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 Passport and provisional driving licence went out of date, at times when I couldn't afford new ones...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?!
Well, having both my kids off school, plus 1-yr old eating us out has been a nightmare. Don't get me wrong, love my kids to bits but all I hear is "I'm hungry, can I have a snack?" Any ideas, guys, plz? Anyway, we're still waiting on the house getting sorted – what a nightmare. Been here 5 months and still waiting for plasterers to come since we moved in.
Been a really hard day was told it would cost over £1100 to fix my car after a terrible MOT, only paid £1400 originally, but with living in a rural area we need a car. Its so annoying, I cant seem to find a cheap car just to get us by, my partner has mobility issues but we are still waiting for mandatory reconsideration from PIP, its just so frustrating. I am unable to see how with the cost of living and everything else how we are meant to make ends meet.
I think that currently when you report a change in circumstance to the DWP, the system is very rigid, and that even though you have to declare a change in circumstance whenever it happens by law, often it feels like you get penalised for doing so.
An example of this, was when I reported a change in circumstances to the DWP regarding my PIP claim, as my medication had changed.
As a result of me reporting this to them, the DWP stopped my claim, and I had to re-apply for my PIP all over again from scratch.
In fact, once I had reapplied, I had to be reassessed all over again, and this time round, the DWP only awarded me 7 points (you need a minimum of 8 points to qualify for the standard amount of PIP) which meant that I had to request a 'Mandatory Reconsideration' in order to justify why I needed the extra point in order to have my payments restored once again. A Mandatory Reconsideration is the process that you have to go through before you can request an appeal to have your case heard in court.
It was a very frustrating process and experience for me and I lost out financially.
I think what needs to change is for there to be less layers of bureaucracy regarding reporting a change and for there to be more trust between the DWP and claimants once again.
Final half term before the school holidays. Numerous birthday marathons of nephews ahead and not an inch of savings in sight. Having stopped looking at the prices of food as it just serves to put you in depression even more, treat food has been replaced with treat days of normal food. Bank of England in my head should probably be named ‘should we deplete the ‘Tank of England’s tiny household economy even more? I used to look forward to looking for work, hoping it would put me in a better stance, but being that I will be the sole provider in my 2 child dependent household, I might be putting my children at risk to becoming worse off…To eat or not to eat, to regain a career for the name and not the financial security or just rely on small income gigs as a lifeline on an already broken social welfare income system so as not to have daily mental health anxiety, that is the question? Shakespeare would have written an opera by now, not just an ordinary play.
I couldn't help but feel as if perhaps some local convenience stores are exploiting this Cost of Living crisis by charging over the odds for basic products, which not even the big supermarkets would dream of charging their customers.
An example of this was when I nipped into my local Premier shop, to buy 1 litre of oil, only to find that they were charging £3.85 for it!
Fortunately, I didn't need it desperately, so I didn't buy it in the end, but, I felt a great deal of sadness for those, who perhaps were desperate for this product, and would have paid anything for it because of this, especially because it was about 8 o' clock at night, and it was the only nearby shop that was open.
Since I didn't need the oil desperately, I thought I'd wait until the next morning when I knew that the bigger supermarkets would be open, and buy it then, because I knew that it would at least be half the price.
However, I strongly believe that the cost of the oil in my local Premier shop, was just a small example which proved that there is definitely a thin line between small, local convenience stores wanting to make profit, be greedy and exploit the current Cost of Living crisis, which is, in my view, a little immoral.
I am in legacy benefits. My experience of benefits is not good. When claiming benefits first it was a troublesome and lengthy process. First few years I had to provide payslip to update my monthly income.
Monday 22 May
Gas and Electricity bill have left my account via direct debit £190.00.
I am left with very little to see me through to payday which is 10 June. I am not seeing any difference in gas and electric even though I know I am using less due to the weather change.
Feels like I am being robbed by companies and my council. I am not getting any opportunity to save for the future.
