Income from social security and benefits in kind
Lone parent families are disproportionately affected by cuts and freezes to the value of benefits and Tax Credits, the benefits cap, and the two-child limit.- Lone parents report that they worry about the impact on the money they have to live on, and also often feel anxious about the process of claiming benefits.
I think Universal Credit holds youback itself because you don’t feel good about yourself, so how can you go and write an application with all these positive words? It’s a constant struggle. It’s quite a mentally challenging time for anyone, never mind someone with a mental health issue.
I have found the experience of claiming benefits is that I’ve been thrown into something that’s controlling me. Going to the Job Centre for me is the most terrifying thing. Every time I go, no matter how nice the person is, I feel like I’m that small. I don’t want to do it anymore...
Things like the Job Centre really set my anxiety off, just because they kind of have power over things that I don’t, with money and things like that. One Parent Families Scotland took me through the application step by step and if it wasn’t for them, I don’t know what I would have even done. I was so scared because I didn’t have a clue at all and the Job Centre hadn’t been in touch with me and I didn’t know how to go about the whole change to Universal Credit.
I get housing benefit which gets paid straight to the housing from Universal Credit, and I get paid just over £400 a month. That’s to pay for electricity, whatever my little boy needs, if he needs new clothes if he’s grown out of his stuff, food, Wi-Fi and bills in general. By the time you do all that, you don’t have a lot left.
I had to move onto Universal Credit, and obviously because I’m under 25 I’d be getting even less money. And I don’t understand how someone over 25 gets more for being in the same situation that I am. We both need to buy the same things.
The two-child limit is harsh and is increasing poverty for families like mine. I don’t have a family support network as a single mum due to being in refuge, being single is hard not having someone to ask for help when needed, during the latest virus pandemic and having kids off school, this has now become much harder to make ends meet even with help to replace school meals.