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Where do I start?

(2 Posts)
lanarkshiremum Fri 31-Dec-10 13:05:54

After thinking long and hard, I have made the decision that we must leave my husband.
We have 2 children aged 11 and 9.

Thing is I don't know where to start, I am self employed but times are hard and earn very little, we are in debt up to our eyes (hubby drinks a LOT!!), and although we have a mortgage on the home there is very little equity there.

I don't think getting a council home would be possible, so what do I do? How do I find out what benefits are available? And do I just rent privately? I have never claimed any benefits before.

Any advice and support would be greatly appreciated

ginnycrls Fri 31-Dec-10 18:21:14

Hi, I've been in the same position as you, also left with debts and little equity in my house but we had sold our business, proceeds of which were practically spent (long story) when everything went wrong. I went on benefits in March but the system has changed now and on my childs next birthday in Feb, I will no longer be on income support, but they do switch you to job seekers allowance, however, am hoping to get a job next month (January). Fingers crossed.

First thing I would do is if you are self-employed, let child tax credits know that you are now on your own. You should see a considerable increase in tax credits, which may really help you out. Because the system has changed I'm not really sure about what benefits you would be entitled to so maybe make an appointment at the Citizens Advice Bureau or phone income support line direct. Just search for Directgov on google or income support for more info.

You may receive help with rent/mortgage but again, you would have to look into it because everything is changing. I'm sure you will be entitled to some sort of help to get you through. And don't forget you will get a reduction in your council tax payments. I had to rent privately which I had to pay for up front (six months), money borrowd from my parents and I was re-imbursed by the council for quite a lot of it.

Regarding any debts you have, please don't stress out. I know what it is like to be in that situation. Look up the Consumer Credit Ccounselling Service. They will look at your income, get in touch with all of the peole you owe money to and arrange a manageable payment plan and everyone will be off your back.

Hope you find a couple of things I have said helpful.

Good luck!

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