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

Charles K

How does the benefit system handle changes of circumstance?

From my point of view, six, seven years ago now, when my ex wife left and my circumstances drastically changed, we were on child tax credit and because I notified them that my wife had left me, that then called chaos. And I ended up with six weeks of no payments while I got full onto Universal Credit because I was a registered carer as well. I still am for my youngest daughter. That as well, when payments went down by 34 pound a week because I wasn't a couple. Which is a bit kind of ludicrous, really, because you're struggling on your own more than when you are the couple. So that was mind boggling. But no, I haven't had a good experience of changing over from one to the other or much support at all in the benefit system. I'm currently not able to work due to disabilities and because I'm on universal credit and I spoke to ESA and they went, 'well, you do qualify but universal credit would just take the money off you so you won't gain anything at all from that'. So I had the benefits of DWP. To me, there's no point claiming employment support long term sick because give it for one hand and take it with the other. And because I still claim carer's allowance because it helps me budget, they pay weekly so that's my weekly food bill when universal credit is monthly, which I use on my main bills and my rent, they also take off my carers allowance as well. So no, I've not had a positive experience of one benefit system talking to the other one at all.

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Use Charles K's words in your own research or editorial
Changing Realities (2023), Charles K. https://changingrealities.org/e/fkhkA (02 Jun 2023)
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