A COUPLE were left with £2.33 in the bank and faced losing their home over a Universal Credit row.
Lynne and Richard Williams, from Smiths Wood, saw their benefits cut on March 5 with immediate effect after they were accused of working.
Lynne, 49, told BirminghamLive she has been out of work for the last year.
After fracturing her vertebrae and crushing a disk in her back, she was left barely able to walk, and suffering constant back pain.
But she began to receive personal independent payments and was registered disabled.
To make matters worse, Richard was laid off from his job at Jaguar Land Rover in February.
He was already receiving carers’ allowance, but as part of the benefit shake-up, they switched their benefits to Universal Credit and received £600 between them.
Lynne said: “Then, all of a sudden on March 5, it stopped with immediate effect and we had a letter explaining we had been working, which was wrong.
“Now, we’ve got Council Tax on our backs and we’ve been threatened with bailiffs. Our home could be repossessed and we could lose everything.
“We can’t afford to put fuel in the car and we’ve had to go to the local food bank in Kingshurst to get some tins of carrots and meatballs and stuff to eat, we’ve got nothing.”
The Sun wants to Make Universal Credit Work with new campaign
Universal Credit replaces six benefits with a single monthly payment. One million people are already receiving it and by the time the system is fully rolled out in 2023, nearly 7 million will be on it.
But there are big problems with the flagship mew system – it takes 5 weeks to get the first payment and it could leave some families worse off by thousands of pounds a year.
And while working families can claim back up to 85% of their childcare costs, they must find the money to pay for childcare upfront – we’ve heard of families waiting up to 6 months for the money.
Working parents across the country told us they’ve been unable to take on more hours – or have even turned down better paid jobs or more hours because of the amount they get their benefits cut.
That’s why The Sun has launched our Make Universal Credit work. We demand the Government makes the following changes to help hard-working famililes before it’s too late.
We want you to:
- Get paid faster: The government must slash the time Brits wait for their first Universal Credit payments from five to two weeks, helping stop 7 million from being pushed into debt.
- Keep more of what you earn: The work allowance should be increased and the taper rate should be slashed from from 63p to 50p, helping at least 4 million families.
- Don’t get punished for having a family: Parents should get the 85 per cent of the money they can claim for childcare upfront instead of being paid in arrears.
Together, these changes will help Make Universal Credit Work.
She claims the Department of Work and Pensions “lost their paperwork”, so their initial registration claims cannot be found.
when they registered with Universal Credit.
So now the pair now face up to six weeks without any sort of income.
Richard is said to be desperately trying to find another job in the meantime, so they can make ends meet.
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Although Lynne claimed their Universal Credit payments have stopped, the DWP said both have continued to receive an income.
Lynne has strongly denied this.
A spokesman for the DWP said: “Mr and Mrs Williams continue to receive Universal Credit, but their payment was reduced last month due to earnings and other benefits they received.
“They do not need to make another application to Universal Credit.”
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