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New to fostering

(12 Posts)
CharleyTumbridge1990 Tue 05-Jul-16 11:54:18

Hi. I'm a single mum to two boys, I work 16 hours and have just been approved as a foster carer! Does anyone know what I'm entitled to benefits wise? With and without working? I'm looking at both options. Any advice would be much much appreciated. Thank you!

Flower20166 Tue 05-Jul-16 18:05:33

Hello and welcome!
I'm a single foster carer and as I foster under 5's I had to give up work. When I have a placement I claim income support, and when I don't I claim job seekers allowance.
It's a pain to have to go on job seekers though as you then have to actively be looking for work! Hopefully when universal comes in (I think it's already came in in certain parts of the country?) it will make it easier.

I'm not sure what you can claim whilst working, hopefully someone else can help you there!

CharleyTumbridge1990 Tue 05-Jul-16 18:54:48

Thank you for your reply! I'm going to be having 5-11's so going to attempt working also first, if not I just want to be sure not working is also financially an option. A few people have said you have to register self employed? Did you look into this at all? Thanks

Flower20166 Tue 05-Jul-16 21:03:45

I haven't, but I know I should.. It just seems so confusing!

CharleyTumbridge1990 Tue 05-Jul-16 21:11:40

Glad I'm not the only one finding it confusing then!!

3PurpleCrocs Wed 06-Jul-16 16:36:27

You MUST register as self employed, you're liable to a large fine if you don't. I'm pretty sure the tax man will easily find out if you claim benefits as a foster carer but aren't registered. My LA ask tax advisors to come along to support groups for advice, but even if yours don't I think there is a fair bit of help online - check the You Gov site.

I fill in my tax return online and it's fairly straight forward - I'm not good with forms but manage to do it in about 30 minutes, once a year.

I claim income support as I'm a single carer. You can claim working tax credit instead which is about the same money wise, and possible less of a hassle if you're a short term carer who will have to switch from IS to Job Seekers Allowance between placements.

You're also entitled to claim Income Support for foster children until they're 18, unlike birth children, as most LAs insist you give up work to care for them even when they're school age.

smile

bexollie Sat 12-Nov-16 23:50:32

Hi I'm confused with the comment about income support being claimed for a foster child and the self employed comment too .I've been told by my sw that benefits are not affected by fostering as it's an allowance not a wage however even though I was told agencies are the same for benefits, it's confusing as they pay a lot more and you have to pay tax . Can anyone clarify who does claim income support whether their payments were affected

Cassimin Mon 14-Nov-16 08:02:37

Hi I am a foster carer with 2 birth children.
You cannot claim any benefits for your FC.
You can claim benefits for yourself.
I claim WTC and CTC for myself and my BC.
I do not work.
When filling in tax credit forms your income is classed as 0..
When filling in tax return your income depends on how much you have been paid.
The tax allowances are quite high and if you only have one child in placement you usually pay 0 tax.
The tax are really helpful if you ring them.

bexollie Mon 14-Nov-16 13:59:28

Hi Sorry I'm not sure how to use this, I will be with the local authority so will only get an allownce for the child not a wage so I'm not sure it's all a bit confusing By the sounds of it you are with an agency is that correct

Cassimin Mon 14-Nov-16 14:50:43

Yes, I'm with an agency. Any money we receive is treated as income.
We receive 2 payments each month this is money to provide everything the child needs, transport, clothes, food, savings, pocket money, xmas, etc.
As it is all included in the payments it is all taxable. We have one child living with us and is now long term.
The tax allowances are very high so we don't need to pay any, however we still need to declare it on a tax return otherwise we will be fined. If you have more children and the income is high you may pay tax. Each year our agency sends us info of all income. This is handy if you have lots of children coming and going.
We were advised to declare we were self employed as soon as we were passed at panel.
As far as understand this also applies to LA.

bexollie Mon 14-Nov-16 15:25:18

OK that's fine Well with the local authority its only £140a week which is for the child and isn't classed as income and I was informed of this at a half days training. It's an allowance and will not affect my state benefits This is better for me so I don't have to keep changing between different benefits. Thank you

Cassimin Tue 15-Nov-16 10:05:12

There is a government website that advises on what and how benefits are affected. It also offers advise on National insurance payments.
Your allowance may go up as you do more training. It does in our LA.
This enables you to spoil the little one a bit more and provide more clubs and activities for them.
It also means you don't need to work as if you have a child who requires lots of medical appointments or contact it can be hard to fit your work around this. Our little one has been with us for 4 years and I have only just been able to go back to work for a couple of hours a week.

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