£213 a month to live on, and also have to top up rent payments with that. People are struggling to survive on universal credit.

Dear readers, today was grim and the weather didn’t help anyone, let alone the people forced to use the Jobcentre. Yet again we encountered numerous people with all sorts of problems ranging from universal credit, ESA and PIP, housing problems etc.

We handed out all of our food parcels, most were taken by single parents with children and working families. They rely on foodbanks to survive, it really shouldn’t be like this.

Thanks to Gordon for joining me and also Jack. Your help is invaluable and it’s appreciated by everyone.

As usual I won’t divulge the names of anyone that I spoke to this morning. The DWP snoop everywhere and I don’t want anyone that I spoke to being targeted by the DWP. This does happen, but not on my blog. I value everyone that I speak to unlike the DWP.


John walked out of the Jobcentre clutching the usual list of phone numbers that they hand out to everyone. I handed him a leaflet and asked him if he needed any help. John told me that he was ok, but thats only because he’s living with a relative that can feed and look after him whilst he’s waiting for his universal credit claim to be processed, saying that the alternative is to horrible to think about.


I then spoke to Gemma. Gemma has struggled almost all of her life, she’s 19 years old and to be honest isn’t enjoying anything about her life at the moment. In her short lifetime she’s been homeless twice and has been rehoused not long ago.

Gemma is claiming universal credit and is finding it almost impossible to manage. She receives in total £513 a month total to live on after paying her rent payment. Out of this she has to pay back her rent arrears that she keeps accruing because she’s finding it hard to pay her full rent. She also got into rent arrears whilst she was waiting for her universal credit claim to be processed, “What are you supposed to do, just pay your rent with the loan that they give you? It was impossible for me to pay my full rent because I needed food to eat, and gas and electric to buy. I’ve got no one to borrow money from, and that’d have to be paid back as well.

To make the situation worse Gemma also has to repay her universal credit loan back at £100 a month. There’s absolutely no regulation concerning the repayment of loan debts. No set amounts that people have to pay back, sometimes I think that they pick a number out of thin air and decide thats how much they should pay back. It’s ludicrous

Basically after all of her above debts are paid back Gemmas left with £213 a month to survive on. She’s got to buy gas, electric, food and transport costs. She’s a broken woman at 19 years old. Huddled up in the cold, Gemma muttered “It’s almost as if they’re trying to destroy me. I’m 19 years old and I’m worn out because of the stress and worry. There’s a good chance that I’ll become homeless again, and I’m doing my best. Universal credit is destroying me. They look at me (DWP staff) as if I’m stupid, like I’m something on the bottom of their shoe. They don’t want to help me”

Gemmas 19 years old, at the start of her life and should be enjoying life. Instead she’s worn out, depressed and feels like giving up. This, my friends is what universal credit does to people. It eats you up, totally consumes you until eventually you give up. That’s exactly what its designed to do.


Sarah is a single parent and is also having a difficult time. She’s claiming universal credit and to say she’s struggling is an understatement. Here’s her story.

Sarah was instructed to attend an appointment, which she was ready to do but unfortunately one of her parents suddenly fell ill and was rushed into hospital by ambulance. Sarah was with her relative when this happened and from the ambulance she telephoned the DWP to try and rearrange her appointment. The person that she spoke to said that this wouldn’t be a problem, and they’d phone her later with another appointment.

Only the DWP phoned the wrong number. Not the one that’s registered online, an old number that isn’t used anymore, and Sarah had already informed them about this.

Sarah also couldn’t remember her 16 pin log in details. How on earth is anyone supposed to remember this, its impossible. Even if people write it down its easy for it to get lost. If they put it in their mobile phone (if they have one) and the phone breaks, then the numbers missing.

Sarah phoned the DWP to tell them that she’d forgotten her PIN number. The DWP then told her that she had to go online to get the number. Sarah couldn’t access her online account because she didn’t have her pin. Basically they gave her an impossible task to complete.

Upon attending her next DWP appointment she was told that the DWP were deducting her universal credit payment by £200 but don’t worry, we’ll give you a LOAN for £150 that you have to pay back. Are the DWP getting their ideas from illegal money lenders or something? This is atrocious.

Basically Sarah was fined £200 for missing a phone call that she never received because they phoned the wrong number, and for loosing her PIN number. You really couldn’t make this shit up could you.

Sarah is also in rent arrears now because she was unable to pay her full rent because she was sanctioned. She now has to top up her rent payments and repay two DWP loans back.

