Universal Credit nightmares: Man unable to feed daughter after unwarned benefit freeze

Is this conscious cruelty or accidental agony? And which is worse?

It seems the Department for Work and Pensions decided that Cezar Zanin, of Bristol, had not provided enough information about a childcare provider – so it cut off his Universal Credit without warning.

He was left unable to feed his daughter Laura, and was forced to borrow money from friends.

(Lucky man. If you want to know what happens to people in this situation who don’t have generous friends, it’s obvious: they die.)

Here’s the real issue, though: Mr Zanin wasn’t sanctioned. He wasn’t given any reason for it. The payments simply stopped.

And it took him a while to realise his payments had ended, meaning increased financial difficulty.

One has to ask what these DWP employees were thinking. Mr Zanin works part-time for the NHS, so he’s doing his bit to improve his situation – but he and his daughter are in temporary accommodation. There’s a clear need.

The DWP itself said payments were suspended because Mr Zanin submitted two childcare receipts for the same month and the department had to check that the payments were genuine.

Why couldn’t anybody tell him that?

So we come back to the question at the top:

Is this conscious cruelty or accidental agony? And which is worse?

Source: Dad left unable to feed his daughter after DWP freezes his Universal Credit payments – Mirror Online

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2 thoughts on “Universal Credit nightmares: Man unable to feed daughter after unwarned benefit freeze

  1. groovmistress

    Actually this is nothing new and specific to UC. The same is/was the norm under the old, legacy benefits. Often, the first one knows that there is a “query” regarding wages (or anything else) is when the expected money doesn’t appear in your bank account – or giro didn’t arrive. It is then the responsibility of the claimant to frantically call all the relevant authorities – jobcentre, DWP, council etc to try and find out the reason, which is often something very minor which could have been sorted out by the DWP just asking the question in the first place. But the preferred method seems to be to just stop payments first. Even under the old system suspension of one benefit, say ESA, prompts a whole sequence of events whereby housing benefit, council tax reduction etc are automatically stopped and it is the claimant’s responsibility to go through the whole rigmarole of re-proving eligibility to these benefits.

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