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SGO ALLOWANCE - our expenditure.what can we list ?

SGO ALLOWANCE - our expenditure.what can we list ?

Postby pollypocket » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:59 pm

SGO going through at the mo - SS have asked for a breakdown of our finances for the allowance assessment. Obviously we will put rent/bills etc but can we put savings for holidays? Birthday presents? Our social lives? If we list only the basics it looks as though we have lots to spare when in reality and even more with little one by week 3 ie now, we have pennies until pay day.

Anyone been through this? How detailed can we be?

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Re: SGO ALLOWANCE - our expenditure.what can we list ?

Postby Muspark » Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:16 pm

Be as detailed as possible.

Include EVERYTHING, Gas, electric, phone, mobiles, school meals, bus fares, petrol, insurances, MOT/TAX, Licence fees, Sky TV, Christmas, Birthdays, Social Life, Haircuts, Clothes, Shoes, Medical Prescriptions costs, Broadband, Life Insurance..... I could go on [:)]

Have it all prepared for the assessment of your finances. Your means test will be based on this so list it all.

You are entitled to all of these things, the same as anyone else.
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Re: SGO ALLOWANCE - our expenditure.what can we list ?

Postby babylove » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:20 pm

when we done our form it only asked for rent/mortgage, council tax, and water rates for our outgoings but for our incomings it wanted everything right down to what our 21 yr old gave us as housekeeping. so i wrote a covering letter and listed our gas/elec, bus fares, petrol, everything we could think of, even the vets bills, we got awarded the TOP 100% for what our council pays, so make sure if theres not enough room on the form send a covering letter and make sure you list EVERYTHING. good luck
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Re: SGO ALLOWANCE - our expenditure.what can we list ?

Postby Piglets-House » Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:30 pm

On top of what Muspark said here are some memory joggers you might need to add too. I just copied them from a standard statement of means for but they can help to jog your memry about little things you don't think about especially if it is not for much, but put everything down.

Mortgage Protection Insurance
Pension
Mortgage Protection
Life Insurance
Buildings Insurance
Contents Insurance
Other Fuel
Telephone
Housekeeping (food/clothing)
Medical Expenses/Insurance
TV Rental / Appliances
TV Licence
Travel (Bus/train)
Credit Cards
Hire Purchase
Schools / Nursery Fees / Meals / Travel
Child Minders
Child Maintenance
Other Expenses
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Re: SGO ALLOWANCE - our expenditure.what can we list ?

Postby pollypocket » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:51 am

Thank you that is brilliant - we havent been given a form but asked to send the details to our SGO contact so I will follow all of your advice and yes there are lots of things that I would have forgotten that you have listed so thank you very much.

[:)]

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Re: SGO ALLOWANCE - our expenditure.what can we list ?

Postby Diane » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:41 am

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Re: SGO ALLOWANCE - our expenditure.what can we list ?

Postby pollypocket » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:54 am

We are hopeful for something...anything, we have been told that if this SGO doesnt go through for any reason little one will be in care and moved toward a closed adoption (no other options within the family)...it beggars belief how many of us are left with nothing so we will fight while we can, and like you Diane we will refuse to go any further without some support...it simply is not on for families to be left like we are...

xx

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Re: SGO ALLOWANCE - our expenditure.what can we list ?

Postby David Roth » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:11 pm

Unfortunately, local authority discretion means the amount you get may well depend on the approach of the particular local authority paying the allowance.

It's probably worth putting everything down, but some local authorities may ignore this sort of additional information, while others may realise that it is all part of your household budget and needs to be taken into account.

I think you need to be prepared to bargain hard before the order is made, as once it has been agreed in court the local authority is not going to come back with a more generous proposal. Even if the finance department's calculation shows that you should get little or no SGO allowance, you can still make the case to the manager who is the budget-holder that the calculation has not taken account of significant household expenditure, which will make a difference to the quality of life you are able to offer to the child. When making the case to the manager, it would be advisable to focus on the difference the allowance will make for the child.

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Re: SGO ALLOWANCE - our expenditure.what can we list ?

Postby youngagain » Thu Nov 25, 2010 5:48 pm

My local authority give us nothing now and have ignored us for some months. They have given up I think. It did occur to me that the means rest is contrary to the equality laws as SGO allowance is means tested an neither residency or kinship allowance is as far as I am aware.Some outgoings are not means tested and anything you can demonstrate that is an exceptional cost like say a child carer / nanny should not be means tested. I doubt they will pay it,my authority have managed to make a poor case for their reasons in the knowledge that there is little we can do about it.
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Re: SGO ALLOWANCE - our expenditure.what can we list ?

Postby Kate » Fri Nov 26, 2010 2:10 am

(this isn't about SGO as such but some of it is relevant I think to applying for both SGO and RO allowance)

youngagain, residence allowance is means tested. We were assessed as "nil" entitlement and told to apply again when my husband retired. He retired 18 months ago and we haven't bothered because we know we still wouldn't qualify - savings would disqualify us. Yet our house is decrepit and could more than eat up our savings, which we never had until my husband retired anyway: he received a lump sum then, having worked in his job for 35 yrs. We don't have the energy to get all this essential work done now, because I'm ill and my husband is as busy in retirement as he ever was, due to the limitations placed by my illness, and us having our granddaughter! And anyway, if we spent the savings on this work, we wouldn't have it to bring up our g/d, given we don't any help from the LA. I'm sure many of us must sometimes weigh things up and think we should put ourselves into poverty in order to get help from the LA, but reason says that's the road to ruin.

As regards means testing, I listed everything I could think of when we applied for RO allowance to no avail. I believe that the assessment treated us, income-wise, as if we were just any young couple choosing to start a family. It wasn't taken into consideration that we were about to retire and our income would plummet. I think this kind of attitude is at the very heart of the difficulties kinship carers have getting financial support: so many of us are treated as if we are just like any young person or young couple having children, and our position is totally different.

When our complaint went to Stage 2 I updated the financial info and included that we were having to support our son and his then-partner because our son was off work for a year with a disabling injury and only on statutory sick pay, and his then-partner was ill and on incapacity benefit. The LA rep said she didn't see this as something they should concern themselves with, or words to that effect. This came at the end of a long meeting focussing mainly on our g/d's nursery fees, and we didn't have it in us by then to fight the case for our son's needs being taken into account, but the fact is he was on his uppers and he is our SON. The LA didn't give a hang that we had a son who was here long before we had our g/d to bring up and that, through no fault of his own, he was in one hell of a mess, having been in employment from age 16 and finding when he really needed support there wasn't any, except his parents buying his food and paying his bills.

When we finally got the backdated nursery fees, two-thirds went on paying off our son's debts. He never asked for it but they would have been a millstone around his neck for many years to come, and he is a real hard worker who doesn't earn much.

Sorry to wander off topic, but I feel very strongly that other family members should be taken into account and there should be flexibility in these assessments to allow for these kinds of situations. It's natural for parents to want to help out their adult children if they're in genuine difficulty (ie the ones who work hard, not those who live off the state and leave us to bring up their children) I really wished I'd had the energy and the presence of mind to stand up to this LA rep about our son, and point out that whatever we did to help him DID have an impact on our capacity to provide for our g/d's needs. Not that she would have cared [:(]















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