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  • FIRST POST
    • bunglebus
    • By bunglebus 11th Mar 17, 2:52 PM
    • 15Posts
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    bunglebus
    How to make up the difference between benefits and bills
    • #1
    • 11th Mar 17, 2:52 PM
    How to make up the difference between benefits and bills 11th Mar 17 at 2:52 PM
    My question is simple: How is one expected to survive off benefits when they do not pay the full amount of the expenditure they're meant to cover?

    Our rent is 750 PCM, our housing benefit is 607.64 as per the local government maximum. We are entitled to and need the three bedrooms in our house, 1 adult son who works a low paid job and gives us a bit of housekeeping, one teenaged son in full time education.
    We have a dog and two cats so moving is made difficult as few landlords will accept pets, plus if you don't have any money how do you pay for moving costs, deposit etc etc?

    Our council tax is 1419.46 P/A, of which 1102.57 is covered by Council Tax Support. This leaves approx 168.77 PCM shortfall between rent and council tax.

    We receive PIP as my wife is disabled, Standard Daily Living and Enhanced Mobility which is used for her Motability car. I receive Carer's Allowance and Income Support.

    We moved here just over four years ago, I was working full time until Dec 2015 but now I am her full time carer.

    I'm looking into a Discretionary Housing Payment but my main question is, how are we meant to make ends meet? I asked this question during a call about benefits to the powers that be, and they just said no-one gets the full amount.
Page 4
    • Sncjw
    • By Sncjw 15th Mar 17, 12:20 PM
    • 1,275 Posts
    • 747 Thanks
    Sncjw
    You moan about the cost of rent. Well the rent will be covering the landlords mortgage , landlord insurance and any repairs needed.
    • teddysmum
    • By teddysmum 15th Mar 17, 12:23 PM
    • 7,468 Posts
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    teddysmum
    I think the questions arose because OP used to work FT and I assumed supporting his family with his income, and never thought about life on benefits and assumed that it just took over to support them with the same lifestyle. I think a few people working who are clueless as to the ins and out of benefits assume this is the case for previous working and contributing people.
    Originally posted by FBaby


    Like the family featured in the media, last year: a wife who never needed to work, three teenagers at boarding school, large country house with huge grounds and ponies, luxury cars , regular restaurant visits, good holidays ..... He had been in highly paid work.


    When he lost his job and was stuck in the mid 50s rut, they bemoaned the fact that lots of these would have to go, including the house, the youngest child would have to go to a pleb school and that the wife would need to find a job.


    This people lived at the limit of their means , saved very little, then were shocked when meeting reality.
    • mamabuddah
    • By mamabuddah 15th Mar 17, 4:25 PM
    • 644 Posts
    • 1,444 Thanks
    mamabuddah
    Been on these forums for quite a number of years and during that time I've seen many changes, this post highlights the main one I've seen.

    There was a time when a post like this would have been full of advice on , basically, how to increase your benefits, there's a palatable swing now that appears to say " you've more income than the working man who has to do all the same things that you do but with less income" it seems the worm has turned, people are now realising the "safety net" is not there to provide an alternative and in no way was it ever designed to make people better off than the working man....just an observation.
    No two ways about this one: Anything Free is not a Basic Right..it had to be earned...by someone, somewhere
    • Loz01
    • By Loz01 15th Mar 17, 6:58 PM
    • 1,261 Posts
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    Loz01
    I think people don't mind at ALL advising on benefits! However a LOT of the time I see people complaining bitterly about their income and they get more money than me and I work. I don't think people should get more for NOT working than people who do.

    ps. Im not saying the OP on this thread was complaining bitterly just pointing out facts
    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
    • simmons
    • By simmons 15th Mar 17, 10:05 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    simmons
    I think people don't mind at ALL advising on benefits! However a LOT of the time I see people complaining bitterly about their income and they get more money than me and I work. I don't think people should get more for NOT working than people who do.

    ps. Im not saying the OP on this thread was complaining bitterly just pointing out facts
    Originally posted by Loz01

