Staying home on Universal credit.

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Peanut24 6 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #24432 Report


    Hi there, I am new to the forum, I don’t  generally  use them but I have been searching  for an answer every where without success. I separated  last year , I  suffer with depression  but I always pushed myself to go to work and kept going. When I started my job I was still living with my ex and we had a lovely  au pair living with us so I never had trouble with childcare. She finished her one year adventure  abroad in February. I now  work Wednesday  Friday and Saturday.  The only childcare that I can claim back with a registered  child minder is on Wednesday. Friday and Saturday  I have to pay a lot and totally out of my pocket. Plus food and expenses if this nanny takes them out. Plus staying at work stressed, with the mobile in your pocket always available  for anything. I have a diagnose of BPD and suffer with anxiety which makes me feel really unsettled  and I am deep breathing  all day worst than labour. I have been signed off from the gp for work related stress. The idea of going back Wednesday is killing me. As I said  I always worked, but after what I have been through  this year I feel really vulnerable,  emotional  and I wish I could resign from this Job.  I am happy to find another one in school hours. Cause I receive universal  credit, I am worried that if I resign I’ll be  sanctioned. I just can’t  cope anymore with spending 350 pounds in childcare when I just work in a supermarket  and it’s well above my earnings. The more I stress about it the worst I feel. I am a European  so no family close by. It’s just us 3.  Their dad works abroad.

    What to do ?

    Sorry for the very long rant but I really don’t  know  what  to  do .

    Thanks in advance  for any reply.

    Kind regards


    #24442 Report


    Is your youngest under three?

    #24445 Report


    I went back to work when my child was 10 month old . I found a private nursery and got help from HMRC . I also had a nanny who was paid cash so my daughter is at school &  the nanny does less work as i.have a registered child minder who is brilliant and again I get help from. HMRC .

    My nanny is a lovely lady but it was so expensive paying her as I only work part time too.

    #24450 Report


    No they are 6 and 8

    Thank you  for  the  reply.

    #24451 Report


    I totally understand,  same here.

    It’s  really hard and what we earn at the end not much.

    #24453 Report



    As your children are over three you would be sanctioned unless you literally moved from one job to another within the same month. Given the mental health diagnosis it may be worth looking at applying for PIP.

    There is also another benefit that you could get if you were unable to work due to illhealth – ESA though I am not as knowledgeable of this but it would be after you had exhausted SSP or was fired due to illhealth.  And its a tricky clain.

    In the short-term, I would  get an appointment for Monday and be signed off again and ask for counselling or CBT referral.

    Practically, I would use this time to apply for any other jobs – whatever tbh as long as in hours that you could claim back childcare monies? For example, does your school have a breakfast and afterschool club? Though not ideal – it can mean you could start work at 730 – 8 if local and a possibility.

    Have you always worked in retail?

    #24467 Report


    Hi Solomummy ,

    Thank you so much for the very detailed  reply. I will definitely  look into it.  I am the sort of person who feels guilty  about being signed off, because it affects  my colleagues  and not the management. Decisions…


    #24477 Report


    Hiya, welcome to the forum.

    Sadly Solomummy is right that you would probably be sanctioned, however she is also right that due to your health you are highly likely to be able to claim alternative benefits.

    Due to the ages of your children the government will only expect you to work 25 hours per week(until the youngest is 13).

    I would have a chat with the gingerbread team as they would be able to give you the best advice.


    #24480 Report


    Thank you  very much Mark.

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