I frequently get asked what benefits are available for lone parents to receive. Well there are a few but before you get excited and think you will be rolling in money and not have to work , be prepared for a downgrade in this assumption . And probably a down grade in most things in your life. The media portrayal that a single mum on benefits is raking it in is just a myth.
The advice given here is aimed at single mums however the official sites to get the most up to date information are
Direct Gov which as now been replaced by Gov.Uk
Entitled To, now known as Turn2Us
Please check with these sites for the most current and up-to-date information as each single mums situation is different and the information here is only a guide.
Being a single mum is not an easy option. In general it’s a struggle but with a bit of sideways thinking it can be achievable.It can be daunting though when presented with a list of benefits you can claim. It can also be a challenge actually filling in all the right forms to the right people at the right times. If you asked each of the departments which to fill in first they will all say their form is the most important form to fill in first.
They are all rather cagey too as to what you can receive and when you will get it too. They don’t want to say one thing only for you to find when all the paper work has been done, it’s a lot less. They all pay at different time intervals as well just to complicate things further. For example you probably pay your rent on a monthly bases, normally last or first day of the month. Housing benefit though is paid every 4 weeks so it does get out of sync at some point.
So what benefits are there for lone parents:
This subject is a work in progress, as I find out and write more then more will get added.
When claiming benefits it’s a good idea to: Take copies of completed claim forms and letters before you send them off. Keep a record of the date, time and the person you spoke to if you contact them in person or by phone. If you think they have made a mistake in working out your claim its worth getting advice from CAB. Don’t assume just because they are a government agency doesn’t mean they always get it right or that you can’t appeal the decision.
Cold Weather Payment is an automatic payment when it get colds. Find out if you are eligible.
Child Care Grant is a grant for higher education students with children.
Care To Learn is a benefit to help parents who are under 20 and are studying.
Free School Meals how to apply and what benefit you need to be on to qualify for free school meals.
Healthy Start to help you buy basic foods like milk and fruit for your children.
Parents Learning Allowance to help with costs like books, travel and study materials.
Benefit Cap From April 2013 a limit will be put on the total amount of benefit that most people aged 16 to 64 can get. This is called a benefit cap.
Universal Credit In 2013 a new benefit called Universal Credit will gradually replace the current, complex system of working-age benefits and Tax Credits. What is Universal Credit? Universal Credit will be means tested for people of working age. It will be one…
In Work Credit and Return to Work Credit Change Someone asked me if the In Work Credit was still available. It is . There are two different credits. Return to Work Credit – for those with a health condition or disability In Work Credit – for those without a health condition or disability. This…
Which Benefits are Changing and When I keep getting asked what benefits are changing and when. So with kind permission from Turn2us I have added the list of which benefits are changing and when. In 2010 the Government announced several cuts to welfare spending to make welfare more afforda…
Benefit Changes that will affect New Parents The government are making cuts to a several key grants and other welfare entitlements for new parents. Including Health in Pregnancy Grant Sure Start Maternity Grant Baby element of Child Tax Credits Toddler element of Child Tax Credit Child T…
Tax Credit Changes from April 2011 The emergency budget on 22 June set out several substantial changes to the tax credit system. Some are straightforward; others less so. Below, are those changes coming in from April 2011 under the following headings, explaining what each means and who …
Checking Out The Benefit Changes With all the changes starting to kick in from last year’s budget, it can be hard to figure out what’s happening and when but more importantly how it will affect you and your family. So many people arrive at Confessions of a Single Mum through search terms…
Proposed Changes to CSA Talking about the csa is never a fun conversation piece and especially now it’s causing a storm with new change proposals. Over at 2starsandaswirl there is a post about her campaign to stop the proposed changes. Please do stop by and support her. S…
Changes in Housing Benefit As you all probably aware, things are a changing. One of the benefits that will be changing is Housing Benefit. The LHA rules are changing and they predict that most people will be worse off. The Benefit and tax rates for 2011/12 are likely to be confirme…
Child and Tax Credits The HM Revenue & Customs quote that 9 out of 10 families with children are entitled to tax credits. The basic requirement is looking after at least one child; you may qualify for Child Tax
Child Maintenance What is child maintenance? Child maintenance is regular, reliable financial support which helps towards a child’s everyday living costs. The parent who does not have main day-to-day care of the child provides child maintenance
In Work Credit In work credit is a fixed tax free payment of £40 per week (£60 per week in London). You need to be:
Bringing up children on your own
Starting work of
Job Grant Job grant is a one off tax free payment when you start work and stop getting benefits. You can claim Job Grant if you take up work and will be working at least 16 hours
Child Benefit You normally qualify for Child Benefit if you live in the UK and have children aged 16 and under or 20 and under and they are in certain types of education or training
Housing and Council Tax Benefit Qualifying for this benefit isn’t limited to just being out of work. If you are in work it could be worth checking to see if you are able to make a claim. You won’t
Sure Start Maternity Grant The Sure Start Maternity Grant is a one off payment of £500 to help with the costs of a new baby. It comes from the Social Fund and you don’t have to pay it back
Income Support Income Support- these are just the bare facts as it can be complicated, there is a lot more information available at the sites recommended.
You may be able to get Income
New Deal for Lone Parents New Deal for Lone Parents is a voluntary Jobcentre Plus programme designed to help lone parents into work. It is for parents who don’t currently work but also those who currently work less than 16
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