single parent on income suport/housing benefit wanting to return to work

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Billysmummi | 14:33 Wed 19th Mar 2008 | Jobs & Education
9 Answers
hi, i have a 10 month old son, who will be 1 in may.
I am a single parent and have been on income suport and housing benefit since december 07
When my son is one I am hoping to return to work just on a p/t basis prob about 15/16 hours a week

Idealy i would love to come off income suport and have a wage instead (i dont like being on benefits - but in the circumstances im in its needed!)

However, i do not want to lose housing benefit just yet, as if i was to do that and had to cover rent/bills/living etc I would be looking at 40+ hours a week which just isnt do-able atm

Does anyone know what the rules are on this?
I will also soon be getting child suport from my ex, but as i am on income suport atm most of that will go to make up what im taking on benefits and i will only get about �5 - hoping if i come off income suport - i can keep his money for billy and top it up with a wage!

Any info would be really appreciated

Thank you


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hiya, im in the opposite situation to you. im a single mum to a 3 and half year old and i returned to work 20 hours a week when he was 10 months like billy. i left work last week to become a full time mum again because sadly, although its not the life i want to live, i will be better off claiming benefits. like you have mentioned about rent and council tax, i will not have those to worry about anymore!!

but automatically as you begin work you will have to pay full council tax and will only get a few pounds per week (if anything) to help towards your rent. you should weigh up carefully whether you will be better off.

will you do me a favour and tell me how much you receive in income support, thanks x
Question Author
hi ya - yeah you see this is what i keep thining, i just get so sicked of being judged tho as soon as people find out im claiming :-( I know i shouldnt care.
Might see about doing a college course instead, then at least ill have sum more qualifications wheni do work!
oh and I get �59 income suport (sum of that now being maintance)

thanks for the answer :-)
thanks for the above question and answer i was considering going back to work part time.

im a single mum and my sons about to turn 4, i do volunteer work at the pre-school to get me out of the house, think i'lll just stick with that!

this goverment stinks!!!
i agree this government stinks, it makes it easier for us single mums not to work!! if there was incentives and we would be better off working and supporting ourselves then im sure most of us would. but instead like you said we just get labelled. when i left work last week my boss said i was losing my pride and dignity by leaving to earn more from benefits!! im sorry but like anybody, im gonna put myself in the situation where ill be better off x
Sod your boss eeyore, do pride and dignity put food on the table?

Unfortunately you are all in the situation where to return to work would leave you financially worse off and because of that it is better for you and your family to claim benefits. Sadly, you will be judged and pigeoned holed with the likes of those who have never worked, have no intention of working and see benefits as their 'pay'.

billismummi, you have the right idea, go back to college, get those qualifications that lead to a job that pays you to work.

Good Luck
go to your local job centre, they usually help you out or at least give you a phone number of someone who can. I think that you still get housing benefits as long as you dont work over 16 hours a week. and surely in those 16 hours a week you would be able to earn more than what income support you get. benefits are there for the minimum amount of money that you can surve on, less then minimum wage, so if you got a job you would be better off financially
yes you can earn more money working than on income support, lets face it its not hard, however for every penny id earn they take it off my housing benefit and i risk loosing the help with the council tax!... im not being funny but the incentive is where???

i had a good job before i had my son with a good wage, i never planned on being a single parent and id have earnt double what the people in the job centre earn yet they try and belittle you and treat you like youre a second rate citizen, it drives me mad, and then to top it all off they call you in once every 6 weeks for a work focused interview, are they having a laugh? i have had to turn down 3 job so far this year, its madness.
Question Author
Well I have my review coming up at the begining of may, so hopefully will find out more, though last time i WENT THE OMAN SAID "OH IF U WORK YOU WILL BE �40 BETTER OFF" but then whenI looked at the sheet she typed up, I said "yeah but I will lose �40 housing I will be worse off wont i.." and she goes "Um, I Dont see how..." Lol and she thinks shes superior to me!
Funny cuz before I had Billy I was in a pretty decent job, but as someone said earlier you get treated like a 2nd class citizen the second you walk into the job centre!
Oh well, I have all my finaces, outgoing and incomings - and what i would need to be earning if they stopped all help and the hours i can get help caring for my baby....ive writen it all down to take with me, so hopefully they will not try to treat me like an idiot!
Well thanks for all your answers guys - ill keep you posted!
Bezt of luck to all of you whatever you decide to do...maybe we should se up a new government lol
i am also a single parent of a two year old and have been through several jobs since she was born. To receive working tax credits you have to work 16hrs a week or more, if you fall below those hours you will still receive income support. As far as housing benefit goes it mainly depends on your wage not your hours. if you are still on income support whilst working or on a low part time wage of about �80 per week you should still get full housing benefit or at least only have to pay a few pounds per week on your rent. Im pretty sure there is a bit of a loophole where if you work below a certain amount of hours but above 16 you can still receive a small amount of income support and working and child tax creds as well as housing benefit. Plus the child maintenence will be yours.

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