Recently become a lone parent - need help.(10 Posts)
Recently joined mumsnet. Hope you don't mind as I'm a lone parent Dad with 3 small children.
I've found things a struggle these last few months since my wife and mother of my children left. I've had to give up my work to look after my children and I'm not down with any of the help the council can provide such as benefits or housing costs.
I've worked all my life, never claimed anything before but things are awful financially and I don't have anyone to turn to. Approaching the council is my first step.
Can anyone suguest what I should claim for and how long it takes to process please? I'm down to my bare bones on everything. Any charities that can help with emergency money?
You could probably claim housing benefit, council tax support, tax credits, child benefit and income support. Hoping my comment will bump your post so someone with more experience and advice can help you more than I can.
If you have dc under 5 then you can claim income support. If they are school age then its Jobseeker's Allowance.
You can claim child tax credit, and if you get a job, working tax credit
If you rent you can claim housing benefit
Unless you live in a universal credit area in which case you can claim universal credit and that's it.
Gingerbread is a charity which I believe helps lone parents with advice, practical support and meeting others in the same boat:
Phone 0808 802 09255* though it looks as if there's no weekend service.
CAP is a great charity who will give advice and budgeting help.
They just sorted one of my work colleagues I was impressed.
Thinking about you things sound tough.
How old are your children, is your house rented or owned? These make a big difference to what you can claim but despite this you will be entitled to tax credits and child benefit. If your youngest is over 5 you will be expected to be working or looking for work however. Perhaps make an appointment with your council benefits advisor as the online calculator is pretty unreliable. Also the children's mother should legally be paying maintenance.
I'm sorry you are in this position, what about ex wife does she have a job, she should be paying something.
PP have mentioned all the benefits you should be able to claim so the only thing I can add is that you can get free nursery funding for 15 hours a week per child from the age of 3 though depending on if you or you child receive certain benefits it's available from the age of 2. Once you have sorted out your benefits claims have a look at your local councils website for eligibility. This can be a life saver as it gives you time to yourself to clean up or even just sit in the quiet. I'm a single dad as well, have been since the start of the year and I know it can seem overwhelming at the start. Getting into a routine as soon as possible will help a great deal, not only with you feeling less overwhelmed but also for the kids dealing with the big changes in the house. It is hard but you will find ways to adjust, just take it a day at a time
Try phoning the tax credits helpline (when you have a good half hour free) and they can talk you through what you could be entitled to. Or Citizens Advice Beureo may have ideas on local schemes/help. Have you got any support locally? Someone to give you a break from parenting? Make sure you look after yourself too, easier said than done, but your children need a healthy dad to care for them, so take any support offered to help you adjust through this difficult time too.
All the other things you probably have thought of, mortgage break or extend term, review contracts for gas/electricity etc. Check out frugal living websites...how to save money on food budget and still eat healthy. GP can refer to the local food bank up here..Worth a try?
There used to be a social fund that you could access upto £1000 in emergency loan, i'm not sure if it's still available, however it used to be accessible through local job centre. I think making contact with other single parents in your area would probably help most, they will know local schemes to help you. It does get easier, with time and the right support.
How r u getting on DADDYBEAR? Did u get sorted?
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