Help with benefits

Discussion in 'Second Trimester' started by coruscating17, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. coruscating17

    coruscating17 Well-Known Member

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    Hi girls
    I have never needed benefits before, but once I am on maternity leave we will need all the help we can get as I'm only entitled to Maternity Allowance (around 500/month?) and my OH won't be earning more than 12000/year. We rent privately so will we be entitled to Housing Benefit and Council Tax help? I really know nothing about benefits and don't know if they look at my salary before I go on maternity leave (which is over 25000/year) or our income when I am on maternity leave? Also my OH is Aussie and his visa doesn't allow him any money from the state so he's not entitled to benefits, but I obviously am.

    Can anyone shed some light on it all for me?! I intend to arrange a meeting at the job centre soon to discuss it but want to know my possible entitlements before I go!

    Thanks you :)
     
  2. misscrazycooki

    misscrazycooki Well-Known Member

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    strange that, I saw in paper other day that illegals had benefits after being here two days. Its all covered up so people don't go mental about it. I think you should ring your local council hun. I know if your partner is working they may want payslips to show how much a month he gets to see if he can afford your rent. Plus they only pay part of private rent anyways. As in a percentage sort of thing it varies from council to council. x
     
  3. Rachel1509

    Rachel1509 Well-Known Member

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    Not entirely sure, but probably not if I'm completely honest. I'm currently in employment of 25hrs a week, but began my ML a few weeks ago. My maternity allowance of £128 a week has just processed and I begin getting my money next week. However my OH isn't in work at all after been made redundant and has been told he can't even claim any sort of benefit to tide him over, purely because my maternity allowance is expected to cover his living expenses too!

    We also live in private rented accommodation but now can't afford it due to all these financial changes, so we're in the process of being evicted by our landlord :( we've applied for housing and council tax benefit, but I did an online questionnaire about what we may be entitled to, and it said our circumstances only entitle us to claim £1.67 per week towards our rent!

    This is the link to the online benefit advisor questionnaire. Has a lot of questions but it may help you see if you're entitled to anything.

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Diol1/DoItOnline/DoItOnlineByCategory/DG_172666
     
  4. Bee7

    Bee7 Well-Known Member

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    I've been trying to look into this as well. It's all very confusing as you have to notify the authorities every time your income changes. I start my maternity leave on 90% pay for the first 6 weeks, then go onto half pay plus SMP until 20 weeks then get SMP alone for the remainder of my leave. This means i'll have to contact the tax office regarding working tax credits three times during my maternity leave and then again when i go back to work!

    You'll probably be entitled to working tax credits and obviously child benefit once baby arrives but i'm not sure about housing/council tax benefit. My OH and i also privately rent so i know how expensive everything is from rent to food bills to utilities etc...plus everything for baby. It's a nightmare. I think the best thing you can do is contact the job centre and arrange an appointment. I often find that speaking to an actual person is a lot easier than trying to make sense of loads of info on a website. Good luck xx
     
  5. Jaxx01

    Jaxx01 Well-Known Member

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    Rachel .. that really doesnt sound right?? I was in similare situation when my ex oh lived with me and we got most of the rent covered?? xx
     
  6. Rachel1509

    Rachel1509 Well-Known Member

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    It sounds pathetic doesn't it! But we've had someone over the phone at the Job Centre department tell my OH this, then a woman in our local Job Centre said the exact same.
    We got a housing benefit form just after Christmas, filled it out then took it into the housing last week - we saw an advisor before handing it in just to make sure we'd done the form properly, but she basically said the same and said even though it isn't judged on benefits, it's judged on income, the website is probably right (when it told me £1.67 a week).
    We're really in debt at the moment, and our eviction date is about 2 weeks before my due date, so it's an absolute nightmare!

    My OH is desperately looking for work - we're really struggling, yet we aren't given a dime. Typical!
     
    #6 Rachel1509, Jan 22, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  7. Jaxx01

    Jaxx01 Well-Known Member

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    Do you know what?? I'd go and see a local MP. That's appalling. So you're telling me the council will see a couple out on the streets, when your pregnant or make them survive on 500 quid a month?? Housing benefit is there for people who need it and if you don't fit the criteria then god know who does!! I'm disgusted to be honest and my heart goes out to you babe it really does!! Xx
     
  8. coruscating17

    coruscating17 Well-Known Member

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    Bugger! Hope you get sorted soon. It is really annoying when you work and pay tax unlike other people who get benefits and when you actually need a bit of help you aren't entitled to it! GRR
     
  9. coruscating17

    coruscating17 Well-Known Member

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    Surely no-one can survive on 500/month?? There are so many people who live solely on benefits and they MUST get much more than that??
     
