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Benefits situation for a pregnant student?
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# 1
poppy10
Old 13-01-2009, 9:53 PM
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Default Benefits situation for a pregnant student?

Posting this on behalf of a friend.

She is in the final year of a university course, due to finish this autumn. She is also 5 months pregnant, and has been living in a rather grotty shared student flat. The flat is cold and damp, and her room is tiny, and it is clearly not suitable to bring a baby up in; it's not particularly great for her to be in it as a pregnant girl. Dad is nowhere on the scene.

She has been to the council to see what she is entitled to in terms of council housing or housing benefit etc. They have said she is not entitled to anything, as she is still officially a student (although is due to go on maternity leave in 2 months) and therefore is expected to survive on the student loan. She has been rated as lowest priority band for a council house, and has been told she can't get housing benefit until after she has the baby and has quit the course.

So basically she has to stay in this awful flat until after she gives birth, and then look for somewhere private to rent. Alsoshe won't have any money for a deposit/first months rent/furnishings because the housing benefit won't be paid until after she moves in somewhere, so she doesn't know where she is expected to get this money from.

This doesn't sound right? I thought people were always complaining about how generous the state was towards single mums, but there seems to be no support out there for her.

Any help/advice welcomed.
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# 2
krisskross
Old 13-01-2009, 10:02 PM
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The benefits are fairly generous once she has had the baby.

Has she looked into the £500 sure start grant (if she gets baby stuff from freecycle or as gifts this could be a deposit on a flat). There is another £190 up for grabs with no strings attached although I can't remember what it is called.
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# 3
briona
Old 13-01-2009, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poppy10 View Post
This doesn't sound right? I thought people were always complaining about how generous the state was towards single mums, but there seems to be no support out there for her.
Hi

I think you'll find that there is a reasonable amount of help available to her, albeit not immediately.

Obviously she'll be entitled to Child Benefit (currently £20pw for the first child and £13.20pw for the second and subsequent children).
http://direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndB...fits/DG_073828

I see that someone's already mentioned the Sure Start Maternity Grant – a one-off payment of £500 which can only be claimed within the following period: from 11 weeks BEFORE the baby is due to the time that the baby is 3 months old. I believe you must be claiming some sort of benefit already to be eligible so I'm not sure where she would stand being a student...?
http://direct.gov.uk/en/Parents/Mone...ney/DG_4003046

If her baby is due on or after 6 April 2009, she'll be entitled to the new Health in Pregnancy grant – an one-off non-means tested payment of £190 which can be claimed from the 25th week of pregnancy.
http://campaigns.direct.gov.uk/money4mum2be/

She may qualify for Child Tax credits – I don't really know a lot about them so perhaps someone else could advise?! If she can get this at a high enough rate, she would then be entitled to the Sure Start Maternity Grant mentioned above...
http://direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndB...dits/DG_073802

If she gets Income Support or Child Tax Credits, she may be entitled to Healthy Start Vouchers – vouchers worth £3 each to be spent on fresh fruit, vegetables, milk and infant formula. More details on the link below.
http://direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndB...en/DG_10018986

Thinking about things if she is in her final year of University she will obviously be finishing around the time the baby is born. In which case I assume she would go onto Income Support, which would then entitle her to a fair amount more help – housing benefit (or whatever it's called these days), council tax benefit and the Sure Start Maternity Grant.

Hope that helps!

Briona
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Last edited by briona; 14-01-2009 at 9:27 AM.
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# 4
poppy10
Old 13-01-2009, 11:38 PM
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Thanks Briona. She will have to give up her course before she has the baby, as it is due is the summer and the course doesn't finish till autumn. She has however got permission to go back and complete the last two months at a later date so she can get her degree.

As to the sniping comments about contraception, everyone makes mistakes, she has acknowledged hers and believe me she is beating herself up about it more than any of you guys could. What she needs now is some support. She has always worked hard, she was working three jobs before she decided to go to university to better herself. She's paid her taxes all her working life, never claimed any kind of benefit before, but now she is in need of a safety net but seems to find all the doors being shut in her face.
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# 5
hippy-chicy
Old 14-01-2009, 12:13 AM
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There are also various rent deposit schemes running around the country - to help people who are looking to rent in the private sector who are having trouble getting together a deposit. Her local council will be able to put her in touch with them.
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# 6
mummytofour
Old 14-01-2009, 9:15 AM
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Get her to visit the finance office at her uni they have extra funding avalible called teh access to learning fund and they maybe able to help her out.
Debt free and plan on staying that way!!!!
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# 7
Pssst
Old 14-01-2009, 9:20 AM
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I realise anyone can make a mistake and I'm not going to have a go at the girl or the OP. I do resent supporting other peoples children via the tax system though and i wonder if the op could comment further on the father. Is he known? if so,whats his take on it? Will she be naming him as the father to the relevant authorities and will his name appear on the birth cert? Is abortion an option?
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# 8
needawayout
Old 14-01-2009, 9:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pssst View Post
I realise anyone can make a mistake and I'm not going to have a go at the girl or the OP. I do resent supporting other peoples children via the tax system though and i wonder if the op could comment further on the father. Is he known? if so,whats his take on it? Will she be naming him as the father to the relevant authorities and will his name appear on the birth cert? Is abortion an option?
She's 5months gone, so it wouldn't even be legal, let alone moral at this stage :confused: ETA...but I do agree with you in some of your points pssst, I think the dad should be taking some responsibility. It shouldn't be all shouldered by the mum and the taxpayers.