    Sat here at the moment with all of 1.24 to last me till next Thursday, the 146 a fortnight i get as a single man doesnt pay my bills by 60 a month.
    Car has no petrol so cant got to any interviews, have no money for bus fares so ditto, even if i did get a job i cant go, no money.
    Enough food for 5 days meals.
    Worked till in my 50's (just) no debts, no mortgage, and as yet no job.
    Whoever said someone like me can live on that money is deluded.
    So i am gonna have to sit on my a*** until next Thursday when i can hopefully eat or get an interview somewhere.
    So no i don't earn more than a working person not by a bloody long shot.
    Enjoy your dinner tonight won't you
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 16th Mar 17, 1:57 AM
    • 21,291 Posts
    • 12,223 Thanks
    xylophone
    Worked till in my 50's (just) no debts, no mortgage, and as yet no job.
    No emergency savings?
    • Murphybear
    • By Murphybear 16th Mar 17, 4:34 AM
    • 2,851 Posts
    • 5,834 Thanks
    Murphybear
    Sat here at the moment with all of 1.24 to last me till next Thursday, the 146 a fortnight i get as a single man doesnt pay my bills by 60 a month.
    Car has no petrol so cant got to any interviews, have no money for bus fares so ditto, even if i did get a job i cant go, no money.
    Enough food for 5 days meals.
    Worked till in my 50's (just) no debts, no mortgage, and as yet no job.
    Whoever said someone like me can live on that money is deluded.
    So i am gonna have to sit on my a*** until next Thursday when i can hopefully eat or get an interview somewhere.
    So no i don't earn more than a working person not by a bloody long shot.
    Enjoy your dinner tonight won't you
    Originally posted by simmons
    Single people with no children get very little help in terms of benefits. I can sympathise with you to a certain extent as since 2004 when I last had a good/well paid job I have been self employed, very ill in hospital with no income, on JSA, on ESA and finally on state pension. The difference is I managed to set aside money to fill the freezer (special offers/yellow stickers etc helped). I also have a modest sum in an ISA and a few shares (the value of which has risen by 25%) for emergencies which were purchased while working.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 16th Mar 17, 7:36 AM
    • 15,343 Posts
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    FBaby
    The difficulty is when you suddenly find yourself on such a limited income, especially when you've been used for years to an income that meant you didn't need to pay that close attention to your budget is that you suddenly find yourself having to deal with the fact that every single pound counts and you need to plan everything to the penny.

    Keeping 5 for some petrol or bus fare so you can go to an interview should be a priority, anything that can help in getting a job and getting out of that situation. That is the whole point of the low JSA.

    The problem is deciding whether to get rid of the higher costs on the basis of whether the lack of job is going to be short term, in which case, getting rid of the car, downsizing to a small property etc... are going to incur more costs than gain, along the fact that it is hard to get rid of things you've worked hard to get, against accepting that a job might not be forthcoming in the near future and reducing outgoings becomes a priority.

    I also always wonder why many people seem to have lost all support from friends and family in this situation? I would certainly hope that if I suddenly found myself without a job (and husband!), I would be able to rely on friends/family to loan me 5 if it meant being able to to go an interview.
    • poppasmurf_bewdley
    • By poppasmurf_bewdley 16th Mar 17, 9:07 AM
    • 4,906 Posts
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    poppasmurf_bewdley
    This discussion is focussing on how people cope with living on benefits.

    Over the years, I've looked at many SOA's and heard many stories of how people cannot cope with what they receive from the government.

    The one thing I hardly ever see on a SOA, or hear from people having trouble managing, is - 'cigarettes ... 70 a week'. But when I watch the many programmes on C5 about people and benefits, it's the one thing they all have in common.

    What does a pack of ciggies cost these days? 8? 8.50? When I gave up smoking in the early 80's, 20 Benson & Hedges cost 60p. And I gave up because of the cost!

    I'm not saying that every benefit claimant on here is a smoker, but I am grateful that the government doesn't increase benefits to help people indulge.
    There are not enough superlatives in the English language to describe a 'Princess Coronation' locomotive in full cry. We shall never see their like again". O.S. Nock
    • Penitent
    • By Penitent 16th Mar 17, 10:12 AM
    • 934 Posts
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    Penitent
    The one thing I hardly ever see on a SOA, or hear from people having trouble managing, is - 'cigarettes ... 70 a week'. But when I watch the many programmes on C5 about people and benefits, it's the one thing they all have in common.
    Originally posted by poppasmurf_bewdley
    You never see it on a SoA, but the people on the C5 programmes all smoke... Could it be that the people selected for the C5 programmes have been chosen for reasons other than being a good representation of the average benefit claimant? Perhaps they have been chosen because C5 wants people to watch and talk about them for the sake of their ad revenue and people who spend their benefits and booze, fags and iPhones will achieve this goal?
    • w06
    • By w06 16th Mar 17, 10:37 AM
    • 163 Posts
    • 236 Thanks
    w06
    some disjointed thoughts

    If your wife is receiving standard rate care PIP it seems unlikley that she needs so mcuh care that you're not able to work? (I know that's a leap of faith in teh system but standard rate PIP daily living doesn't equate to needing full time daily care).

    The issue of pets is a difficult one, they are part of the family and have many benefits to the family, but they do undeniably cost money. I don't claim income related benefits only PIP but woudln't get rid of my dogs if I did, I would though need to fund their keep by not spending on things for myself, as I do now when it's money that I've earned.

    with regard pets and renting, although most adverts don't say that they allow pets, or explicitly say no pets, which appears the default position, you'll lkely find that if you discuss with the landlord most will allow pets provided you as the tenant take responsibility for htem. My landlord of five years says he's more concerned about the houses he rents to folk with children than dogs.

    a sixth former in college 4 days a week has plenty of time to work even if just an evening a week - many university students on intensive full time courses work, I paid my way through uni working every weekend. It's a good start to having a strong work ethic.

