Ok I'm going to try to make this as short as possible.
I'm 18 and in full time education. I don't live with my parents due to domestic violence (mostly by my father). I live in accommodation provided by a homelessness charity and claim housing benefit and income support while I am in education.
So my problem is the following:
My 6 month review was today. She asked me if I'm still estranged from my parents. I said yes but I now talk to my mum on the phone sometimes. She made a HUGE deal out of this saying that it's not allowed and that 'estranged means estranged, not talking on the phone sometimes' etc. She also said I would have to write a statement about it. This seems like a bit of an over reaction but hey, they even seem to think they can control who I can and can't talk to now!
Anyway, I hadn't managed to get a learner's agreement from college so she stopped the interview and re-booked it for next week.
They requested the past 3 months bank statements and this is my problem. The most recent month's statement looks really bad. I sold my TV and deposited £135 cash into my account. This alone worries me, but I also went on holiday to Dublin on the 20th May (with Ryanair and stayed in a hostel so no funny comments about this please) and my mum decided to give me some early birthday money (my birthday is next month) towards Dublin. She NEVER gives me money but decided to deposit money into my account without telling me. A nice gesture if it had been in different circumstances. The worst part is that she put the reference as 'pocket money'.
While I was in Dublin, a few days after the first deposit she put a further £25 into my account with the same 'pocket money' reference.
Now, if they made such a big deal out of me TALKING to her how will they react when they find out she's given me 'pocket' money?! I've been losing sleep over this and I'm really worried they will stop my benefits. I could never go back home as not only would neither of my parents allow it, but I'm not safe there. I don't even visit my parents and they never give me money- as my two other statements will prove- but I'm so scared the job centre are going to make a huge deal out of these two incidents. Can they really stop my benefits over this? Even though it was a one off thing and she did it without my knowledge? It's not like it's regular income or I asked her for money. I'm really scared