Diary entries cover a variety of topics, some of which you may find triggering. These topics include self-harm, suicide and domestic violence.
5 Jun 2023

Victoria S

How does the benefit system handle changes of circumstance?

Having to change circumstances is a scary process, you never know if they're gonna stop your benefits or not, especially PIP, I've heard loads of stories of people being forced to reapply when they report a change in circumstances.

I've got an upcoming change in circumstances at the end of the month, it'll mean changing address, probably twice cos I'll be homeless for a while, I hope not long, and a reduction in my benefits of nearly £500. I'm lucky to have support from a local charity who's going to handle those phone calls for me and help me set up bills because I'm gonna be emotionally strained at the time, my mental health won't handle being homeless very well (triggers flashbacks of being homeless as a teen and sharing rooms in hostels with people taking drugs, drinking alcohol and violent - not to misunderstand I meant some amazing people when I was homeless and most turned to drugs or alcohol to cope with being homeless, most also protected me in my youth from copying them and I was only homeless for a few months but it was still very scary experience to have). I have to go through that again as an adult through no fault of my own but cos I was put in temporary accommodation which isn't a real contract but a licence meaning they only have to give 24 hour notice but gave a months, I'm bidding on homes but there's been nothing to bid on since early May, it's scary. Anyway, so I know I'll be at risk of mental health decline, I have a housing officer at local council who's trying to help me find a home there, I've local charity supporting and trying to push getting me a place, but can't give what's not there to give. So right now I feel homelessness, I fear loosing my benefits and I fear the uncertainty I face. Benefits are seldom straightforward and they often look for excuses to screw us over and we can't trust benefits services to be there when we absolutely need them, that's when they're most likely to screw us.

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Use Victoria S's words in your own research or editorial
Changing Realities (2023), Victoria S. https://changingrealities.org/e/Mscue (05 Jun 2023)
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