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  • FIRST POST
    • caroline.
    • By caroline. 10th Jul 17, 8:11 PM
    • 54Posts
    • 48Thanks
    caroline.
    Single parent & son finishing college.
    • #1
    • 10th Jul 17, 8:11 PM
    Single parent & son finishing college. 10th Jul 17 at 8:11 PM
    Hi there, I know this is an essay but I feel I need to explain everything properly to get the best advice from you all.

    I'm 49 and am a single parent with just one child still living at home. He has just finished college and will either begin an apprenticeship or a regular job as soon as he finds one.
    I rent from a private landlord (my rent is £610 pcm) and I currently work 16 hours a week in a small convenience store and receive working tax credit, child tax credit, child benefit and housing benefit.
    I have no savings or assets.
    I have recently received letters from HMRC informing me that my WTC, CTC and CB will all stop 31/08/2017.
    I have been trying to find a suitable full time job for some time now but to no avail, my current employer is unable to give me any more hours.
    I don't have the best of health either, I have degenerative arthritis in my lower spine and neck, bulging discs in my neck causing impingement of the nerves in my left shoulder and arm, I am also seeing a rheumatologist in a few weeks to assess possible fibromyalgia as I am in constant pain in other parts of my body.
    I am currently off work due to my health, I've been off for the last 8 weeks.
    I daren't sit down on the sofa at any time of the day as all I want to do is fall asleep, it's as much as I can do to not nod off while I'm writing this!
    It is due to my health that I am quite frankly worried that I could actually hold down a full time job.
    I have no qualifications so to speak, aside from the few CSEs I did back in 1984 when I left school.
    I separated from my children's father a few years ago and while we were together I was always the homemaker and worked part time jobs to just get a little extra money coming in. We were together since I was 17 and I had our first child at 19, the second was born when I was 21 then a 10 year gap before our third child. This is why I've never had a career or qualifications as my boys' father was always the main breadwinner.

    I am beginning to panic as finding a full time job, even without my health problems, is proving to be rather difficult!

    What am I going to do? My finances are going to drop drastically in September and even when my son starts working he won't be earning enough to make up for the shortfall in my benefit cuts.

    Any advice would be greatly received. Thank you so much.
Page 1
    • KxMx
    • By KxMx 10th Jul 17, 8:29 PM
    • 7,182 Posts
    • 10,076 Thanks
    KxMx
    • #2
    • 10th Jul 17, 8:29 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Jul 17, 8:29 PM
    You may be entitled to more housing benefit once household income goes down.

    If your health issues have been going on for some time then look into applying for PIP:
    https://www.gov.uk/pip/overview

    It can be a long process so it's not a short term solution.

    Otherwise i'd suggest general belt tightening; improving your budgeting & looking to cut outgoings.

    It's not fair to expect son to replace all your lost benefits, so the way forward to is a drop in lifestyle and outgoings accordingly.
    Last edited by KxMx; 10-07-2017 at 8:32 PM.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 10th Jul 17, 8:30 PM
    • 1,539 Posts
    • 1,646 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    • #3
    • 10th Jul 17, 8:30 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Jul 17, 8:30 PM
    It may be worth seeing if you might be eligible for PIP.
    https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/personal-independence-payment-pip/pip-self-test
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/before-claiming/check-you-are-eligible/

    Because of your "degenerative arthritis in my lower spine and neck, bulging discs in my neck causing impingement of the nerves in my left shoulder and arm, I am also seeing a rheumatologist in a few weeks to assess possible fibromyalgia as I am in constant pain in other parts of my body." - do you need:
    Aids such as a perching stool to sit whilst preparing food,
    Aids such as rails / shower seat in the bath / shower,
    Aids such as rails to get safely on / off the toilet,
    Does it take twice as long to dress / undress or do you need aids such as a grabber / long handle shoe horn?

    If awarded PIP your WTC can continue with 16 hrs of work:
    https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/tax-credits-extra-money-due-disability


    Are you in receipt of SSP? If not you may wish to claim ESA until able to resume work.
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/employment-and-support-allowance/before-you-apply-for-esa/eligiblility-for-esa/

    Make you council aware of your change in income, as this may increase HB.
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 10-07-2017 at 8:39 PM.
    • Penitent
    • By Penitent 10th Jul 17, 8:35 PM
    • 1,489 Posts
    • 4,412 Thanks
    Penitent
    • #4
    • 10th Jul 17, 8:35 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Jul 17, 8:35 PM
    Can you either downsize to a smaller property or take in a lodger?

    If you post your expected income/outgoings on the Debt Free Wannabe board, they can help you identify areas where you can cut back (you don't need to be in debt to post there).
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/forumdisplay.php?f=76
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