Hi, I have a 2.5 year old, we were abandoned when I was 7 weeks pregnant. I have been supporting my son financially by myself, and I have all the benefits I can have, but I’m just at a loss on what to do. I have recently had a mental breakdown and I’m having to pay £20 a week for a private counsellor, as that is a whole other story. Not only that but I haven’t been able to work for four weeks, and now this month, I have £21 a week to live on. That includes grocery shopping, my son’s milk as he is lactose intolerant, and travel expenses.
I can’t do this, I don’t know what to do. I am due to return to work on the 3rd of November, but I’m only able to do 2 days a week, which won’t improve my current situation. I just don’t know what to do.
I’m also still trying to pay back a tax credit overpayment, and this month they have taken £85. I know I need to ring them to sort it out, but my anxiety is shot. I don’t even know if they will reduce it.
I’m honestly so depressed, that I can’t afford to feed myself and my child. That and Christmas is coming. I wish I’d never had to claim benefits as it is, but now, I’m just stuck and honestly really scared.
If you explain to HMRC that you are unable to eat then they will reduce payments. Also when you do return to work it gets topped up with tax credit. Try registering for nextdoor.co.uk and this site will link you with activities and support in your area including church food banks. I am so sorry to hear all this as I too was on my own. My child is now 6 years old. You can also talk to your gp about getting this special milk on prescription.
Thankyou for using our forum to explain your situation. I am sorry you are having these difficulties, it must be very tough indeed. I recommend that you call our Single Parent Helpline as soon as possible. They should be able to help you to explore what options you may have. I am also including a link to our managing money information page. Please have a look through and see if there is anything which may be useful for you.
• Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline – Freephone 0808 802 0925
Opening hours: Mon 10 – 6, Tues 10- 4, Wed 10 – 1 & 5 – 7, Thurs 10 – 4, Fri 10 – 4 They can be busy so callers can expect to wait up to 20 minutes before the call is answered.