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Single parent, studying. What can i claim?

(6 Posts)
veggie123 Sun 23-Oct-16 18:31:54

Im a single parent of a 7 year old and have just started a master degree. I'm finding it really hard to also work 16 hours a week so am considering stopping doing this. But what would i be entitled to claim?
I currently spend £31 a week on childcare and this would need to continue in order for me to get to uni and back each day.

I am considering renting my spare room as a means to almost cover the mortgage. I live in shared ownership house so have mortgage and rent to pay.

Does anyone have any ideas around this. Plus as it's postgraduate study does this change things?

Leatherboundanddown Sun 23-Oct-16 21:09:38

Hi Veggie,

Is your course full time? When does it end?

If you are full time then you are currently exempt from paying council tax, you'd lose this if you rented a room out so you may end up worse off.

I would really try to keep your 16 hr a week job if you can as you will be much better off. Working 16 hours you will be entitled to:
Child tax credit. Working tax credit (including childcare element towards your £31 pw) child benefit. Possibly local housing allowance towards your rent proportion, depends on your salary and if you have any savings?

If you work less than 16 hours you are no longer entitled to WTC so you lose all of that and any childcare contribution.

You would be entitled to:
Child benefit, child tax credit and local housing allowance (as above)

Your child would qualify for pupil premium so therefore free school meals as you would have no income really. How much do you earn from work? I know I would not be able to survive on that.

I am also a student single parent and need to work 16hrs to survive, I would not be able to otherwise.

I don't own a house so not sure on the rent a room income, gov website would tell you if this income would be taken into consideration for your tax credits entitlement.

veggie123 Sun 23-Oct-16 21:43:07

Yes i had a feeling i would be much better off by working and it seems its by quite a lot!
I only have a housekeeping job so don't earn much at all and i'm self employed.
Its just such hard work juggling everything i honestly need about 2 extra days in the week at the moment.

Thanks for your reply, its good to know there are others in the same boat!

FruitCider Sun 23-Oct-16 21:47:13

Are you entitled to the new post graduate loan? That could help. You can also claim hb towards the rent element of your shared ownership property.

Leatherboundanddown Sun 23-Oct-16 22:05:24

Yes it is really hard but you really need to think about after you finish your course too. If you could not find another job you would be really stuck. It is better to stick with the 16 hours it really is.

Top tips:
Simplify anything you can. Shop online. Lower your dinner standards, we have really simple food, sometimes ready meals or pasta dishes that are quick and cheap.
Have 5 complete sets of school uniform if you don't already. Wash gets put on after school on friday, then out to dry and then sorted Sunday night for the week.

Take at least one night off from the studying for yourself, either pick one and stick to it or have it rotating each week but decide in advance. Have an early night/treat yourself properly, if you work ALL the time you are less productive.

Sign up to UNIDAYS. You get good discounts including 10% off in store in Morrisons so if you shop there it could help. If you ever manage to eat out then there is 20% off too.

Try not to get any extensions for your uni deadlines, if you fall behind it is hard to catch up.

Start saving for your graduation and really celebrate it properly, it is a huge achivement.

veggie123 Sun 23-Oct-16 22:07:00


Yes i have a post graduate loan, thats all sorted and i have started the course. I was thinking i would apply for HB that would help.

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