Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Lostformoney
    • By Lostformoney 25th Feb 17, 2:00 AM
    • 13Posts
    • 2Thanks
    Lostformoney
    Can't afford to stay in a relationship
    • #1
    • 25th Feb 17, 2:00 AM
    Can't afford to stay in a relationship 25th Feb 17 at 2:00 AM
    This is a long post so please bare with me. I'd also like to point out I suffer anxiety and depression, please be kind as I am under immense pressure.

    Basically....I cannot afford to stay in a relationship with my partner due to benefit cuts and I need help.

    I used to get higher care and mobility DLA. This paid for my home help to keep me living at home and helped me get around, I also had a Motability car. During assesment for PIP I was awarded standard for mobility and care. I lost my Motability car, because of that I was left unable to get my kids to school, unable to get to doctors or hospital appointments. I also lost my homehelp, the situation became terrible as with my partner away often with work - I had no support and social work are over run and unable to see me anytime soon.

    I spoke to a benefits advisor and they realised the mobility side of PIP was wrong and appealed to get this fixed. By the time this happened I'd used the transitional package to pay for my home help and taxis, the rest I put towards finance deposit for a car that could fit my family, but I can't drive as it doesn't have my adaptations - I therefore couldn't get a mobility car. The care assesment is correct, but under the PIP system, I don't get enough points to cover the costs of my care needs.

    Because care has went down I have been told I am no longer eligible for certain tax credits benefits and to top it off, tax credits have been overpaid as a result.

    To this end, what is coming in from OHs wage and my benefits isn't even covering the basics. We live in a wheelchair accessible home and the rent is just over half my partners wage, council tax has been reduced due to disability but it's due to go up for everyone, the cost of where we live is high but due to OH work we have no option, we are tied into phone/broadband contracts from when we were financially stable and can't reduce or get out of them. We get tax credits, but due to my PIP care being reduced, unbeknown to me I stopped being eligible for a disabled element and I've been told we have been overpaid and the amounts will stop until next year then be significantly reduced.

    We have just worked out that because of all of this, we are in the negative of over 600 a month now and that's without my homehelp. We will have absolutely nothing left over for savings or car repairs.

    CAB looked at our income and explained we are not entitled to anymore help and tax credits have said no to Paying back over payments in smaller amounts. The bottom line is, we can't afford to be in a relationship together.

    We have just worked out our only current options are to split up (because our system says I'll get all sorts of benefits!), go homeless or wait for the debt collectors when we don't pay anything.

    Can anyone come up with some ideas?

    We can't switch providers due to the special meter & boiler we have
    We can't move as there are no suitable properties for cheaper
    We are paying the minimum to our debts that we can
    We can't get out our phone and broadband contracts
    I am very good with food budget, I normally cook most things from scratch when I can (though this is less now I don't have home help)
    We do not socialise or do anything now we could cut back on :-(
    We have tried selling things to make up the gap but we have ran out
    As our daughter is two weeks old, I can't go to work but even if I could, I need my home help to help me get kids to nursery to go

    Any suggestions would be gratefully welcomed and again, please be kind and consider the mental health issues I suffer from
Page 3
    • Rainbowgirl84
    • By Rainbowgirl84 25th Feb 17, 10:29 PM
    • 419 Posts
    • 716 Thanks
    Rainbowgirl84
    ....Troll?
    • just trying
    • By just trying 25th Feb 17, 10:32 PM
    • 780 Posts
    • 2,688 Thanks
    just trying
    Why troll, lots of people do the same. It's not an unusual situation.
    SEALED POT CHALLENGE MEMBER 098
    WILL SAVE ATLEAST 500!.
    • Perryface
    • By Perryface 25th Feb 17, 10:39 PM
    • 86 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    Perryface
    45+ hours a week, he earns 2100 per month, after rent, council tax, electricity debt (as we can't pay in full), wheelchair loan, fuel for car and a nominal payment to all our debtors, he has 5.50 left. We then relied on my income from tax credits & child benefit to cover food, clothes and school taxi/lunches fees. My PIP pays car finance & insurance. I am normally left with nothing in my account each week, so losing tax credits means we have no food money unless we don't pay something)
    Originally posted by Lostformoney
    Have you contacted your local MP? If you e-mail them asking for help and advice (explain who you have already gone to) they may be able to suggest some local charities in your area that may be able to help with school drop off/collection (school attendance is compulsory so maybe the gov has a scheme to ensure children attend if parents are disabled?). No harm in asking. Support for people with Mental Health issues seems to be high on the governments agenda at the moment... No harm in mentioning you have mh issues!

