Letter to The Guardian

I can’t survive on universal credit

Tins of food at the Trussell Trust Brent food bank in Neasden, London
I have a disability but work part-time. I am paid by my employer for the hours I can work, and have been in receipt of the disability element of working tax credit. Th enabled me to live independently and pay my living costs while coping with the day-to-day restrictions of my disability. Due to a period of illness earlier this year, my hours dropped below 16 a week. Working tax credits payments stopped and I was receiving less than £500 in wages each month. I kept contacting HMRC for an update, and eventually in September someone at HMRC advised me that I was in area of the UK that had had working tax credits replaced by universal credit, (UC) and that I needed to make an application for UC.

I have received no benefits of any kind for July, August and September. There has been no explanation, and no transition period between working tax credit and starting UC, and in fact no information from the DWP at all except when I have made contact with them.

I’m deeply shocked that the government would sanction such a huge decrease in benefit payments. I thought I would not be affected by the change to universal credit. I was wrong. I look forward to taking a stand with everyone else in a similar situation as soon as possible – if I can afford to do so.
Name and address supplied

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