2 articles Tag benefits

Living in The Baby Bubble

If you’ve got a newborn baby, you know all too well what it’s like to live in that lovely bubble of baby wonderfulness. They may not be sleeping at night but in the early days it’s all about finding your groove and if it’s your first baby, it’s so tempting to stay at home in your little baby-centric haze for as long as possible. There are, however things that you’ll need to do in those forst few weeks, so we thought we’d give you a little list to remind you of the essentials.

Register Baby

Registering your baby is a legal requirement as it basically informs the Government that there’s a new human in the world! You have six weeks from the baby’s day of birth (although this can be different if baby is in a special care unit, and some hospitals have a registrar on site for these very occasions), but you must do it as soon as you’re able.

Apply for Benefits

Once you’ve registered baby and got their birth certificate, you can apply for any benefits to which you might be entitled, such as Child Benefit and Child Tax. If you need help working out what to apply for, head over to http://www.govukbenefits.com/ for more information and links on how to apply.

Weighing

For the first little while, you’ll probably have midwives and health visitors coming to your home to keep an eye on you and baby, and ensuring baby is gaining weight nicely. Once these visits stop, you’ll need to find a local clinic (usually in a childrens’ centre or doctors surgery) to keep having your newborn weighed and having their “Red Book” filled in.

Keep In Touch Days

If you’re on Maternity Leave from work and are planning to go back at some point, then some places of work have Keep In Touch days to enable you to go back for a few hours to refresh yourself on your work duties. It can often make you feel less out-of-touch with your career and is an excellent excuse to show off all of your adorable baby photos!

Health Check

Obviously, most of your focus in the early days will be on baby but you also need to ensure that YOU are being looked after too. Regular checks with your midwife or doctor will ensure than any c-section or episiotomy wounds are healing properly and it’s also good to have a mental health check to ensure that you aren’t suffering with PND or PTSD after a traumatic birth. If you don’t look after yourself properly, you won’t be able to look after your new precious bundle properly, and that’s the most important thing in the world for you right now.

 

Are You Getting Everything You’re Entitled To?

January can be a really tight month for us all – as well as recovering from the huge expenditure of Christmas, it’s a long month with five weeks until payday and also usually happens to be the month that quarterly bills get taken, so by the middle of the month we’re all feeling a bit stretched. As much as many people feel that claiming benefits carries a huge stigma, if you’re a British citizen, there may be things to which you’re entitled but aren’t yet receiving. Take a look below to see if there’s support you might be able to claim:

Employment Support Allowance

ESA is the replacement for the now defunct Incapacity Benefit. It is used by millions of people throughout the country, which is perhaps why you find it so hard to get through when you contact ESA. If you need to speak to someone regarding ESA, use the number provided by ContactNumber.net which can be found here: https://contactnumberuk.net/esa/

Housing Benefit

If you’re renting, you may be entitled to some housing benefit even if you work full time. They are also able to support homeowners on some occasions by helping with interest payments on your mortgage. Either way, if you’re struggling then it’s definitely worth applying to see if you’re entitled to anything towards your housing costs.

Carers Allowance

Are you a main carer for a family member, and if so does this affect your ability to have a job? If so then you may be entitled to an amount of carers allowance. The rules on what you can claim have recently changed, but speaking to someone to see if you’re eligible could really help if you’re in a sticky situation with no other help.

Council Tax Reduction

It was ruled a couple of years ago that Council Tax would no longer be fully discounted, so even the poorest families in the UK are expected to pay some towards their council tax. However, there are some exceptions in terms of reductions that you may be entitled to, for instance if you’re a student or the only adult in a household, Speaking to your local council may help you to work out if there are any discounts which which you may be entitled.

Study Costs

If you’re hoping to retrain or get back into education, there are lots of grants and bursaries available for student learners, especially within certain fields such as teaching. Speaking to the university or college you’d like to study at is probably a good place to start if you want to work out how much help you’d get towards study fees.