Great news for me. After years of failed applications, I have finally been awarded the basic rate of PIP. After being offered help to work through the form and seek medical evidence it turns out that I had not understood the forms correctly and been completing them wrong. I don't think this extra help is going to directly ease any problems I am facing in my personal life, but it will mean that I can let my daughter use the heating occasionally during the winter months, also enabling me to provide for her in a reasonable way during her final year of A levels. I will now be able to buy some fresher and healthier food to feed her and some suitable warm clothes for the coming winter months. My daughter has always been understanding about how difficult it is being part of a single parent family, but now I feel I may be able to make her life slightly easier.
I'm already fearing for winter and the extra bills. Basic food is still going up in price. If benefits don't also rise how can I feed the kids? I literally spend hours thinking how to cost cut but my belt cannot be tightened anymore!
It would mean I couldn’t afford to feed or clothe my children. It would mean I’d either heat or feed.
The dates for the next cost of living payments have been announced for those most in need. But as usual I am stuck in a position that leaves me with no help at all this winter. Claiming Legacy benefits which I receive as a single person despite having a school age child to support, I am not able to claim tax credits or income related benefits, so apart from child benefit we have to struggle with the little we do get that was also not increased in line with other benefits in April. The government needs to look at the situation urgently and make changes. My daughter and I will be forced to survive through winter without the use of heating or lighting and very little warm healthy food. I don't want charity and handouts I just want to be treated like a human being in a safe and fair society.
It will bring serious and multiple issues if benefit rates don't increase next April. We have already been rationing since early 2022. We are still no better off for doing so.
Every household bill has increased beyond a reasonable rate, not just energy bills.
I was forced to replace my vehicle this summer. Paying for it, insuring and taxing it has taken a bigger dent out of my bank balance than anyone on a low income would like.
The money in my bank account is literally the only source of money I have to my name, no pension to think about, no savings to speak of.
This wasn't the way I ever imagined I would be living my life at my age, trying to raise a family single handedly all these years has been incredibly difficult on every level.
It's a depressing prospect. I'm not sure how much more of this cost of living crisis we can take. It's embarrassing to ask for charity, we aren't in debt yet, but that could change overnight at this rate.
I already have an empty fridge freezer. I can't face buying a trolly full of food that will end up going off and in the bin because I forgot to freeze it or our appetites change over the course of the week, or I'm unwell and can't manage to cook or eat anything.
I live with the dread of the landlord selling up or increasing our rent. It's a constant worry.
Nobody can be certain whether there will be funding to help with winter fuel costs, I'm already disgusted by the mould growth on our belongings since we moved here 18 months ago, because the house is difficult to heat aside from rationing the heating bills. I can see us still trying to claw our way out of the shortage in our budget after Christmas.
As it currently is, I've never felt so skint as this, in years.
I'd have to stop his swimming lessons, and carry on buying reduced foods and freezing them. I'd probably end up falling in debt as I might end up having to choose paying a bill over food, I know it's coming.
I really would not be surprised if benefits are not increased in line with inflation. There is no understanding in this government about how much it costs for families to live a normal, healthy lifestyle without the constant worry about how people will be able to feed themselves and their children, and cover the cost of rising bills. A lot of bills like broadband and phones rise in line with inflation plus a percentage more each year, leaving families in more financial difficulty. This, I find, is extremely tough as I am one of those who is still on Legacy benefits, who have not seen any sort of increase for several years even during the cost of living crisis, which is continuing despite what they want us to think.
If, next April, all benefits are not increased in line with inflation, I genuinely believe that we will end up malnourished and needing hospital treatment or simply freezing to death in our home, unable to put the heating and lights on even for a short period of time. I am now unable to remember the last time I ate a cooked meal or used the heating, I am now not even boiling the kettle in order to make a hot drink. There are just no more areas to cut back on so if there is no increase in benefit rates in April it will have a devasting affect on myself and my daughter, who is already struggling to work her way through school studying for her A levels. A rise in all benefits is the minimum that the government needs to announce in order for those living on a low income to even think about surviving through another long cold winter.
Was a very strong situation because the cost of everything is super high at the moment. If the benefits no increase We [can't] afford the food, pay the basic water, electricity, etc.
Hi, Millie. Thank you for the big question of the week. I think for myself and my son and for many others who are sadly on Social Security payments, I think if they didn't increase in line with inflation, I think it's just really a little bit of another nail in the coffin. I think we're already really struggling. My weekly shop is so high and I'm reducing our expectations on a regular basis. And although we will probably just have to manage, I think, with having to manage with a lot of things and we're having to get used to going without a lot of things, I think we're really good at that. People on low incomes.
I think that it would be desperately unfair and I think that it would compound an already difficult situation. I do, however, feel that at the moment there's a huge amount of anger towards people who are on Social Security payments. And I think that any increase could bring further anger and ire from people who are struggling themselves who aren't entitled to Social Security payments. It's really complex, isn't it? Because you can either get used to not having the increase and nobody gets mad with you, or you can have the increase and then you're considered a bit of a social pariah, difficult one. I think it would impact us directly.
Things are already hard enough and every week it feels like it gets harder to be able to afford food shopping alongside petrol. My son needs new clothes and I just can't keep up with the increased cost of everything. It's really hard to be watching the pounds this tightly.
It would be very hard as I'm struggling now with bills and food. I know the people who decide what's happening never struggle.
I don't think benefits will rise in line with inflation. Unfortunately I'm on universal credit personal independent payment ela for my youngest daughter, also carers allowance and they rarely go up and when they do it's just a total of pounds on each.
It would have a massive effect if it doesn't increase slightly because of the cost of living with the gas and electric are now starting to find a pinch with the food bill. It's getting a lot more expensive now. I'm trying to eat more healthily, but unfortunately a bag of fries and chips is a lot cheaper than some fresh vegetables and making a proper meal. So hopefully it does increase and I'm all for you increase with inflation with pensioners, they've worked hard all their lives, they've put the money in, but it would be nice across the board if us disabled were also considered as well.