Well done to her for wanting to finish her degree, at least she only has two months. All the best to her, I'm sure she will be fine.
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# 9
RoxieW
Old 14-01-2009, 12:47 PM
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Hi OP - I found myself in this situation - although I was with the father of the child he was also a student and we took the decision to ride out the financial problems for him to finish his final year of architecture degree. Because he was a student and I was unable to work due to looking after baby we found we were'nt entitled to any benefits. That year we survived on student loans and he worked during the holidays. We lived on 8K. There was no safety net there when we needed it - which is hugely annoying as it discourages from completing eduction. We only needed the safety net for a year, as once hub qualified he was working fulltime and 5 years on is a high rate tax payer. I have also worked at certain points as well as bringing up our children. So I do sympathise and think that this is unfair on students who may wish to continue with their studies in order to provide a better future for their families. I agree though that the father of the child should be helping - and the sure start grant plus the £190 healthy living grant would hopefully be a decent amount to buy the essentials and possibly set her up in her own flat? If she has some of her own money to add to this, so much the better. Also, how about approaching the bank for an extension to a student overdraft? Not ideal I know but it is better that she is settled in her own place before the baby comes. Good luck to her!
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# 10
alison999
Old 14-01-2009, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pssst View Post
Is abortion an option?
I dont think murder is the answer here :rolleyes:
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# 11
briona
Old 14-01-2009, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pssst View Post
I realise anyone can make a mistake and I'm not going to have a go at the girl or the OP. I do resent supporting other peoples children via the tax system though and i wonder if the op could comment further on the father. Is he known? if so,whats his take on it? Will she be naming him as the father to the relevant authorities and will his name appear on the birth cert? Is abortion an option?
It's not your place (or mine or anyone else's) to suggest that she consider an abortion. At 5 months gone I assume the girl has already gone through everything in her head and has opted to keep the child. I don't think she should be condemned for getting pregnant – in fact it's admirable that she hasn't chosen to "get rid" simply because the timing's not great.

I had friends in Uni who got pregnant – one dropped out and never went back and as the last I heard was sat at home claiming benefits and getting depressed. But another took a year out and then came back to finish course, graduating with pretty good grades. She went on to find work, married the father of her baby and they are still together 12 or so years later.

Just because someone's gotten pregnant at a young age and in less than perfect circumstances does not mean that they will forever be a drain on "our taxes"...
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# 12
Loopy Girl
Old 14-01-2009, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pssst View Post
i wonder if the op could comment further on the father. Is he known? if so,whats his take on it? Will she be naming him as the father to the relevant authorities and will his name appear on the birth cert? Is abortion an option?
She asked for help to help her friend and these questions are wholly inappropriate. You may pay your taxes but it doesn't give you the right to ask extremely personal and quite crass questions.

And for the record, the mother doesn't have to name the father to any 'relevant authorities' if she chooses not to.

You are making the assumption that she has been a silly girl and not taken her pill that night. God forbid if it came back that this pregnancy came about in any other manner than a consensual manner.

I'm disgusted by the questions you have posted.

And you support children every day through the 'tax system'. It's called WTC. Are you going to question every recipient of that as well in the manner you have used?
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# 13
Damzel_In_Distress
Old 16-01-2009, 2:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loopy Girl View Post
She asked for help to help her friend and these questions are wholly inappropriate. You may pay your taxes but it doesn't give you the right to ask extremely personal and quite crass questions.

And for the record, the mother doesn't have to name the father to any 'relevant authorities' if she chooses not to.

You are making the assumption that she has been a silly girl and not taken her pill that night. God forbid if it came back that this pregnancy came about in any other manner than a consensual manner.

I'm disgusted by the questions you have posted.

And you support children every day through the 'tax system'. It's called WTC. Are you going to question every recipient of that as well in the manner you have used?

