Can I claim benefits if I leave my job due to childcare?

Can I claim benefits if I leave my job due to childcare?

In this guide, we will discuss “Can I claim benefits if I leave my job due to childcare?” and some of the benefits you may be entitled to whether you decide to resign or not.

Can I claim benefits if I leave my job due to childcare?

If you are wondering ‘Can I claim benefits if I leave my job due to childcare?’, maybe due to the fact that you would like to dedicate more time to your child or maybe you and your partner had a difficult choice to make where one of you have to quit to take care of your child. This situation can make anyone nervous or scared about the possibility of having financial difficulties after resigning.

We know how caring for a child can be difficult but it can be even more so caring for a disabled child. There are some ways you can actually take time off work without resigning, if quitting is not actually an option for you to consider and there are actually benefits you may be entitled to, you were not even aware of. Moreover, consider talking to your employer first to see if they would agree to give you some time off or make changes to your schedule to help you stay in your job and have more time to take care of your child.

Can I claim benefits if I leave my job due to childcare?

On the other hand, if you are still deciding if you should quit or not, here we will talk about the types of benefits you may be entitled to if your payment has been reduced or if you resign from your job. However, consider the following benefits will take account of your partner’s income or work status, which means you may not qualify even if one if you are not earning anything.

Universal credit

Your universal credit payment can include an amount that is meant to help to cover the costs of looking after your child or children. Moreover, you can apply for UC regardless of the number of children you have and if it is successful, your UC payment may include an extra amount of money for dependent children who you have the main responsibility for as indicated by understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk.

“You will be entitled to an extra child amount for any child born before 6 April 2017. However, you will not be entitled to an extra child amount for a third or following child born on or after 6 April 2017 unless special circumstances apply.”

In addition, if you have children aged 16 to 19 and if they are attending or are enrolled in full-time, non-advanced education or no approved training, you may get an extra child amount.

If you have a disabled child, you may also be eligible to get an extra amount. This disabled child addition is said to be paid either at a higher rate or a lower rate. “You can receive the disabled child addition even if the child it’s for isn’t one you get an extra child amount for.”

Childcare costs

If you are eligible for Universal Credit and meet some additional requirements, you may be able to claim up to 85% of your childcare costs. The amounts are:

  • a maximum of £646.35 per month for one child
  • a maximum of £1108.04 per month for 2 or more children

However, consider childcare support is paid in arrears, which means you will usually pay the costs yourself, and Universal Credit will pay you some of that money back but if you think you may need help covering the costs at the time you pay them, you should talk about it with your work coach.

Furthermore, as indicated by understandingunicersalcredit.gov.uk, “You’ll need to inform the Department for Work and Pensions of the cost of the childcare by the end of the assessment period after the one in which you’ve paid the childcare charges. You can do this by signing into your Universal Credit account.”

Can I claim benefits if I leave my job due to childcare?

Tax credits

New tax applications are being replaced by Universal Credit for most people, however, you can find the exceptions on the UK Gov website. 

As indicated by workingfamilies.org.uk, “The following applies if you are already on Tax Credits or fall into one of those exceptions. Your Tax Credit award for the current year is based on your income from the previous year, this remains true unless your annual income changes by more than £2500. If your income in the current year drops by less than £2500 your tax credit award will not change, however, you will get a higher award next year.”

If you leave your job, you can continue to receive working tax credits for 4 weeks but after this time, you will lose your entitlement to working tax credits, so make sure to report the change to the tax credits office as soon as possible.

Family Fund

This is a discretionary grant to families with severely disabled children under 18 but be aware they have their own definitions of what is ‘severely disabled’. These grants are for things not supplied by statutory authorities and some families on certain benefits can apply, such as:

  • Tax credits
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit
Can I claim benefits if I leave my job due to childcare?

Leaving your job

If you have decided to resign you either need to do it verbally or in writing, stating your intention to leave your job. However, consider how threatening or just saying you are looking for other job opportunities is not the same as formally resigning.

Before you hand in your resignation, consider all the possibilities and think carefully about the financial consequences. You could be leaving your job because of certain problems at work or a disagreement with a colleague or your boss, whatever the reason might be, consider if those problems can be sorted. 