    Does your husbands employer have a childcare scheme?
    Is hubby a member of a union? Most unions have a welfare fund you could apply for. It is usually a one off amount but could be used to clear a small debt?

    Are the children not entitled to free school meals? If not, packed lunches would be cheaper.

    Good quality Clothing can be bought from charity shops. For school uniforms, ask the school if they have a recycle scheme, if they don't, ask for this idea to be shared at the next governors meeting, If that fails, post requests on Facebook selling sites (or create your own site linked to the children's particular school).

    Can you register at a food bank?

    Contact the Electricity company (in writing) asking them if they could reduce your payments further. They cannot cut off your electric if you have dependant children.

    On a side note, I have been involved in a 'support a family' scheme in my area a number of times. This was a voluntary scheme set up by local people who gave their time and goods (food, clothes, nappies, hygiene goods, buggy so, etc) to support a needy family for 9 months whilst they got back on their feet. The criteria for acceptance was strict (as they only help those willing to help themselves). Find out if there is anything like that in your area. If there isn't, ask your MP if they would set one up.
    Barclaycard 326/2532
    Wedding payment 0/4600 due 01/10/18
    • Rainbowgirl84
    • By Rainbowgirl84 25th Feb 17, 10:42 PM
    • 419 Posts
    • 716 Thanks
    Rainbowgirl84
    Why troll, lots of people do the same. It's not an unusual situation.
    Originally posted by just trying
    Even more don't and just get on and live within their means. You don't wake up one morning with four kids and suddenly realise you can't afford them and look for someone else to pay for your choices surely?
    • just trying
    • By just trying 25th Feb 17, 10:44 PM
    • 780 Posts
    • 2,688 Thanks
    just trying
    Even more don't and just get on and live within their means. You don't wake up one morning with four kids and suddenly realise you can't afford them and look for someone else to pay for your choices surely?
    Originally posted by Rainbowgirl84
    Think I said that in my other reply.

    Skim reading.
    Last edited by just trying; 25-02-2017 at 11:35 PM.
    SEALED POT CHALLENGE MEMBER 098
    WILL SAVE ATLEAST 500!.
    • Ames
    • By Ames 26th Feb 17, 1:15 AM
    • 16,093 Posts
    • 27,983 Thanks
    Ames
    Got to be honest, I am starting to doubt the OP. Her reluctance to post her income and expenditure and contact a debt organisation leaves me thinking she just wants to our approval to commit benefit fraud (and yes, this is what it would be) instead of looking for a sensible solution.

    It's a shame that money comes before the needs of her children.
    Originally posted by Lioness Twinkletoes
    The op did say that she's had help from CAB with debts and is making 1 token payments, I'm not sure that Stepchange will do anything different.

    I do agree that living apart, or separating, isn't the answer.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.

    Reading the alphabet in 2017. 21/100
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 26th Feb 17, 7:58 AM
    • 15,343 Posts
    • 38,494 Thanks
    FBaby
    Something doesn't ring right here. You have said nothing of the child tax credits you receive and with four children, even on 2,100 a month, assuming this is gross, then you should be entitled to something plus of course child benefit.

    You may have some additional costs due to your disabilities, but from what you say, there are not so significant that much money each month need to go on them. You are therefore not that different to many families with 4 children who have to make due with one salary and tax credit/CB.

    It sounds that your main issue is your accommodation. Paying half one's main income on rent is always going to be an issue, so you need to focus on this. You do have some requirements that will reduce availability, but if you/your OH are prepared to accept to make compromises in terms of location, size etc... there will be something available at some point that will be cheaper.

    Frankly, I find your suggestion to break up your happy family so you can claim benefit rather than looking at compromises quite upsetting. Do you really think your children value your current house and what you can get them with money over being able to be with their dad every day and more importantly, helping you with your needs so they don't feel they have to step in to care for you and worry about you?
    • bspm
    • By bspm 26th Feb 17, 8:41 AM
    • 367 Posts
    • 541 Thanks
    bspm
    This poster is reminding me of a previous poster whose partner was in the Armed Forces, can't remember the name used.

