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Single dad (shares custody) possibly made redundant- advice on what financial help would be available please?

(26 Posts)
Hunnybears Wed 20-May-20 16:31:36

Background- This isn’t for my but my poor brother. He’s been furloughed but thinks he’s going to be made redundant as other people in his dept are going back and not him. No ones fault just one of those things. Worked there about 9 years full time.

So he asked me if I have any idea what he’d be entitled to but it looks quite complicated. I believe unless you’re in the situation (which he’s not.... yet, they won’t give any figures)

I had a look on a couple of the benefit calculators last night for him and I’m a bit bamboozled myself. The UC calculator asks if you’re entitled to JSA (or something I can’t fully remember) but how are you suppose to know? It just seems complicated to someone that has no clue.

He’s got 2 children 4 and 13 and he has them 3/4 nights a week depending on their mums shifts at work. It worked great between them as he worked 9-5 Monday - Friday so was able to collect from school etc.. when she was at work. (Mums engaged some someone else)

He’s in a panic as he’s unlikely be able to get another job that’s 9-5 Monday to Friday. So he could get a job but the childcare arrangements wouldn’t allow it. There’s no grandparents available to help. He also has a mortgage.

He’d happily take any job asking as fits in with school etc.

Does anyone have a clue what he’d be entitled to and roughly how much??

I’ve heard about sanctions etc if you don’t go to the job centre etc but how would that work? There’s no childminders that do pick ups from that school the last he checked?

Thanks for the advice

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Rockchick1984 Wed 20-May-20 17:11:34

Does he claim the child benefit for the children? Does his ex claim any benefits for them? If she does, then he would be able to claim jobseekers allowance but would be expected to take pretty much any full time position that came up, as the parent who claims for the children is considered to be the primary carer.

Does he rent or have a mortgage?

Hunnybears Wed 20-May-20 18:01:43

Thanks for the reply.

He does currently get a bit of tax credits for the children to top up his full time wage. £50 a week. Not sure the ins and outs. The mam gets the child benefit and doesn’t claim tax credits. Neither pays the other maintenance as they both provide for their children as split the costs for most things.

Hopefully he won’t lose his job but he’s worried 😕

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Hunnybears Wed 20-May-20 18:04:24

I should add, the mum has said if he loses his job then he can claim the child benefit as it’s only fair. So he would get that too

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Hunnybears Wed 20-May-20 18:05:22

Sorry- he’s got a mortgage with loan and interest payments

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KaptenKrusty Wed 20-May-20 18:09:21

Totally getting ahead of himself here with worrying

If he gets let go he just has to fill in the online Universal credit form - it’s ok if he makes a small mistake or didn’t understand something - he can fix that after he speaks to someone in real life!

He will get job seekers allowance as you say he worked there for 9 years so has been paying enough tax to get the job seekers !

He then might be able to get some housing benefit or something? Not sure

Loads of jobs are 9-5 Monday - Friday surely?

If his schedule changed then himself and his ex will just have to work out a new arrangement with the kids! It’s not the end of the world

Hunnybears Wed 20-May-20 18:19:36

@Kapten

I did try and say it might not come to that to him, but he feels it’s good chance of getting let go. Hard times at the min.

Think it’s quite difficult to get Monday - Friday 9-5 as most jobs seem to want weekends. I hope you’re right though!!

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KaptenKrusty Wed 20-May-20 18:24:58

I suppose it depends what he works at the hours I suppose! I was just thinking offices

I hope he gets to keep his job anyway best of luck

Hunnybears Wed 20-May-20 18:28:35

Thanks. 😊

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amy85 Wed 20-May-20 18:36:39

He'd be able to claim universal credit and as he claims for the kids that will help....rough idea of UC amount is just over £900 maximum entitlement (personal and kids allowance)

If he claims JSA that is on top of UC but is deducted from his UC entitlement as they are overlapping benefits.

Child benefit is ontop of UC

But if he has to claim UC it's important he claims after he has received his last wage....applying before will cause a wage deduction from his first UC payment which depending on his wage could make his first payment zero or very low

Hunnybears Wed 20-May-20 19:22:13

@amy85

Wow that’s very informative, thanks very much for your advice. I’ll make sure I pass that on to him.

I’m just hoping it doesn’t come to that for him 😫

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BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Wed 20-May-20 19:24:35

He will also get a redundancy pay out so can use that to bridge any gaps for a few months.

SciFiScream Wed 20-May-20 19:28:48

There are online calculators to work out how much redundancy payment he should get.

https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-redundancy-pay

There must be some things he could do to prepare? Then if he doesn't lose his job that's brilliant.

Hunnybears Wed 20-May-20 19:49:10

@BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz

See he said they made him sign some kind of form and that he needed to sign it in order to be furloughed. It said something about them possibly having to make redundancies but that they would hope that wouldn’t be he case.

Not sure if they’ve made the staff sign a disclaimer..

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Hunnybears Wed 20-May-20 19:50:31

@SciFiScream

He’ll need to beck what it was he signed. They made it sound like it was just for agreeing to the furlough but I’m wondering if it was a new contract

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SciFiScream Wed 20-May-20 19:54:57

I'm definitely not an expert but I don't think a new contract (with the same employer) would affect his redundancy pay?

