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Can I get any extra help?

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After being outof the country for four years, I returned to Wales in April with serious cash flow problems due to failure of my parents business abroad etc etc...

So I got an interview with a lone parent advisor at my local jobcentre (I am a single mum of 1 child aged 11).

The lady advised that I was entitled to Income Support, Child Tax credit and housing benefit/council tax benefit, as well as child benefit which I needed to apply for separately.

So a few weeks went by, no money, getting beyond desperate :eek:.

Called the Jobcentre who advised that my claim for Income Support was on hold until my child benefit application was processed, so called the child benefit helpline who advised that as I had been out of the country my claim can take up to 26 weeks to process!!!!

The long and short of it is that I have been awarded £54 per week in child tax credit and have just had notification that my housing benefit has been awarded, but is there anything else I can do in the meantime?, I cannot survive on £54 per week - am getting help from family and friends and don't know what will happen when I get a utility bill!!

Tried applying for a crisis loan, but apparently had one in 2004 and money is still outstanding (although I am sure this was paid off)

Also, when this child benefit claim is eventually processed, will I get it backdated? and also will I get the Income Support backdated to April when I went for the interview?

Does anyone have experience of how long it will take for this claim to go through? I claimed child benefit for 7 years before I emigrated so can't understand why it should take so long???, have called the helpline a few times but all they say is that they will contact me when my claim is processed or if they need further information!

Sorry for the essay and thanks for reading this!





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