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Hi Guys,


Posted this on a different forum and someone suggested this may be a better place. Worth a try.



Hi GUys,


Not sure I'm in the right place but here goes. Last year, I was made
and spent 6 months out of work.


I found a job, which I have been doing now for two months. The salary is hugh enough to take me out of any form of benefit.


I have now been offered another job. The salary is MUCH lower and would put me back into the WTC, HB, CTB bracket. However, it is something I would prefer to do, much closer to home (as in five minutes away, rather than two hours each way), and would make my family life VERY VERY VERY much easier. (I have four kids, one with night terrors that have been going on for three months. This means getting up 4 or 5 times a night. Believe me, you have no idea.....


Two questions;

Ignoring morals, how would the 'authorities' view my decision to lower my wage through choice ? Would there be a problem with claiming these benefits ?


What would you do ? Happy family life with not much money or NO family life with a little bit more money.


By the way, I haven't just had enough of work. I have no intention of sitting at home. This would just make our life so much easier for the next six months or so, until all the kids are at school/nursery, and (hopefully) the night terrors have sorted themselves out. After that, back to the Rat Race.






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I would definitely put my family first and take the new job, although the wages are lower you are trying your best and a few months down the line if you stay where you are, you could easily crack up with the stress of travelling two hours each way and dealing with a distraught child and juggling family responsibilities.


Your health is your wealth.

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Thanks for that. ANy idea what 'Big Brothers' view would be though ? I would be voluntarily lowering my wage and relying on Working Tax Credits, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.


Would I be eligible in these circumstances ?

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I'm not too sure you even need to go into explanations when you put in a claim for housing benefit. As long as you provide all the right details, & you qualify based on your income, josb done.

Just bear in mind once you're on the benefit wheel, you cant do any over time without telling them, if you get a bonus they need to know. Anything that varies they need to know.

As long as you're on the ball, all should be fine. I personally found it too complex, restricting & worrying to work & claim benefits too, but only you know your own circumstances & need to do what's best for you x

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You are not really lowering your wage through choice because family circumstances are beyond your control.


I cant imagine the stress of not getting much sleep then travelling two hours to do your job, You must be exhausted. You will eventually 'burn out; as you are only human. I agree if you explain your circumstances and your income is not sufficient, you must be able to claim.


The only thing I think you night have trouble with is that you chose to leave your job and Im not sure if there is a time delay between this and claiming benefits.

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Thanks guys,


Actually, I would be changing jobs rather than voluntarily making myself unemployed. I was hoping that this would make a difference and mean no time lapse before benefits kicked in.


Any Thoughts on that ?



Edited by Rashley
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Times may have changed, but 16 years ago my partner & I left our full time jobs where we both worked together, our first baby was due 4 weeks later. Partner started work for the NHS, at the time it was only 25 hours a week. I was on maternity leave. We had made sure beforehand by ringing the benfits dept what we would get. And we got it.

So unless it's changed, I cant see them even questioning it. I assume like us you weren't claiming it beforehand?

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No, we're not getting anything at the moment. Just feel like my family has to come first. At least for the next six months or so anyway. I'll still be working, just less money for better hours

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I've not come across anything that says you can't claim those benefits if you change your job and receive a lower wage. After all, how do they prove that the reason for changing jobs was to get more benefits? There are many reasons why people change jobs.

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No, we're not getting anything at the moment. Just feel like my family has to come first. At least for the next six months or so anyway. I'll still be working, just less money for better hours


Yes, same here. Less hours & money. But he had only worked in the one place since leaving school, & we had worked together for 6 years, he hated the thought of working there after I left :oops:

He went to work for the NHS part time, but these days he does the job full time, just at the time he wanted to be a more active father, & benefits helped that happen.

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I don't know of any regualtions statimg that you would be refused tax credits purely because you took a job that fits in with your family life more. With a family you have to have a good home/work life balance or things suffer.

If you are offered the job and it's best for you then go for it!

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As far as i'm aware you can't be penalised for finding a lower paid job that's less stressful and I don't think the forms you have to fill will even ask why

you have a different income as people's circumstances change all the time .

Go for the new job and be happy!



Unfortunately i'm not an expert in any given field legally and my advice and that of the Consumer Action Group and the Bank Action Group is given without prejudice and without liability so please if in any doubt whatsoever seek help from an insured qualified professional. Contents of my posts are purely my own personal opinions and not condoned or endorsed in any way, shape or form by CAG. Thank you! :p



I have been smoke-free for 4yrs

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