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.
If benefits do not increase in line with inflation, it would mean we will become homeless. I am already in receipt of full housing benefit and I still need to pay extra to the private landlord. I struggle to cover this and energy bills, food and necessities.
It causes me anxiety on a daily basis of losing our home. We have lost 2 homes already in the last 6 years.
The council refused support with discretionary housing payments.
They are not adhering to rules of benefits where disability benefits are not to be taken into consideration when processing applications. Citizens Advice are overwhelmed and have a backlog for support.
I feel I am trying to keep my head above water and it's exhausting.
I get very down at knowing what the Conservatives think of our worth and how we are punished for not bringing in a high wage, and prejudiced for relying on benefits
The benefit system is always screwing folk over, like we've not got enough to worry about as it is. I'm getting nearly £40 deducted for rent arrears in the place I literally just moved in to, the notification of deduction came from current landlord, according to UC - bear in mind I've no letters of rent arrears from anyone, current or past landlord, and when pressed UC said it's from current landlord and they said that they were told that current landlord had discussed it with me. Which is BS.
So I'm working with a local charity who've been helping with moving during such a high stress time in my family's life, so they're trying to sort it. They rang my landlord who said they've no record of rent arrears or anything on my account cos I've just moved in. UC won't listen. It's too much for me to think about right now so I'm leaving it to my housing support worker but it's not easy losing £40, when you're on benefits that's a huge amount. It's just one effnup after another with benefits.
Hearing everyone's stories, the support has been a lifeline! We need this support for people and campaigns to make life better, FSM for all primary children across UK would be a great start, but universal basic income will also help and decent pay rises which value public sector and key workers who help others for a living.
I'm lucky enough that one of my daughters is going off to her big sisters for four days through the holidays. So that not only saves me a bit of money because she's not around, but it also keeps her entertained for a little while. We have a holiday booked to go away for two weeks, which I could only afford because my eldest two daughters have chipped in and helped pay for the holiday, so we're kind of optimistically looking forward to it. We've got lots of free events planned and free museums and free galleries to visit just to keep my youngest busy. We also received a 90 pound voucher to buy her lunch during the school holiday as she's on free school meals.
I am unable to plan for the future as my daughter with autism is 17 and she doesn't tick the boxes of the education or employment systems. Her support network pulled out after lockdowns and I'm left to care for her 24/7.
I have letters from DWP for reviews on disability benefits. The anxiety I go through when these letters come, is off the scale. How can I prove her and mine care needs? What if the benefits are reduced or withdrawn?
I'm muddling through paying rent and bills.
Citizens advice are overwhelmed and unable to see me for another 2 weeks to support me with review forms, past the date I need to supply the information.
For the last 5 years we have lived in 3 private rent homes. I have experienced the rug pulled from under us by landlords selling up or housing benefit cuts. Anxiety is now the norm. I'm heavily medicated with anti depressants. Constantly checking my bank acct. I've cut down our Sky package, and only pay rent, council tax and energy bills.
The atmosphere in the house is tense as my daughter is immature for her age and demands what I cannot give her. I'm mentally exhausted, worrying
One of the often overlooked aspect of poverty, relative to the UK I mean as that's my area of experience, is the home. Council houses are great for not being on the street, and safer by far than private renting, but so hard to get into. I've moved home, the floors cos over £600 quid and that is an absolute steal! And I'm lucky. I took out a loan to pay for them and other furniture items cos my council consider a fridge freezer, washer, sofa, bed and either wardrobe or drawers, essential, the rest of the stuff needed is up to me.
I'm also super lucky that I had a housing support worker from a local charity who could advocate for me and make sure I got the washer which wasn't guaranteed as new home is within walking distance, for a person without mobility issues, of a laundrette. She fought for me and I got granted a washer. She also sorted new bills out for me and saved me the stress that is dealing with energy providers while stressed by moving. She got that sorted and set up for me, as well and updating my benefits and council tax. I've had more support from her in one week than I got for two years with the last supposed support service I had access too. It's a joke.
On the back of my last post about my landlord increasing the rent I've contacted Universal Credit who were less than helpful. Until the change actually happens they will not even discuss if they will cover the additional £100 a month. So on the date it changes I will have to pay the extra and hope with all I have that some one picks up the matter quickly to help. Its seems ridiculous to go about things in this way. I have an official document from the landlord explaining the increase and a date of when this comes into play. Surely it would be more person focused for UC to take that evidence and give you a yes or no about if they'll cover it? That way you can make an informed choice about maybe having to look for somewhere else to live or seeking advice from CAB? It just all seems so backwards and geared up to trip you up when your simply trying to survive
Hello the extra costs are so painful to fund with the 2 day notice of events that we get finding the money is hard so normally end up owing family or a friend. With a constantly growing child the school uniform is getting too much to afford and charities are so overstretched its hard getting help and the council don't help with school costs where I live making it even harder.
The pressure of education is every term, always needing money, asking for money for after school clubs or to wear their own clothing for the day… not many people are aware but pupil premium can be used for the after school clubs and even for music lessons so child as same chance as others
The school that my children attend has such scheme as Pupil premium so it offers a good discount for school trips and activities etc. This has been hugely helpful for us as a family.
Also, we can say no to some trips and activities if we think we have already spent enough money for these.
I tend to just stick to doing stuff that my local community centre's are running because often the activities that they run are part funded by the Government.
We never travel anywhere outside of the country during the holidays because sadly I just can't afford it.