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To ask for help with universal credit? As a sahm

(298 Posts)
CallingPeopleACuntOnFb Thu 26-Oct-17 07:29:52

I honestly cannot find the answer to this anywhere 😩

I work in a support role helping parents and i have a service user who’s very worried about UC coming in. She has depression / anxiety anyway and it’s really getting her down.

She’s a SAHM to 3 dc, 3 year old twins and a 6 yo. Her dp earns 26k a year working long and irregular shifts. He works 45-50 hours a week. so being a SAHM is her only option atm as they also both have zero family support.

They have a mortgage so wouldn’t need or be eligible for the “housing benefit” element. She’s in Leicester. At the moment they receive tax credits but will move to UC at some point (no idea when)

She wants to know if she will still be able to be a SAHM as work isn’t an option for her while the DC are so small.

I have no clue, I don’t claim myself, we don’t even get TCs anymore and as I said I can’t find any info online other than the benefits checker on entitledto. Which says she’s eligible for UC at a similar amount to her tax credits. but says nothing about whether she’s going to have to job search as a condition of getting the money.

It’s so bloody complex ! Hope someone can shed some light 💡 x

BusyBeez99 Thu 26-Oct-17 07:33:02

Do people get benefits when earning £26k?

NapQueen Thu 26-Oct-17 07:34:05

Tbh Im shocked she is in receipt of Tax credits. Child Benefit yes but tc? Mainly becaue she doesnt appear to have childcare payments eating up a significant portion of the family money.

I also thought you were only moved onto UC if you had a new claim or a change in circs? Ive been trying to read up on it as we get wtc and seemingly its done as and when a new claim is made or a change in circs happens.

strongandlong Thu 26-Oct-17 07:34:19

The info is here:

It's based on the age of the youngest child. For 3 or 4 yos:

"You will be expected to take active steps to prepare for and be available for work in line with your caring responsibilities. This will involve agreeing a programme of activities tailored to your individual circumstances by your work coach and might include some training and work-focused interviews. You will need to undertake these activities for an agreed number of hours each week. If you are already working or choose to work, Universal Credit will help to cover your childcare costs."

LakieLady Thu 26-Oct-17 07:38:02

Even with the acceleration of the roll-out, she won't be "migrated" on to UC for years. She'll be among the last to switch, and they haven't started "migrating" existing claimants of any benefit yet, and I wouldn't be surprised if some new benefit replaces UC before they get round to it.

(In 2015/16 ago, I dealt with a case of someone still on incapacity benefit, despite it being replaced by ESA in 2008 and someone getting Income Support for their children when child tax credits started in 2003! These things can take for ever)

Even if they do migrate WTC claimants, they will be done after JSA and ESA and they haven't started migrating those yet. UC is for new claims only atm.

When benefits are changed, existing claimants are always given "transitional protection". This means that the replacement benefit continues to be paid at the same rate as the old one until the amount due under the new benefit reaches that level.

I hope she finds this reassuring!

deepestdarkestperu Thu 26-Oct-17 07:39:17

They’ll expect her to look for a job, I think. Do the twins not qualify for the 30 free hours? She could try and find a job around that if possible, using the childcare element of tax credits/UC to help cover the shortfall?

CallingPeopleACuntOnFb Thu 26-Oct-17 07:39:18

“Do people get benefits when earning 26k”

Oh here we go 🙄🙄

Yes they do ....a couple of years ago we were only on about 25k as a household (I have 3 dc too) and used to get about £100 a week child tax credits

LIZS Thu 26-Oct-17 07:39:38

She could claim free childcare hours for her 3 yos so could look for pt work. Might she qualify for esa?

CallingPeopleACuntOnFb Thu 26-Oct-17 07:40:29

I had heard that because her DP earns 2x min wage that would be enough?

Pickleypickles Thu 26-Oct-17 07:43:06

I know if you are single you have to job search when youngest is five but dont know if its the same if you are in a couple.
She could get 30 free hours for the teind though if she went to work so childcare not an issue.

TheHungryDonkey Thu 26-Oct-17 08:00:43

Her children aren’t that small. She owns her home and does have a partner. Three year olds are entitled to free childcare. I’m not seeing the problem.

NapQueen Thu 26-Oct-17 08:01:01

Well blow me down with a feather. Dh and I claim wtc and that plus one wage covers our childcare bill. If we only had one wage (we earn the same) we would still get the same in wtc and no second income being spent on childcare.

Whats the incentive.

Birdsgottafly Thu 26-Oct-17 08:08:31

"I’m not seeing the problem."

