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To think Universal Credit will put women off leaving shitty/abusive relationships?

(60 Posts)
RocketQueenP Wed 08-Feb-17 17:34:40

10 years ago I fled a really bad relationship and became a lone parent...it's been on my mind a bit lately as was ten years ago last month. It took me a long time to ask ex to leave but I did it.

It was quite shit, I wasn't working and had to jump through a lot of hoops and I was fairly broke, but I was allowed to stay in our rented house with my baby DC. We had full rent and council tax paid plus just enough for food and utility bills. A while down the line I was moved to a HA house (due to my LL being a twat)...wouldn't happen now. Thanks to having a secure home and a little bit of income I was soon able to pick myself up. I got onto a paid uni course, started work, started a business and met and married a new partner. We claim nothing now, own a home and earn good money.

But this new system of universal credit.... some of my friends have been put on it and it's horrendous. Weeks on end waiting for any money, while being bullied constantly about going back to work or working more hours. People have ended up with rent arrears, had to use food banks, not been able to afford to heat or light their homes. Also it's a LOT less money than the old system of income support (or jsa) with tax credits and housing benefit. I honestly do not know how people survive 😰. And I dont think many will manage to get out of it like I (and a lot of people who were in similar situations at same time as me) did.

Aibu to think that a lot of mums will end up staying in bad relationships rather than be placed at the mercy of this shitty new system. Tbh I would probably have stayed out of fear of not being able to provide for my child.

PlayOnWurtz Wed 08-Feb-17 17:50:40

This is why women need to keep working. Have your own means and it helps when it comes to leaving (I have experience of this!!)

needsahalo Wed 08-Feb-17 17:53:40

Yep. It is going to make life harder for many women, that's for sure. The not being able to claim for more than 2 children is even worse. Bit the Torres don't give a shit. I despair. Really, really despair.m

RocketQueenP Wed 08-Feb-17 17:55:01

Totally agree Play! But that is in an ideal world and not always possible. Or mums work part time due to childcare then need top ups if they leave. In my case baby DS was only a few months old and I didn't have a job to return to as had been temping prior to him being born.

everythingis Wed 08-Feb-17 17:57:42

That's shit

Worried81 Wed 08-Feb-17 17:58:22

Lone parents cannot claim universal credit yet. You have to wait 6 weeks for a payment but can ask for an advance, up to half your predicted monthly amount. You would need to pay this back over a period of time. I work full time with 2 kids I'll will be a lot better off under universal credit.

RocketQueenP Wed 08-Feb-17 17:59:46

I genuinely hope that you are better off Worried. From what I've seen, Its a good thing you work ft, hopefully that means they won't hassle you.

Worried81 Wed 08-Feb-17 18:11:49

Part of my work is around benefits. Funnily enough I've been on a training course on universal credit today. People like myself and partner who have been getting tax credits for a long time will not be going on UC until 2019 anyway. My tax credits are going down in April but would go up on universal credit. Also childcare costs go back up to 85% under UC. So frustrating for us as we can't claim it.

RaisinsAndApple Wed 08-Feb-17 18:30:36

If you're an existing claimant of other benefits (TC etc), will you also be subject to the 6 weeks of no money when you're switched over to UC?

It's not hugely helpful to say women must work so that they have funds to leave. We all know that many abusers either prevent or sabotage their partners working as part of their abusive control.

KateSpade Wed 08-Feb-17 18:40:57

I'm so much worse off on UC it's unbelievable! I feel so annoyed that everyone else in the country (nearly) ithat can claim tc is & people who live near me have been forced on to them!

It's a shower if shit the whole system from start to finish!

BadKnee Wed 08-Feb-17 18:44:36

You are right RaisinsAndApple - many abusers do this and more awareness and work in the is area is crucial.

However women should be encouraged early on that they are responsible for their own bills. I still see a lot of women getting pregnant as an early career choice. The man is not important as the child will be provided for to some extent by the state. That is being removed - and we need to make sure that women do know that thy should have a job behind them if they possible can.

BadKnee Wed 08-Feb-17 18:46:35

Oh and giving the Child Maintenance collection departments some real teeth should be made top priority!

RocketQueenP Wed 08-Feb-17 18:50:47

Yep Badknee I think its very common in unhealthy relationships where the man doesn't want the woman to work or study. Yet conversely keeps all the money cunts

RocketQueenP Wed 08-Feb-17 18:51:13

Sorry to hear you're struggling Kate flowers

malificent7 Wed 08-Feb-17 19:46:26

I am also a lot worse off under UC. And now they forgot to process my childcare element which now means i have £20 a week to live on untill payday. Id like to deminstrate against it tbh... Fucking Tory bastards.

citybushisland Wed 08-Feb-17 19:50:09

It's already causing issues along with legal aid having been abolished. There has been quite a few cases where women can't leave an abusive relationship and have had their children removed and in a number of cases adopted because they don't have the funds to leave or have legal representation.

Babyroobs Wed 08-Feb-17 20:29:41

I have been putting off my UC learning pack but need to read it tonight !

RocketQueenP Wed 08-Feb-17 20:33:36

City bush 😰 How unspeakably sad and awful

everythingis Wed 08-Feb-17 20:37:39

If your kids are removed you can get legal aid.

amy85 Wed 08-Feb-17 20:50:05

I am in so much debt thanks to universal credit...Thankfully I work part-time because if I didnt I'd be in way more debt...This first 6 weeks waiting for money was a killer, and during that time you've built up 6 weeks rent arrears but you only get 4 weeks worth of money which makes it almost impossible to pay rent in advance like you are supposed... Thankfully I'm in a council house so they were slightly more willing to wait for rent money, but still ended up with a letter threatening me with court.

RaisinsAndApple Wed 08-Feb-17 21:38:51

So does the 6 week wait apply regardless of whether you are a new claimant or are an existing claimant being switched to UC from other benefits?

The 'logic' of it I read is that you will supposedly have 1 months wages in hand when you apply for benefits hmm
It's just fucking cruel and sadistic in reality, apparently aimed at punishing poor people.

amy85 Wed 08-Feb-17 21:47:14

I had to claim universal credit as had to change my tax credits claim from a joint claim to a single claim. It was classed as a new claim (my area has started the switch over the UC for new claims)

citybushisland Wed 08-Feb-17 21:48:34

everythingis they can't get legal representation in order to keep the kids and themselves safe from their partners/husbands, so they stay, then the kids are being removed because of the abuse - and they are NOT getting legal aid then because they are deemed as having caused their child to be distressed having witnessed abuse or being subjected to it. Womens equality is being rolled back by austerity.

pooh2 Wed 08-Feb-17 21:58:26

Yanbu. This govt is completely heartless and doesn't give a shit about poor women in abusive relationships, or their children.

malificent7 Thu 09-Feb-17 06:42:27

Am going to bump this thread as id be interested to hear more stories. Id like to campaign on this subject.

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