Benefits for single mums – enquiry

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  • #46762 Report


    Hi all, I’ve just turned 37 and I’m looking at a scary realisation that I feel I may need to conceive as a single parent with sperm donor if I am to make my dream of having a family come true. People keep telling me how expensive children are and how an earth will I do it alone, as a single parent. So I wanted to get my head around the finances from people with experience. If I’m a single mum and no father figure so no help there financially, and I may get some maternity pay depending on terms of any new job I secure but that wouldn’t be for full 9 months maternity leave, I’m wondering what help there is – is there any governmental help towards private rental? or will i have to get into arrears on rent? any benefits I could claim? any help towards childcare costs? I also have a disability. Do I need to wait until I have savings in the bank before I can go through with this (though im worried about my advancing age) or can I get on with it and will there be support?   I would really appreciate any input because I feel I need a plan and feel stressed about current situation. Thank you.

    #46868 Report


    I was on my own at 5 months pregnant . I had to  rely on maternity pay which was not much .I also got help with child care from HMRC but still had to contribute to wards nursery fee .I only got child benefits when my child was born.

    Because you are your own & working does not mean you will necessarily get extra benefits. I guess you may qualify for housing benefits which I don’t receive. If you can’t afford to pay your bills and will rely solely on benefits why would you go down the route of purposely being a single parent .

    #47217 Report


    Hi, I’m a PhD student but did both my undergrad and masters as a single parent on UC too. At undergrad loans named “tuition fee” are discounted completely, then around 70% of maintenance loan/dependents grant etc are discounted. On your UC award notice it has income from any job you have, then separately how much they deduct for student finance.
    At post-grad the loans are not separated into tuition and maintenance, so it all counts as income, with around 70% discounted.
    At PhD they seem to change how much they take every month, but looks like about 60% discounted so far after 3 months!
    I found it almost impossible to get an answer from UC before committing to study about what my situation would be. Literally first month of studying was when I found out if I could afford it which was scary but plenty of help from uni if needed too. I also spent Masters years lobbying them to discount tuition fees from post grad loans as of the £10000 I received, £7900 went straight out to fees so actual income to live on was £2100 and yet they took much more off UC. Unfair compared to undergrad treatment of them. Other thing to note is I keep having to remind them I can’t do more paid work hours because I’m studying full time. Pain in the bum but I just repeat myself every so often when they nag me! Good luck with it all 🙂

    #47222 Report


    I’m a single mum to 2 boys. I work 16 hours as that’s the maximum you can work in order to capitalise on what benefits you can get. I’m in a minimum wage job so my job pays less than UC which is why it doesn’t make sense for me to work anymore plus my eldest has only just started reception and my other in nursery so I need to be around. I get around £1600 a month off UC and earn about £550, so my monthly income is about £2150. £950 off my UC is housing benefit toward my private rent but my house is actually £1200 but that is a choice. I have to say for me life is extremely tight at the moment but some of that is down to my own personal choices, like my rent being higher as I wanted my children to have a house not a flat. And my car is on lease as I wanted a reliable one so that is also costly. I get by though and just have to budget. I do get help with childcare costs and received the 15hr funding for 2 year olds which not everyone gets. I also get prescriptions, eye tests, dentist etc all free which is a god send.

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