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worse off working than on benifits?

(19 Posts)
bellahen Thu 26-May-11 17:25:54

my friend is £50p/w worse off since starting work on min wage than she was on benifits,how can that be right? before she had her council rent/ council tax paid,full child tax credit for 2 children,family allowence,free dental treatment,perscriptions,glasses ect, and £70p/w for food after all her bills were paid, now she has to pay everything "cos shes working" and has the extra cost of travelling expeneses now so shes ended up with £50 p/w less!
has any1 else found the same?

happyinherts Thu 26-May-11 17:27:25

Definitely - thing is either government don't see this or they don't want to. I hate it when they state that everyone is better off working. Truth of matter is they are not

GypsyMoth Thu 26-May-11 17:30:06

she has the option of extra hours? overtime?
minimum wage job is never going to pay well is it? how many hours?

misdee Thu 26-May-11 17:32:10

has she checked to see if she is still entitled to some HB?CTB

ExpatAgain Thu 26-May-11 17:36:05

hmm well, it may not be "fair" but at least she's got the self-respect which comes from working for a living when this is possible rather than taking the easy way out/relying on the good old tax-payer! Good for her! at least if she's working she'll have the chance to develop her experience/work her way up is likely to be opening the door to earning much more than she'd get from passively receiving benefits. imho...

bellahen Thu 26-May-11 17:56:54

no shes not entitled to any extra help only working tax credits, she does 40hrs pw,shes just doing bar work/cleaning ,the kids are 13/15. she feels as though it was all for nothing not getting better. she hoped to provide a better standard of living for her and the kids, (they were on the poverty line before)but losing more money a week shes at her wits end.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 27-May-11 06:50:25

If I was her, I would run my details through something like this Benefits Checker and make sure that I was applying for everything that was available and that the amounts awarded were correct. Also, she should make sure that her employer is not using an emergency tax code (the tax deducted should be zero or close to zero if she is on minimum wage). And if travelling expenses are particularly expensive maybe, in the meantime, she can look for similar employment closer to home or lift-share?

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 27-May-11 07:01:24

Just read your last post more carefully and the part about Child Tax Credits is definitely wrong. I've just run the benefits checker based on a single woman, mid-thirties with two children 13 & 15 and 40 hours/week minimum wage @£6.08/hour grossing up to £243/week or £12,646 per year. The calculator says she is entitled to £40/week in WTC and £108/week in CTC and that she should also qualify for Housing Benefit. Depending on how much rent she pays, that could also be significant.

If she's really struggling with this and if she's not getting the amounts shown above, there's more information here on where to apply for the various help available.

swallowedAfly Fri 27-May-11 07:07:17

Message withdrawn

bellahen Fri 27-May-11 08:31:04

i'll pass on the info,i think she only gets wtc not ctc,i dont know about the tax she pays,i know her rent is £68 p/w, no child-care, her travelling expenses are quite dear though as its shift work, mornings for the cleaning and then evenings for the bar,she doesnt drive so its either bus or taxi (to get home at night)

RamblingRosa Fri 27-May-11 08:37:43

It wouldn't surprise me if she were worse off if her kids were in childcare (there was a Gingerbread report out this week showing that a single mum on minimum wage would only take home something like 4p out of every £1 she earned because of the amount she would pay on childcare shock) but if there's no childcare involved I reckon she should be better off or at least breaking even.

If I were you, I'd tell her to call Gingerbread or Working Families helpline (0800 013 0313) to get some advice on what she's entitled to.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 27-May-11 08:53:56

Running the benefits checker again based on £6.08/hour, single parent, £68/week rent, no child care costs. Assuming everyone is able-bodied, not a widow etc., and I'll include £600/year council tax as a rough guess.

Result of what she should be able to claim (rounded numbers)

Working Tax Credit £40/week
Child Tax Credit £108/week
Council Tax benefit £0
Housing benefit £0
Child Benefit £33.80

Which adds up to £182/week on top of her £243 wages. She should only be paying about £20/week tax. Obviously don't know the amount spent on taxis and buses. Ask her if this would still leave her £50/week worse off than she was before she started working

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 27-May-11 08:59:40

"she feels as though it was all for nothing not getting better. she hoped to provide a better standard of living for her and the kids"

She is providing a better standard of living by the mere fact that now she is actually providing for the children - before other people were. Its not for "nothing" as she puts it, its called paying your own way in life. It may lead to other oportunities and will show her children a good work ethic.

Given she'll qualify for WTC and has no childcare costs and a very low rent theres no way she would be worse of than being on JSA. She could get a bike to cut travel costs down.

swallowedAfly Fri 27-May-11 09:14:27

Message withdrawn

gillybean2 Sun 29-May-11 09:49:45

She can apply for an NHS exemption card too if she's on WTC/CTC.
I have one and it gives me a free eye test, free prescriptions and £30 towards new glasses each year.

My travel costs are £10 a day for petrol and I run a car for which I budget £100 a month for insurance, service, MOT etc.
I am still better off working than on benefits but I don't have rent/mortgage.

You sure she's not having a 'woah is me moment'? Ask her if she wants to sit down and work out the figures with you as you don't think she's getting everything she's entitled too. She may decline of course, but if she accepts it may help her realise that she should be better off in reality if she claims veverything she should/can.

MotherSnacker Sun 29-May-11 20:45:59

Sometimes you can get housing benefit when you are working if your income is low enough. Perhaps she should check they have calculated hers correctly.

kri5ty Tue 31-May-11 07:57:16

Wow i dont mean to mean any disrespect at all, but i wish i had £70 a week spare after all my bills!!

I work full time (above minimum wage) and i have £150 for the month for food, travel, clothes etc

swallowedAfly Tue 31-May-11 08:19:00

Message withdrawn

bellahen Wed 01-Jun-11 18:33:08

i really dont know what to think anymore! i know my situ and with running a 1lt micra/ins/fuel ect and my rent/bills ect i have £120 p/w but out of that i have key meters for gas/elec @£15 each i have £90 left for food/clothes ect and i find it difficult with 2 kids,i get the £108child tax credit/£40 wtc,£33 child ben, my rent / ct is the same as hers, but ive not been on "benefits so i dont know how it compared with hers plus i have a husband aswell. i try to help her a bit if she runs out of food eg bread/tea ect but i dont have alot myself.

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