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to be utterly confused about benefits

(23 Posts)
Polarbearmint Sat 31-Jan-15 14:41:25

Posting for traffic as the money section is quiet.

I don't understand benefits for parents. I'm freelance and trying to work out whether I can afford to have a baby ever (I'm starting to think the answer is no).

I have tried the different calculators and got different results from all of them. I am self employed and can't work out what help would be available if I was looking after a baby. Turn2Us said something completely different to EntitledTo, from the same figures.

DH is self-employed and earns £18k-20k before tax.
I am self-employed and earn around £18k before tax. I would get maternity allowance.

Would I be entitled to local housing allowance while on maternity leave and claiming maternity allowance?

If I went back to work part-time would there be anything available to help with childcare?

If I didn't go back to work part-time (which is my ideal, I'd like to be a SAHM for a few years) would there be any help available?

Please don't flame me for asking about state help, I just do not understand what the different situations would be and cannot find a comprehensive explanation anywhere.

Georgethesecond Sat 31-Jan-15 14:48:11

Try phoning turn to us instead of using the online calculator?

gallicgirl Sat 31-Jan-15 14:50:17

What are your post tax figures?

To get help with childcare through tax credits, you both have to be working more than 16 hours.
You're best speaking to your local council about LHA but I suspect your income would be just a bit too high.
You will get child benefit and from September 2015 you could get 20% of childcare costs paid up to £2000 per year.

Polarbearmint Sat 31-Jan-15 14:53:14

What about if I was on Mat leave - does LHA apply then?

maz210 Sat 31-Jan-15 14:53:30


You shouldn't get flamed for asking this, it's an important point to consider how you will manage with a family.

I can't answer all your questions I'm afraid but you will get child benefit plus some (basic?) tax credits. I don't know what the cut off point for help with childcare is but think it's quite low.

Polarbearmint Sat 31-Jan-15 14:56:46

The Turn2Us helpline page says it's just for people who can't use the internet.

I'm so confused, I don't get how anyone manages. We have no savings, no help from family, some of our income is going on relatively small debt repayments, I think I'll be too old to conceive before I can afford it

Polarbearmint Sat 31-Jan-15 14:57:41

I should add that our lifestyle isn't flashy just cost of living, rent etc

Nextwednesday Sat 31-Jan-15 14:58:44

When I used the online calculators the figures were completely different from what I ended up with so beware.

When I became a lone parent I was entitled to much more help.

Re. childcare, when I first applied I didn't qualify for anything as I earnt too much (part-time.)

Then when my childcare costs increased massively I still didn't qualify as the child carer that came to my house was classed as a nanny.

If I had known that before I employed her I would have used a registered childminder.

It as all pretty confusing. You can rely on child benefit for a start. Anything else, take more advice.

gallicgirl Sat 31-Jan-15 15:04:13

Yes. You might very well get LHA while you're not working. I would always suggest applying.
You should get maternity allowance too and some tax credits if there's only one income.

BertieBotts Sat 31-Jan-15 15:10:58

I thought turn2us and entitledto was the same actually.

I would just apply for everything and see what comes back - they'll either say yes or no.

You can also ask for help from Jobcentre Plus, they have advisors there who can inform you. (I don't know if you need specific circumstances to be able to see one.)

You could also try asking CAB.

SoonToBeSix Sat 31-Jan-15 15:19:43

On your dh income alone if you were a sahm you should receive £20 CB and £53 a week child tax credits. No working tax credits for your dh. If you live in a high rent area then partial HB.

nannynick Sat 31-Jan-15 15:45:16

As nannies have been mentioned, it is possible now for a nanny to be used as a registered childcare provider for tax credits purposes.
In England - the nanny has to register with Ofsted
In Wales - the nanny has to register with CSSIW.
In Scotland - parents need to use a Care Inspectorate registered child care agency.
Nannies can be a cost effective form of childcare if you have several children, the more children the better as nannies are paid per family, not per child.

Polarbear - once you have a baby, then the new tax-free childcare scheme will be in operation, so look into that with regard to help with childcare costs, as well as looking at working tax credit.

Babiecakes11 Sat 31-Jan-15 16:14:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Polarbearmint Sat 31-Jan-15 16:27:03

Thanks all, I'm not able to just apply as I don't feel I can contemplate ttc without more of a clue. My brain hurts!

SoonToBeSix Sat 31-Jan-15 16:30:18

Babie the 16k figure isn't not correct. There is no fixed amount it depends on your household and the average rent cost where you live. I personally know someone earning 22k that receives full HB.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Sat 31-Jan-15 16:37:30

Not true barbie. Lha depends on your area and your entitlement. I have received LHA on more than £16k but I paid a lot of childcare which gets deducted from your income.
Op, when you are on Mat leave your income will be included for all benefits calculations apart from tax credits. You will get a few ££ a week in child tax credit, £20 a week hold benefit and possibly LHA. The best way to get an idea is
1- go on the tax credits calculator and input your figures, as if last year you had spent 9 months on maternity leave. Ie don't use your actual income for last year. Don't include smp. That will give it you an approx figure
2- divide this figure by the remaining number of weeks left in this financial year
3- use that figure plus your combined weekly income (including smp) and go on the local housing allowance calculator for your local authority. You will need to find out your LHA rate and entitlement.

There you go.

Kelly1814 Sat 31-Jan-15 16:43:45

As someone who lives overseas with no state assistance, can I just say how envious I am of all the help that is given in the uk.

bloodyteenagers Sat 31-Jan-15 16:47:46

22k and full hb? Wow

Anyway yes beware of the calculators. They tell me I should get £70 a week hb. I get nothing and after rent and ct are paid we are left with a couple of hundred a month.

Polarbearmint Sat 31-Jan-15 16:59:53

Thanks Ehric but I can't get SMP, only SMA. I appreciate your advice but didn't understand it one bit! I think I'm just stupid...

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Sat 31-Jan-15 18:16:59

Really? Ok...
1- tax credits website. Has a calculator. Imagine you are on maternity leave, combine your (lack of) income together, input that and you will get a figure.
2- work out how many weeks remain in our current tax year, about 8? Divide the first figure by this number.
3- go to your local authority website and look for local housing allowance calculator. Add up your weekly income, including SMA, and the tax credit figure from before. That will tell you if you will get housing benefit.
Any better?

SoonToBeSix Sat 31-Jan-15 19:59:37

Yes teenagers that family had two disabled members that resulted quite rightly in higher applicable amounts.

SoonToBeSix Sat 31-Jan-15 20:00:17

Also high childcare costs which aren't counted as income for HB purposes.

Babiecakes11 Sat 31-Jan-15 20:18:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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