Especially since the redundancy pay worked out via that link is statutory???

ExpertsAssemble! (please)

PlanDeRaccordement Wed 20-May-20 19:55:41

If he is made redundant he should get a good redundancy package. Isn’t it usually 1 month pay per year service? So 9 mos pay? He would not get UC then if the redundancy package puts him over £16k savings. But he could get it after he’s used the money up and has no job by then.

If he’s really worried, he can start looking for another job. You don’t have to be made redundant to find a new job. If anything it will get his CV out on the job boards. Maybe a better job will come along.

PlanDeRaccordement Wed 20-May-20 19:56:53

If it was a 1pagr form, probably not a whole new contract. But yes, he should check what exactly he signed.

LangClegsInSpace Wed 20-May-20 20:13:08

Redundancy pay

He should check how much statutory redundancy pay he is entitled to. This will depend on his age as well as how long he has worked there.

www.gov.uk/calculate-your-redundancy-pay

He should also check his contract to see if he is entitled to contractual redundancy pay.

Contribution-based benefits

He should be entitled to 'new style' JSA regardless of what other income or savings he has. He just needs to have paid enough NI over the past couple of years. Usually there is a requirement to look for work and be available for work but this has been suspended until at least 29/06/20.

He can claim 'new style' JSA either on its own or together with means tested benefits.

Means tested benefits

It's not clear whether he is currently getting working tax credit, child tax credit or both. Sometimes people think they get child tax credit because they get help towards childcare but this is actually part of working tax credit. It is possible for one person to claim child benefit and another to claim child tax credit for the same child but I'm not sure how common this is or how many headaches it causes.

He needs to tell HMRC if he is made redundant and he will lose any working tax credit he is currently getting. If he gets child tax credit the amount should go up because he is on a lower income.

He will need to find out whether he would be better off staying on tax credits or moving over to universal credit and he should find out before he loses his job.

This is because if he is just getting working tax credit he can add child tax credit to his claim. If he loses his job and so loses working tax credit he cannot then make a new claim for child tax credit, he would have to apply for UC instead.

Similarly, if he later gets a job but is on a low wage or needs help with childcare, he will only be able to make a new working tax credit claim if he is already getting child tax credit.

Turn2Us benefit calculator is quite good but should not be treated as gospel:

benefits-calculator.turn2us.org.uk/AboutYou

Does he have savings? Savings are disregarded for tax credits but UC assumes an amount of income from any savings over £6K and if he has over £16K he would not be entitled to any UC at all.

Redundancy pay is treated differently under UC and the old benefit system. Statutory redundancy pay is not taxed and will not affect any tax credit claim. Contractual redundancy pay is taxed over £30K and so may affect his tax credits.

Both statutory and contractual redundancy pay are treated as capital for universal credit claims.

The benefit system does not provide much support for mortgage payments. There's a loan you can apply for after 9 months on UC but it only pays the mortgage interest and the loan itself is not interest free. This is not available if he stays on tax credits. He should check with his mortgage provider whether he can get a 3 month payment holiday and what the terms are. He should also check the terms of his mortgage payment insurance.

He should also check with his local council if he is entitled to Council Tax Reduction, whether or not he claims other means tested benefits.

Hunnybears Wed 20-May-20 20:32:28

@LangClegs

Oh wow that’s absolutely brilliant. Crikey you love your stuff! Fantastic advice. I’ll screen shot these replies and send them on to him and he can’t start.

Thanks so much to all of you. It just felt so overwhelming and now I feel you’ve all shed lots of light on to what is the minefield if the benefits system.

Thanks all once again- much appreciated 😊

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Hunnybears Wed 20-May-20 20:33:04

I mean you know your stuff @LangClegsInSpace

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LangClegsInSpace Wed 20-May-20 21:00:03

Don't screenshot, copy and paste the text so the links work.

Hunnybears Wed 20-May-20 21:36:58

Good idea. I will do @Lang
😃

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unfortunateevents Thu 21-May-20 16:19:26

There are lots of 9-5 jobs but you haven't said which industry so it may be that it is not the norm wherever he is. Otherwise, a 13 year old would not normally be requiring pick-up from school and the 4 year old may have to consider something like after-school club? Could the other parent do the weekend times if he has to work then? Some changes in arrangements may be necessary.

Any which way, the most important thing right now is for him to stop panicking and start planning, starting with digging out and sharing with you whatever paperwork he has including his contract and whatever he signed before being furloughed. Also, if the rest of his department is returning to work, is there a reason why he cannot ask what the plans are for him?

G0ldF1nch20 Fri 22-May-20 13:00:33

If in UK redundancy is tax free up to 30k

Day after he is made redundant, apply for contributions based job seekers allowance via universal credit www.gov.uk

The redundancy money is NOT taken into account for a certain time period, he should receive a letter

He should receive approx £74 a week
Plus if he rents, he would receive extra towards this

It is not back dated so apply asap after redundancy

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