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To feel angry about maternity grants?

(86 Posts)
HeffalumpTheFlump Sat 27-Apr-13 11:24:01

I am certified unfit to work due to health problems, but my partner works full time. Because my partner works for more than 24 hours a week (regardless of wage) I am no longer eligible for my employment and support allowance. This means no housing benefit or any other financial help, so things are really tight. Once rent, council tax and other bills are paid we have little to no disposable income. We recently found out im pregnant (very shocked as we had been v careful and I have PCOS), the timing isnt brilliant as we had really hoped I would be in better health, a better financial situation etc when we started a family. We are really struggling to find the money for the endless list of things needed for the baby, and so I looked to see if there was any help available. AIBU to be cross that the £500 maternity grant is only available to people if they are on benefits? I know people who are having a baby after being on jobseekers for years, never making any effort to find work and are now having the bulk of their baby things paid for by the benefits system. It seems unfair when my partner is working very long hours for a crappy wage, we are trying to get by on a single income due to my crappy health and there is no help whatsoever. AIBU?

inlawsareasses Sat 27-Apr-13 11:31:14

Once the baby is born you can claim tax credits. If you are receiving I think a minimum of 21 pounds per week in child tax credits and the child is your first then you qualify for the maternity grant. You are being unreasonable though, sense of entitlement or what!

alienbanana Sat 27-Apr-13 11:33:46

Are you sure there aren't other benefits you can claim?

PeachActiviaMinge Sat 27-Apr-13 11:35:46

You only recieve the grant for the first child so YABU in saying people on benefits are having constant children for the grant. I had my DD 10 years ago and received the grant now at 41 weeks I have had no help buying items for this baby from family or government and have had to buy everything second hand to cope apart from a travel cot as we can't afford a proper cot but baby will be loved we can give that freely and in plentiful amounts.

Money isn't everything.

HeffalumpTheFlump Sat 27-Apr-13 11:36:25

I dont think I have a sense of entititlement... I'm just really worried that we aren't going to be able to provide what the baby needs. sad

AmberLeaf Sat 27-Apr-13 11:36:32

I thought they scrapped that £500 mat grant?

TeWiSavesTheDay Sat 27-Apr-13 11:37:23

Don't get wound up about what others get, you will just end up miserable and bitter. Having kids on benefits is no joyous walk in the park, your DH has a job, it might take a while but he can be promoted, things will improve.

Once your baby is born you should be eligible for tax credits and child benefit, and this will help massively.

In the meantime, concentrate on the basics. Do you know anyone else with children? Freecycle, charity shops, car boot sales...

We were in a similar situation when our DD was born and friends were very generous with their old baby equipment.

PregnantPain Sat 27-Apr-13 11:38:11

It's now for first babies only, AmberLeaf

5madthings Sat 27-Apr-13 11:38:56

Once the baby is born you will be entitled to child tax credits, depending how much you agree e titled to you can then claim the maternity grant as you can claim it for up to 12wks after baby is born.

This thread may not be best in aibu, you might want to ask for advice in another section.

inlawsareasses Sat 27-Apr-13 11:44:30

But you're having a right old whinge without looking into it properly. The money will be available after the baby's birth if you qualify for child tax credits.
Instead of moaning you need to pull your socks up and crack on.
Look on eBay etc the amount of nearly new stuff that sells for a pittance is unbelievable!
Baby's don't need all of the stuff which is marketed as a must have and necessity!
Contact the salvation army or sure start they are often given or offered baby equipment for free.

HeffalumpTheFlump Sat 27-Apr-13 11:45:19

I didn't know that about being able to claim it after baby is born, I will look into that thank you. I don't have many friends with children but have been looking on freecycle etc. I didn't say people were having constant children for the grant so I'm not sure where that came from :S thank you for the advice, where should I have asked this question?

flossieraptor Sat 27-Apr-13 11:46:03

We are ok for money but bought almost nothing for DS. Babygros, a couple of toys and a pushchair. Definitely not 500 quids worth. Now he is older he has more stuff but the first year made no difference to our disposable income.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 27-Apr-13 11:49:31

Maternity grants are a ridiculous concept in the first place. People should not be given money for getting pregnant when they can't afford it. I understand that your pregnancy was unplanned and unexpected, as was mine, but maternity grants just encourage people to have children they can't afford.

HeySoulSister Sat 27-Apr-13 11:51:08

Aren't you entitled to sick pay?

