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Worried about universal credit transfer in the future

(27 Posts)
samanthajayne17 Tue 07-Mar-17 12:08:10

I'm a stay at home mum. My Husband works full time and we have 5 kids. He's on low income. At the moment we claim child Ben and child tax based on his wage and we don't get any other help. Reading about universal credit scares me because my says current claimants of tax credits are being moved over on to UC in 2018. So next year and that means we will lose tax credits and child Ben for 3 of our children. Tax credits and child Ben helps us a lot as by time he's paid rent and council tax form his wage as well as has and electric and other bills he has nothing left. So I use child Ben and child tax to buy food and clothes and everything else. So we will be losing a massive chunk in income form next year. I won't get a job by next year. I can apply but due to my husbands awkward shift work I can't work around him. We could never afford child care and we have no family and friends to help. It says that once your circumstances change whilst I'm UC all the policies start to apply to you. So if we are moved to UC I'm 2018 and I get a job then I will lose even more due to my income even though I won't be able to work full time and won't earn much. So it's really pointless me working as we will be worse off but we will also be worse off without me working. We will also not be entitled to housing benefit or council tax support when we lose income for the other 3 kids so we
Will really really will struggle. Is anyone else in the same position. What do I do?

lougle Tue 07-Mar-17 12:14:05

Can your DH move to a job with more fixed hours so that you can get a job with fixed hours that compliment them?

Leatherboundanddown Tue 07-Mar-17 14:44:05

How old are your children currently?

Babyroobs Tue 07-Mar-17 17:43:34

I don't think child benefit is affected by Universal credit . Therefore that is £300 every 4 weeks that you don't need to worry about losing.

Babyroobs Tue 07-Mar-17 17:49:00

We have 4 kids and have always worked around each other with one of us doing shift work. It just means generally that one of you has a 9-5 ish work pattern and the other does nights/ weekends. If your dh works the shifts then you may need to think about a part time daytime job if all your kids are school aged. Obviously school holidays are an issue but you would just have to do what many people do and you and your dh take your holidays separately and use childcare for the rest of the week. Check out cheapish council run playschemes / sports schemes in the school holidays. If you are on a lowish income you should still get help with childcare costs or think about sharing childcare with a friend or neighbour?

Babyroobs Tue 07-Mar-17 17:57:53

Or another possibility could be to do some kind of care work through an agency. Some of them will offer their own training and will be flexible - you only agree to do shifts if they fit in with your husbands shifts therefore you won't be paying out on childcare.. I work in a hospital unit and the agency we use employs a lot of health care assistants from Africa who have not been in the country more than a few years. They do a couple of nightshifts a week to make ends meet. I worked with one the other night who was telling me she had 5 young kids and just works when her husband is home.
I won't pretend it's easy to work around your partner in this way ( I have done it for 16 years since mine were babies). It is exhausting but sometimes with a big family to support, it is the only way to make ends meet. Good luck with working something out.

Riderontheswarm Tue 07-Mar-17 20:15:27

I think you'll still get what you currently get as current claimants are supposed to have their current amounts protected. I disagree with having one rule for current claimants and another for everyone else. It doesn't seem right that a family that has never claimed but falls on hard times, redundancy, death, illness or divorce won't be eligible for the same level of help as a family that has always claimed. But I disagree with all the ideological cuts and simultaneous massive waste of public funds elsewhere.

Babyroobs Tue 07-Mar-17 20:56:49

I think the main issue for you will be that if your children are all school age ( or when they become school aged), under UC you will be expected to look for work and will have to sign a 'conditionality agreement' to agree to look for work of a certain number of hours if you want to continue to get help. I think if they are under a certain age, you can limit your job search to school hours. I'm not sure on the exact details though.

Leggit Tue 07-Mar-17 21:05:48

Has your husband considered a job change? You say you won't get a job by next year, well why not? You have a year, a whole year for him to look for something with easier hours for you to work around. This is one of the very things that is wrong with the benefits system. The attitude that you can't help yourself.

Leatherboundanddown Tue 07-Mar-17 21:14:54

Babyroobs is correct in that both parents will be required to work once children are of school age which is why I wondered how old your children are now.

I need to read up on this more but there is what is called 'transitional protection' which means that your current amount should be protected during the switchover however there is a clause to say that is only the case until there is a change of circumstances. Change of circumstances is vague isn't it so I would bet that it will include anything such as moving house, changing job even if finances are unchanged, them giving you an over/underpayment etc etc. I think it will be quite brutal and they will find any excuse possible to reduce the payouts as much as possible.

Babyroobs Tue 07-Mar-17 21:25:30

Leather - I received a UC training package to do with my work. It was so confusing reading about all the different conditionality groups , I only made it to the second page !! I need to brace myself to look at it again as I really need to get my head around it.

