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New here, and feeling very very low..

I

ilyssia89

New member
Joined
Nov 30, 2014
Messages
1
I am 25 years old, and have a little girl who is 3 in Jan. I live with my other half (her dad). Lately life is really really getting me down and I have no one to talk to, so I'm seeking some advice..

I always worked. From when I left high school in 05 to 2012 I have been in full time work. I had 6 months off when my daughter was born and then went back to work until Sept 2014.
I had to leave work on medical grounds; I am currently under consultant care having variety of scans and xrays to try and find out the cause of my feet swelling and toes dislocating when I walk. So far nothing is showing so it's a painful time with no clear solution.

As I worked, finances were kept under control. Admittedly I have a credit card, Littlewoods account and Virgin Media services at home which were always maintained properly. I also have a sofa on hire purchase.

I live with my daughters dad, who works 37 hours a week but on less than £14k a year. As a result I haven't been able to claim benefits. I tried ESA and they said I hadn't paid in enough contributions to be eligible. I can't get PIP due to not getting enough eligibility points.

Now the trouble starts.

I have a £1k debt on my credit card, £150 littlewoods and just under £2k on the sofa suite.
I get the tax credits and child benefit in my bank each week which is less than £80 weekly combined.
My partner gets paid £200 a week, and out of that pays rent (we get partial housing benefit), council tax, gas, electric, water, food and anything we need (clothes for our little girl etc). There's never anything left out of his wages.
I use tax credits and child benefit to pay my personal bills. Not what the money is for but my partner would only pay it otherwise and we'd swap a bill or two out.

I'm finding being off work really difficult. I'm struggling to fulfill my time and have found myself spending money that I don't have. It's never anything big, in fact it's usually things for my dd but nevertheless I know I shouldn't be doing it, yet can't stop.

My daughter goes to nursery 15 hours a week funded by local authority. We just pay for her lunch and snacks which is £20 ish a month.

I am finding myself being very scatter brained which is really unlike me. I'm doing everything in the house fine, looking after my little one fine and getting on with life in that respect but when it comes to money my brain stops.
My bank account is never in plus figures, getting letters saying what I owe despite having arranged weekly payments, and it brought me rock bottom.
I have trouble sleeping, which is very unlike me as I do love my bed. I go to bed at 10, and will still be awake at 3am. Fall asleep usually around this time and get up at 6am when my daughter wakes up. When I'm not around my daughter I'm always crying. I won't let her see me cry.

And then the tax credits letter arrived.

I had the letter stating they have different information to what I gave them at renewal. I admittedly entered an incorrect amount online, and as soon as I realised I went back on less than a week later and resubmitted with the correct information.
I never received any letters so assumed everything was fine.
I received our tax credit award for 14/15 and details were correct.

The letter I received last week now states that I said my partners income was £10k when it was in fact £13895. The £10k was the amount I initially did enter in confusion thinking I could put in an estimate. When his P60 arrived I went back online and put in the correct amount.
As our award for this year gave the correct incomes based on last year's income I assumed this was all done.

I got straight on the phone to them and they said they have no evidence of me ever giving them the correct figure, only the lower one. I told them I went back to amend it and they said the first figure given was the one they will go by.
As I never received a letter confirming the renewal I have no proof I actually submitted the right amount.

I'm now very mindful of the fact it's now December and we've been overpaid. I have to send our P60s which show the amounts on them, and based on what they've got I've committed fraud because the second correct wage never went on. All that's going through my head now is the penalty we'll get, the lack of money we already have, and now the thought of being deemed unfit to be a mother and going to prison or getting a criminal record or having my daughter took away. I worked in a school doing finance, and I'm ashamed of my situation.

I am at the point now where I just feel like saying I can't cope with money anymore and having someone take control of my finances until I feel able to do them myself. I just worry that admitting I can't cope with money will have adverse effects and that I'll have my daughter taken off me.

I can handle the responsibility of being a mother to my daughter, but have no control over money. She is a very happy healthy almost 3 year old, never goes without (we go without so she doesn't).

I have moments where I will feel happy, usually out shopping with a friend, buy something I can't afford and be temporarily happy. After a day or so when the money is noticed missing I will go into a mood of severe depression, deep upset and anxiety of the bills that will come.

My life is just falling apart. I keep smiley for my daughters sake when all I'm doing is crying inside and I just want to hug her all the time. My other half has told me to just 'get in with it, it's happening, deal with it.'
 
R

Rose19602

Guest
Hi and :welcome:
So sorry to hear about your financial situation and your health concerns.
It must be very difficult to have the additional stress of having filled out your benefits claim incorrectly and to await punishment...if that happens...for a mistake.

I think it's common to spend money to try to buy some temporary happiness or to forget how awful a dire financial situation is. Obviously, it's not the right way to handle your unhappiness and worry...but you don't need me to tell you that.

It sounds like you're extremely worried, not sleeping and perhaps these two things combined are causing you to get confused. Tired, worried brains don't work that well!

Difficult to do this...but try to find some time to relax and do something you enjoy. It doesn't have to cost much...perhaps playing with your daughter in the park, reading quietly, a hot bath or having a friend round for a cup of coffee and offloading to him/her.

Your life sounds very stressful. I really wish you some luck with a positive diagnosis regarding your health so that you can get the right treatment and get back to work. In the meantime look online for charities who help you to manage debt and to budget effectively. Maybe they will have some wise words for you.

take care
x
 
Purple Chaos

Purple Chaos

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 23, 2014
Messages
1,079
Hi and welcome to the forum.

Sorry to hear that you are struggling and worrying and I concur with MissKitty's post above.

Also, It is very difficult to adjust financially when you are used to earning money and then have to rely on tax credits and your partners wage.

Please, try not to worry too much. I know it's easier said than done but you can not help it if you can't work at present due to ill health.

If you haven't already, contact your credit card company, hire purchase business, Littlewoods and Virgin Media and explain your situation. State that due to your health and being unable to work you are struggling with repayments and ask if they can offer you either a reprieve or a reduced payment agreement until you are well again.

It's the same with tax credits. It was a genuine error and you are cooperating. If you do, and you probably will, receive a letter about over-payments, try not to fret. Contact them about a reasonable repayment amount or ask them for time. Don't agree to their requests unless you can realistically adhere to them but maintain contact and do the best you can.

If you can not cope with this alone, contact your local citizens advice bureau and ask for assistance.

I wish you the best of luck and hope that you manage to sort your issues out. I hope health-wise that get some answers and feel better soon.
 
SarahD

SarahD

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Messages
2,095
Location
UK
Hi Ilyssia89

I agree with the advice above. I would just add that with regard to the tax credits you should keep telling them you made a mistake and tried to let them know, each time you have contact. They are very unlikely to take you to court, so try not to worry, it wasn't a deliberate fraud.

It would be worth contacting Citizens Advice anyway as they can put you in touch with organisations that may be able to help you and advise you about your financial situation, and make things a bit easier.

I hope your health improves soon too.

Best wishes Sarah
 
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2012
Messages
13,529
Location
The West Country
Just wanted to welcome you to the forum. :hi:
I'm sorry to hear of your situation and that you're feeling low. You have been given some good advice so far, and so there's not much I can really add (especially as I don't know much about these things).
 
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