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To claim benefits for DS Girlfriend

(28 Posts)
Sam0207 Fri 05-Jun-20 19:39:31

My son's 16 yo GF came to stay in March as she'd fallen out with her Mum. It was supposed to just be for a week or so as a cooling off period but then we got locked down. After much soul searching and tears she decided (for many reasons) that she'd rather stay here and here she has stayed. Her Mum has not been financially supporting her and has only just relinquished her benefits claim so we need to decide what to do.

A) I add her to my UC claim and claim CB for her.

B) She makes a claim in her own right (difficult to do as she's only 16 and will be in ft education and therefor will not be available for work)

Financially there is not much difference - I think that if I claim for her she will be better off by £13 pw (2nd child benefit rate)

She will be moving on eventually but I have extended my invitation for her to stay until at least Sept and will probably extend it again until Jan so she can get her first term at college under her belt.

The Young Homeless Service will be getting involved at some point to help her find a more permanent solution but atm they are only dealing with kids that are street homeless, and, if I'm honest, she may end up staying with us indefinitely.

For clarity, I am not working atm and reliant on benefits myself (lost my job literally weeks before the lock down as my contract ended and am currently a full time carer for my DS who has ASD). I've supported his GF for about 10 weeks now and not really in a position to carry on doing so hence having to decide who claims for her.

So this is not really a "Am I Being Unreasonable" - more of a "What Would You Do?"

OP’s posts: |
CodenameVillanelle Fri 05-Jun-20 19:41:00

You should add her to your claim as long as you're sure it won't affect your entitlement eg if you are benefit capped

HeckyPeck Fri 05-Jun-20 19:45:24

I think add to your claim as you’ll be paying the bills/buying food etc.

Microwaveoven Fri 05-Jun-20 19:45:36

It's a lovely thing to support her OP.

I have a feeling though that you can only claim if you are a legal guardian. But I may be wrong.

I would call up the benefits people and explain the situation and ask them for advice

Good luck

bluebluezoo Fri 05-Jun-20 19:47:51

Won’t you need to make it a formal fostering situation with social services?

Could you get foster carers allowances?

wonderpants Fri 05-Jun-20 19:51:05

By law, you have to make social services aware if you are privately fostering a child within 28 days.

KillerofMen Fri 05-Jun-20 19:53:49

Can you claim for benefits for random children? That sounds like a system that is open to abuse.

tinyem77 Fri 05-Jun-20 19:54:05

I would advise you get in touch with your local Children and Young People Services. At 16 she can access social services and should be able to claim weekly living allowance. If social services were to put a care order in place she would be entitled to benefits that are only applicable to care leavers. You really should call your local social services for advice. If a care order is deemed necessary she would get a personal adviser until she is 21 to give help and advice, and financial assistance

Karenista Fri 05-Jun-20 20:08:59

She needs to make her own claim in my opinion, rather than become your dependent. It will make things less messy if/when she decides to move out.
Re pps about fostering her, the process will take too long as you will need to the whole process like all other foster careers.

Sam0207 Fri 05-Jun-20 20:24:58

Because she is 16 Social Services have no interest so I can not (and will not) foster her. Services are so tight and hamstrung atm they are only looking at kids at immediate risk of harm and she's safe as houses here.

Her family support worker and her educational support worker are aware she's here but the only advise the FSW gave was to either claim for her or support her in making a claim.

I've messaged my Universal Credit "Work" Coach to ask what paperwork they would need from me and as far as I can see, Child Benefit can be claimed for a young person as a kinship carer.

I'll Google benefits advice and see if I can get through to anyone on Monday.

To be fair, she's a lovely young girl and a pleasure to have here.

OP’s posts: |
Healthyandhappy Fri 05-Jun-20 20:51:04

Only thing is u r trying your son to her what if he doesnt wanna be with her anymore they are only 16.orher than that I'd claim CB but explain your son comes first and if they fall out what u will do.

Healthyandhappy Fri 05-Jun-20 20:51:29

She can also get a summer job through holidays as morrisons or mcdz and pay u board

Healthyandhappy Fri 05-Jun-20 20:52:22

U can also claim other benefits for her other than just CB x

Nihiloxica Fri 05-Jun-20 21:03:22

She is, effectively, a homeless teenager that you are housing and supporting.

I don't want to make more work for you, but there is value in pushing that with social services. She is VERY vulnerable (and so, SO lucky you are in her life ❤) but it is not your responsibility to care for her and they shouldn't wash their hands of her just because you are willing.

It makes far more sense for you to claim child benefit, including for your own ongoing claim, but it's worth making sure that it is accepted that you are not actually a relative or foster carer.

You are amazing for doing what you are doing. I worry for your son that his teenage relationship is suddenly a much more permanent thing than he might have intended.

I know it will be tricky, but think about how you can (to them) separate their relationship from your support for her.

Sam0207 Fri 05-Jun-20 22:21:17

RE their relationship - I sat and spoke to my son at length before offering any practical support to his GF. He is, and will always be, my no 1 priority and he knows this. They've been together around 18 months and from about six months prior to lock down she was spending Fri-Sun here in any case.
My biggest worry was (and is) what happens if they split up or fall out but that's a bridge we'll cross if or when we get to it. I was more worried that she would feel cemented into the relationship and feel like she HAD to be in a relationship with DS in order to have somewhere to live but we've talked that through and shes a feisty little thing. They've surprised me with the strength of their relationship and their commitment to each other, especially given that we're locked down and they've been together 24/7.