TreeTop7 Tue 07-Mar-17 21:50:06

You will be worse off under Univ Credit, OP. Moreover, you will be expected to find work when your youngest child is 4 years old I think. If you were to have a sixth child you'd get no tax credits/UC for them so be careful there.

You and your husband need to prepare. This might mean that he finds a 9-5 job so that you can work a few night shifts. Or it might mean that he finds better paid work or does more hours (much easier said than done, I know).

You have the advantage of knowledge, and you've got time to sort something out. I think that a lot of people are in for a shock, especially self employed people who consistently declare earnings just below the Class 4/income tax levels.

samanthajayne17 Tue 07-Mar-17 22:03:47

Thank you for all your input. I have a 10 year old, 9, 6, 5 year old and a 10 month old baby. He won't change his job. He says it won't do him any favours changing his job as he said other jobs wouldn't be suitable. I have read that the protection given for tax credit claimants moving to UC will be taken away at the slight change of circumstances. Like if I don't manage to find work until UC comes in then j will lose the protection because I've started work which will make me working much worse off

samanthajayne17 Tue 07-Mar-17 22:10:42

I think it's wrong to be honest. I understand it's to stop people having more kids for money but I'm not like that, I didn't have kids for money. And when you have no family who will support you, no decent skills and a husband who's job is awkward it's hard. I didn't have a good supportive upbringing so I left home with little skills and self esteem. It's literally me my husband and my kids. We have no support from anyone. I have all the pressure building, my husband just lives in the here and now and dissent consider the future so I'm the one with all the worries

Babyroobs Tue 07-Mar-17 22:24:18

Perhaps when your baby is a bit older you could consider an evening class ( if your dh's shifts allow) or something relevant to the kind of job you might want in the future. This would help your self esteem too. It's daunting especially if you haven't worked for some years, so just take small steps towards planning for the future.

Babyroobs Tue 07-Mar-17 22:28:22

And I'm sure no-one thinks you had the kids for the money but unfortunately the government are making these cutbacks so it's important to prepare as much as possible. You will be making a joint claim for UC so your husband needs to be fully on board and supportive of you finding work in the future or looking to find a better paid job himself.

itfcbabe Tue 07-Mar-17 22:31:06

I have 6 children,4 still at home youngest is 12 though so a lot easier than for you. I work for NHS 111 changing to fulltime nightshift from ft days next week,is there something like that near you? You could do a couple of nights a week or weekends?
Can your husband just have a look about and see what jobs are about?
You need to get him to think about the future,in the past 3 years 2 of my kids have left for uni so their CB and CTC has stopped another stops Sept 18,then Sept 19,then Sept 21 and last Sept 23 which is really not that long away. My CTC and CB has gone down over £150 a week since my older 2 have gone to uni which is why I got a ft job now,I wont wait until my youngest is 18 and then get a job I did it now so it won't be so much of a shock everything stopping in a few years.

Babyroobs Tue 07-Mar-17 22:36:05

Also bear in mind that kids get so much more expensive once they hit the teen years. I have 4 teenagers and they cost a lot and that's before they even start hitting the Uni years. We don't get any tax credits or anything but I'm still really trying to increase our household income ( have just gone up to full time hours spread over 2 jobs, some of it weekend shift work) as the kids are getting so much more expensive. PP gives excellent advice for getting prepared, the sooner the better really.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Tue 07-Mar-17 22:40:50

Are his shifts 24/7 or does he have some hours where he definitely won't be working?

AndKnowItsSeven Tue 07-Mar-17 22:43:51

You will still receive UC for all five of your children. Any change of circumstances are fine you just can't have a break in your claim of more than six months.

AndKnowItsSeven Tue 07-Mar-17 22:47:48

No you won't be required to work when your child turns three if you dh earns enough. Hours worked are totally irrelevant.
As a couple will children age 3-12 you need to earn nmw x 52.5 hours between you then when your youngest child turns 13 it's nmw x 70 between you. As long as your dh earns enough you will have no conditionality to work.

samanthajayne17 Tue 07-Mar-17 22:50:06

He had two days off a week but these are not set every week. Like this week he had Monday and has Thursday off but next week it's entirely different? The NHS 111 job sounds good working nights. If I cooks start off doing a job that is 2 nights a week works be good if he can somehow get his work to agree but I don't know where I will find that.

AndKnowItsSeven Tue 07-Mar-17 22:50:13

Before you baby turns three it will be nmw x 35 hours. Also the earliest date you could possible be moved to UC is November 2018 ( as you have more than two dc)

itfcbabe Wed 08-Mar-17 07:57:32

NHS 111 is normally advertised on indeed or the NHS website. What area do you live in?

Spindelina Wed 08-Mar-17 15:21:59

Could he put in a flexible working request to ask for set shifts? So the same amount of work but in a more predictable pattern.

I have a friend whose DH did just that - he now has the same day off each week so they can plan around it.

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