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UC, volunteer work and childcare costs

 

Ngaryan
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Supervising Solicitor, Greater Manchester Law Centre

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HI can anyone help?

I’ve had an enquiry today from a UC claimant who has a 2 y/o and is in the work preparation group. She has been looking for work etc and would like to carry out volunteer work.

She has been told by her work coach there is no guidance as to whether someone in her position could get help towards childcare costs and that it is entirely at their discretion.

I cannot find the details anywhere and wondering if anyone has come across this?

Thanks in advance

     
tbidmead
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If you mean childcare costs under UC - UC Regs specify paid work. See r31 et seq

However UC claimants in general qualify for up to 15 hours pw free childcare during term time (or 12 hours pw year round) if child is aged 2 years+, and should apply for this via local authority.

     
Ngaryan
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Thanks for this.

She already has the 15 hours per wk child care costs but has been told by her work coach that she needs to look at volunteering as part of work preparation. She cant volunteer or do more if she cannot sort out child care arrangements.

I am aware that you can only be asked to attend work focused interviews if you have a child aged between 1 and 3, and you can only be made to do work preparation if your child is 3 or 4 - so perhaps it may be more relevant for her to go back to the Jobcentre to check this with her work coach.

Just wondering if anybody else has any other views on this…

thanks

      [ Edited: 21 Apr 2017 at 11:39 am by Ngaryan ]
Daphne
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She could try asking her work coach for money from the Flexible Support Fund to help with her childcare. They don’t advertise this fund and it’s generally underspent but it is supposed to be able to help with things like this - it is discretionary though.

Also since 3 April she is required to do work preparation as a parent of a two year old - see http://www.rightsnet.org.uk/welfare-rights/news/item/miscellaneous-amendments-to-esa-universal-credit-loans-for-mortgage-interes - and then it’s all work-related activity once the child is three

      [ Edited: 21 Apr 2017 at 02:00 pm by Daphne ]
Ngaryan
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Great - thanks for your help!