Tried for 2 hours online and on the phone to get onto a social tariff for internet today. Our current provider has just raised our bill by 25% mid contract. The 2 members of customer service I spoke to weren't even aware they had a social tariff and I am not eligible because I get legacy benefit not Universal Credit. I applied to another service provider who does accept applications from people on PIP, and am on a waiting list to hear back. Won't be able to move until my existing contract is ended in November though, as the exit fee is greater than paying the price increase for 5 months. Anyone would think these schemes are not widely advertised nor actually available deliberately. It is just another token gesture that businesses and the Government can talk about when in real life it is inaccessible to those who need it.
For me that was a disaster.
If I have any idea before that going on universal credit will be so unhelpful and wrong decision. I might be in more better situation. Now just a victim of the system.
I was on Income support and claimed Housing Benefit for many years, when my 1st child (who is now nearly 20) was born.
Things seemed so much easier then, and as a single mum, I only had to start looking for work when she was 7, years old, and even then, my appointments at the Jobcentre were very rare, and you didn't feel pressured to find a job- and any old job at that.
However, when my 2nd child, a son (who is nearly 8 years old) came along, the law had changed, because from the time he had reached 6 months old (not 7 years old as was the case with my daughter) I had to attend work focused interviews, and asked what I was doing to increase my chances if finding work. My appointments were fortnightly thereafter (however, I was still on Income Support then).
In addition, when my son had reached 5, I had to migrate onto Universal Credit (because the law required me to do so) and I didn't have any say in the matter. I felt as if this move was definitely not beneficial - but, as I mentioned earlier - I had no choice in the matter, because I had to do so by Law.
I say moving from legacy benefits to Universal Credit has not it been beneficial for 2 reasons mainly, based the experiences that I've had.
The first experience was because, in the interim between me having my 1st and 2nd child, I became disabled, in fact, the DWP acknowledged this by stating that I had a Limited Capacity to Work (LCW).
I was on Income Support when I was diagnosed as having the LCW, and was given a 'Severe Disability Payment' on top of my Income Support due to my disability, by the DWP.
However, because the law regarding payments to those with a LCW changed in 2017, when I migrated onto Universal Credit, i lost my 'Severe Disability Premium' and received nothing in place of it instead.
In addition, due to my disability, I also applied for 'Gardening Care Service' through my local council, which I thought I was entitled to recieve for free, since my neighbour was also getting it, and she was in a similar situation to me.
However, after having completed the application form and assessment for it, my application was rejected on the basis that I was claiming UC.
When I phoned the gardening department to obtain further information about why my application was rejected, he said that had I had stated on Housing Benefit (a legacy benefit, as my neighbour had done) they would of been able to provide me with the service, but, because I had migrated onto Universal Credit (who don't have allocated funds to pay for a Gardening service for tenants) my application was rejected.
In fact, the representative from the Gardening Service even apologised to me for this, but said the situation was out of his hands because it was all down to legislation.
Therefore, for me, given some of the experiences I've outlined above, moving onto Universal Credit from legacy benefits has been a bit of a negative experience, especially because I didn't migrate onto Universal Credit out of choice.
Getting fed up of strikes. I do understand to some extent why people go on strike.
I just wish that it wouldn’t cause me and my family difficulty.
We wasn’t able to afford a holiday in the summer holiday and manage to do a week away in caravan for May half term.
None of us drive and we are a family of 5. No one can give us a lift.
We don’t mind getting public transport but then we noticed there are train strikes on the 3rd which caused us to have to come back the Friday. And now, there is another strike on the 2nd! We just couldn’t lose 2 days. We don’t get any money back and it’s certainly not fair on my children. So we have paid to stay a night in a BnB costing £135 for one night to come back on the Sunday. Either way we looked at it, we lost money and not just a little. It’s left what should of been an exciting time feeling annoyed, upset and frustrated.