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Apprenticeships & benefits

(7 Posts)
Sarannie Fri 05-Oct-12 17:16:36

Hi, can anyone help with this please. My son is 18 and has been attending college since 16. He has a history of severe anxiety and depression and it seems to be rearing it's ugly head again only a few weeks into his new term on a level 3 diploma course. The college are not being too helpful about it and are trying to get him to go for an apprenticeship instead as they feel the academic work is too much. He's had 7 days off out of a possible 15 since term started on Sept 3rd and they're saying he's missed a lot of work.
Anyway, obviously I'm extremely concerned about him but, also, I am sole carer for my chronically ill husband and I home ed my daughter. We're on benefits - the whole raft - and simply cannot afford to lose the child benefit and tax credits we get for our son while he's in full time education. If he can't go back to college (looking more unlikely by the minute) and can't get an apprenticeship (or isn't well enough to start one yet) do we have any other options other than for him to sign on and for us to lose those benefits?
If he can find an apprenticeship will we still get the benefits as I realise he'll be earning a small amount? I should mention the apprenticeship would be a level 3 NVQ in childcare - I don't know if it makes a difference.
Any experts out there?
Thanks for reading.

Rockchick1984 Sat 06-Oct-12 11:17:08

Here it depends on the nature of the course, and if he is employed while doing it. Presumably if not entitled to tax credits any more, he will be earning and should therefore be contributing to household expenses?

ekidna Sat 06-Oct-12 13:02:18

you could try these guys for advice I've found them really helpful www.turn2us.org.uk

sounds like you're all in a really difficult situation.
can you push for more help for your son from college in terms of the equality act and reasonable adjustments for his health condition if he wants to stay there?

Sarannie Sat 06-Oct-12 17:25:14

Thank you, hadn't thought of Turn2us, I'll try them now. We have a meeting with the college next weeksmile
Thanks so much

GoldShip Sun 07-Oct-12 16:50:27

If he's doing the nvq level 3 in childcare I thought he HAD to do a work placement. It would be much more beneficial to him if he did the apprenticeship, despite you needed the benefits. I'm afraid you can't rely on them, as at 18 he really could be supporting himself and giving you keep maybe. What will you do when you can't get the benefits anymore?

Hope the meeting which college goes well, but I don't expect them to be sympathetic because his education and career choices should have nothing to do with your benefits.

Sarannie Tue 09-Oct-12 10:06:32

Oh absolutely GoldShip, I realise that!
This is coming on the tail end of years and years of desperate stress though. My husband had to leave work in 2003 after contracting a dreadful virus at work. He's been disabled since. We were then plunged into the world of having to rely on benefits. We lost our house, my middle child had a break down at school and this was closely followed by my youngest daughter being bullied so badly the police had to be involved. I removed her from school and HE her. We are in a terrible catch 22 situation until I can go back to work full time. We get by on so little that to lose another £60 per week will be dire. I merely wanted to know whether an apprenticeship counted as full time education. The pay is £2.50 per hour.
I would put my son's future above the importance of money any day.
Thank you to everyone else for their very helpful responses though.

GoldShip Wed 10-Oct-12 23:00:19

Please don't think I was having a go! I hope you manage to sort it x

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