However, if you do believe you can’t sort them or you have given a lot of thought to it then consider putting in writing, giving your employer the right amount of notice, and indicating the last day of employment. You could also include the reason why but keep it short, no need to be very specific on it.

Do I get benefits if I resign?

According to nidirect.gov.uk:

  • Any benefits you receive may be delayed for up to 26 weeks if you voluntarily quit without good reason. 
  • If you are claiming constructive dismissal, tell your local Jobs and Benefits office.
  • If you don’t qualify for Job Seeker’s Allowance or Universal Credit under normal rules, you may be able to claim a hardship payment, based on your individual circumstances.
  • For more details, contact your local Jobs and Benefits office.

Will I lose my benefits if I leave my job voluntarily?

As indicated by worksmart.org.uk, “When you leave your job, you may need to claim benefits until you find work again. Your eligibility for benefits will depend on your means and on the details of how your job ended.”

Moreover, they explain how “You are likely to be penalized by the loss of benefits for around three months if you left your last job voluntarily unless you can show that you did so for “good reason”. This is called a “sanction”. These sanctions already existed under the old-style Job Seekers Allowance system and have been replicated under Universal Credit.”

Can I claim benefits if I leave my job due to childcare?

They indicate how there is a very useful guide titled ‘Deciding whether to resign’ from the Citizens Advice webpage you may be interested in looking at, where they actually explain the circumstances in which you may be able to challenge a benefits sanction imposed for resigning your job. Even though it will depend on your personal circumstances but some of the reasons include:

  • Taking voluntary redundancy
  • You were not getting the National Minimum Wage
  • Didn’t feel safe working there because it didn’t meet health and safety standards
  • You were bullied or harassed and didn’t feel safe
  • Having a zero-hour contract

Why is this blog about Can I claim benefits if I leave my job due to childcare being important?

It is important to know if you can claim benefits if you leave your job due to childcare, especially if you feel there is no other choice. However, consider talking to your employer first before handing in your resignation letter since there may not be a way to go back.

If you need to care for your child or if your child is disabled, there are some options available to you, just make sure you inform yourself about the eligibility criteria and if there are any sanctions if you decide to quit voluntarily.

Please feel free to leave any comments or thoughts about the content of this article!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Can I claim benefits if I leave my job due to childcare

Can I claim benefits if I leave my job?

You may claim benefits if you leave your job until you find work again. However, if you leave your job voluntarily and it is not a dismissal, you may be penalized by the loss of benefits for around three months unless you are able to show that you did it for a ‘good reason’.

Can I claim child tax credits if I leave my job?

If you leave your job, you should report the change within the first month, but the sooner you do it the better. You can still receive the child tax credit if you are not working, or you may become entitled for the first time if you haven’t been getting any tax credits due to your earnings.

Can I claim benefits if I leave my job UK?

You can claim benefits if you leave your job and you may even start claiming the benefits as soon as you know the date you will stop working. However, you may need to show you had a good reason for resigning, or you might get less money for around 3 months (sanction).

Can I get unemployment if I quit my job because of depression?

You may be eligible to get unemployment if you quit your job due to ‘medically documented reasons.

Can I quit my job due to stress?

You can always quit your job due to stress if it has become overwhelming and detrimental to your health such as having frequent migraines or ulcers. However, it is important to consider first talking to your employer and reviewing other options to cope with stress or handle stress at work such as making some reasonable adjustments such as a change in your schedule, workload, or your current tasks.

References 

Worksmart.org.uk: “Will I lose out on benefits if I leave my job voluntarily?”

Nidirect.gov.uk: “Resigning from a job”

Citizensadvice.org.uk: “Deciding whether to resign”

Workingfamilies.org.uk: “Receiving benefits while on parental leave or after resigning: parents and carers of disabled children”

Understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk: “New to Universal Credit”

Can I claim benefits if I leave my job due to childcare?

Daniela Paez

Daniela Paez is a Clinical Psychologist with an MSc. In Clinical Neuropsychology from Bangor University. She has vast experience in working with children with disabilities, adolescents and their families, in extreme conditions of poverty and vulnerability. Additionally, she owns a private practice where she provides neuropsychological evaluation for children and adults, and treatment for mood disorders, anxiety, couple therapy, among other conditions.