  10. misscrazycooki

    misscrazycooki Well-Known Member

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    Jaxx its a nightmare with councils really I had to hand over alsorts of proof to them when I came back to live with my OH after 3 weeks absence. Even thought the benefit letter for our joint claim had my name on they were like we need your I.D and national insurance number so had to take down my birth certificate, provisional driving license, deed poll (as birthcertificate hasn't got my first name on) and national insurance card. To which they sent us a letter saying our benefits had been stopped again then a day later saying it was all fine and taken care off. I was like call me confused or what.

    I hope you get something sorted hun. Have you thought about moving back in with your parents or asking the council to place you and OH in a half way house as your homeless soon. That way you can claim all benefits while your partner is looking for work and have a better chance of getting a council home quicker. x
     
  11. misscrazycooki

    misscrazycooki Well-Known Member

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    Well I get £180 every two weeks from our joint claim. As we are paying social loans off.

    So thats £360 a month.

    Then £20.13 a week for Leo's child benefit. Then £62.12 a week for child tax credits. So thats

    £80.52 for child benefit a month.
    £260.48 for the tax credit a month

    But with out them We would only be getting the £360 a month so I have to money manage alot and I get by best I can.

    So total with child benefits is : £701 on average. x
     
  12. misscrazycooki

    misscrazycooki Well-Known Member

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    In all honesty sometimes having a job isn't the best way and I think thats stupid as they say too many people are claiming benefits but why work to live on nothing and barely survive and ruin your health. I feel sorry for poepl on low wages I hated it when I was working 60 hours a week nearly at a care home to bring home not even £800 a month after tax. :(
     
  13. Jaxx01

    Jaxx01 Well-Known Member

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    Oh I know they can be a nightmare, I claim housing and council tax benefit myself, I was merely saying that they cannot expect them to live on 500 a month!
     
  14. coruscating17

    coruscating17 Well-Known Member

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    Just tried the benefits calculator. It's a bit confusing though as I don't know whether to fill it in as a pregnant woman or as if I had already had the baby. Anyway I did the latter and it says I'm not entitled to any housing benefit :( Apparently entitled to some working tax credits but aren't they being taken away soon? Damn it...I wonder why I bother paying tax sometimes when you you can't get a bit of help for a few months when needed! I only intend to take 3, max 4, months maternity leave as it is!
     
  15. coruscating17

    coruscating17 Well-Known Member

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    I've also just tried the housing benefit calculator for my local council and it said I am entitled to a bit of help, so might speak to them rather than the job centre..
     
  16. Loula

    Loula Well-Known Member

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    I know the exact feeling, i was on an apprenticeship wage of less then £400 a month although i did get most of my rent and council tax paid for, however now my wages have gone up to just under a grand a month i get no help with council tax ot housing benefits and its now that i owe my council £450.
    If you can like here we can go to our council and see a housing benfits advisor and they are great, are really honest about if you can or cant get anything. Its a pain i know because certain criterias of people get everything for nothing and i could go on for hours about it. Really hope it all works out for you, im sure im going to be in the same position wheni go on mat leave x
     
  17. starstruck2011

    starstruck2011 Well-Known Member

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    You're in similar position to me work wise.

    You should get council tax n housing benefit and the child tax element of working tax.
     
  18. coruscating17

    coruscating17 Well-Known Member

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    I hope so but I'm not so sure after doing the online calculator..
     
  19. starstruck2011

    starstruck2011 Well-Known Member

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    Ivwe done the calculator a few times - it was always different. Instead I called them and they said I would be able to claim housing benefit whilst on maternity to make up my rent. Discounted council tax and Child tax element of working tax to make up my salary.

    At the end of the day - my rent is £500 a month for a 2 bed property and I am single, there other option is to make me homeless....which costs the governement more money to house me and settle me.
    They will pay up - don't worry x
     
  20. coruscating17

    coruscating17 Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if that changes for me because I'm not single though? Even though OH earns very little in comparison, and it won't cover all our current living expenses. Guess I'll just have to make an appointment to speak to them and find out!
     

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