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Will I be entitled to Universal Credit?

(10 Posts)
meganm94 Thu 09-Jan-20 12:34:37

I am considering not returning to work after maternity leave. I am due back at the end of April, however I have been weighing up our different options financially and it is looking like it's not even worth me going back as I will be coming out with basically the same pay as I would potentially be getting on benefits after paying childcare. Me and my husband both work full time and are both on minimum wage and have done this since we were 16/17, I am now 25 and he is 28. This obviously wouldn't be a permanent solution and my plan would be to start looking for work again after my daughter turns 2 as I will be able to claim the 30 free hours when she turns 3. I'm just a bit confused as to how Universal Credit works as I was always under the impression that if you resigned from work of your own will then you weren't able to claim anything for a certain amount of time. I have used a benefits calculator on the gov.uk website and that is saying I would be entitled to around £300 a month including child benefit. How accurate are these benefit calculators and would I be able to apply for a claim as soon as I put in my 4 weeks notice at work as I read it can take up to 5 weeks for payment to come through? Or would I not be able to apply until I've officially finished work which would obviously leave us quite tight for a month or two until the money came in? I'm just completely at a loss with it all so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Hope this makes sense!

OP’s posts: |
fizzymango Thu 09-Jan-20 12:37:06

I can’t answer most of your questions but It would be worth doing another calculation but putting in your work circumstances and your childcare costs as UC can also pay 85% of your childcare costs so you may find out you’d actually have more money if you returned to work and claimed UC than if you quit your job and claim UC.

meganm94 Thu 09-Jan-20 12:52:59

I've done this too and it's saying I'd only be entitled to £30 a month to help with childcare, so it still doesn't seem worth it ☹️

OP’s posts: |
Rara94 Thu 09-Jan-20 13:58:09

Entitled to is very inaccurate! If you have Facebook I'd defiantly recommend universal credit essentials, they are fab and know loads about uc. You can put in a claim whenever you like but dependent on circumstances you may not be eligible right now. It is a 5 week wait however you would be able to get an advance to help until first payment is through, which would have to be paid back at an agreed amount each month from uc xx

Rara94 Thu 09-Jan-20 13:59:35

Also with a child under 1 you can leave work without being sanctioned/told not eligible, hope that all makes sense. I'm quite clued up on uc so feel free to ask any questions xx

meganm94 Thu 09-Jan-20 14:21:46

@Rara94 thank you for your reply, so if I was to apply when I handed my 4 weeks notice in at work, would I say that I was unemployed as I would have a leave date or would I still have to declare myself as employed until I've officially left? Would I be better off just waiting to apply when I've officially left my job? I'm just worried about getting done for fraud, sorry if I'm sounding thick, I just find it all really confusing!

OP’s posts: |
Rara94 Thu 09-Jan-20 16:27:57

Yes you'd probably have to state you are employed as you technically still would be. You would then just do a change on your online account to say you have left employment x

Rara94 Thu 09-Jan-20 16:29:16

Do you claim anything now? Don't want to sound too nosey! However you may not have to apply for uc if you already have tax credits claim set up

meganm94 Thu 09-Jan-20 16:56:14

@Rara94 Ah right, it would probably be easier to just apply for it when I've officially left then I guess. And no, we get nothing other than £20 a week child benefit and I'm currently on SMP x

OP’s posts: |
Rara94 Thu 09-Jan-20 18:29:38

If you are on Facebook join the uc group I mentioned. There's a few things you should be aware of regarding assessment dates and when wages are paid

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