Thinking about opportunities, especially work related, which require photographic ID. I didn't have any, for years. Passport and provisional driving licence went out of date, at times when I couldn't afford new ones... and the list of "acceptedly" employed referees for a passport... I'm poor!!! All my friends are poor. I don't know anyone with posh jobs like those!! Imagine if schools could make sure that every pupil aged 16 got a passport - surely that would help with employment in the future?!
The school new year gives me stress and anxiety, as my son will move to a new school due to bullying in previous school. New uniform, new people, and as a single parent working full time, it is sometimes very hard to manage it all. Especially with cost of living crisis, it is hard to manage finances and prioritise and rationing.
However, will get there as I am a proud and blessed single mom. My son is a blessing and keeps me strong and happy in many ways.
I started a new, better paid, job in early June so I'm looking forward to learning new things and refreshing old skills / training / theories as well as treating our son more. I miss my old colleagues, though, and working in FE.
Having been on UC for a while, I have noticed that there are often times that when an employer asks for experience in the field in question, it is some times hard to get some, especially if you have been unemployed for some time.
Furthermore, I've even found that getting into voluntary work within my chosen field of work, has been just as challenging as getting the actual job itself because there are so many other people wanting to get the work experience that I need also.
Had to attend a meeting at the job centre. I will now be expected to attend weekly appointments until my next set of wages are released, and then wait until my UC award has been calculated - A further 2 weeks after my wages are received.
The work coach was sympathetic to my situation as explained. She admitted the weekly appointments and the cap were punishing.
I have picked up more work hours. That’s another struggle.
Before we were on Universal Credit I always planned to home school our children when they turned five. Even when my husband was made redundant and we started UC, I hoped his business would have grown enough for us to be off UC. However, Covid happened, and my husbands business struggled.
Theres is no room to home-school on universal credit. Both parents have to work or be looking for work once the youngest turns 3. In fact my work coach had me preparing for work and pushed me to send my youngest to nursery when he was just 2 years old.
I would have loved to home school. I’m still sad that we haven’t and we can’t. That parenting choice has been denied for me.
The social security system has a difficult system to notify changes of circumstances. The total benefits goes upside down if someone does this. That's why lot's of people don't notify benefit system of their little change of circumstances. For example, due to my chronic sickness, I had to leave job and update the benefit system with submitting relevant docs. But after few months, I have realised that the social security system didn't update my benefits and still getting less money where I should get more. It has sorted after submitting further docs and liaising with them a few times which is a nightmare.
For people who rely on benefits, a change of circumstances can be anxiety inducing.
The only positive change in my case, was when I started working.
Instead I only had to worry about upfront childcare costs and the cost of travel to and from work. At least now, the costs of childcare will be paid upfront.
Changes in other circumstances and notifying the DWP is the cause of anguish. Your account is often on hold until an appointment for paperwork checking is completed. When there is a rent increase, but no actual increase to your award because of no increase to the local housing allowance, then the account is still put on hold until further documentation is submitted.
Capped again this month. Tough living a hand to mouth existence, and then being called in at the Jobcentre to explain myself again. As if the cap is not enough punishment already.
Zero hours contract. No control over how many hours I can work per month and employers are benefiting from this.
There’s an improvement for next month, as I have more hours - well enough to be released from the cap… But only for the next month. Who knows past that?!
I faced a massive sudden change in my life, the loss of my job. It was completely unexpected, brought about by pandemic restructuring. The change caused me trauma and left me with mental health illness.
The benefits system, Universal Credit application process, only added more stress to my complex situation/circumstances.
The system lacked empathy, compassion, respect and treated me with very little dignity. I was left me feeling like I was a burden, I had brought about the situation of unemployment.
My work history & tax contributions of 30 + years didn't mean anything. I felt a very deep sense of disloyalty and abandonment at my time of need. On top of losing my job, fighting to stay well I had to cope with having to survive financially by turning to my savings.
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.
Looking and applying for an affordable home had become stressful.
Leasing agents and landlords still discriminative against single parents and asking for job title, earnings from job and reference from employer.
I have justified I am a full time carer and provided proof of all rent payments from last 3 years.
One leasing agent "lost" my application although sent by email.
Other never replied.