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Worried about money/Maternity pay- Young mum to be - 21

(25 Posts)
Roseylee20 Mon 15-Dec-14 19:10:55

Hi everyone. I have posted a couple of threads before and as I'm learning more, I have more questions.
Instead of writing a long story I'll just put the facts into bullet points! I hope somebody will be able to help or has related to my situation before that can shed some light on what I can do.
- I'm 21 (22 in January).
- Currently 22 weeks pregnant (very excited, happy and grateful!)
- have been with my partner for 5 years- we don't live together but may aswell do, but want to find another house together rather than the flat he is in at the moment.
- So I currently live with my mum.
- I work part time 8.5 hours a week in my current job and have done for just over a year.
- My other part time job has just ended, (contract ending, not entitled to any further pay as have looked into this). It was 20 hours so I am quite financially stuck now as from after Christmas with less income.
- Will be going on maternity leave in Feb- think I have established that I am entitled to Maternity allowance and not statutory maternity as I don't earn enough.
- I am partially aware of the help/benefits I'll receive whilst in maternity when the baby is born.
- I am more concerned about if there is any help I could receive between now and April? (My due date month).
- Have looked online constantly and have done numerous benefit calculations online (gov.uk etc) but can't seem to find a straight answer!
- I think I have gathered that I'm not entitled to working tax credit because I work under 16 hours. I don't think I am entitled to income support either.
- I have no idea how I'm going to cope for the next 3/4 months with working only 8.5 hours a week and no extra help?
- I'm unsure if I can/if it's worth claiming JSA for the next few months when I'm genuinely not actively looking for work? For obvious reasons.
- I would just like to know if there are any benefits/help I can claim whilst I'm in this situation. Or have I just got to cut my losses and brave it out for a while?
- If no one can help I am considering trying to make an appointment at the Job Centre / Citizens Advice to seek further information! But with it being so close to Christmas I don't know what appointments will be available.

Thank you in advance

BananaToast Mon 15-Dec-14 19:31:16

I'm not much help but would it be possible for you to start mat leave later? I'm also 22 weeks and don't plan to stop working until early April. That would give you another month or two's income which would surely help if things are tight.

Roseylee20 Mon 15-Dec-14 19:33:40

Hi there, thanks for your message. I was filling out my maternity form earlier and it did cross my mind. It states that I can change my mind about the start date, but to give 28 days notice if doing so. I'm going to have a big think about that. Thank you

SoonToBeSix Mon 15-Dec-14 19:35:24

You can stop work all together and claim income support once you are 29 weeks pregnant.

GlitzAndGigglesx Mon 15-Dec-14 19:35:49

I think it's best for you to ring HMRC about the calculations where they will ask about your income and advise what benefits you're entitled to. Also do they still do maternity grants? I got 1 when I was pregnant with my first received £500 but I know you don't get it with a second child. You will be entitled to child benefit which is £82 a month. Not a lot but it'll make a difference. You need to apply for that before the baby is 12 weeks old

SoonToBeSix Mon 15-Dec-14 19:37:00

This would only apply if you are not living with the baby's dad so classed as a single parent for benefit purposes.

SilverStars Mon 15-Dec-14 19:38:16

If you put a much later date for maternity leave you can then still have your earnings. I managed til 37 weeks with my ds which really helped financially.

SoonToBeSix Mon 15-Dec-14 19:39:07

You will get maternity grant £500 while pregnant if on IS or once baby is born and you claim child tax credits.

