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Is she missing anything?

(12 Posts)
dilbertina Tue 19-Aug-08 09:03:59

Wasn't sure whether to put this here or in "money", but I figured you guys would have plenty of experience!

I'm trying to help out a friend who is single mum with 1 dd. She is struggling financially and got to the point where she wasn't opening the post. We opened it all yesterday and to be honest it's not that bad. She was behind on water and sewerage charges and about to be taken to court, but I spoke to them and have agreed a repayment plan. She has key for electric meter so that's ok, she is also now on an gas pre-pay key but there is a backlog from before she had it that needs repaying, and she's a bit behind on tv licence. Apart from those she hasn't really got much debt (no bank loans/credit cards etc) so really she's not broke enough for an IVA or anything.

Money coming in is

Housing benefit which covers the majority of her rent.
Council Tax benefit.
Child Tax Credit approx £23.50/week
Income support £52/week
and the normal child allowance. Her DDs father is supposed to pay the princely sum of approx £40/month but this is often not forthcoming.

Is there anything else she's missing? Her DD starts school next month and she is keen to go back to work at least part-time...what will she need to earn to make it worth while? What does she lose, but then what would she gain? She would be unlikely to be able to get an especially well-paid job TBH due to lack of qualifications. Should she stick to under 16 hours a week?

She just needs to find a way out of the constant struggle where her incomings aren't quite covering the outgoings. She is stressing about things like buying school shoes (no grants in our area - checked that!)

Any advice appreciated.

SpandexIsMyEnemy Tue 19-Aug-08 09:06:35

why is her tax credits so low?

re the job, stick to 16 hours yes - if she's been on IS for over a year they'll give her extra money, really she needs to speak tot he lone parent advisor in the job centre for a better idea of money when working - I was told would be about £80 ish a week better off. but that wasn't taking into account the rent reduction I don't think.

can't type too much ds is playing about but will come back thou - tc's seem rather low thou, mine's £51 odd.

SpandexIsMyEnemy Tue 19-Aug-08 09:06:48

oh and any maint. payments at all?

mankymummy Tue 19-Aug-08 09:14:11

I second the lone parent advisor in the job centre, i would have been clueless without talking to them and they are so, so helpful.

dilbertina Tue 19-Aug-08 09:14:30

Unfortunately ExDP is an arse. He hung up on 4yo DD last week having not spoken to her for 3 weeks because he was "busy". He has been CSA assessed as having to contribute £40/month which often doesn't arrive. His salary is about £26k/annum (which she knows because he still gets work stuff and bank statements sent to her flat - which he moved out of 2 years ago).

I think really it's got to the point where she almost doesn't want anything from him anyway IYSWIM, even for DD.

dilbertina Tue 19-Aug-08 09:19:19

Have you found Gingerbread helpful? and what about the lone parents helpline they sponsor? She also has concerns about some of her dds behaviour which seems very "angry" at times.

Rubyrubyruby Tue 19-Aug-08 09:22:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SpandexIsMyEnemy Tue 19-Aug-08 09:27:02

I personally haven't used gingerbread so can't comment.

re her daughters bahaviour - what sort of things is it? can we help there as mums? if it's serious concerns then when at school her teachers can help - does she go to a nursery at all? failing those how about the health visitor?

dilbertina Tue 19-Aug-08 10:03:29

Rubyrubyruby, thankyou, but actually it is making me realise how very lucky I am (touch wood!). I just want to help her feel less bleak IYSWIM.

DD won't let her out of her sight. She is lovely with anyone else but with her mum she does really play up - she'll hit her etc and generally be a little shit TBH. I've known her since she was born and she is a sweet girl underneath. Yesterday at a soft-play session she was lashing out at other children that came near, even little ones, she's always been fantastic with smaller children -I would say more caring than the average child. She just comes across as an angry (and prob.scared) little girl. sad.

charliecat Tue 19-Aug-08 13:06:19

She seems to missing a huge chunk of something.
Tap her details into entitledto.co.uk or .com

dilbertina Tue 19-Aug-08 13:52:04

hmmm, her child tax credit does seem lower than "entitledto" thinks it should be on vague details...I'll try and nag her to make an appt with lone parent person at Jobcentre plus, I wonder if they are still using her XP earnings in calculations.....

thanks everyone.

Tinkerbel6 Tue 19-Aug-08 14:57:11

Her IS and CTC are lower than they should be, with IS it could be that she has declared maintenance so only gets a top up, but with CTC its a set amount of around £50 (odd).

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