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Universal credit. Joke!

(210 Posts)
Mo3gic Thu 28-Nov-19 18:53:04

So my partner works, we have 3 girls and receive universal credit. I can not believe how much of a joke this system is. “We make it easier to work” is their crap logo. They don’t! My partner works 24hours per week, if he goes over this they deduct it from UC. My partners wages literally pay for the car finance, and car expenses. He’s left with £50 to go towards any bills or shopping. So all the bills get paid from UC. This month is our last payment before Xmas. Once we have paid our rent bills. We are left with £14! That’s right. £14! To buy gas and electric for the month as we are on prepayment metres. To pay for my bus fare to take girls to school. And to buy shopping for a month for 5 people. Then let’s not forget Xmas is around the corner. We can’t even afford to buy the girls presents. I could say to my partner go work as many hours as you can, but then they will deduct it all from UC, which you think well he’s earned it back anyway. No because then work tax him so he loses quite a bit. But then UC decide oh no he’s earned too much this month so we will close your account down as your not entitled to it. So then we get nothing of them, and what my partner has earned isn’t even to cover the rent. Just frustrated with the crap system. I’m trying desperately to get job, I get interviews but then don’t succeed in securing the job. Then childcare is an issue as there isn’t really any childminders at the school and the schools childcare doesn’t have spaces. Is this just me or is anyone else in the same boat? I real feel like I’m losing the will to carry on, just everyday scrimping and scraping, trying to pay bills and put food on the table. We have never used a food bank but it’s really getting to the point we’re going to have to.

biscuitsteaandgin Thu 28-Nov-19 18:54:43

I really sympathise with the childcare but (and I promise I mean this kindly) a family of five with one person working part time will struggle, that’s just how it is.

PorpentinaScamander Thu 28-Nov-19 19:00:37

Are you sure you're getting your full entitlement? Of course if your DP earns more you will get less UC. But (according to my online dashboard) UC reduces by 64p for every £1 earned.

MrsFoxPlus4Again Thu 28-Nov-19 19:00:42

Obviously this isn’t a instant solution but do any of your council offices or community centres have those free courses where someone can go over your CV, internet techniques. It’s also okay to ask employers why you weren’t a successful candidate & if there’s anything you can work on. Our community centre has these.

MrsFoxPlus4Again Thu 28-Nov-19 19:01:37

Interview techniques*

Mo3gic Thu 28-Nov-19 19:02:28

I know it’s just so hard. But then even if partner works full time and does 60 hours pw it still wouldn’t be enough. I’m trying so hard to get one, I start one after Xmas hopefully, if childcare can be sorted. Just want to get of it completely. Work for it all ourselves. But then makes me sad when I have family who work all the hours under the sun but then miss out on such a huge chunk of their children’s lives.

coffeecow Thu 28-Nov-19 19:03:42

Surely he should just work as many hours as he can so at least you know where you stand with how much is coming in?

RandomMess Thu 28-Nov-19 19:06:20

One adult working 24 hours per week for a family of 5 and running a car (including) finance. Alas it's just unaffordable.

If you live rurally you are screwed.

You can't afford to run a car on that sort of income. It means living somewhere with public transport or walk/cycle to work.

Hopefully you are successful in job hunting ASAP thanks

ballsdeep Thu 28-Nov-19 19:06:59

I know I sound insenairive and I really don't mean to, but supporting 5 people on 24 hours a weeks is always going to be hard. If he worked more hours, would that be more than the universal credit?

DuckWillow Thu 28-Nov-19 19:07:02

It is hard when on UC when you’ve one person working who gets different incomes each month,

We’re not on UC any longer but when we were some months we got lots and other months we got very little...it depended upon how much work DH had at the time.

It is hard when you are trying to manage a budget.

Life when you have to claim benefits as a top up is not the bed of roses so many seem to believe.

Are you entitled to ask for any kind of loan from them?

Finfintytint Thu 28-Nov-19 19:09:29

You’ve got to stop equating working all the hours with missing out on their children’s lives. Providing a positive work ethic whilst also providing for their basic needs will mean they will benefit.

TheRightHonerable Thu 28-Nov-19 19:14:40

Oh dear 🙄 I’m not sure where to start with this but I’m afraid it’s exactly what’s wrong with UC culture!

It seems you’re asking ‘why can’t DP work more hours and us still get the same amount in UC so we can have a bit extra?’
The answer - UC is not an income it’s a top up to the bare minimum a family needs not to starve/freeze and keep a roof over their heads and no it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) take into account car finance payments or any other consumer debt. The U.K. tax payer should contribute to the basic needs of children but it shouldn’t be funding car finance 😂

A family or 5 categorically should not be able to lead a comfortable lifestyle on one adults part time wage. Your DP only working 24 hours and UC topping you up is actually a real luxury - I know several young families, juggling the same challenges you are (childcare...etc) and doing much worse without the luxury of working PT. There’s nothing in your OP that suggests you have any different challenges to everybody else in the U.K. but you seem angry that you’re left with £14 🤔 as though you think the government should pay for your car too?

