‘Universal Credit added so much stress that I did not need… It was at times unbearable’

More than half of Universal Credit claimants – and nearly half of those on ‘legacy’ benefits frozen by the Tories – have struggled to pay for essentials like food, or have gone without altogether, new research shows.

Citizens Advice has found that 55 per cent of Universal Credit claimants have gone without essentials such as food, and 51 per cent say they have lost sleep because of their finances.

The charity found 49 per cent of claimants affected by the benefits freeze struggled to meet essential costs such as rent, household bills and food while 40 per cent lost sleep due to money worries in the past 12 months.

Disabled people and people with children were more likely to have gone without essentials such as food and toiletries. Around 44 per cent of disabled people’s households and 45 per cent of households with children went without in the past 12 months.

If you thought This Writer was making up all those stories about sick and disabled people being pushed towards death by benefit deprivation, now you know better!

And just remember: One in every six UK households claims income-related benefits.

The charity is calling on the government to end the freeze on benefit rates that has been ongoing since April 2016, and reduce the five-week wait for Universal Credit claims.

It wants payments uprated by the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation plus two per cent for four years, the Local Housing Allowance recalculated to at least the 30th percentile of local rents and the link with rental prices re-established.

And it wants the first non-repayable payment of Universal Credit brought forward to no later than two weeks into a Universal Credit claim.

Fat chance of that happening under a Boris Johnson government!

And it is important to bear in mind that, while BoJob is botching up Brexit and boring even his own MPs with dull demands for a general election when he can’t get his own way, the Tories are still bringing agony to millions of people with their benefit denial system.

Citizens Advice quoted Danielle, a mother-of-two who said: “I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I went through chemotherapy and now I am in remission and health-wise am doing so much better.

“Universal Credit during this time added so much stress that I did not need. My payments were delayed when I went from being self-employed to being off due to needing chemotherapy.

“Thankfully I have family who were able to help me to make sure my rent was paid. And I repaid them when I received my Universal Credit payments. But the stress of thinking I might not be there for my children and how I would pay my bills was at times unbearable.”

The stress was at times unbearable.

The whole point of social security benefits is in the second word of the title: Security.

Only the Conservatives could take something that was intended to make people feel safe while they look for a new source of gainful income, and turn it into a threat against their mental health, and indeed their lives.

But that is what they have done. They’ve been doing it for more than nine years, since they came into office, and they’re doing it as you read this. They will continue doing it until they are stopped.

And the only person who can stop them is you.

Read the full Citizens Advice report, Achieving income security for all here

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.


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No Comments

  1. trev September 5, 2019 at 7:03 am - Reply

    Get the Tories OUT!

  2. Jeffrey Davies September 5, 2019 at 8:11 am - Reply

    Nothing nothing that rtu ids has done has benefited mankind the peasants it’s soul destroying its only goal is to beat the peasants mercilessly until they either die or just give up its costs to date were around fifteen seventeen billion were IDs set the clock by resetting the price this hiding away true costs of this programme but it’s got to be much much higher now thirty or so billion costs might be more but it hasn’t helped people only beat em with a big stick it’s never been about helping only destroying you. Rtu IDs should be proud he’s done the devil’s work for him and he calls himself Christian hmmmm jeff3

    • Mike Sivier September 5, 2019 at 12:53 pm - Reply

      A little reminder: On This Site we used to call Iain Duncan Smith “RTU” in memory of his military career. “RTU” stands for “Return To Unit” and is used in reference to a soldier who failed his officer training.

  3. AFIA ACHIAA OPOKU September 5, 2019 at 9:48 am - Reply

    Universal credit has given so much stress since MAY I applied and they cancelled it without my consent and had decided not to pay me back the one they cancelled is so sad because I have to borrowed from some friends to paid my rent and bills…… I have two children to feed. Is very sad. Thanks

  4. Bree September 5, 2019 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    I’ve recently had to apply for UC (previously worked FT until November 2018 before taking an extended holiday) the amount of stress it has caused in the days following the application is ridiculous. Alls the work coach kept repeating to me is that it’s ‘a one benefit fits all’ and when questioned him to that it doesn’t actually fit all he just repeated the same thing. I’m currently 29 weeks pregnant, therefore not looking for work. To proceed with my claim at my upcoming ‘commitments meeting’ I still have to fill in what type of work I am looking for and what steps I’m taking to find work etc, I then have to log a change in health as to why I’m not looking for work – so the benefit can be tailor made to my needs. Also, due to being out the UK for more than 4 weeks (on an extended holiday) in 2 years I have to prove that I actually reside in the country and have not given up my habitual residency before they can process my claim. I also have to have been back in the country for an ‘appreciable amount of time’ which doesn’t actually have a set number of weeks, is only between 1-3 months. The final outcome of all this will come down to whether the work coach doing my ‘test’ is happy with the evidence I provide. If rejected, I would have to appeal the decision of my HRT and lodge a new claim for UC to go through the same process all over again.

  5. Margaret September 5, 2019 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    I can honestly say am strong person but universal credit has had me on rock bottom and so so close of not wanting to be here it’s worst feeling in world thought was struggling before but until had go on universal credit I honestly don’t know how I am still here it’s degrading embarrassing humiliation so depression there’s no word to discrbe situation we in only 1 I can say is its living in a horror movie but worse

    • Anthony hewitt September 6, 2019 at 7:01 am - Reply

      I’m on universal credit,I’m hCing to live on £30 per week so if I have to eat I can’t have heating and electrical,Vice versa,I’m a veteran and fought for this country only to be kicked while I’m down,I’m very suicidal at the moment.thank you Tories

      • Mike Sivier September 6, 2019 at 10:20 am - Reply

        Don’t give up because that’s how they win. Stick with it; things will get better for you.

  6. Donna Greer September 6, 2019 at 8:35 am - Reply

    I worked the year before had a house got working tax credit git £468of them a month then I stopped working for 4 months as my job was seasonal so I got a permanent job still in same house maybe earned £100more so I was put on universal credit they gave me £0 do I’ve ended up having give up my house I’m sofa surfing till I get a council house but how can they say there helping us get back to work I was left with £20a week if I worked by thr to d I payed my bills or I could have gave up my job and got the £70i think they give you but I’ve worked all my life I can’t not work but I also need a house noone can tell me why on 6 month I went ftl. Getting help to homeless so everyone should give up work anf live off them but I’m wanting to keepy job I just don’t no what to do

  7. Donna Greer September 6, 2019 at 8:37 am - Reply

    Sorry I for give to add I don’t want to give up my work but what help is there for us

  8. Joan Porrett September 6, 2019 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    I have contemplated suicide several times since .my husband died in october ,they stopped my working tax credits and my disability living allowance.which I was awarded for life when I was 19 . They said I no longer need it although my illness will never improve and is getting worse .I was told to apply for UV credits and it was them who stopped everything ,I have not recieved a penny in 10 months and I have full rent to pay

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