My feed

to access all these features

Use our Single Parent forum to speak to other parents raising a child alone.

Lone parents

I just love being on benefit, its wonderful.

48 replies

SoFedUp · 30/01/2006 17:14

Ive just been on to the job centre for a calculation. ive applied for several jobs, one which was really quite well paid for what I do. here I was, full of hope until the nice man told me I would be precisely £30 better off a week for my efforts. I wouldn?t get a job grant apparently because it hasn?t yet been a year since I had the last one. I already know how badly these things can go because I had this all last year. im not being greedy wanting the job grant, I know I will need it. I got back into work after being made redundant and the inland revenue took three months to pay me what I was due in tax credits (inc childcare), by which time I was in serious debt. some other bills had to wait so I could pay for my childcare to keep me in work. (I figured it would be ok once it was all sorted out, if i could just keep my job). then of course I had to be made redundant again didn?t I? that was fun. I cant work full time because I don?t have the means to get one child to school, another to nursery, get two buses to work, two back and pick up the toddler from nursery. Simply this, there are not enough hours in the day.

I am NOT lazy. i don?t like being on benefit and I cant afford it. but right now I cant see any other way. im in tears, I have the flu from hell, my house looks like a tip etc etc. and I cant cope!! Ive been to college and gained 6 qualifications in the last year?and what for exactly? Why bloody bother.

Its like banging my head against a wall. Here I am trying so hard to get another job and having to see people constantly slagging off people like me, single mothers on benefit. oh if only they knew.

Sorry for the name change, just ive been ranting away to friends and don?t want them to know my normal posting name, should they ever come here. If anyone can tell me how to get out of this?then you are a miracle worker.

cant stop crying.

OP posts:
NomDePlume · 30/01/2006 17:22

It really pisses me off that the government are so keen (on the face of it) to get people back into work and off benefits, but they do jack all to really help.

Meanoldmummy · 30/01/2006 17:29

It sounds impossible, and exhausting, and bloody frustrating. You DON'T sound lazy! I sympathise.

Piffle · 30/01/2006 17:42

I was in this position many years ago
However by not working (no matter the money being better or not) you will still be in the same position 3 years down the line on benefits.
If you began working now, then 3 years down the line, you would likely be in a better job and better money with better increases.
But I totally agree that they govt do sweet FA to help you
Even a loan to help with the upfront childcare costs and work clothes would be genius.

JoolsToo · 30/01/2006 17:46

I sympathise SoFedUp - I feel for you - but - let's be real, there are lots of people out there who are quite able but unwilling to work and let's face it, these are people that the government are targeting - and all power to them I say, then the money that can be saved can go towards the real cases that need real help.

(and I'm no Socialist!)

ssd · 30/01/2006 18:20

I really sympathise with you sofedup.

I'm getting WTC as dh's wages are so low and I find I'm in the postion of anything I earn I automatically lose a third of it as TC reduces my payments when I earn any amount. But as I gave up my job years ago to bring up the kids the jobs available now pay about 5.50 an hour and so I'd actually get £3.50. And with 2 kids I'p pay £6 for a childminder. I'm really frustrated by the system too but Piffle does have a point.

Caligula · 30/01/2006 20:33

Write to OneParentFamilies and to your MP. Let them know that this is still the situation. £30 per week better off is not "making work pay" when you count all the hidden costs of working, like transport, clothes, lunches, coffee etc.

7777777 · 30/01/2006 20:59

i found the only time i was better off as a working loneparent was when i worked 16hours and got the WTC. it took me ages to get the right balance of doing different hours to get different benefits. sadly i now only work 8hours because of ds and staff cuts and its a bloody nightmare, im about 60quid a month better off than being on full benefit

jco · 30/01/2006 21:33

I too am on benefits although I do work 8 hours a week at my childrens primary school, the benefits agency have obviously reduced my money and i'm about £20 a week better off which is hardly worth the bother! I do think though that there's more to it than the money, working has given my self esteem a real boost and gets me out of the house.

jco · 30/01/2006 21:33

I too am on benefits although I do work 8 hours a week at my childrens primary school, the benefits agency have obviously reduced my money and i'm about £20 a week better off which is hardly worth the bother! I do think though that there's more to it than the money, working has given my self esteem a real boost and gets me out of the house.

jco · 30/01/2006 21:33

I too am on benefits although I do work 8 hours a week at my childrens primary school, the benefits agency have obviously reduced my money and i'm about £20 a week better off which is hardly worth the bother! I do think though that there's more to it than the money, working has given my self esteem a real boost and gets me out of the house.

jco · 30/01/2006 21:33

OOOOOOPS!!!! don't know how i managed to post that 3 times!!!!!

7777777 · 30/01/2006 21:47

i agree jco, thats wot i told the CSA lady tonight, that my self esteem is battered just by having to beg for money and i wana get off the benefit and when ds in nursery hopefully up my hours, even if only by a few, i also work in a school

jco · 30/01/2006 23:27

its really handy if you can work in a school, it fits in nicely with the kids. I work in my kids school so see them a bit in the day too, i like spying on them when they don't know i'm watching. its nice to see them happy and having fun.

