Hi everyone I seperated from my husband a few months ago and have been claiming working tax credit, child tax credit, childcare element and housing benefit since then. However, my child is not settling well at school, I am struggling to fit in work and school things and am feeling that I am failing completely at juggling the two. I unable to reduce my hours...it just is not an option as far as I can see after broaching the subject at work. I am seriously toying with the idea of handing in my notice just to allow me to actually drop off and pick up from school and be a bit more present and help with the settling in, cuddles, quality time that I feel I have missed out on providing up till now. I can't seem to work out from the benefits checker thing online what I would actually be entitled to though at this point in the tax year if i stopped earning right now. Possibly income support as my child is under 5? And housing benefit still? I tried to call and get some advice but the HM revenue place were very unhelpful as I hadn't actually quit my job at that point! Is that how it works or would i be penalised since we are half way through the tax year and ive been earning up till now? Apologies for the length of this...it is causing me a bit of a headache!
opps! ...everything is more settled and more sorted. I just seem to be spending my life in a constant stress at the moment and have no time to dedicate to anything and my child seems to be the one that is suffering. Once everything was more calm and happier I would then look for work that fitted around school hours. Just thought I'd add that in before I get a flaming for considering quitting my job!
Jobs that fit into school hours are few and far between so think seriously before you make such a move.
I believe IS is still available until your child turns 5. It's changing to 3 in April 2017. You will also still continue to receive the Child Tax Element of your Tax Credits, and Child Benefit.
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support are means tested. So you begin to claim when your income changes. You will be entitled to both but they may not cover your full rent and council tax. Check your area's LHB lha-direct.voa.gov.uk/search.aspx How old is your DC? Depends on age whether you are entitled to one or two rooms for rent.
you can only get IS until he is 5. AS he is already in school, his 5th birthday must be round the corner.you then would have to apply for JSA. been there myself recently. job centre will ask you to look for at least a 40h role and they will consider a 90 min commute each way reasonable. you will have to spend time each day logging onto a Website and record your jobsearch and they will monitor it. I really would not recommed that Route. school hour job sounds fab. only there arent really any (I found one after 2 years applying and 200 applications later) so I would not count on that.
and I think yabu to expect the taxpayer to fund you just because it isn't all plain sailing
I would not quit your job until you have found something else which fits in better with your life for the reasons stated above - if your child is almost five then you will have to switch to JSA and have to look for any job. You could end up in a worse situation. I don't think you would have to look for a 40hr role though, I'm sure it is much less for lone parents ( at the moment). if you are very stressed could you take some sick leave and/ or annual leave for a few weeks until your child is more settled ? Can your ex husband help with school pick ups and drop offs?
Thanks for the replies. I have juggled the school pick ups and drop offs a but to make it easier and have managed to reduce my hours slightly on one day which I'm hoping will help reduce the constant running around which I seem to be doing. And c4kedout, after working and paying taxes solidly for 15 years I resent the comment that I am expecting the taxpayer to fund me. A temporary set back in my life is not something I expected or set out to create and it would only have been a temporary and desperate solution.
Pringlesandwine please take no heed of the nay-sayers above. At the moment you're entitled to claim IS for lone parenting under 5's. Personally I think this is a ridiculously young age and age 3 is just plain cruelty. Not every child is the same, not every lone parent is the same.
I'm glad you have been able to juggle things a little to help. This first term full-time for kids is hellish, they are just so so tired. Hoping things get a little easier for you as you go on.
Thank you Katharine. I'm hoping things get a little easier. To the ones giving me a hard time ..I only took 12 weeks maternity before having to return to work 30+ hours a week when I had my child. I couldn't afford not to work and I didn't take advantage of the system then and I never would unless I was desperate. And when I posted my original post I felt pretty desperate.