My daughter suffered a mental breakdown 6 years ago and was on Incapacity Benefit for 4 years. Through an agency, she managed to get herself back into work 2 years ago as a Teaching Assistant helping children with special needs. The job was part time, 30 hours per week and she was entitled to claim Tax Credits. This year, she has been employed in another school for 20 hours per week and as a consequence of this, she cannot claim Tax Credits. Furthermore, she is not entitled to Income Support either, because she is working more than 16 hours per week. She is single and lives alone.

Where is the sense in this? There is no support for people working between 17 and 29 hours per week. At the very time she needs more support, it is withdrawn. She has made extreme efforts to get off State Benefit, (as I am sure the Government would wish) and yet there is this gap in the support system which offers no incentive to stay in work.

Surely people working 17 to 29 hours per week should be helped more than those working more than 30 hours per week.

Why is this idea important?

The importance of getting people off Incapacity Benefit and back into work is self evident, but it is no good acheiving this if the support is withdrawn for those who need it most.

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