Go to entitledto.com and fill in the form on there. It should take about 15 minutes, but it will tell you everything to apply for in just one place. You probably will have to apply to several different places though, but at least you'll know what you are likely to get, so no wasted calls.
I doubt you will be entitled to working tax credit but should get child tax credit. You will also get child benefit which is about 20 pound a week. You also need to inform ax credit your partner is on smp as they do not count (think it is 400) of that when claiming. Congratulations on the birth of your daughter
You are on similar wages to my and dh, unfortunately we are in the same situation, earning just over the income thresholds to get much help. With regards the time your partner is on SMP she unfortunately will only be able to take off as long as your finances allow, did u put any money aside during her pregnancy to help you with this? I think if you will have childcare costs once she is back at work you will get some additional help towards these, up to max 70% of your total childcare costs. Have you looked at ways to cut your expenditure, eg if you have a mortgage many companies allow you to take a payment holiday while she is on maternity leave?
There will be a form in your wife's bounty pack from the hospital, to claim child benefit. Send that off with baby's birth certificate, and once you receive the letter awarding you the child benefit you can ring up about claiming tax credits.
we have bought all the items she needs cot clthes etc but its just after that we think we are going to struggle . . we are getting really frustrated knowing that we work really hard and we plan for a baby and we know that we are going to be stretched to thepoint of breaking, when others get most things handed to them on a plate and then abuse it. . .
it such an emotional time for us and we feel like were on our own apart from the replies on here we have no help what so ever . . we just dont want to struggle, as it means our daughter will struggle and she does not deserve that . . .
Please, try not to worry too much about the money. I know this must be an extremely emotional time for you. I have friends whose baby was born 3 months premature (in fact they were supposed to be in our antenatal group, but of course missed the entire course - a couple of us ran into the mum by chance at a baby group, so we adopted her into our postnatal meet-ups) - try to be aware that everything is going to seem SO MUCH WORSE when you are tired, stressed and worried and your plans have changed so suddenly.
Things are going to be fine. Money will be tight, but you will manage. Babies really don't cost as much as you think. It might seem like some people get stuff handed to them on a plate, but you're already better off than they are, or you'd be getting the handouts as well. But when everything is this strained, it's not helping to focus on the things you can't change. Just apply for what you have been told, and then try to focus on yourselves and the baby and each other and seeing what you can do to make things easier, even if that is just trying to make sure you talk to each other about your worries.
Once the baby is home hopefully things will be less stressful and you can just try to concentrate on being a new family. Congratulations BTW You could perhaps try to find out what groups are on in your area for mums of new babies so that when your wife is feeling up to it, she can take LO along, which should get her out of the house and she will probably meet people with babies the same age as well, which will be invaluable in building up a support network. You could ask at the hospital if there are any kinds of support groups for parents of premature babies locally too.