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Please can someone offer me advice if they have been in this situation!!!

15 replies

mkv · 17/02/2004 15:31

Apologies if this turns into a rant but have spent all morning going from one organisation to another and getting no help and ending up in tears!!!

Please dont judge before read as there must be others out there like me and please dont take offence at anything said as just trying to get the point across.

At the moment I am working full time and earning salary which allows me to live comfortably but am due to give birth middle of May. The dad is not around and so therefore am considering my options for returning to work after my maternity leave.

It seems that if i dont return to work i can get a huge amounts of benefits at great cost to the government and they will give me great financial assistance and pay my morgage interest etc BUT as I have spent time training to be a school teacher and there is supposedly a lack of teachers I dont really want to give up my career totally. I would like to go back part time so that i have time with baby and still continuing with career but there in lies the problem as they will not assist me in my morgage and not entitled to income support etc so will be totally in the stuck !!!!!!!

Can someone please explain the logic of this to me????

Is there anyone who has been in the situation and knows anything about the benefits to working mums on a good wage prior to giving birth.

Thank you ever so much! x

OP posts:

zebra · 17/02/2004 15:34

Have you tried going to the CAB and getting a picture of the benefits/help available if you go back to work? May be more than you realise; £1000 extra on the tax credits, for instance, first year after your child is born.


marialuisa · 17/02/2004 15:36

Don't know how long you've been teaching but you should get some help with childcare if you're on less than £25k p.a. Try tax credit helpline.

Think the mortgage thing might be more complicated than you think. Find ithard to believe you'd be better off on benefits than working as a teacher.


wobblyknicks · 17/02/2004 15:38

Can't give any help but I sympathise loads!! My dd is 8 months old and at the moment I'm not allowed to work because of the divorce I'm going through (long story) but even if that wasn't a factor, there'd be no way I could afford to work. Even with the government help for childcare, the benefits I'd lose would mean I'd have to work loads for virtually nothing and not be able to see dd. I don't particularly want to sponge off the government, even though I've paid tax and will in the future, but the whole system seems to be set up to discourage you from working. It's mad.


mkv · 17/02/2004 15:40

That is where i went first and he was more than useless!!!!! I had to explain how to turn his computer on to get information that I knew anyway!!!! Problem is I want to know now what the situation is going to be as dont want to get into financial difficulties but everyone is saying i have to wait until the baby is born!!! That doesnt help!

OP posts:

marialuisa · 17/02/2004 15:45

have you tried contacting your local social security office?


BadHair · 17/02/2004 15:47

Hi mkv, sorry to say this but benefits really are geared to those who don't work at all. I don't think there's anything other than child tax credits for mothers who work part time, like I do. These tax credits do help though, and you get more if you're using a nursery.
Even if you gave up work the benefits you get aren't much to live on. And you only get the interest on the mortgage paid, not the lump sum, so you'd either have to find the difference every month or re-negotiate with your mortgage company.
Have you thought about going back as a supply teacher? I'm not in the profession myself but I know someone who did 3 days per week supply teaching after she had her first baby and took home the same money that she used to get when she worked full time.
If its any consolation I know how you feel. After both ds1 and ds2 were born I felt like I was being shoved back into the workplace at the expense of my children as there was no financial help available. Seems like you have to be either very rich or very poor to get to stay at home with your kids!


SenoraPostrophe · 17/02/2004 15:48

mkv - the benefits system did used to be like this (that it was possible to b better off on benefits), but that is no longer the case.

If you work part time, you will qualify for working families tax credit - on the inland revenue website there is a calculator thingummy which helps you to work out what you would get. Housing benefit is also tapered (or it was, it's been a while since I had anything to do with it), meaning that you may still qualify for some HB even if you do work - you should ask at the local council about that. You may also like to ask how much they would pay towards your mortgage if you are on Income support - it probably won't be 100%.


zebra · 17/02/2004 15:49

The CAB chap was useless? Oh well, I guess some of them won't be on the ball!
Don't stress, we're cleverer, but can't give you exact answers, ok?
This gives you an approximate guide to what you get under child-tax-credit for various levels of income. As long as you're working at least 16 hours/week and using OfSted-insepcted child-care, the numbers should be pretty close to accurate. Keep in mind you get an extra £1000 credit the first year after your baby is born, too. Does that help? How nasty are your debts (including the mortgage)?
Also, as a key worker, you may be eligible for extra help schemes, but you'd have to go to your employer I imagine to find out about those.


mkv · 17/02/2004 15:52

Thanks marialuisa - the social security office woman was a witch !!!!! Sorry but been a very hard day she told me she couldnt understand why I needed information as was on a wage now trying to explain to her about my situation was useless.

Just feeling a bit bewildered by it all. I know i can get child care if go part time but it is keeping my house that I am more worried about! If i lived in rented accommodation would have no worries the whole system seems so unfair to me!

OP posts:

marialuisa · 17/02/2004 15:57

OK. Can only suggest you give tax credit helpline a ring. Number is on inland revenue site.


mkv · 17/02/2004 15:57

thanks zebra.

My mortgage is about 350 a month and then have a loan of £100 - just know that if i reduce my hours down to part time take a right drop in income. Sound a right whinger dont I but THANKS everyone as it is good to have people to talk to about it! xx

OP posts:

zebra · 17/02/2004 16:01

Go on, then, tell us all, what would 60% of your current salary bring in? How short would that leave you for clearing your current bills?


mkv · 17/02/2004 16:11

Dont really want to say on here but if i reduce my hours to part time and take off my mortgage and loan it leaves me with just under 300 a month to live on. Which sounds a lot but out of that has to come all bills as well. Suppose the next step is to contact the CSA to see if the dad will have to give me anything but that is another mine field as he has told me I wont get anything!

OP posts:

WideWebWitch · 17/02/2004 16:49

Mkv, here are the CSA online He can't just choose not to contribute. Senora is right, if you work more than 16 hrs/week then wftc is worth having and I'm sure will make it worth your while to work


zebra · 17/02/2004 17:16

£300 a month + £200/month tax credits + 40-70% of your child care costs sounds liveable, to me, MKV. Without counting what the father should contribute!

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