HeffalumpTheFlump Sat 27-Apr-13 11:54:42

I would agree with that cloudsandtrees, I had a complete freak out when I found out I was pregnant because our whole plan of being financially secure and able to easily afford it all went out the window. Also being a first time mum I really don't know what is essential and what's not so I am going by the standard lists and any advice I have had from the pregnancy section on here, and the list seems to be endless! I've got to admit I'm terrified of getting it all wrong!

KentuckyFriedChildren Sat 27-Apr-13 11:54:52

Pretty sure you are entitled to housing benefit. Don't see what ESA has to do with that since they base it on income. If you aren't entitled its because your household income is above the threshold not because you don't get ESA. You don't need much for a baby really- somewhere to sleep, something to eat (which is free if you manage to bf), clothing (can be picked up pretty cheap off ebay/fb/charity shops/friends, something to carry the baby in so sling/pram/whatever (also easily picked up cheap in same places) and basic toiletries and nappies which tbh are not that expensive if you don't go for brand names. We spent less than £100 on stuff for dd2 and we were starting from scratch too as our others are older. It's only expensive if you make it so, I think. I sympathise with having little money etc, but there are so many ways around it and focusing on being angry with the system isn't one of them.

HeffalumpTheFlump Sat 27-Apr-13 11:56:24

Heysoulsister unfortunately not because I was training to be a nurse before becoming unwell, so that means no sick pay or contribution based benefits.

ENormaSnob Sat 27-Apr-13 11:57:14

I must admit I agree with clouds.

Could your dh get overtime to cover second hand baby essentials?

HeySoulSister Sat 27-Apr-13 11:58:06

Oh! Well try your netmums (sorry) local for good used baby stuff

And honestly, you don't need everything on those lists! Just think in terms of first few days

DeepRedBetty Sat 27-Apr-13 11:58:59

Brand new babies need far less stuff than you would think, don't forget how much advertising money is being pumped into trying to tell new mothers that the world will end if they don't buy their pfb all sorts of unnecessary crap. Also a lot of what they do need is only needed for a short time and therefore will be in virtually perfect condition when it becomes second hand. I know the set of baby vests that my doting granny bought for me eventually did 12 children, five of us and seven cousins.

jacks365 Sat 27-Apr-13 11:59:31

You will need to sort things quickly once your baby is born as before you can claim tax credits you have other processes to go through. As soon as baby is born make an appointment to register birth, once you have birth certificate send in child benefit forms. As soon as you get the ref number from child benefit send in your claim for tax credits. Once they confirm you can apply for Grant.

I'll be honest and say you will be pushing it to meet the 3 month deadline but it should be possible.

Thingiebob Sat 27-Apr-13 11:59:42

I'm sorry you are having such a tough time. I've been in your position.
I can tell you now that you don't need as much stuff as you think for baby, also you can pick stuff up for next to nothing on Ebay/NCT sales/Car boots and on second hand websites. It really doesn't all have to be brand new, trust me!

Perhaps if you do a list of the things you need and Mners with more experience can give you advice on what is absolutely necessary, what isn't and other work arounds.

HeffalumpTheFlump Sat 27-Apr-13 11:59:57

KFC, I informed the ESA people when my partner started work and they told me that because my other half worked for more than 24 hrs a week I would no longer qualify for ESA. They told me he could get a back to work payment of somekind but he couldn't because we didnt have a child under 16. So I'm going on what they have directly told me.

Bridgetbidet Sat 27-Apr-13 12:01:17

The children who are most likely to live in poverty are those who have at least one parent who works NOT those children whose parents are on benefits.

It's a very, very unfair situation if you have a partner who works but not on a decent wage you are basically screwed. It feels so unfair, I've known so many people who are genuinely in need and have worked and done their best but fall on hard times because one of them is ill or pregnant or can't find work they're just fucked because one of them is doing the right thing and working.

It doesn't encourage families to stay together. Sadly you would be a lot better off if you kicked him out and took all the benefits you could as a single mother. I really feel for you and have been in the same situation myself but don't know the answer, sorry.

Have you thought about approaching church or charity groups to see if they can help you? I know the St Vincent de Paul charity are v good with things like this.

TeWiSavesTheDay Sat 27-Apr-13 12:05:36

Have you been to the CAB? I think you need a benefits check.

In the meantime, what's on your list of baby stuff? We can help with cheap ideas.

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