    She was also disabled, three children and another on the way a few months ago, she was asking for advice then on their housing situation I believe, and if i remember correctly that post was also confusing.

    I seem to remember there was quite a bit of confusion something along the lines of she was posting then her friend was posting using her name, rural property, unable to move etc etc etc
    Last edited by bspm; 26-02-2017 at 8:45 AM.
    • Lioness Twinkletoes
    • By Lioness Twinkletoes 26th Feb 17, 9:03 AM
    • 1,046 Posts
    • 3,385 Thanks
    Lioness Twinkletoes
    The op did say that she's had help from CAB with debts and is making 1 token payments, I'm not sure that Stepchange will do anything different.
    Originally posted by Ames
    I disagree. For a start, paying 1 a month isn't sustainable and secondly they could make other suggestions such as a DRO or bankruptcy. On the face of it, the OP may well meet the criteria for either.
    • clairec79
    • By clairec79 26th Feb 17, 9:18 AM
    • 2,199 Posts
    • 6,009 Thanks
    clairec79
    I am on a similar wage (but net rather than gross, not sure which the OPs is) with 4 children and get a small amount of tax credits and thats without any disability premium
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 26th Feb 17, 11:35 AM
    • 15,343 Posts
    • 38,494 Thanks
    FBaby
    To be fair on OP, having to adjust one's lifestyle when income suddenly drops, especially when you were already stretching your budget in the first place is quite a scary place to be in. You get comfortable with your lifestyle and the realisation that the only way you can make ends meet is to make drastic changes to your life is not a great place to be in, especially when you have to cope with three children and a newborn.

    However, it was a risk to take to assume that this benefit income would always be forthcoming and the reason why there is so much talk about the 'benefit trap'.It does raise the question of the impact of benefits on families and how dependent they become on a certain lifestyle that they would opt to break up a family rather than considering reducing their lifestyle.
    • Torry Quine
    • By Torry Quine 26th Feb 17, 11:41 AM
    • 16,740 Posts
    • 25,497 Thanks
    Torry Quine
    I really hope that this is not genuine, the very thought that someone would split a family to try and maximise benefits is abhorrent to me.
    Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving . Albert Einstein.

    I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have -
    Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
    • Loz01
    • By Loz01 26th Feb 17, 1:44 PM
    • 1,261 Posts
    • 2,619 Thanks
    Loz01
    Do you actually WANT to split up and not be in a romantic relationship anymore or are you just doing it for the purpose of benefits?? Surely then everyone could do that for more money? What about your kids feelings, telling them you've split up if you're only doing it to claim more benefits? Sorry but I think thats quite a horrible idea.
    I get up when I'm down, I can't swim but my soul won't drown, I do believe, I got flair, I got speed and I walk on air
    • NYM
    • By NYM 26th Feb 17, 2:36 PM
    • 3,263 Posts
    • 5,574 Thanks
    NYM
    I think that what has brought about this situation has been the reassessment of PIP which resulted in a much reduced award.

    Would this increase because of her single status?

    Clearly, having become accustomed to a certain level of income, the drop has caused more financial stress.

    To separate, would incur additional costs. Two rents, two lots of utility bills, CT, and a myriad of other expenses.

    I don't envy anyone that is faced with splitting a family to increase benefit entitlement.

    I'd be prepared to live in a shed as long as I had my DH to cuddle up with at night

    ...and a good duvet!
    • WillGoodfellow
    • By WillGoodfellow 26th Feb 17, 4:07 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    WillGoodfellow
    Contact the Electricity company (in writing) asking them if they could reduce your payments further. They cannot cut off your electric if you have dependant children.
    Originally posted by Perryface
    That is incorrect. Some companies have agreed to not disconnect people with young children but others haven't, and there is nothing legally to stop electricity being disconnected.
    • The Old Bag
    • By The Old Bag 26th Feb 17, 7:15 PM
    • 4,543 Posts
    • 22,192 Thanks
    The Old Bag
    I expect this to potentially cause a back lash, but, I have to ask the question.....
    Why did OP have another child when they were already struggling both financially, and to manage with OPs disability ?
    It does not sound like the disability is temporary, or will improve.
    She appears not to have a support network around her.
    Is having to pay for a taxi to get her children to school
    And only able to have a vehicle because of Benefits.

