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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.

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 21-Nov-12 21:57:19

modreb, top of the range cars and caravans in wales
i bet its a tough job at times when you see all this type of thing
you need the patience of a saint

ModreB Wed 21-Nov-12 21:57:25

And I agree that DLA should not be counted.

But in my direct experience, a large number of people take the piss.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 21-Nov-12 21:57:29

Don't claim dla unless your/ the claimants needs warrant it.

Asd will not automatically qualify

nailak Wed 21-Nov-12 22:00:01

£206 a week hb
£50 wtc
£150 ctc

plus council tax benefit....

does that equal £500 a week?

ModreB Wed 21-Nov-12 22:00:58

And I am not in the South East, but the North West. And I work in one of the most deprived places in the UK (according to the Census)

fedupoftheworrying Wed 21-Nov-12 22:02:30

I think Mum and sister do just now - housing benefit - although that part is the lowest as houses up here aren't much more than about £100 a week, income support plus severe disability element plus both are on highest care DLA, mum is on highest mobility and sister is on lower mobility. They also get cold weather money when it snows - good as they can't afford to use more than two heaters normally.

It will be dropping in August to around £150 a week plus housing benefit. Sister will be getting around £300 a month I think but not sure. Apparently they might be able to claim more but they are already trying to move mum onto ESA and she's pretty much terrified - the form is very odd, asking her if she can pick up a cardboard box or type on a keyboard etc.

Mum takes multiple uncontrollable tonic clonic seizures, also BPV which at it's worst leaves her unable to move without vomiting, chronic ear pain and infections, chronic IBS, multiple allergies, asthma and anxiety issues due to past issues (abuse as a child then rape and abuse again as an adult through marriage and NHS)

Sister has multiple learning difficulties (like general stuff plus dyspraxia, dyscalcula), is severely autistic (verbal but only to those she knows, and she can't always hold a conversation), very agressive, no idea of social norms and boundaries (19 and pulled her pants down in the post office to check if her period had started yet). Will never live on her own and will probably be stuck in her mind as a wee girl for her entire life.

Both really require 24/7 care and what money they get very rarely goes on extras - i.e. cinema 1 or 2 times a year, swimming 1 or 2 times a year - much of the money goes on washing powder, clothes for sister, taxis to and from hospital (£60 each way as mum not fit to take bus after seizures and noone to drive her home). Mum's teetotal.. Neither of them really leave the village much if they can avoid it. Last time we went for a meal (in Wimpy) sister threw a glass of coke at me and poured another in my mum's handbag.. Sister's respite also charges £10 per night plus sister has to pay for food bought outwith the centre - the staff are quite, clever, in that they usually take everyone out for meals and get them to pay.. Last time Mum was in hospital and I was unable to care for sister (tried it once, ended up with her nearly breaking my elbow) they charged £75.

I admit all three of us have smartphones that my mum pays for but they are beneficial in that my mum can note her meds and medical info on hers, use it as a distraction re. anxiety, use it to contact me etc. We also have Sky + . Do go on holiday but that is funded by the SVDP as is much of Christmas - they get a food parcel and normally some money.

FWIW I know both do want to work - sister wants to be Miley Cyrus grin and Mum's a trained chef, but would rather work with people or foster disabled children.

£500 doesn't solve their lives but it does make things a little bit easier I suppose - and even then they struggle.

Initially when we first ended up on benefits we did live on £100 a week - and couldn't afford food, clothing or electric - the meter used to go "zoot" and we'd be plunged into darkness until my mum could top it up!

The only reason they get that money is because they are both so disabled and it's not really something anyone should desire or feel jealous of. It's not like they can use it for anything fun is it..

AudrinaAdare Wed 21-Nov-12 22:03:37

Sock because my post was sympathising with this person. My own DD and DS are the products of two marriages. It was a clumsy way of saying that four separate men had let this woman and their children down and that is another reason not be be jealous because they currently receive a large amount in benefits.

I thought it was relevant but yes I can see how it can be read as sneering. I honestly wasn't. DD's father is one such, "man" and I would be devastated to have what he did to us happen successive times and it affecting my existing DC. Horrible.

fedupoftheworrying Wed 21-Nov-12 22:05:21

Should say the holiday is a week in a church owned caravan 70 miles north, and last time four out of six days were spent in hospital, at the local surgery and at the dentist. It's not a holiday abroad or anything.

QueenofNightmares Wed 21-Nov-12 22:06:32

We're on 'normal' benefits i.e JSA we get per week for me DH and DD

£101 JSA
£63 Rent
£61 CTC
£20 CB
£27 Council tax

£272 a week. I do think the Housing benefit and CTB should be taken into account as long as those commenting on the news stories are remembering to take into account any working tax credits or other benefits they recieve,

2 people out of an estate of 600 is not common. Not everyone on benefits has masses of children. An over average amount of children or average amount of children with disabilities would be the only way people would be getting stupid amounts of money. Having another child would entitle us to £70 a week more benefits than we currently recieve.

Children do not equal money on benefits, please remember that.

AmberLeaf Wed 21-Nov-12 22:06:55

The only reason they get that money is because they are both so disabled and it's not really something anyone should desire or feel jealous of. It's not like they can use it for anything fun is it

That /\

I think including housing benefit, child benefit, income support and child tax credits I will be just under the limit of £500 by about £2 next year. Although I will hopefully be doing a course/training to get back into work next September so I'm not sure how it will change when I am working.

