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serious question: what do single parents live on if they can't work?

(32 Posts)
welcometomysillylife Sun 07-Apr-13 10:25:17

I am a lone parent to 2 dc and because of their additional needs I need to be home. I currently work part-time but am struggling with paying for specialist childcare in the hours after-school and I also have no financial support from their father (he doesn't work.) One of my dc is not always in school either due to her needs and I have to pay for her to be looked after if I am in work.

Basically, the numbers are not adding up (not earning enough to pay for all the childcare and all my outgoings) and I also need to be home more to concentrate on my dc.

If I took a career break of a year or two, what would/could I live on eg what benefits would I be entitled to? If I voluntarily gave up my job, would I be entitled to anything anyway? What do others do if you are in the same position or if your children are very young?

colditz Sun 07-Apr-13 10:28:23

Have you applied for DLA for your child with additional needs?

expatinscotland Sun 07-Apr-13 10:31:00

Does the father contribute at all? I'm always amazed at how people get away with leaving their children and paying nothing for them in this country.

shrimponastick Sun 07-Apr-13 10:32:20

/when I was a LP to a young DC I worked part time - between 18.5 hours and 30 hours - and received working families tax credit and child tax credits.

In the WFTC there was a childcare payment element. In that I got 70% of childcare fees paid for. So when Ds was in nursery for 3 days per week I paid for only 30% out of my own pocket.

I was fortunate in that my mortgage payments were relatively low, I received maintenance from xp (double what he pays now grrr...), and had an understanding employer with flexible working conditions.

I don't think giving up your job is the answer. It may be hard to get back into the work place - and working hard sets a more positive example for your DC.

You need a chat with a benefits advisor. If your DC have SN, then surely there must be funding available to cover some of the more specialist childcare needs/payments?

Hope you can sort it out OP.

welcometomysillylife Sun 07-Apr-13 10:33:09

Yes I do get DLA but not entitled to the higher rate.
And no, he does not contribute a penny (no earnings at all.)

colditz Sun 07-Apr-13 10:34:15

Have you told tax credits that you get dla? Because giving up work is a last resort really. I would love to be able to work, honestly.

welcometomysillylife Sun 07-Apr-13 10:36:06

Thanks for that.

My dc can't access mainstream childcare eg after-school clubs and at the moment I can't find a registered provider that could cater for their needs.

This is so new to me - where do I find a benefits advisor? And who do I contact to support me with funding for children with sen?

welcometomysillylife Sun 07-Apr-13 10:37:32

I love my job. It has been my lifeline since everything fell apart for me.

shrimponastick Sun 07-Apr-13 10:39:41

As the DC have SEN don't you have any contact with social services ? If not, you could phone up and find out from them?

BikeRunSki Sun 07-Apr-13 10:43:18

Our Surestart Centre has a benefits advisor from the job centre who comes along every 2 or 3 weeks to give advice on benefits for young families in different circumstances.

welcometomysillylife Sun 07-Apr-13 10:44:48

I do have contact with social services but have been told after a long assessment that I do not qualify for funded support or extra services. my dc's needs are quite complex but they are not classed as a 'disability' (even though I get DLA.) If they were autistic, for example, I would get tons of support.

DeskPlanner Sun 07-Apr-13 11:20:55

Is your ex trying to get a job to support his children ? Why can't he look after them while you work ?

kinkyfuckery Sun 07-Apr-13 11:21:51

If they were autistic, for example, I would get tons of support.

Don't be so presumptuous about that!

If your DC qualify for at least the middle rate care, you should be able to claim Carers Allowance. Also your tax credits should raise slightly.

DeskPlanner Sun 07-Apr-13 11:24:04

I would try and do anything other than give up a job you love, that you describe as a lifeline. Apart from the money factor it sounds like it does you good, doing something out of the home. It might not be so easy to get back into work if you stop.

welcometomysillylife Sun 07-Apr-13 11:40:11

Ok maybe not tons of support for autism - but more than I currently get which is nothing!

Ex refuses to look after them for me to work.

Thanks for the advice and I know you are probably right about not giving up my job completely.

DeskPlanner Sun 07-Apr-13 11:44:00

Your ex is a dick. Somebody needs to support your children and if he can't or wont work, then he should look after them while you do. Has he said why he won't ? Does he see them at all ?

welcometomysillylife Sun 07-Apr-13 11:49:12

Yes he is being downright awkward about it and point blank refuses. He currently doesn't want to see them either though I am hoping he will calm down and change his mind.

DeskPlanner Sun 07-Apr-13 11:55:45

Men like this disgust me. Hope your dc aren't very upset with not seeing him. Hope things get easier soon. thanks

welcometomysillylife Sun 07-Apr-13 12:06:46

Yes they are extremely upset and don't understand what is going on.

kittycat68 Sun 07-Apr-13 15:12:28

i have two sen children. one autistic we get no support from SS! funding is in crisis so unless you have a child with severe mental and physical issues you wont get any support at all!

If you gave up work you would be entitled to council tax benefit, child tax credits and income support. if you claim carers allowance it is deducted from the amount of income support you get. but you would get national insurance contibutions owards your pension as a carer.

welcometomysillylife Sun 07-Apr-13 15:51:45

Thanks kitty. So is that anywhere near enough to live on?

flaminhoopsaloolah Sun 07-Apr-13 17:25:16

Hi there. Google benefits calculators to give you a rough idea of what you would get. In general terms, without working part time, no, it is not enough to live on, survive yes, to live - no.

HerrenaHarridan Sun 07-Apr-13 21:52:53

How come no one has said citizens advice yet. They can help you access any an every available benefit and service relevant and they are the best thing since sliced bread smile
Hth

HerrenaHarridan Sun 07-Apr-13 21:54:05

www.citizensadvice.co.uk/

Fairygen Sun 07-Apr-13 22:07:26

If your children are under 7 years old, you are entitled to income support, or if you are on high level DLA they can be older.

You can also claim child tax credits.

www.gov.uk

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