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Please, regular needs advice (pref non-judgmental) obo 17 year old stepdaughter

(17 Posts)
stepmumnotwicked Tue 15-Jul-08 22:04:19

I am stepmum to a 17 year old. She has never lived with DH and me, but with her mum and her mum's DH several hundred miles away.

To cut a very long story short, her relationship with her mum has deteriorated. She moved in with her boyfriend and has managed to get herself pregnant. sad

DH is paying all his spare money (and more) to his ex. He cannot persuade her to let him pay it to SD instead. Meanwhile SD is having real trouble getting benefits and is currently unable to find a job. All in all it's a huge mess.

Because DH is paying everything he has directly to his ex (child support arrears, a very long and involved story which I won't go into) we can't afford to help SD directly, or even to go down to see her. We have a DS to support and between us we earn well below the national average wage.

Can anyone please advise me on what SD's entitlements are, if any, to benefits. I am getting conflicting information on the web, ranging from nothing at all, to around £32 a week. She's currently 15 weeks pg and we can't stand seeing her in this situation.


TequilaMockinBird Tue 15-Jul-08 22:06:29

Have you tried this site?

I had dd at 18 and I received Income Support. Not sure whether being only 17 would make a difference or not tbh

stepmumnotwicked Tue 15-Jul-08 22:08:46

Yes, already tried. It stopped working once I entered SD's age - says clients have to be 18 or over. I know there are different rules for 16 and 17 year olds - I just can't seem to find out exactly what they are.

TequilaMockinBird Tue 15-Jul-08 22:18:40

see here

Under the Income Support section it does say:

You can usually claim Income Support only if you are 18 or over. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you may get Income Support if you:-

have a child or are pregnant
are sick or disabled
are on certain kinds of training course.

KatieDD Tue 15-Jul-08 22:20:17

I would just stop giving the money to the mother, what she going to do report you to the CSA ? Then she'll have to admit she doesn't have the "child" living with her and she'll loose her benefits, and what is the boyfriend doing about supporting his newly pregnant girl, surely this is actually his problem really hmm

Madlentileater Tue 15-Jul-08 22:23:07

get her to go to Connexions- they should be able to help with other stuff, too, ie college/school/job. Also maybe mw could advise? they may even have a mw dedicated to young parents?
Presumably if bf is working this will affect whatbenefits she can get.
Good luck.

stepmumnotwicked Tue 15-Jul-08 22:24:20

"what she going to do report you to the CSA ?" Yes actually, who will then take DH to court for a liability order. sadsad She's got it all worked out and she knows exactly what she's doing.

She is helping SD out, don't get me wrong. But I don't think SD is getting all that DH is paying, not by a long shot.

stepmumnotwicked Tue 15-Jul-08 22:26:36

BF isn't working - he lost his job a few weeks ago. He's getting JSA for him only, and I think they're entitled to HB but that's been messed up. I'm not convinced they're doing everything they could be doing to help themselves, but I'm reluctant to judge them with only some of the facts. It's just horrible, and DH has never felt so helpless.

KatieDD Tue 15-Jul-08 22:33:26

Is this 17 year old in full time education ?
The boyfriend needs to get his arse into gear, could you take them to the citizens advice to get sorted out, I'm not entirely convinced giving this couple money would help them anyway, you need to teach them to fend for themselves.

Madlentileater Tue 15-Jul-08 22:34:35

yes, CAB are very good, very knowledgable.

stepmumnotwicked Tue 15-Jul-08 22:39:13

KatieDD - I couldn't agree more. SD was in college but she lost her maintenance grant after faking illness and dropped out. She's saying all the right things about wanting to go back to education after the baby's born and we really want to believe her, but...

However, the main worry in all this is her unborn baby. We hate having to rely on trusting DH's ex to do the right thing. We would love to take her to CAB ourselves, but as I said we're hundreds of miles away and we can't afford to go and see her. sad

KatieDD Tue 15-Jul-08 22:49:09

Why is he still paying maintence to the ex for a child no longer in education then surely his obligations ended the day she left college ?
If it was my daughter I would be bringing her home with me the boyfriend isn't able to support her

Madlentileater Tue 15-Jul-08 22:49:13

could you find out where the nearest offices are, when they're open,etc?....same for Connexions- if she's been in college she should be known to them- tho' I have teenage dcs I'm not too sure how they operate. I imagine they'll have big issues around confidentiality, but you could at least contact them and explain their concerns, leave it to them to tactfully get in touch (hope this isn't cloud cuckoo land here)

stepmumnotwicked Tue 15-Jul-08 22:55:07

Katie - it's arrears, and I'm sure you understand how those can build up with the utter incompetence of the blardy CSA. DH's liability for those arrears continues even after he's dead.

His ex does, however, have the power to close the case, knowing that the arrears built up through CSA errors, but she chooses not to. So we have to continue to fight the issue, as we have been doing for years and years.

Connexions is a good thought, Madlentileater - I'll mention that to DH. She certainly has been in contact with them before.

fiodyl Wed 16-Jul-08 12:58:31

SD entitlement to income support would depend on her boyfriends circumstances too as they are living together. How old is he and is he currently working? Also how many weeks pregnant is she? And whare are they living is it a rented property or does her boyfriend own it or are they living with his family? This will affect any entitlement to housing benefit

fiodyl Wed 16-Jul-08 13:15:37

h sorry I missed it, you said he was on JSA so he will have to claim for SD too-if SD is less than 29 weeks pregnant this wil have to be a joint claim IIRC. If her boyfriend id 17 too then Im afraid it wont be very much money, but they should be entitled to the full amount of housing benefit and council tax benefit but this varies for different areas.

stepmumnotwicked Mon 21-Jul-08 23:55:34

Hi Fiodyl. Sorry I missed your posts - I've not been on for a few days as we are preparing case for one final fight against the CSA. This is off topic, but it turns out they have been contacting the ex, actively encouraging her to pursue arrears which she was never entitled to in the first place. And isn't she loving it. GRRRR!!!

<and relax...> Anyway, thanks for the advice. He's 19 and I'm not sure they are aware that he can make a joint claim for the pair of them. I'll pass that on. Thanks again. smile

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