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Worse off working(6 Posts)
I separated from my husband about 1.5 years ago and though I'd never claimed benefits before started claiming to help me along. I got myself onto a course, started volunteering and got a job about 4 months ago which I enjoy. I am paid peanuts but I want to work. When I claimed first time I got everything - child tax credit, housing and IS. I had about 880 disposable income with my three young children.
Now my childcare costs average about 800 - 900 and i get 1200 in CTC, but the council are putting up a huge fight to help with my council tax or rent. I've not had any help with rent for 4 months and have a £300 council tax bill to pay this week. I told them straight away i had started work in trying to do the right thing. First, they kept telling me I had to apply for UC (hmrc said I did not), then they keep writing back for me to provide documents. Just today, they want my payslips and childcare invoices for February. I haven't even had these yet!!
I then have 2 weeks to get it all together when I spent ages about 2 weeks ago getting bank statements, payslips ect off for them. I'm so frustrated, I feel like leaving work.
Effectively I'm now living off £510 a month when before I had £881 disposable income and now I'm paying out for petrol and car to get to work (no other transport means) breakfast clubs, meals ect. I don't know how i can carry on.
Ps, i now work 26 hours a week and work 40 mins away. We are all up at 6am, kids off to breakfast club at 7.15 and one in full time nursery. I'm wondering of it's all worth it.
It's a bloody nightmare isn't it. Tax credits were OK ( although I did get a £3,000 bill because they didn't believe my childcare costs - took weeks to sort).
All I can suggest is that you earn enough to take you out of ct and housing benefit. It's much less stress without them.
Does ex pay his share? That's not included in calculations so perhaps he can pay a bit more towards childcare till it's sorted properly.
Thanks dread, was hoping I made sense. Didn't want to sound like whinging!.
I'm thinking of taking on dinner times too (I'm a TA) and suck up the break.
As a TA though I'm unlikely to get more hours as they've had a lot of funding cuts ect. Ex does pay some maintenance but that hasn't increased since starting work.
If you like working in schools then seriously consider teaching. I know it's stressful but the money is so much better and once qualified you can do supply and all sorts.
I was a TA once and it seriously broke me. The money isn't enough to live on although it's very useful having the holidays. But mist if the time I was too poor to do anything.
Dread, i have considered (am considering) I have a degree in Philopsophy and Theology but didn't pass Maths GCSE (was in France during this period of schooling) and am pretty crap at it tbh!
It would mean taking my Science and Maths again and right now that scares the crap out of me. I'm nearly at the end of my Teaching and Learning in Schools level 3 which has taken me about a year.
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