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Hoping for help? Benefits question.

(5 Posts)
OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 13-Sep-09 01:34:12

I'm not expecting many replies at this time of night, but I'm hoping someone can help, and will bump tomorrow if necessary.

My DS (19 yo) and his GF (20), have an infant son (< 3 months). DS has a very part-time minimum wage job (on a zero-hours contract) which doesn't usually give him 16 hours a week, (more like 10 -12) which he took while in college. He'd planned to return to college this year, but the course he wanted to do (with a return trip of about 60 miles per day) was cancelled for lack of interest, and there are no other courses available locally that would suit. There may be more hours on offer at his PT job but not regularly, and several hundred people in the area are about to be made redundant.

My DS and his GF don't live together; he lives with me (and his dad and brother) while the GF lives with her mum and step-dad. In practice, for the past two or three weeks, DS, GF and infant son have been together most nights, either at my house or the GF's mum's; mostly the latter.

GF's mum is on benefits; (I don't know the details) GF is also claiming, but I'm not sure what her claim covers. I know she's not getting housing benefit or anything else to which she isn't entitled, as a single parent. DH and I are not claimants.

A "friendly" neighbour of the GF has contacted the DSS (or whatever they're called these days) to say that my DS has been staying over more than three nights a week recently. This is true; the lo has been ill and fractious, and my DS has been doing his parental duty. DS and GF have now been called in for interview by the DSS, because they think she's not a single parent.

And in many ways, they're right. DS loves his GF and son, and wants to do his best by them, but he can't find work (yet) that'll give him the minimum 16 hours to access other top-up benefits. They're thinking about applying for their own HA home, but there's not a lot of property available, and in any case they can't afford it.

The threat is that all of GF's benefits will be cut off if DSS think they're living together. As a couple, because he's not working at least 16 hours a week, are they entitled to anything else? Living the way they do?

It'll be easy to prove that DS lives with me and his GF with her mum; but I have to say it seems seriously weird to me that the DSS (or whatever) would see a young couple break up (so GF can legitimately claim as a single mum) rather than support them. hmm

pippel Sun 13-Sep-09 08:49:58

I think, not sure though that he can recive jsa if hes not working 16 hours. If they live together they can get this as a couple and also childtax credit and housing and council tax benifit.

Tinkerbel6 Sun 13-Sep-09 10:53:31

The DSS would not want to see a couple break up, they want to know whether the GF is entitled to claim as a long parent if she is in a relaltionship and spending every night with someone. There is help out there for couples, you son either has to work 16 plus hours and claim working tax credit and child tax credit, or not work at all and claim JSA and child tax credit. Your son and his girlfriend can privately rent and have part of all of the rent paid, and council tax, at the moment as it stands the girlfriend will be receiving income support, child tax credit and child benefit, if they both live together as a couple then they can make a joint claim for income support.

leoleosuperstar Sun 13-Sep-09 11:22:16

If he continues to work less than 16 hours per week I think they will still be entitled to income support or something to top up the money he recieves.

Is his gf ready to leave her mums house to live with him or does this set up suit them?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Sun 13-Sep-09 19:40:56

Thanks for your replies.

It would be stupid for him to give up his job in the current circumstances, though obviously he's continuing to look for something better. How sad that he either gives up work or his GF in order for them to get state support.

They are considering getting a home together, but there are circumstances in the GF's family which make this harder. It's unlikely he'd choose to live there full-time, as the step-father is a bit of a tosser a little hostile towards him.

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