FunTimeFrankie Wed 21-Nov-12 22:10:20

AudrinaAdare makes a good point - I have in the past on other sites seen posts from people who's children have grown and they are now having to adjust to the most basic of money because they are now a sole unworking person. Can't say I would want to be in their shoes no matter how much I would have liked to stay at home.

Cozy9 Wed 21-Nov-12 22:15:56

I think the cap should be less than £500. And DLA should be included in it.

Ghostsgowoooh Wed 21-Nov-12 22:21:06

I do. If you include everything such as housing benefit, council tax benefit, income support and child tax credit, free school meals etc.

But yeah, come and be envious if you want. My son is disabled and I have four dc, none of which were born on benefits as up till last year I was in a violent relationship where my now ex punched a heavy speaker accross the room and nearly knocked out our one year old baby. I carried on working till July this year but had to give my job up as it was evening shifts and couldn't get a reliable sitter. And my ds behaviour meant that working was a nightmare.

But yeah come slate me, I'm really living it up. Although my housing is paid for, every penny is accounted for, everything in my house is second hand. I don't go on holiday except to haven which my mum pays for, my clothes are bought from charity shops.

Many people get 500 a week if you include everything.

AudrinaAdare Wed 21-Nov-12 22:21:47

It's a very infantile existence, the cycle of having babies. You can see why it appeals if it is all you have known. I'm very lucky in that when I ended up as a lone parent on benefits for a time I had already gained my qualifications and had already had experience of the true cost of living and of earning that living.

Employers have never raised wages by £70 per week per child. Having more children was attractive for this reason because there was also the £500 grant for a baby and health in pregnancy one for £190. Re-use the baby equipment and you're quids-in. For the short-term. But as everything about life on benefits is by necessity, short-term and hand-to-mouth, why would you think about the future?

What is going to happen to the rare but real families who have lived like this? I can imagine it will end up being very expensive.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 21-Nov-12 22:24:23

Cozy care to explain why?

Ghostsgowoooh Wed 21-Nov-12 22:26:04

Why is that then cozy?

AudrinaAdare Wed 21-Nov-12 22:27:18

So it should in effect, be means-tested then Cozy?

Perhaps David Cameron will start us all off by paying back everything he was entitled to claim despite being obscenely wealthy. Yes, I can see that.

whiteandyelloworchid Wed 21-Nov-12 22:28:42

so what is going ot happen to people that claim more than 500, will they have to basically move to cheaper areas?

takataka Wed 21-Nov-12 22:29:57

chop off their heads!!

stargirl1701 Wed 21-Nov-12 22:32:49

A lot of people, surely.

Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, Free School Meals, Clothing Grants, Healthy Start Grants, Formula if not bf, Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support, DLA, Attendance Allowance, Free Prescriptions, Free Dental Care, Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits, prob a few more.

In addition to what we all have (universal) - Child Benefit (at the mo), free Healthcare, free Education.

A combination of these has to add up to at least £500 per week. But, if someone needs this level of support we should be prepared to give it. The mark of a civilised country IMO.

Ghostsgowoooh Wed 21-Nov-12 22:33:22

I am in a cheap area but my rent is one of the highest council rents in Wrexham. It's only a prefab on a council estate that the council improved slightly and put my rent up. The house next door unimproved is forty pounds less a week than my rent. Where else am I going to go!!

WildWorld2004 Wed 21-Nov-12 22:39:13

I have just did a rough calculation and including HB & CT benefit i would get around £250 if i didnt work.

How many of the people moaning about the 'scroungers' get some form of benefit ie HB/CT benefit, tax credits, child benefit.

WildWorld2004 Wed 21-Nov-12 22:43:32

You get free school meals if you get tax credits not jsa/income support so tax payers can get it too. And you dont get free formula. Well not in scotland anyway. And prescriptions are also free.

edam Wed 21-Nov-12 22:46:45

It's housing benefit that is the main factor here. And the answer to that is to bring the cost of housing down. Tackle the dysfunctional housing market, where house prices have raced ahead of earnings to the point where housing is unaffordable for many many people - rents are at record levels because demand is high because many people can't afford to buy, especially first-time buyers - can't save the massive deposits now required (particularly given interest rates are at record lows) and can't borrow money even if they could because the banks are reluctant to lend. Banks were pushing money at buy-to-let 'investors', taking traditional first-time buyer houses off the market, and then the state paying high rentals on those houses - it's madness. And of course successive governments have failed to build enough social and affordable housing.

Instead of doing something sensible to control the craziness, the current government is just punishing the working poor and the unemployed by cutting housing benefit. Picking on the people at the sharp end, who haven't created the problem and don't have the ability to solve it, instead of making real decisions about reforming the system and tackling vested interests.

If the government wants to bring down the housing benefit bill, they could bring in rent controls and encourage housebuilding. That would also have the benefit of boosting the economy and creating jobs. But it's far easier to demonise the vulnerable.

Daft thing is, what they are doing will be incredibly expensive - shoving families into B&Bs (numbers are rocketing) is not only disastrous for those families, it's hugely costly. Forcing people out of cities into poorer areas with no jobs, disrupting children's schooling, breaking up communities and forcing people away from their families and medical care and sources of support will all add to the cost to the public purse. It will worsen health, worsen education, worsen unemployment and worsen poverty. But it will show up across many different budget lines, so the politicians will be able to hide the effects. Cynical, destructive and downright wrong. But who care as long as the Mail is able to write headlines about benefits cheats...

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