    It would do your older son a favour really if you asked him to contribute a sensible amount to the family budget, only askign for a token amount means that he will be used to having the majority of his wages to spend as he wishes, rather than needing to budget for rent, food, utilities. Which will make it very hard to move on to independence. A conversation with one of our departmental apprentices comes to mind, she was saving all but 10 of her (low) wages each week, had accumulated a reasonable deposit for a house, and couldn't understand why I couldn't do the same ... she paid no rent, no utilities, her parents fed her, she ran her mum's car and her boyfriend paid for all nights out, it came as a rude awakening when she tried to use the deposit she'd saved to get a mortgage.
    • mycleverbunnies
    • By mycleverbunnies 16th Mar 17, 7:35 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    mycleverbunnies
    Energy companies do this scheme where if you receive income support they give you a "warm homes discount" which they deduct from your bill.My daughter applied for it after I read a random article on it and she just got sent a "key" with 140 to put in her pre pay meter.Think it's only once a year and first come first served but it would definetely help you x
    • bunglebus
    • By bunglebus 16th Mar 17, 7:51 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    bunglebus
    Thanks - we have had the warm homes payment as credit on our electric key, one less thing to worry about for a while!

    I should mention for those that have made suggestions that the eldest son has a little girl so a fair whack of his wages go to paying for her needs.
    • rockingbilly
    • By rockingbilly 16th Mar 17, 7:55 PM
    • 838 Posts
    • 247 Thanks
    rockingbilly
    I would certainly hope that if I suddenly found myself without a job (and husband!), I would be able to rely on friends/family to loan me 5 if it meant being able to to go an interview.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    Seriously you would feel nothing by asking?

    I know I wouldn't, in fact I have never asked anybody for anything in my life. And believe me I have been skint when I was a lot younger. It was because I have been there that I worked twice as hard to get away from it and never experience it again. The fewer people that know about my problems if I had any the better it would be. Maybe I have self respect?
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 17th Mar 17, 8:10 AM
    • 15,343 Posts
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    FBaby
    Seriously you would feel nothing by asking?

    I know I wouldn't, in fact I have never asked anybody for anything in my life. And believe me I have been skint when I was a lot younger. It was because I have been there that I worked twice as hard to get away from it and never experience it again. The fewer people that know about my problems if I had any the better it would be. Maybe I have self respect?
    Originally posted by rockingbilly
    Feel what? Embarrassed? Well even if I was, I would still rather feel embarrassed but able to go to a job interview than giving up a chance of a job, being able to get off benefits, and being able to repay the 5 and invite my friend for dinner to say thank you after I have the job. That's much evidence of self-respect and respect to the friend than feeling sorry for yourself for not being able to go to an interview and remaining on benefits even longer.
    • rockingbilly
    • By rockingbilly 17th Mar 17, 8:41 AM
    • 838 Posts
    • 247 Thanks
    rockingbilly
    Feel what? Embarrassed? Well even if I was, I would still rather feel embarrassed but able to go to a job interview than giving up a chance of a job, being able to get off benefits, and being able to repay the 5 and invite my friend for dinner to say thank you after I have the job. That's much evidence of self-respect and respect to the friend than feeling sorry for yourself for not being able to go to an interview and remaining on benefits even longer.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    Not embarrassed, more ashamed of myself for allowing myself to get into that position in the first place.
    I soon realised that when I was there, it wasn't anything to do with not earning enough, but failing to take proactive steps to avoid getting myself into that position in the first place.
    In my case spending more each month than what I was earning thus ending up with a whole raft of bills being left unpaid.

    Happiness is described as only spending 99% of what income you have coming in, misery is when you spend 101% of your income.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 17th Mar 17, 11:06 AM
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    FBaby
    Well it depends how you find yourself with less than 5 to buy a bus pass. Of course, if I'd gone out to the pub with friends and spent 20 on drinks, or gone shopping and bought new shoes to go out, I would indeed not dare asking for 5 to get me on the bus.

    I assumed that the OP sharing his experience of being short of any funds was due to genuinely struggling with every day necessary expenses, or a one-off unexpected expense, and that it wasn't something that happened on a regular basis.

    Even small error of judgement can happen to everyone and I wouldn't judge a friend that I knew to be otherwise responsible with their budgeting.
    • w06
    • By w06 17th Mar 17, 11:48 AM
    • 163 Posts
    • 236 Thanks
    w06
    for varied reason my social circle are all pretty short of cash, managing but things tight for us all despite best efforts.

    If something like the above came up and an opportunity to make things easier meant borrowing a fiver none of us would have any qualms about offering let alone asking
    • Loz01
    • By Loz01 17th Mar 17, 3:05 PM
    • 1,261 Posts
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    Loz01
    So no i don't earn more than a working person not by a bloody long shot.
    Enjoy your dinner tonight won't you
    Originally posted by simmons
    ...Like I said, not EVERYONE is better off than a working person, I said quite a lot of people from what Ive seen numbers wise.
    Sorry that you are struggling and I wouldn't wish poverty on anyone! I donate regularly to food banks... this wasn't a pop at anyone and I hope your situation improves...
    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
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