I‘ve been working since I was 16. So I had my job already but I left due to college and not having a stable house because I was living with my auntie. Social services gave me my house and then I fell pregnant so I moved to where I’m living now. This is how I went from benefits to work as a parent.
I live in social housing and it is a priority parent’s scheme. It’s a building with nine flats, one of them’s an office and we’ve all got kids under 10, I think the oldest is five or six and then the youngest is 12 weeks. The oldest mum there is 26 and there is me 19.
So I decided to go back to work because it slightly works out better in the long run. I don’t have to pay for child care so that’s a bonus because work would have given me the money and I would have just had to pay the child minder. Whereas I have my mum and my daughter’s dad, so we are great.
From benefits to work as a parent- credits to wages
So for me to work 16 hours a week, I make £130, which is better than living off benefits money which is £73.10 a week. Now we can all work out the difference there. So every two weeks I would have been paid £140 whereas when I am working, I get paid £240, in a month that’s £480.
Now then there’s also stuff like working tax credit. Working tax credit is £305 a month. Then on top of that I get the child tax credit, which for this tax year is £213. It works out in the long run decent for me because where I would put it to one side, I don’t need to touch it and have child benefit. I can just live off what we make because it works out better than living off benefits.
It all works out
My shopping costs roughly depending on what I need to get, between £60 and £100 every two weeks. Once I have made that in two weeks work, the rest I just can save, spend on whatever else I need to spend on: gas, electric, water but I will pay them slowly them things. So like gas £20, electric £20, water bill £20, that’s alright. So I feel like in the long run it has worked out to be better.
The only thing that I would say that I have actually struggled with is the transition. So the transition from going from benefits to work as a parent is hard, it is stressful. I had to phone so many different people. So I had to phone income support, tax credit, child benefit. I took out a loan in December, I had to phone the loan people and then get transferred to the debt collectors, to then find out that my case has been closed. So until I can find the letter or they will send me a letter I’ve still got to pay £400 back.
I feel like in the long run it does just work out better because in two week’s pay I have done everything for the month.
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