    The attack on Benefits generally and the disabled in particular is not a NEW thing.It has been going on for at least 5 years.....so she cannot claim this has all come out of the blue. I know several people who receive and survive thanks to DLA, but are literally terrified of the PIP letter arriving, and they could end up losing everything.
    She is also aware that Social Services are struggling and will be unable/unwilling to provide home help indefinitely.
    So if OP was already struggling (she needed home help) and debts were mounting, why get pregnant?

    A few years back I went to the bank to see about a loan - and the amount they were prepared to lend me was staggering.
    They took into account child benefit, child tax credits, working tax credits etc. added my salary....then GROSSED that figure up, before they calculated what they would lend me.
    About 100k

    But I took into account that CB would not last for the length of the loan, therefore CTC would also fall/stop, and WTC fall/stop.....
    And there would be no guarantee I would still have a job, let alone increase my earnings to cover this fall in benefits...
    I didn't take out the loan - because I knew I would be struggling to repay it.... and i did not want the added stress and anxiety of threatening letters, debt collectors, bailiffs or losing the roof over my head. I would rather cut my cloth NOW to manage without the loan, than carry on living beyond my means - and lose my house down the line.

    Why would anyone get themselves into so much debt when the LIKELIHOOOD is their income will FALL ?

    So why did OP have another child, when she had no guarantee that her family income would continue, let alone be able to increase it to meet the increased size of her family?
    • Perryface
    • By Perryface 26th Feb 17, 9:42 PM
    • 86 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    Perryface
    The Old Bag, why are you even asking the question, it has no relevance to the OP's post. She has 4 children.... End of.

    Are you proposing people who are disabled or claiming tax credits or both cannot procreate?

    You assume the OP chose to have another child even though she was struggling financially.... From what I read in the original post, there was a mistake made when dla was reassessed and PIP was introduced regarding the level of mobility element the OP was entitled to, this caused the initial financial hardship, then to compound the problem, an overpayment made by tax credits was found and this now has to be paid back (at the amount set and is presumably non-negotiable). This is what has caused the financial difficulties imo. At no point does the OP suggest she had money worries prior to the under-entitlement by PIP (although I note she has some debts acrued - along with the majority of us!)

    For all we know, the OP was doing quite fine balancing the books until the mess made by PIP. I thought this forum was to help.... Not judge.
    Barclaycard 326/2532
    Wedding payment 0/4600 due 01/10/18
    • Confuseddot
    • By Confuseddot 26th Feb 17, 10:00 PM
    • 1,665 Posts
    • 2,630 Thanks
    Confuseddot
    Ok bit confused trying to clarify ....

    The DLA money was spent on car/home help so no money has been lost, car given back help stopped. The only change in tax credits would be a loss of Severe Disability Element which is 1,275 a year.

    Higher rate Pip been restored so motability car can be re-obtained. So the only difference is that they they are getting standard rate PIP and no home helps which means more money and less help.

    Have i missed something ?
    Play nice Just because I am paranoid doesn't mean they are not out to get me.
    • w06
    • By w06 26th Feb 17, 10:06 PM
    • 163 Posts
    • 236 Thanks
    w06
    and there was a 2k Motability transition payment
    • venison
    • By venison 26th Feb 17, 10:16 PM
    • 823 Posts
    • 774 Thanks
    venison
    It's not benefit fraud, we are talking about ending our relationship because we can't afford to be in it. I have four children and we will do anything to stop them being on the street, so long as it falls within the law.
    Originally posted by Lostformoney
    I'm sorry but how would splitting up with their father be of any benefit to the 4 kids?
    Maybe if he gave up work to look after you that would work better?
    #WeStandTogether
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

220Posts Today

1,910Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • The strange thing with a 4yr old is having to play & smile while inside feeling sick for those in trauma in my birth town #Manchester

  • Just a quick ta-ta for now. I'm taking the week off for family time with mini and Mrs MSE. So I won't be here much. Back after the bank hol

  • Ugh another one trying it! Beware https://t.co/Ab9fCRA76F

  • Follow Martin