As if things aren’t hard enough as it is living pay to pay, bank account empty, waiting on UC payment in 8 days, however receive a message about my childcare costs, they’ve rejected my childcare costs because they’ve paid for someone else’s kids, I have one child not named any of the names they’ve mentioned, so because of an error on their part I won’t now be paid the childcare I’ve paid already, so I will struggle further, can’t phone them as now the job centre deal with childcare costs, but I call the job centre and because I don’t have a claim number as I work they won’t speak to me, I can’t go down because I work and there’s a day left to the cut off to get the money in my next UC payment, universal credit say it’s not a matter for them, they take weeks to respond to messages put in the journal, I get this is a mistake on their part however these issues take too long to sort out, it took 4 months for their last error to be solved. I can’t deal with this right now.
If benefits didn't increase in line with inflation it would bring a very significant negative impact on me and my family.
We are already trying to make ends meet, scrimp and save. It would squeeze us further, there would be no money for social activities, health and exercise based activities, leisure /holidays just wouldn't be affordable.
The ripple effect of this would be a strain on our mental health and also, in the long run, our physical health and wellbeing will feel the detriment of this unfair economic situation.
Benefits have not kept up with inflation. For instance, the increased rents for the housing benefit element, where rents have increased significantly but the local housing allowance stays the same. This is pricing those who have no choice but to rent privately into further difficulties. It is already difficult to make ends meet on benefits. We feel powerless about the decisions only the government can make. In simple terms we will be plunged into deeper poverty if benefits do not keep up with inflation, and the government does not care.
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
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.
So my son's new school has given him 3 lessons of food and art & design, and because I work an extra 4 hours they won't help me towards it, so I have to buy 3 lots of ingredients a week and 2 lots of art equipment a week – makes me feel so crap that if I dropped my hours to get some/any support I'd be entitled, and same with the uniforms, but with universal credit when your child gets to a certain age you HAVE to work no less than 20 hours a week, how unfair is this?
Absolutely not. As with everything the new normal has been accepted, the middle classes have one fewer coffees a week, and those who have always struggled, still struggle on.
Feeling very unsupported within the welfare system as a neurodivergent family. No one will recognise that my autism and my husband's ADHD affect our ability to work. Self- employment is work we can do, but not the hours we’re expected so we can’t meet our minimum income floor, and are trying to survive on a monthly UC payment that is less than our rent! But because we fail the extremely narrow (mostly physical) limited capacity to work assessments if we weren’t self-employed we’d be expected to take any job - despite us both knowing that there are aspects of most jobs that we literally can’t do, or that would make us ill. The system is broken.
I hate the minimum income floor. The council are now using our minimum income floor to calculate whether we qualify for a council tax reduction. Which means they are now charging us £200 a month because they’ve taken it away. We don’t have an extra £200 a month!
That is media propaganda. Living cost crisis are not over yet as millions of people are struggling to end meet. It is true that some basic food prices have gone down but still too high for millions. Petrol prices still not reached to previous level. Interest rate and inflation are still high. So how we say that living cost crisis are over?
It's definitely not over! The poor people are still struggling in supermarket. Food has gone up exponentially – until prices start coming down how can we notice change? I'm worried that big companies will keep prices high and never lower, even if they have lower costs themselves. It's always the little man that loses out.
As far as expense is concerned, the new school year has always filled me with dread. My daughter is now in 6th form studying for her A levels so does not need to wear a school uniform, but she does have to wear smart casual clothes and shoes which still have to be paid for out of my legacy benefit payment.
On top of this, there is a need for students to buy and supply their own books which can be expensive. I am also very concerned that living on an extremely low income, not being able to afford to feed ourselves properly and the fact that my daughter also acts as an unpaid carer for me, is having a serious effect on her studies at school, which seems to be taking its toll on her at present.
On top of this she also has a lump on her knee which causes a lot of pain and discomfort which we are waiting for a hospital appointment for in order to have it removed, which is also affecting her studies and means she will need time off school to recover. So, basically, going back to school in September is not something we are looking forward to as the whole situation we find ourselves in is having a detrimental effect on her ability to have the best possible chance in life she can get.