Her depression and anxiety, possibly? And no, even if those are bad, it won't mean that they will be taken into account by our now, draconian system.

OP, as said, things won't change for her for a few years.

Hopefully UC will be gone by then.

TheFairyCaravan Thu 26-Oct-17 08:09:33

They started the rolll out of Universal Credit in Leicester in January 2016. There's been loads about it on the local news since then.

This might be useful.

TheHungryDonkey Thu 26-Oct-17 08:10:23

Yes but many struggle on with depression, anxiety, no partner and no home and still have to work because they have no choice. If it’s that debilitating there is pip.

Birdsgottafly Thu 26-Oct-17 08:11:17

"Whats the incentive."

The problem with "incentives" is that the employment has to be available to start with. Incentives don't work when there isn't a job for everyone. All you end up with is people living in poverty, which is slowly happening, with UC.

missadasmith Thu 26-Oct-17 08:14:00

the 6 year old is in school and the 3 year olds would qualify for 30hours of childcare. So if she was to return to work, she would have a huge chunk of her chilcare would be free. I appreciate there may be times (morning or after school, school hols) where she would have to chip in but it is nowhere near as much as having a toddler on nursery full time. Plus, if the family is under a certain income, they will get the childcare element too.

I may come across rude but plenty of families have 2 working parents in that circumstances to pay the bills - even without support network or husbands working shifts.

I really don't understand why she cannot work. the kids aren't babies anymore confused

I know she has depression. but plenty of people with depression can and do work. Not sure how bad she is, otherwise ESA and Pip?

Birdsgottafly Thu 26-Oct-17 08:14:25

Thehungrydonkey, it's very difficult to get PIP.

I was turned down for it last year, for no reason. I went all the way to Tribunal. I've recently been awarded it, even though I'm better than I was. I've lost out on nearly £3k in benefits, the antidepressants and Counselling that I have needed to keep me going, have cost more than that.

There isn't always PIP, if things are that bad.

CallingPeopleACuntOnFb Thu 26-Oct-17 08:15:01

Her little boys already go pt nursery. They go for 15 hours a week. She’s entitled to 30 hours but doesn’t need it atm as she’s not working. Obvs the older one is at School 9-3

Although even if they were all in school it’s hard to find a job in just school hours. Which she’d have to as her dp works odd hours that change weekly

I don’t see why her dp wage isn’t enough tbh he’s earning the same as if they were both ft min wage

And if UC pay childcare anyway why not just let her look after her own dc cut out the middleman ffs

I hate this government 😡

Birdsgottafly Thu 26-Oct-17 08:17:13

Has the OP said what employment is like were they live?

All that's happening around my region is redundancies and jobs for under 25 year olds, so employers don't have to pay full wages.

sickynicky Thu 26-Oct-17 08:17:54

Do people get benefits when earning £26k?

I thought this too.

Not in a nasty way....I just don't know anything about benefits or tax credits.

sickynicky Thu 26-Oct-17 08:19:00

Her little boys already go pt nursery. They go for 15 hours a week. She’s entitled to 30 hours but doesn’t need it atm as she’s not working. Obvs the older one is at School 9-3

Is that the whole point of 30 hours child care? Take it and then get seek paid employment?

Bluelonerose Thu 26-Oct-17 08:20:35

Getting any benefits for mh is extreme hard, degrading and humiliating.

There's no support in existing jobs for mh conditions so how are the government going to deal with that?

deepestdarkestperu Thu 26-Oct-17 08:20:50

She wouldn’t have to stick to school hours. She can put her oldest in childcare before/after school and just pay for any additional hours for the twins over the 30 free hours they already qualify for.

But if the twins are three, won’t they be starting school next September anyway? I doubt she’ll have been moved to UC by then so by the time all her kids are in school, they can pay wrap-around/holiday care and she can find a job.

One partner working shifts isn’t a necessarily reason for the other partner not to work. I sympathise in that irregular hours cause huge problems when it comes to childcare, though. Is it possible for her partner to get a job with more regular hours or a set shift pattern?

wowbutter Thu 26-Oct-17 08:20:58

She wants to know if she will still be able to be a SAHM as work isn’t an option for her while the DC are so small.

No, they're not small.
Yes, she should be working.
There are lots of back to work job schemes avaliable, maybe you could help her look into that? Seasonal shop work?
If her mental health is that poor, she need to be accessing support and help, treatment etc. If it is managed, she should be trying to work.
I don't think having three year olds is a good enough reason. They're old enough to be accessing the early education.

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