maarmie's musings

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I don't think I'm going to make it

I've been on my own with Elliot for only a month-and-a-half, and I don't think I'm going to make it. Public assistance isn't being very cooperative, and I'm actually beyond broke. Luckily, the daycare Elliot goes to has agreed to let me slide on the actual paying part of the deal for now. I applied for public assistance nearly two months ago and...nothing.

C* and I had a joint claim for what are called child tax credits and working tax credits. The working tax credits have a separate part for child care, and, if you qualify, the government pays up to 80 percent of the child care bill. C* and I were getting this together, but, when he moved out, I had to cancel that claim and file individually. Since C* was a UK national, there was no problem with claiming these benefits together. But, since I'm not, the government is deciding to take its sweet time with processing my claim.

A full four weeks after submitting my initial application, I received two more forms and a request for my passport as proof that I am not subject to immigration control. I sent these in three weeks ago and not a word. I phone the office every week asking for an update and get the same spiel: We are working on your claim which may require additional checks, blah, blah, blah.

Any idiot can look at my passport and see that I'm not subject to immigration control in five seconds. Why has it taken nearly two months? To add insult to injury, my council tax and housing benefit can't be processed until the award letter for tax credits is produced. It's a neverending circle of despair.

I'm down to my last bit of money, and I owe day care three weeks' payment. My monthly pay covers just the rent and just barely. The rest of the bills are being paid using child support money at this point, and there's very little left over for food.

I know I need help, but I don't know who I can ask. C* has said he can do no more for me. I don't know how long I can stay here on my own with Elliot. I don't know what to do. I need monetary help from my family, but I don't feel like I can ask. No one - except for my grandmother who said we could come live with her - has offered any kind of help, and I think everyone knows what kind of situation I'm in. Does anyone care?


Paul Normann said...

Hi Julie,

Judy and I are both sorry to hear that you are having a rough time of it. We definitely care. (In case you don't recall, we are Michael's friends from Tallahassee. The Buddhist one's who moved to Hawaii.)

Anyway, I wanted to suggest that you connect with the Amida Trust. You are already on the Friends of Amida Ning site, so I assume you have some familiarity with the organization.

They are a good group of people and I am sure that you could find friendship and support there. They are of course Buddhist, but the group is very open and they cherish friendship. The main temple is in Narborough but they also have a small group in Newcastle upon Tyne, which I believe is closer to you. The person running the Newcastle group is Sujatin and she is very nice.

Anyway, I hope this helps. I also hope that you will stay in touch.


Anonymous said...

Hell, I feel for you. I've been there (the immigration crap & the skint crap!) I hope it turns around for you.

Just do what you need to do for your baby, and stay strong!