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A story that says it all

(31 Posts)
maryeliza54 Tue 03-Oct-17 08:53:38

Four years ago, an 18 year old woman agreed to take on the care of her three younger siblings after the sudden death of their mother. She gave up college and much of her social life to do this. The elder of the three siblings has just started university. The young woman now has a partner and a baby. She applied for the £500 Sure Start maternity grant and child tax credits. She was refused of course because she has breached the more than two child rule. The DWP stands by its decision saying it ensures fairness between claimants like this young woman and taxpayers who support themselves solely through work

lemongrove Tue 03-Oct-17 08:58:36

Are they aware that her siblings are siblings, or is it confused thinking they are her own children?Or, if they do know the full story, has she already had all the benefits allowed one way or another?Tbh it’s one of those cases where you need to have all the facts, and rarely do.

Riverwalk Tue 03-Oct-17 08:58:42

Hard to comment on this story without a link.

maryeliza54 Tue 03-Oct-17 09:02:46

I'll do the link but you know how some people hate them. Of course the DWP have the full facts - the young woman has appealed twice. The anomaly was pointed out to the Government nearly a year ago and have done nothing to correct it.

maryeliza54 Tue 03-Oct-17 09:04:01

lemongrove Tue 03-Oct-17 09:18:18

Having read the link, it does seem strange that if you have children before you take on the upbringing of siblings then you receive the money, but not if you have them afterwards.
It sounds as if this is ongoing in Parliament, and hopefully it should be put right for carers in this position.
The two child limit was to stop those women who sat back and had lots of children while never intending to work again, and apparently is having some effect on that problem, but these carers cases are a different kettle of fish, and as it stands, are unfair.

Riverwalk Tue 03-Oct-17 09:31:56

This is a grossly unjust situation - I hope a journalist will bring it up at the Tory party conference. This two-child cap was always going to bring up anomalies e.g. someone having a first child with a partner who already has two.

maryeliza54 Tue 03-Oct-17 10:01:32

The Government were told a year ago, this family is going without now. One of the responsibilities of government before it enacts policy is to inform itself of all the consequences of that policy. With the three child rule for example, it exempted third children who resulted from a multiple birth second pregnancy. The government carries out consultations as part of this process. It ignored the warnings and is showing no signs of shifting. I think that's totally unacceptable

maryeliza54 Tue 03-Oct-17 10:04:06

I'm going to write to the DWP Secretary of State for all the good it will do

Eloethan Tue 03-Oct-17 11:44:39

Yes, it needs changing.

Ilovecheese Tue 03-Oct-17 11:54:22

Are their any statistics for:
" those women who sat back and had lots of children while never intending to work again, " before the two child policy
" those women who sat back and had lots of children while never intending to work again, " after the two child policy was introduced?
as you say it is apparently having some effect on them?

GillT57 Tue 03-Oct-17 12:51:22

There really needs to be some common sense and flexibility when these policies are introduced to cater for the unusual and special cases which do not fit into any box ticking. Surely it would make sense to have a senior person in each area or DWP/benefit office who has the authority to use common sense and amend the requirements and guidelines when a case such as this occurs? Cases like the couple given a specially adapted bungalow to enable them to care for their severely physically disabled grandson who were then charged bedroom tax for the 'spare' bedroom which was needed for grandson's carer ?

maryeliza54 Tue 03-Oct-17 13:26:18

What I think is unacceptable here is that the Government were told of the problem nearly a year ago and have done nothing about it.

Luckygirl Tue 03-Oct-17 13:51:12

Ah, but Mrs May is making this a fairer country - I am sure that will help.

Moocow Tue 03-Oct-17 14:35:22

Here here, maryliza54

Situations like this once again show how you simply cannot bunch everyone under the same umbrella without accepting that there are times when commonsense must prevail.

Baggs Tue 03-Oct-17 15:01:06

The story certainly suggests that the wheels of government turn exceeding slow. The young lady should not give up. Compensation due to my grandfather for contracting emphysema at work (mining) was not paid until forty years after he died and only then because my accountant brother jumped through every hoop they put in the way. By this time it had not benefited my grandfather, nor his widow (also deceased by then), nor my father, the only child of my grandfather (also deceased), so it went to my siblings and me as the next direct descendents.

I hope you get a response to your letter, me54. Perhaps you could keep us inflormed on here. Perhaps a bit of Gransnet clout might come in handy at some stage?

Baggs Tue 03-Oct-17 15:02:11


maryeliza54 Tue 03-Oct-17 15:20:55

The young lady has appealed twice and failed both times. She is still looking after her siblings and now has a three month old baby to care for. I wonder what she's supposed to do next if the Guardian's support doesn't succeed? She's hard up now and I don't think it's her fight - it should be ours for her. Anyone else willing to write to the DWP/ their MP/ TM?

Moocow Tue 03-Oct-17 17:36:57

Local MP?

MissAdventure Tue 03-Oct-17 17:43:08

How about someone getting up a petition? There are sites where you can set them up. Would a link to it be allowed here?

Morgana Tue 03-Oct-17 17:55:26

And she has probably saved the nation a fortune by looking after her siblings and not letting them go into care. Disgraceful. Would volunteer to write to my M.p. but he is a complete waste of space. Suggest a petition on 38 degrees or Change.

durhamjen Tue 03-Oct-17 23:49:03

FarNorth Wed 04-Oct-17 01:23:34

That is a disgusting state of affairs. Clearly she is not a parent of the three siblings.
There should be no need for an "exemption". She is entitled to that money.

maryeliza54 Wed 04-Oct-17 07:45:50

The local MP is involved. Thanks for link dj will get in touch with them re a petition - a petition started by them would have more clout. But why should a petition be necessary? It's really quite unbelievable isn't it?

Imperfect27 Wed 04-Oct-17 08:13:24

The OP title does indeed say it all...

We have had a few brushes with institutional rigidity lately for our son. Some rules are so inflexible, you would think that when they are firsr formulated they should come with necessary caviats and leeway for recognised exceptions built in. SIGHS LOUDLY ...