Universal Credit: a personal story

A personal story sent in over the recent Bank Holiday weekend by a #StopTheTories Channel reader who doesn’t want to be named…

“I’m on universal credit. I’m currently unable to work, same with my partner, and we have a 3-year-old son and are expecting our next just after Christmas.

“We only get £723 in benefits between the three of us for a month. We tend to spend that on food, gas and electric for the month on the day we get it and are usually left struggling by the last week or so before our next benefit payment.

“I’ve recently had to sell most of my possessions just to get us through those last weeks. We’ve got nothing left to sell and our refrigerator broke down during the night on Monday. We were able to salvage the frozen food but all fridged goods were lost. As a result we currently haven’t eaten [for nearly three days] (we have food for our child).

“I’ve applied for a budgeting advance through DWP and its been accepted, however it’s unlikely well be seeing that money [for another four days] because of bank holiday and bank processing times.

“I’ve tried getting in touch with my local council, bank, citizens advice bureau etc and they’ve all said there’s no more help we can get. We were told we can only have 3 food bank vouchers per year, of which we already have had 3. I rang DWP up earlier to explain the situation and that I haven’t any food at all to see if they could process the payment any faster, to which they said no and that there’s no other help they can offer, at which point I began crying as I just don’t know what to do anymore,

“I’m literally on the verge of attempting shoplifting because I have nowhere else to turn. Through my crying the guy from the DWP I was speaking to just kept saying sorry and ultimately decided to hang up on me.”