Mother forced to live without refrigerator, heating and oven begging government to keep a lifeline £ 20 per week Comprehensive credit Next year’s payment will be canceled.
Deirdre Ni Chaislain was placed in the Universal Credit Program two years ago after an agonizing family breakup as one of Northern Ireland’s early claimants.
She says mother of two children Benefits “Almost broke it” after her fridge had stopped working and her cooker was removed.
The eligible teacher had to wait nine weeks for help and had to apply for a loan that plunged her into debt.
Families on Comprehensive credit It currently gets an extra £ 1,040 a year thanks to the temporary increase during the pandemic – but it is set to expire in April.
I told woman : “After complete accreditation, I stopped leaving the house. My curtains were always closed. They almost broke me.
“My fridge broke down last summer, and I asked a DWP robot if there was an emergency fund I could apply to. I felt like I was ordering a college.
“They said I have to take out another loan, which will then work for me again.
“I said, ‘Are you trying to kill the poor, because that’s what it looks like?'”
“Now my cook is gone. I have to go to my friend’s corner to cook our food.
“I’m sitting very cold here because I don’t have the heating on until the children come home from school.”
Deirdre’s children are gifted musically, but she had to stop piano lessons and cut guitar lessons.
“My daughter ended up spending her group money to get to school.
“God loves her. The money she was using to try and save for a laptop for school work.”
Deirdre, part of the illustrious campaigner group, UC: Us, is one of the people receiving an increase of £ 20 a week to Universal Credit during the pandemic.
It doesn’t actually see £ 20 as debt recoverable payments are made each month by DWP.
The £ 20 increase is due to expire in April, just as millions of others will likely be unemployed.
This is why 50 charities, unions, councils, and community groups have begged Counselor Rishi Sunak to reconsider and #KeepTheLifeline.
Modeling from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation indicates that if the height were reduced, approximately 16 million people would face an overnight loss of £ 1,040.
An additional 700,000 people, including 300,000 other children, are at risk of slipping into poverty, and half a million others may end up in extreme poverty.
Meanwhile, the 1.5 million people with disabilities and primary caregivers who receive benefits that were prior to UC’s history received no increase at all.
Those claimants who are affected by the benefit ceiling are also denied £ 20.
Being part of the plaintiff-led University of California, Deirdre says: The United States itself was a “lifeline.”
“They treated me like a person, not a number,” she says.
“Without them, I wouldn’t have walked out the door.
“We are meeting with policy makers now and advocating for making the benefits system work for future claimants.”
Through UC: US, she met politicians of all stripes, and the group works with York
Ulster universities will share experiences about UC and make recommendations.
Treasury was contacted for comment.
DWP previously said it was “fully committed to supporting low-income people and paying over £ 100 billion in welfare support this year” and that the £ 20 increase in overall credit remains in effect until the end of March 2021.
Find out more about UC: Us at ucus.org.uk #KeepTheLifeline