We had DC2 last summer. I worked for an agency until a month before the birth so I'm now effectively unemployed. I've been getting the minimum Maternity Support Allowance but that ends in February. As DD has had some health problems (although not classed as disabled for benefits purposes) I don't feel ready to leave her yet and go back to work. I've never claimed a penny of benefits before but after much soul searching I've decided to look in to it and see if there's anything that could help us financially if I take another 6-8 months off work to be a SAHM. I don't want to claim job seekers as I won't be looking for work until August time at least. My husbands income is £26k and we have no other income and minimal savings. We are private rented so I think I can claim housing benefit?? Is there anything else I could claim? I'm feeling guilty about it and dont want to discuss with family as I know some of them will look down on it so any advice would be gratefully received. I've been on gov website but it's all a bit confusing!
As purple said, go to www.entitleddto.com and put all your figures in there. The other site is called turn2us and also has a calculator to give you some idea..
Housing benefit might be a possibility....phone your local housing benefit office, if you don't ask you will never know. Tax credits have changed so I don't know if you qualify or not.
Don't be downhearted though, benefits are there to support you if you need it. Ignore judgey relations, I have them too....you are talking to "the benefits queen" according to snidey SIL when I fell out with her brother (my ex) over lack of maintenance last year.
Like you I have always worked and it's only now my DSL is really struggling (he is autistic) that I am not doing so and am currently on full benefits and Carers Allowance.
Definitely explore it all, you might or might not be entitled to support but if you are then claim it.
Thanks everyone I'll check out those websites once I've got salary info together. Grateful Head - thanks for your comments, I just know some people are going be very judgy but until they've walked a day in my shoes they can't possibly judge
Thanks GlitzAndGiggles I would judge myself if people are playing the system and claiming when working or pretendung to be a poor single mum when they are really in a relationship with a high earner (a distant family member does this and it makes me very cross!) I've worked full time since I left school, fully intended to go back once DD was 9 months old but health scares have made me rethink. We just need some help for a few months until I'm ready and able to return to work
You will be entitled to some child tax credits and possibly housing benefit depending on your income and rent. The threshold for child tax credits with 2 kids is around £32k . They will initially base any claim on your income for the last tax year, you may then need to update them with estimated earnings if you expect them to be significantly lower.