I've actually been enjoying having her here. We had a great debate the other day about the waves of feminism and the beginning of the LGBTQ+ rights movement at Stonewall. It's fascinating watching the passion of someone just finding their feet in political/moral movements - reminds me of me in the 80's marching against Apartheid and Clause 28! My son gives zero shits lol.

I had a gd chat with her earlier and she would like me to claim for her if I can as she doesn't feel ready to manage a benefits claim if she doesnt have to.

OP’s posts: |
Healthyandhappy Fri 05-Jun-20 23:33:52

Make sure she has the implant as well

Nihiloxica Sat 06-Jun-20 00:14:50

They are both lucky to have you.

The difference you are making to this girl's life is immense. Well done you ❤

Purely on the benefits front, you should get a full household benefits check from Citizens Advice or other. This is a complex claim, do ask them to check it again.

Best of luck to you all xx

OntheWaves40 Sat 06-Jun-20 00:19:12

Is she (and presumably your son) even trying to get work between now and September?

Freddiefox Sat 06-Jun-20 00:22:53

They are so young to be living together. I just wonder whether it the right thing for them.
If either want to end the relationship it will be very difficult for them.

MiddlesexGirl Sat 06-Jun-20 00:24:15

As a 16 year old without parental support she may be entitled to universal credit in her own (see the section on 16 and 17 year olds.
Get her to contact citizens advice for help

MiddlesexGirl Sat 06-Jun-20 00:24:56

*in her own right

Sam0207 Sat 06-Jun-20 01:16:07

I agree, if either wanted to end the relationship it will become difficult - but - at the moment neither do and that's all I have to work with. It may not be the right thing for them long term but they are dealing with it beautifully at the minute. Young Homeless Team are aware of her and when they open more fully will be working with her. I've no doubt that if I said "right that's it you'll have to leave" they would help her but why put her through all the trauma of a young persons hostel in lock down where she will be completely isolated when she can stay here for the time being? The other scenario is that given some time and space to work on their relationship she might go back home to Mum (but I doubt that).

The Teenagers are not "living together" as such. It's more of an extended sleepover type scenario. They don't have the responsibilities of a household or budget planning/decision making. Neither of them are emotionally ready for that transition into adulthood yet and they don't need to be. It is a work in progress though. They clean up after themselves and help with the chores etc as any teen should do. I've just kind of slotted her in as an additional kid in my house. When she came initially it was just for a week or so, then the first 3 weeks of lock down. I realised how unsettling it must have been for her so as lock down was extended my offer to stay until at least Sept was given so that she would at least have a bit of security to get through her exams and the transition to college. I had spoken to her Mum about financial support but Mum decided to continue claiming for her and declined to support her. Mum has finally stopped claiming for her, I'm finding things a bit tight so we need to either have her claim or have me claim for her.

They are both looking for work but we live in a small town and even I can't find a job atm - even Tesco didn't want me as I'm too over qualified. DS has been looking for a part time job for over a year but as he has ASD and had an alternative education he's found it virtually impossible.

It's not my place to insist she has an implant!! Rest assured there will not be a sudden announcement though as DS can never biologically father children.

Thanks for your kind words re my offering her support. I try to be the kind of adult I wished I had in my life when I was a homeless 16 year old kid.

I'll be getting some advice on Monday (if I can get through to anyone) but I have appreciated other people opinions and it's giving me some food for thought, particularly around helping them manage their co-habitation.

OP’s posts: |
richele4 Sat 06-Jun-20 01:27:20

I have nothing helpful to advise I just wanted to say that she's lucky she has you in her life, whether she ends up staying with your son or not she'll always be grateful that you took her in.

You sound like a very kind hearted and generous person OP, good luck to you all x

JustAnotherPoster00 Sat 06-Jun-20 05:29:49

Nothing to add here except to say thank you for being you OP, if only the world had more people like you in it flowers

Sam0207 Mon 08-Jun-20 16:33:38

Just a quick update incase the info is useful for anyone else:

Spoke to CAB today and the best (and simplest) way is to claim for her myself.

I also spoke to the Young Homeless Team (who confirmed this is best) and they will start the ball rolling for her to be registered as homeless from my house (will take longer for her to be allocated anywhere but we're in no hurry). Thought it was best to make them aware of her incase anything does go wrong with thieir relationship and she feels that she needs to move on.

I've extended my offer for her to stay until at least Jan so she can get the first term of college under her belt.

I'm also putting a plan in place so they are both a bit more self sufficient (DS needing constant reminders of how to "semi-adult" due to ASD) - things like how bills get aid, how to budget and we've all agreed that they will both meal plan, prep and cook one meal a week each (I'm still shopping tho as I don't quite trust them not to blow my budget on fillet steak lol). To my shame I've agreed to wash up afterwards as I can't quite manage all the "oh we'll do it later Mum" !!!

OP’s posts: |

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