‘All I can afford is £1 pizza’ – working single mum on Common Credit score cannot afford to feed herself

A single working mum says she fears she’ll should give up her job resulting from crippling nursery prices leaving her no cash to feed herself.

Kimberley Hill, 23, switched to Universal Credit on the finish of June, pondering it could be higher for her household. She took an advance fee mortgage of £1,000 to attempt to tide her over while her advantages stopped and her Common Credit score began.

When her youngest son Austin turned three in August, she was stunned to be informed she wanted to get a job because the ‘in search of work’ age had diminished from having a baby aged 5 to a few. Nonetheless, by September 20, she had began a part time job in logistics admin.

Kimberley Hill and her sons Austin and Wyatt

As a working mum , she ought to now be entitled to 30 hours free childcare every week however she missed the deadline to use (August 31) as a result of she had not been desiring to return to work earlier than then.

It means she is now dealing with payments of £879 per 30 days nursery charges plus £200 after college take care of her 5 yr outdated Wyatt – which is greater than the £920 per 30 days she is paid.

“I’m so saddened they count on me to return to work and are so longing for me to take action and, when I’ve discovered one thing, I’ve no assist in any way,” stated Kimberley, from Telford.

“My wage doesn’t even cowl my childcare prices not to mention some other payments. I can not afford to pay for my childcare upfront. “

Mum Kimberley Hill along with her sons Wyatt and Austin

Working parents in receipt of Common Credit score can declare as much as 85 per cent of their childcare prices however the payments must be paid after which claimed again – one thing Kimberley is unable to do as her hire additionally must be paid upfront and her wage and Common Credit score are each paid in arrears.

The devoted mum is having to go out and in of hospital for digestive issues that docs say are resulting from her weight loss plan and the shortage of wholesome meals she eats.

“I feed the youngsters then I’ve no matter’s left over,” she stated. “Wholesome meals is pricey, low-cost meals isn’t a lot. The docs say I’m not getting sufficient fruit and veg however I can not comprehend spending a lot cash on a meal. All I can afford is £1 pizza and £1 chips.”

Kimberley Hill’s sons Wyatt and Austin

As a result of instances Kimberley must drop off and acquire Austin, she is having to pay for a full day’s nursery charge regardless that she is just working from 12pm to 5pm Monday to Friday. And she will be able to solely declare 15 free hours of childcare every week till her declare is upped to 30 hours in January.

She added: “I may perceive them reducing the ‘ looking for work ’ age to 4, which is college age, however with the worth of nursery charges lately, to decrease it to the age of three?

“No marvel some folks select to simply pop one other child out, most likely a neater possibility as a result of it’s a lot stress, however that is having a baby for the unsuitable causes. I didn’t count on to be a single mum. I had been with my associate for years however it didn’t work out.”

Mum Kimberley Hill along with her sons Wyatt and Austin

Switching to Common Credit score

At present, Kimberley receives £1,049 Common Credit score per 30 days however this shall be diminished considerably when she begins receiving her month-to-month wage. She says that, after a £240 allowance, her fee will scale back by 63p for each pound she earns.

“I switched to Common Credit score as a result of I used to be struggling to save lots of my weekly earnings assist advantages to pay my month-to-month payments,”  stated Kimberley, who says her mum and pa assist her out after they can however that she does not wish to ask them.

“I felt this determination could be greatest for me and my boys as Common Credit score is paid month-to-month.The primary fee takes 4 to 5 weeks to return by means of however your advantages cease immediately.  



“I needed to attempt to discover cash for brand spanking new uniform and footwear. I can not get a bank card, overdraft or loans due to a debt aid order. I’ve needed to name on a neighbour to borrow some cash to pay my automotive insurance coverage.

“Typically I want I hadn’t come off earnings assist as a result of at the least I had my payments paid. However it was arduous if I wanted a brand new tyre on my automotive or my son obtained a gap in his college jumper.

“It is complicated as a result of the quantity of Common Credit score I get adjustments each month relying on how a lot childcare I am claiming and the way a lot cash I am incomes. However it looks like I get rather a lot much less cash now.”

Versatile Help Fund

Work coaches in Jobcentres are in a position to provide eligible claimants a Versatile Help Fund, which is a non-repayable award to h elp with upfront childcare prices in an effort to begin work. Kimberley utilized for this however stated she was informed she was prone to be denied as the quantity she wanted was excessive.

“I’m not in search of cash I can blow on me, I’m simply making an attempt to do higher for me and my youngsters,” she stated. “I don’t even know if I can address the stress or fear. I’m simply taking it a day at a time and praying I get accepted for the Versatile Help Fund to tide me over.

“If I don’t then I will should give up my job and they’ll chase me to seek for a brand new one. It will likely be a by no means ending circle.”

The Authorities is spending round £three.5 billion on early training entitlements this yr – discover out extra here

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Common Credit score

Kimberley’s month-to-month payments

£879 nursery

£200 after college childcare

£430 hire

£108 automotive insurance coverage

£100ish gasoline and electrical

£45 web and TV

£35 telephone

£17.50 automotive tax

£30 council tax

£50 water

£11.50 TV licence

£100 gasoline

£90 meals (or no matter she has left)

Complete: £2,096.50

* Kimberley’s earnings is presently in limbo as her wage and childcare prices will considerably alter the quantity of Common Credit score she receives.

What the DWP says

When BirminghamLive contacted the DWP (Division for Work and Pensions), their crew appeared into Kimberley’s case and agreed to supply her assist from the Versatile Help Fund.

A Authorities spokesperson stated: ” We’re dedicated to serving to everybody entry the assist they want. Up-front care prices will be claimed out of the Versatile Help Fund and Ms Hill’s declare has been allowed.

With Common Credit score, working mother and father can get well as much as 85 per cent of eligible childcare prices. Ms Hill has additionally utilized for as much as 30 hours free childcare to start in January, and recommendation for households about when to say is accessible on-line.”