuss ways to get the most benefits etc

StaceeJaxx Wed 21-Nov-12 21:43:04

Nope I don't know anyone on that either. DH has been out of work for 3 months, we get £310 per week for 2 adults and 2 children and that includes HB and CTB. Our rent is £101 per week.

ethelb Wed 21-Nov-12 21:44:29

@white I was being ironic grin

My point is that you don't have to be a low earner for benefits to look quite juicy. I earn national average wage and I don't earn as much as just housing benefit in my area.

But I know we don't like to talk about the squeezed middle on MN.

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 21-Nov-12 21:45:10

modreb, say the families that get 2k a week
what would you say they are left with after paying all their bills etc

can't see how they spend that much, although they must spend alot on food iguess

AudrinaAdare Wed 21-Nov-12 21:47:04

DLA is not and should not be counted as it is not an out-of-work or means- tested benefit.

I do know someone who will be affected not because she rents an enormous house in Kensington but because she first became pregnant at fifteen and has gone on to have a further seven children with three other men. It's nearly £500 just in tax credits and income support and excludes child benefit and housing / council tax benefit.

She obviously thought it was worth doing at the time, but really, her life is nothing to be envious of. The future always looked incredibly bleak once the children had left and she had no skills or employment history but it looks bloody terrible now and there are eight children who will bear the brunt of it so I find it very distasteful when people are gleeful about the cap.

There are also many neglectful absent parents out there with multiple children but they are not the ones who will be demonised, or struggling to feed or house them.

ihearsounds Wed 21-Nov-12 21:47:55

When you count in housing and council tax, yes the total is over £500 a week depending on area and the number of children.
No the rent and ct doesnt go directly to the claimant (unless private), but its still 'income'. If you worked and got the same wage as someone with 4 children (used this number as I have 4 lol) you would then have to pay rent.
For example 4 children - ctc, cb, is/jsa is £348 a week. This would be mine to keep. Plus add onto this rent £150 amd ct £29 a week is £529 a week. Never mind fsm, prescriptions, reduction of school trips, reductions for days out etc.
And yes I know a few people who are now crapping themsleves because they get this amount of more, and not working because after rent and ct they wont be left with over £300 a week.

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 21-Nov-12 21:48:39

ethelb, oh sorry i missed the fact you were being ironicgrin

yes the middle is quite a shit place to be at times, as you feel you get no help yet things are still tight.
its crazy that you earn the national average and that you dont earn as just housing benefit in your area

its madness

i strongly disagree with the selling off of council houses, its really done none of us any favours at all

OptimisticPessimist Wed 21-Nov-12 21:49:56

I'm a LP with 3 kids and a local housing allowance of £130pw, I don't get over £500 but if I had 4 kids I'd be just over I think. I got more than £500 when I worked.

I think the ones that get much over the £500 are those with both large families and living in expensive areas - housing benefit is already capped locally so you can only get enough to cover the bottom 30% of appropriately sized properties in the area.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 21-Nov-12 21:51:07

I'm sure someone will come along soon with the actual DWP link ( that my addled in bed poorly brain can't quite remember ) that confirms according to the DWP a very very tiny % of benefit claimants are long term and have more than 3 kids.

mamamibbo Wed 21-Nov-12 21:51:54

gail, yes its would be for ds but i dont claim it (for him) because he doesnt cost me any extra than my other children do so i dont think we need it? if he had expensive needs then i would

ModreB Wed 21-Nov-12 21:51:55

White they have top of the range cars, a family caravan in Wales, top end TV's, Sky subscription etc etc. The disposable income is more than mine and I earn in excess of £30k a year. With 3 DC's, 2 of which do not now live at home.

Catsdontcare Wed 21-Nov-12 21:53:31

I agree that dla should not be classed as an out of work benefit. If you can claim it for your child who has asd mammaniboo then I would do so even if you put it in a savings account for him as you just don't know if there will be a time when it's needed. We use ds's dla to access therapies that are available on the nhs but are not being offered to ds (occupational therapy, speech therapy, dietician, etc)

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 21-Nov-12 21:54:28

Why do people feel the need to add that the children have different dads? Is it relevant in any way?

Dawndonna Wed 21-Nov-12 21:54:53

as was said before DLA is not an out of work benefit and should not therefore be included.
Carers Allowance is removed from income support as it is counted as 'money you already have coming in'. Ergo cannot be counted either.

Dawndonna Wed 21-Nov-12 21:55:25

Child benefit is also counted as 'money you already have coming in' and is therefore taken off benefits too.

livingfortoday Wed 21-Nov-12 21:56:43

Per person or per household.

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