Being on benefits is no fun, i don't know if you've found this 7777777 but there is a certain label attached to single mums who are on benefits and it bugs the hell out of me because most of us are just normal mums who want to work but struggle to meet the demands of single motherhood and finding the money to pay the bills

SoFedUp · 31/01/2006 07:51

i do apologise for my little rant last night. think it just didnt help because im feeling rather poorly. its not that i wont go back to work for £30 a week. ive done it before. im just hoping that when i do go back the same thing doesnt happen again with the tax credits.

i get your point piffle, of course you are quite right. its just frightening having to start all over again

OP posts:
Mascaraohara · 31/01/2006 08:46

Could you get onto a college course for something like Childminding? did I hear somewhere that adult education courses for people on benefits are free? I'm just thinking childminding because you wouldn't need to buy new clothes and you would reduce your transport costs by working from your own home etc.. perhaps something to think about.

Or, you have a computer, how about a course in web design/publishing - you could flyer your local area fairly cheeply offering to set up web sites for small business in your area.

If you could do a course in childcare and get a job at a local nursery you will get discounted rates for your nursery aged child.

there are a number of other things that you could do a short course in and then work from home, things like:
Book keeping
Designing and selling accessories

I hope these are some constructive ideas that you may be interested in looking into. I think it's better to think that you will be £30 a week better off not 'only' £30 a week better off - you'll be £120 a month better off!

Lio · 31/01/2006 09:56

Also does it help to think of the good things about work ? I like working, makes me feel useful, I like my colleagues and I'm not very imaginative so I find it a lot easier than looking after ds.

expatinscotland · 31/01/2006 10:00

I know several people who are better off staying on benefits.

And £30 a week doesn't sound like much when you consider transport costs, childcare, clothes, etc. Not to mention stress.

£120 doesn't go far, trust me. Hell, tranport costs alone can eat that up.

Caligula · 31/01/2006 10:17

TBH, I wouldn't work for £30 a week. The stress alone of what to do when one of your kid's is ill and you have to take the day off, then the next one is ill a week later, then you're ill the day after, and all your work colleagues and your boss hate you and think you're a skiver, is enough to put me off. I can't see that situation doing much for my self-esteem, frankly and I'd want more than £30 a week to take it on.

Lasvegas · 31/01/2006 10:53

I really sympathise and agree with piffle. A couple of years ago I worked for 'nothing'. My childcare, mortgage, travel was less than my income. It was V demoralising but things got better when DD was a bit older childcare costs reduced and I got a bonus and pay increases which eventually paid off debts. It was a risky strategy though and I was lucky. If the boiler had broken for a 4th time I would never had cleared my debts.

Getting into debt but keeping job had to be done as the alternative was house being re-possed and ending up homeless in a B & B paid for by the state. I repeated this to myself everyday when I had to leave crying DD at Childminder.

Govt give students loans so I think they should give parents loans at times of crisis.

Bugsy2 · 31/01/2006 11:33

Sofedup, you could check out this organisation as well, which is a charity specifically to help people in your situation. They have a helpline you can call.

expatinscotland · 31/01/2006 11:35

TBH, I wouldn't work for £30 a week.

I agree, Caligula, especially considering SoFedUp is single.

littlelamb · 31/01/2006 14:14

I have to agree with everything being said here. I am a full time uni student, and I have a 19 month old dd. The govt can't seem to understand that by doing a degree I AM trying to help myself, and so them offering me free computer courses every once in a while is a bloody insult when I consider how much debt I'm getting into just to finish my course. What makes it even worse is that my student loan is considered an income so I get none of the benefits a single parent is usually entitled to. I am in the middle of writing my MP a letter, but I know it will probably be useless. The most laughable thing of all though, and one that actually makes me want to bang my head against the wall is that dd's father is a full time uni student too, but the CSA don't consider HIS loan to be an income so he gets away scot free

7777777 · 31/01/2006 20:31

thats awful little lamb! the other worry is that in the southeast where i am they rekon you need to be earning £38,000 to get on the property ladder. ive always wanted to be an Educational Welfare Officer or Family Liason Officer and the money is under £20,000. i started studying with the OU, did a level 1 course towards it, started the level 2 course and then gave up coz i thought wots the point im studying for ajob that wouldnt give me enuff money

7777777 · 31/01/2006 20:33

make sure you contact your mp littlelamb, thats atrocious that your ex doesnt pay and you cant receive benefits, must be an awful struggle for you.

cyan · 31/01/2006 21:51

hi littlelamb, i was in a similar situation to you. i have an 11 month old ds and i finished uni last summer. as i was in my final year and heavily pregnant it was impossible for me to get a job. when i then went to apply for income support i was refused as i was in receipt of a student loan, bloody ridiculous as far as im concerned i would have been better off going on income support and knocking out the student loan but noone told me this. i would have saved myself at least £3000 in debt. its digusting how the system works, you are expected to live off the same amount as someone who doesnt have kids. i fought for every penny i could. It all paid off, despite having a 3 month old baby, living on my own I came out with a 2:1 and finally got some lump sums. I received a sure start maternity grant of £500, a Hardship Grant or Access to Learning as it's now called of £2500, my fees paid for and some other things. I know you wont be eligible for the maternity grant but have you contacted student support about the hardship loan? Good luck and if you need any more advice/chat just let me know. good luck with your course and writing to your MP just hope it doesnt fall on deaf ears.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.