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High-ish earner, benefits questions re maternity, clueless

(20 Posts)
ThePeoplesChamp Sun 06-Nov-16 18:13:31

Hi - I'm sure this has been done to death, so I apologise in advance and would welcome any links to previous links (tried search but cryptic titles often used) have included all number here rather than dripfeed.

I'm the breadwinner in our house £57,000 plus £6000 car allowance (car allowance is taxed obviously and is eaten up in the standard of car I must maintain as per contract so not disposable) I come home with just over £3000 a month.... in March I go off on maternity .... and that old 'friend' SMP kicks in, £139 per week. I had planned to save, and have a little but no mega-cushion, as following illness DH has been out of work, so I have beeen carrying all of the household bills - over £2k per month, plus food & pterol etc.

I've been quite frugal with the £1000 we have spare (not incl food and petrol) and I appreciate this is a lot more than some have, and have kitted us out with a lot of 2nd hand stuff for the baby. So, we're all sorted there.

What I could use advice - or a point in the direction of any advice on is benefits. I've never claimed anything before, everyone really just assumes I have buckets of money (I dont due to family leeches issues but that's a whole other tale) I know the governement arent suddenly going to ride in on white horses and gift me my mortgage payments .... but I have literally no clue where to start.

Am I entitled to any child benefit / Tax Credits / anything? when i drop to £139 a week?

I get that if I was still bringing home £3000 montly its totally right I shouldnt have anything from the gov on top.... but to have less than £600 to pay all bills seems an impossibilty, but all the calculators I enter my details on say nope?

TheBiscuitStrikesBack Sun 06-Nov-16 18:15:03

I don't think you'll be entitled to anything other than SMP.

Figgygal Sun 06-Nov-16 18:17:34

You will still get child benefit I think but part of it you will have to pay back google money advisory service it had information there for earners between £50 and £60k though they may count your car allowance as income which would push you over £60k.

I don't think you're entitled to anything else though unfortunately

FlappyRose Sun 06-Nov-16 18:18:07

What income does/will your DH have?

gunting Sun 06-Nov-16 18:21:06

Before I went on maternity leave we earned £34,000 collectively a year and we were entitled to nothing

Starla268 Sun 06-Nov-16 18:23:57

You may be entitled to child benefit but may have to pay back tax on it. Would also depend a bit on if your husband is earning anything at all at the moment?

In a similar situation myself (both high earners) so it's not worth us claiming the child benefit as we'd just have to pay it all back again at the end of the tax year! I've just had to be extremely frugal in the last 9 months in order to save and top up my SMP in order to keep up with our outgoings.

I'd also recommend a budgeting app to keep a track of all your outgoings and what you have left as 'disposable' income for each month - I've found this really helpful for keeping on top of things and also making me think really carefully about what I actually buy!

Good luck and congratulations on the pregnancy!

ThePeoplesChamp Sun 06-Nov-16 18:24:04

Thanks for the quick replies guys (even though they are as worrying as I feared)

DH currently £0. ... hoping he will secure new job at around £30k.... and if he does all will be easier. Not easy, but easier.

ThePeoplesChamp Sun 06-Nov-16 18:24:56

gunting thats rough sad

Artandco Sun 06-Nov-16 18:25:48

I would take a short maternity leave, then leave baby with husband seeing he isn't working right now

sleepyhead Sun 06-Nov-16 18:26:05

The key is how much you will earn over the tax year rather than any given week.

You might be entitled to some tax credits if your baby is born in April and you plan to take a full year mat leave otherwise probably not. SMP is not counted for tax credits calculations but other benefits may be.

You'll have to apply based on the previous year's income, you'll be told you don't qualify and then you'll need to phone them to tell them about your current circumstances.

welshweasel Sun 06-Nov-16 18:28:51

Unlikely you'll get anything other than SMP. Take 6-8 weeks off then go back to work? Babies are pretty boring at that age and if your husband isn't earning it would seem the obvious thing to do.

gunting Sun 06-Nov-16 18:30:03

Peoples yep! I only qualified for maternity allowance and my DH is on a low wage so we had about £1200 a month for everything but we managed. I went back to work after 5 months though as it wasn't sustainable.

expatinscotland Sun 06-Nov-16 18:31:16

I had to go back to work after 4 months and DH stayed home with the baby. Needs must.

tiredandhungryalways Sun 06-Nov-16 18:31:24

Our combined income is less than yours and we don't get anything so I doubt you will. Hope you work something out, good luck

mouldycheesefan Sun 06-Nov-16 18:31:29

Smp only I would imagine.
Bunwouldnt you still get your car a,lowance as well? As all benefits continue except rumernation?
Dh needs to get a job. That is your issue.

sleepyhead Sun 06-Nov-16 18:33:14

Would your employer let you return part time for say 6 months? you could then take a short mat leave and go back temporarily 3 days a week which would give you 4 days with your baby, dh doing 3.

Still a drop in income but better than smp.

expatinscotland Sun 06-Nov-16 18:36:15

Why can't your husband by a SAHD and you go back after a couple of months? Seems to be the default option is always the woman going part-time, asking for flexible work, etc. Why is he no less capable of taking care of his child at home as the mother?

gunting Sun 06-Nov-16 18:45:28

Expat that's what we did. My DH has been a SAHD for 8 months now and it works perfectly.

ThePeoplesChamp Sun 06-Nov-16 20:26:41

Thanks All - appreciate all the input. chocolate

Looking like so long as all goes well with Birth will be a v short Mat Leave!

Going to distract cheer self up by hopping back on the celebrity secrets v2 thread

YonicProbe Sun 06-Nov-16 20:36:03

Claim child benefit (actually, your DH should maybe do it to keep up NIC)

Whoever does it will need to declare on their tax return if you earn over £50k in the year, it will then be taken from your tax code. Cash flow wise, it's better to hav it immediately and repay it later. Plus in the year to April 2018, you will probably earn less than £50k anyway, given maternity leave.

For the first 6 weeks you will get 90% of pay as smp , not £139 Pw.

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