GlitzAndGigglesx Mon 15-Dec-14 19:40:52

I was working full time when I applied for the grant and sent off all paperwork and was approved. Wasn't on IS or claiming tax credits

Roseylee20 Mon 15-Dec-14 19:46:21

Thanks everyone - Glitz- I hope it will be the same for me as all I've read is that the Sure Start Maternity Grant is only applicable if you're on certain benefits- or at least one which is on their list. I receive no benefits so was starting to think I wasn't even entitled to that. But it's one thing I will be asking about when I do call. Thank you

Roseylee20 Mon 15-Dec-14 19:47:34

SilverStars- thanks for your message. I'm changing the date on my maternity form to March so I will get at least another months full pay

Roseylee20 Mon 15-Dec-14 19:48:28

SoonToBeSix - do you mean stop working as in Maternity? As I won't be leaving my workplace but will be taking maternity leave in March

GlitzAndGigglesx Mon 15-Dec-14 20:10:59

I've just looked it up and it's saying about benefits. I remember my community midwife giving me the form and I defo was not on benefits. I don't know if it's because I was 18 at the time that I got it? Defo call them or speak to your mw at your next appt

Roseylee20 Mon 15-Dec-14 20:21:12

Thank you- sometimes it feels like you can't win either way. I'm working and going on maternity rather than quitting so that I have a job to go back to- but yet you're not entitled to much help unless you're on some kind of benefits and not working! Looks like I'll have to make a few calls x

Roseylee20 Mon 15-Dec-14 20:22:47

Think I'll try and make an appointment with the midwife for Wednesday when she is there, and see if she can help. as my next appointment isn't for another 2 weeks x

Fattyfattyyumyum Mon 15-Dec-14 20:25:39

Can you work more hours? Or get another job from now till March?

SoonToBeSix Mon 15-Dec-14 20:26:37

No I doubt you can claim IS and maternity together. I guess maternity pay will be better for you.
Remember to claim maternity grant before baby is 12 weeks old.

Roseylee20 Mon 15-Dec-14 20:49:34

Fattyfattyyumyum, if I could work more hours believe me I would already be doing that! It has always been 8.5 hours due to previously working my other part time job for the past 3 years. It was the first thing I asked when I knew my other job was ending- whether they had any more hours- but they currently don't unfortunately. And no it's not really ideal as I'll be 6 months pregnant by January, I don't know of anybody or anywhere that would take me on at 6 months pregnant, for only around 2 months, especially at that time of year (past the point of Christmas temp work etc). Thank you though x

Roseylee20 Mon 15-Dec-14 20:50:40

SoonToBeSix - yes I guess I'll just have to cut my losses for the next few months and get used to my lower wage! x

JennyBlueWren Mon 15-Dec-14 21:18:54

Just to add to what's being said -if you need to ring HMRC ring them when they first open (8:30?) as you get straight through to someone rather than being put on hold for hours.

Roseylee20 Tue 16-Dec-14 09:15:42

Thankyou Jenny will be ringing them tomorrow morning so will bare that in mind

Chunderella Tue 16-Dec-14 09:40:44

Just claim JSA and look for work as they demand. You'll get none, of course, but it's a hoop you have to jump through. Apply for MA, and if you're not working you'll start this at 29 weeks- you're not allowed to eg go on IS at 29 weeks til 36 weeks then start MA whenever, they make you take it at the earliest opportunity. I don't think IS will be an option for you this pregnancy because you can't have it til 29 weeks and your MA will supercede it then. If it turns out you're not entitled to MA, then yes you would get IS from 29 weeks. Either way you don't stay on JSA beyond then.

You'll have no tax credit eligibility until the baby is born, at which point as a single parent whose only income is MA you'll get child tax credits. And obviously child benefit too.

Chunderella Tue 16-Dec-14 09:41:33

Sorry by 'none' I meant no work, not no JSA. You should get JSA for now.

eastcoastmum2014 Tue 16-Dec-14 10:37:37

Have you tried Citizens Advice? They might be able to to advise you on what benefits you are entitled to... they may also be able to help you with finding somewhere to live with your partner as well smile. I know they helped a friend of mine out a lot when she was pregnant and in financial straights!

Roseylee20 Tue 16-Dec-14 13:35:02

Hi east- I was just about to do an update to say I've called Citizens Advice and they're going to call me back in 3-4 days with an appointment. I'm fed up of doing Benefits Eligibility calculators online as they say different things each time and I don't feel like they're 100% accurate. I just need someone to listen to my situation and tell me exactly if I'm entitled to anything for the time being, and what help I'll receive when the baby is here too. It's all so confusing! Thank you everyone for your help

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