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# 14
Vikdoobis
Old 19-01-2009, 7:43 PM
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First I'd like to say im disgusted with the morons above talking about abortions and how she shouldnt live off of the taxpayers money! this lady we are talking about is about to finish University and will then be putting alot back into the economy with a good job after acheiving a professional qualification university is hard work so give a little credit, do you loud mouths have degrees? i suspect not! secondly this lady is a student not a bum or junkie maybe u shud moan about bums and junkies living off of taxpayers money instead!
Third some advice for the loan lady: student loan should not be means tested therefore she should definetly receive some housing benefit i belive up to half of her rent should be paid for in a 2 bedroomed flat or house, she wont pay council tax til after uni obviously, she should quality for child tax credits and possibly Maternity Allowance if she has worked part-time for 26 weeks out of 66 weeks leading up to due date of baby? if she doesnt quality for MA she should apply for Incapacity Benefit instead!
heres the link for the £190 which provided baby is due after after 9th she WILL receive
http://campaigns.direct.gov.uk/money4mum2be/index.html
if she qualifies for child tax she should receive 500 sure start maternity grant, this can also be applied for after birth which was what I done. Also if she informs her director of studies that she is pregnant he will generally not monitor attendance rate as closely as usual, I had loadsa time off uni during pregnancy and birth but still managed to pass exams so uni dont mind, saas give her extra grants and stuff too but might be too late as she is in final year, i would contact them just in case,
hope this helps and ignore all the jealous people in here who are probably jealous becoz they cant find anyone to go near them nm have kids with them
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# 15
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Old 19-01-2009, 7:51 PM
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just wanted to say good luck to your friend in what will be a difficult time for her.

and i also think it is admirable that she has opted to take responsibility rather than the other option.

peace and health to her and her baby.
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# 16
Numbers Man
Old 22-11-2009, 10:43 AM
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Hi

I was wondering if anyone can offer any advice to my curent situation:

My partner is 6 months pregnant, and recently completed her degree asnd is due to graduate in Decemeber at which point she will be 7 months gone.

We have recently enquired as to teh benefits avaiable and other than those mentioned below e.g. £500 sure start and the one-off £190, she is not entitled to any further support, whilst we are together. If we were not living together I beleive she would be eligable for a number of benefits, inline with what a single-mother would be entitled to receive.

My partner did work for many years prior to returning to full-time education, albeit it was over five years ago and as a result this does not qualify her for any sort of JSA or SMP.

Is there something that I am missing?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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# 17
Indie Kid
Old 22-11-2009, 11:06 AM
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Numbers Man - are you a student or are you working?
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# 18
Vader123
Old 22-11-2009, 11:19 AM
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Numbersman, I would start your own thread.

Quote:
If we were not living together I beleive she would be eligable for a number of benefits, inline with what a single-mother would be entitled to receive
Yes, but she is not. Thats a bit like saying "if she was disabled she would get DLA".

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# 19
DX2
Old 22-11-2009, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Numbers Man View Post
Hi

I was wondering if anyone can offer any advice to my curent situation:

My partner is 6 months pregnant, and recently completed her degree asnd is due to graduate in Decemeber at which point she will be 7 months gone.

We have recently enquired as to teh benefits avaiable and other than those mentioned belowe.g. £500 sure start and the one-off £190, she is not entitled to any further support, whilst we are together. If we were not living together I beleive she would be eligable for a number of benefits, inline with what a single-mother would be entitled to receive.

My partner did work for many years prior to returning to full-time education, albeit it was over five years ago and as a result this does not qualify her for any sort of JSA or SMP.

Is there something that I am missing?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
She will be entitled to benefits once the baby is born. Child benefit, child tax credits, working tax credits if you still work.
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# 20
sp1987
Old 22-11-2009, 8:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Numbers Man View Post
Hi

I was wondering if anyone can offer any advice to my curent situation:

My partner is 6 months pregnant, and recently completed her degree asnd is due to graduate in Decemeber at which point she will be 7 months gone.

We have recently enquired as to teh benefits avaiable and other than those mentioned below e.g. £500 sure start and the one-off £190, she is not entitled to any further support, whilst we are together. If we were not living together I beleive she would be eligable for a number of benefits, inline with what a single-mother would be entitled to receive.

My partner did work for many years prior to returning to full-time education, albeit it was over five years ago and as a result this does not qualify her for any sort of JSA or SMP.

Is there something that I am missing?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I have graduated from uni since becoming pregnant and unfortunately as I have not been in employment for that period I am not entitled to any maternity payments either. It is fair though, I have not paid in recently so am not annoyed I'm not getting anything!

The problem is post a certain time it is really near impossible to look purposefully for a job being visibly pregnant (even if you are capable of taking something).

Just life sometimes. From my point of view having a partner is worth any amount I could receive for being without him and claiming as a single person.

Best of luck
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