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Confused about benefits I can claim for

(86 Posts)
datedthedevil Mon 01-Apr-13 22:48:35

Hi all,

I hope you don't mind me asking, I'm a little lost and would appreciate some advice.

I'm a lone parent with a 4 month old. I am on maternity leave from my employer who I have been with for two years. My annual salary is £28,400. I did work 37.5 hours a week prior to ML.

I will not be returning to work as my job was London based and I live too far away to sensibly commute.

I have not yet handed in my notice.

As of end of march my only income is SMP. Then as of end August SMP ends and I receive nothing.

I am currently waiting to hear if I qualify for housing benefit and council tax benefit.

Apart from child benefit, please could you tell me what I might be entitled to.

Someone has mentioned that I qualify for income support. Is this true?

Do I qualify for anything else? What are child tax credits?

Any advice really would be appreciated.

Many thanks for everything,

E x

WhoWhatWhereWhen Mon 01-Apr-13 22:50:59

Try this

glitch Mon 01-Apr-13 22:53:34

I think you will be able to.claim for income support and child tax credits. You have to apply for these from 2 different sources (I wrongly assumed it was all paid via the same office).

Kormachameleon Mon 01-Apr-13 22:55:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Roseformeplease Mon 01-Apr-13 22:58:18

Surely you can't just choose to give up work and plan for benefits? You will need to work to support your child / family. Not sure than the rest of us should be working to support your lifestyle choice.

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 23:00:43

Everything is changing, you know. I would seriously reconsider not working.

Katz Mon 01-Apr-13 23:01:39

Do you need to go back to work? You mention that you start on SMP at the beginning of April suggesting that your on enhanced mat pay at the moment. I know for my job I had to go back for 4 months after to keep the enhancement.

Where are you currently living, would it be possible to move closer to be able to commute? That's a decent wage you'd be giving up. Not sure what level tax credits kick in but surely you'd be better off working.

WhoWhatWhereWhen Mon 01-Apr-13 23:03:57

OP, as you have a child under 5 you will be able to get income support when your SMP ends.

And, I'm more than happy to support your choice to look after your child yourself rather than being away for 12 hours a day and paying for childcare, hopefully when you're ready you can find work nearer home.

Good luck

janey223 Mon 01-Apr-13 23:04:13

Could you work reduced hours/go part time? Or look for something closer in the mean time?

Do you have family to help with childcare?

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 23:06:01

Also, check your contract. You may have to return to work for a specified length of time or pay the enhanced pay back. Again, it's not a good idea in this economy and under this government to put yourself at the mercy of the state/benefits.

glitch Mon 01-Apr-13 23:07:05

I believe you can claim of you are a lone parent with a child under 5.
Juggling full time work, childcare, keeping a house going as a lone parent is not a straight forward matter. It is easy to judge before being in that situation.

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 23:07:46

Nothing to do with judging, but seriously, is this a good idea?

glitch Mon 01-Apr-13 23:09:02

Sadly it is sometimes the only practical solution.

janey223 Mon 01-Apr-13 23:09:56

And you'll qualify for income support, child tax credit, child benefit, council tax benefit and local housing allowance.

Btw wasnt having a go, accidentally posted too early! I don't intend to get a job (lost job at 5m pregnant) until my DS starts nursery.

Sorry to all who think they're supporting my lifestyle choice to be a single mum with a baby too but like the OP I've paid my taxes and will again in a couple of years, my job right now like hers is my LO. Working is very expensive and the very little I'd be better off is not worth losing precious time when they're so young.

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 23:14:07

'Sadly it is sometimes the only practical solution. '

Is it? So you're out for years unemployed and then you try to go back in in a triple dip recession or worse? And seriously, I would not put anything past this government. OP, they don't think it should be an option to just jack in your job because you have a baby. They will roll out the Universal Credit in October and they will steadily reduce the age at which your child needs to be, and it won't stay 5.

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 23:17:35

I would struggle like hell to find another solution, tbh. Be aware of the LHA caps in your area, too, if you are in private rented housing.

hwjm1945 Mon 01-Apr-13 23:23:48

I am annoyed to see OP is in effect deciding to live off me as it would be far for her to travel to work.OP where is the child's father? Will he contribute? Can you find something pt and or closer? Also you get v v little in benefits so you would be looking at grinding poverty

mrssmartarse Mon 01-Apr-13 23:26:07

Well first of congrats on you Lo thanks

I don't really know what benefits you'd get, but sod all the judgey pants on this post! Only you know what's best for you!
Get your butt to citizens advice and I'm sure they will help you out! Or Mathews money matters is a great site smile x

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 23:27:54

It is not judgy to suggest, given the agenda of this government, leaving a decent job voluntarily might not be a good idea at all, and, depending on your living arrangements, may make you, and your child, more likely to end up homeless.

TheSecondComing Mon 01-Apr-13 23:28:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

expatinscotland Mon 01-Apr-13 23:28:47

'Get your butt to citizens advice and I'm sure they will help you out!'

Be prepared to wait! Their funding was hacked today.

TheDetective Mon 01-Apr-13 23:31:48

Bloody hell. Some judgemental bastards in here. hmm

OP. I hear you on it being impractical to go back to work as a single parent with a young baby. I worked full time shifts as a single mum, and this was only possible thanks to my mum. My relationship with my son is not as strong as it was prior to this, thanks to him being bought up between me, my ex and my mum. If I had my time again, I'd still have to do the same - but wish desperately I didn't have to.

If you don't have family support, and live a long distance away then it won't be impractical, it will be impossible. Nurseries/childminders aren't open 24/7.

Moving house is very expensive on a very limited budget, I'd have found this impossible. All very well saying just move, but where do you find the money for rent and bond in advance, or if mortgaged - the money to sell, solicitors costs, stamp duty blah blah blah. Not to mention the actual removal costs.

Some people clearly aren't living in the real world.

OP, I'd of advised you to try but when I tried to use their calculator at the weekend it wasn't working.

Perhaps try CAB for advice? You may need to make an appointment.

PeneloPeePitstop Mon 01-Apr-13 23:33:37

On that salary I'd not go on benefits.
Income support is £62 a week. You'd get housing benefit for a 1 bed property for a baby, but only on the bottom 30% of rents in your area.

Tax credits for one child is not a lot really. Plus about £17 a week child benefit.

Oh, and you have to go to work when child is 5. Which if you leave the workplace now you won't go back o a £28k job.

TheSecondComing Mon 01-Apr-13 23:36:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

janey223 Mon 01-Apr-13 23:37:50

So what if she's living off 'you' she's paid her taxes off her 28k, the benefits system is supposed to help when you need it. Working full time, spending hours travelling and going home to put your LO to bed if they're not already there when you get home sounds a dream.

The trouble OP is that you might struggle to find a decent job once you do return so if you can go part time it might be a better solution, and they're extending who can apply for nursery at 2yo for 15.5hours so you may qualify so after a year your childcare costs would go down significantly.

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