Mo3gic Thu 28-Nov-19 19:16:16

When we first joined UC partner was working 40 hours pw. UC said he earned enough so we wasn’t entitled to get anything from them. So we trailed him working more hours to get more money. This still didn’t help, as the extra money he earned paid rent and council tax. we seeked advice of the JC and they said he needs to work 24 hours. So he cut his hours, we get UC. Which helped a lot as they give us the money for rent. Then what’s left is to pay full council tax all bills shopping etc... but still isn’t manageable. We don’t have debt yes we have mobile phone and sky. Which I totally understand is a luxury, just so hard to get by, which is why I’m determined to get a job and come off it completely.

TheRightHonerable Thu 28-Nov-19 19:19:12

^ That reads a little more antagonistic than I meant it. I’m a firm believer in social support and UC but can’t quite comprehend those who think they should be financially comfortable working PT and paying things like debt/finance. It’s not logical to me.

TheRightHonerable Thu 28-Nov-19 19:21:39

Was your financial situation different when you jumped from 1-2 children and then 2-3?

It sounds like financially struggling isn’t a new thing and I’m curious what your plan was to support 3 children?

Finfintytint Thu 28-Nov-19 19:22:12

It’s back to front thinking. You don’t reduce your hours in order to get maximum benefits. Work the hours you can and live within your means.

crazycatgal Thu 28-Nov-19 19:23:47

I don't understand why you have a car on finance, sky and phone contracts if you are struggling?

I have a full time job with a half decent salary and no dependents and don't pay for a car on finance or sky because I don't need them and I begrudge paying for them.

Mo3gic Thu 28-Nov-19 19:23:59

@TheRightHonerable you’ve took it wrong. I don’t expect UC to pay for the car. My partner pays for the car and all it’s expenses from his wages. He needs the car to work. To bike it to work is too far away and public transport would take him roughly 2hours on a bus. We don’t look at it as in we want UC to bit that bit extra money on top of partners wages. UC deduct anything he earns. They told us he has to work 24hours if we want help. Which is still proving difficult. Which is why I’m seeking employment.

Mo3gic Thu 28-Nov-19 19:32:04

I did work and came out of work when I got pregnant with 3rd baby. I’ve had the odd job here and their since she has been born but nothing stable. Obviously when we was both working it was fine, but then with 3rd baby things got a little more harder. I decided to stay at home and look after children. Which is why partner worked full time. We still struggled and seeked help. Which led us to UC. As helpful as it is it still leaves families struggling. We live within our means we don’t have holidays we don’t have expensive clothes or shoes. We don’t buy branded things. We buy everything as cheap as possible. We get clothes what have been passed on off family every now and again. I don’t want to sound like I’m asking for sympathy because I’m not as I just wondering if anyone else in the same situation is finding it hard to survive.

Babyroobs Thu 28-Nov-19 19:32:59

Uc is a top up benefit. Of course they deduct money if you earn over a certain amount otherwise no -one would work.

Babyroobs Thu 28-Nov-19 19:34:51

as you have children on your claim you should have a work allowance which will be £287 if you rent. This means the first £287 of wages are completely disregarded before wages reduce your Uc by 63p in the pound. Have you go that work allowance on your claim ?

Francesthemute Thu 28-Nov-19 19:34:54

They don’t deduct anything you earn. They deduct 63p per pound of your earnings above the threshold from your entitlement. So for every £1 earned above the threshold you get 37p of it. If you earned an extra £100 you’d be £37 up than if you didn’t.

It does suck that the amount you lose is so high because it’s like you’re working for very little. But it still results in a net gain. You will always be better off working.

Finfintytint Thu 28-Nov-19 19:34:57

You can’t pick and choose which bits of your benefits pay for. At least one of you needs to be working full time. Better still if the other works part time according to childcare. If you need to cross as ships in the night to accommodate childcare then so be it. Plenty of families do it.

MyhorseMyfreedom Thu 28-Nov-19 19:36:00

We are similar to you, DH works around 24 hours, I am SAHM. We have one more child which makes quite a difference I think, also still on TC etc not UC.

We are quite comfortable, although we only have a ten year old car. No SKY but have Netflix, 6 x phone contracts etc.

We want to spend time with our children, and have downtime for ourselves, so FT work wouldn't work for us. DH actually enjoys the school run so I get my whole day free - that to me is worth driving an old car.

PorpentinaScamander Thu 28-Nov-19 19:36:11

I don't understand why he was told to drop to 24 hours. I work 37.5 as a single parent and at my original UC appointment I was told I was expected to look for more hours!!!

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