Don’t forget Sarah is a single parent with a very young child, she didn’t have any food in her cupboards and didn’t know what to do. Luckily I gave her a food parcel and advised her on what to do. Hopefully she will access local services and she will appeal her sanction.

It’s despicable that people are treated in this manner, not only are the parents suffering but their children are too. The DWP just don’t care. It’s no coincidence that more and more children are being put into the care system is it. Many parents can no longer provide food, heating, clothing etc for their children and it’s not their fault. The blame lies purely at the governments feet.


I asked an older man how was he coping with universal credit. He looked at me and said ‘Just about. Now I’ve got to pay my council tax”


I spoke to a young woman working a zero hour contract at a local cake factory. When she started her job she was told that if she worked hard she might get a contracted job. She worked hard but never got the contract. Now she has no job security at all.


Gordon spoke to an older woman aged 62 who’s claiming universal credit, she’s struggling but then again nearly everyone claiming universal credit are aren’t they.


We then had a conversation Brian with an older man, he claims ESA and was told to phone an 0845 number recently. He wasn’t very clear about why he was told to phone this number up. He’s confused because the system is extremely confusing.

Brian has a contract phone and his phone bill per monthly is £15 a month. Brian tried phoning this number numerous times, each time he was placed on hold for great lengths of time. When he received his bill it was £54.

Of course he was angry, he shouldn’t have cost him  this much, all calls to the DWP should be free, but many still aren’t.

Brian was angry, frustrated and echoed concerns for those without a mobile phone contract saying ‘How the hell are they going to pay that? They’ll never get any help if they don’t have a phone will they’ He realises the systems rotten, and wondered why the government are allowed to do this ‘It’s criminal’ he said, and he’s not wrong.


Jack, a local councillor  represented a claimant whilst they had an appointment, this helps a great deal and I can’t recommend this enough. More should do this if they’re able to.


We left todays demo cold and a bit downhearted, but knowing that we’ve helped people makes everything worthwhile.


Please read, share and tweet my blog, also subscribe to it, it’ll save you from having to look for it every week.

There’s also a donate button at the top of this blog and at the side. I’m a skint single parent just trying my best to help people, through my blog I’ve managed to reach thousands upon thousands of people. As a result of this and other campaigns, more and more people are aware of the cruelty of universal credit and the heartless state of our government.








27 thoughts on “£213 a month to live on, and also have to top up rent payments with that. People are struggling to survive on universal credit.”

  1. This government are refusing to join the dots UC is causing unnessarry homelessness impacting financially on soical services such as children being placed in to care as their unable to be cared for due to cuts to UC benefits would be helpful to know numbers?. NHS people suffering malnutrition spending time in hosptial other illness and mental well-being the human distress it’s causing is heartbreaking however if DWP were to do a impact report I think you would find that UC is a false economy and all that happening is the cost the DWP are saving is just burdening other services with the cost?
    not forgetting legal services all the tribunals that are often overturned in favour of claimants and the millions spent on medical assessments that are often overturned and the private medical companies pocketing millions and not having to pay a penny in fines or legal fees even when in most cases medical assessments are overturned in favour of claimants. Again DWP could use claimants own NHS medial professionals that would cost far less to obtain medical assessments however refuse to do so as clearly there is a hidden agenda and directives set for private medical assessments to follow via there contact with DWP as there are clearly target setting or what would be the need to pay private medical company for assessments they could use NHS staff it’s just such a false economy and the fact DWP are not being included in any stats being collated via the new sucide preventions minster is very worrying and why would they not be included ????


  2. Society seems to be falling apart at the seams, crime is increasing and in my area it’s getting really bad with gun crime, shootings practically every week and lots of antisocial behaviour. I got up this morning to find my wheelie bins had been set on fire and destroyed overnight. But I can’t move out because that would trigger a transfer to Universal Credit so feel very trapped.


  3. £213 per month, contrast that with approx. £13,000 per month that Priti Patel has been pocketing courtesy of the Taxpayers.


  4. I’m going to ask what is probably a stupid question but surely, surely, there are guidelines about how much of a loan had to be repaid and when? Budget planner at least with an assessment of how much could be repaid?
    Are DWP loans escluded as bankruptcy debts and accounts court adminsistration orders?


    1. DWP loans are NOT included as debts that can be written off via a Debt Relief Order (DRO) for Insolvency , only private /personal debts such as personal loans, bank loans, credit card debt, and arrears on Utility bills etc. can be written off by the Official Receiver through a DRO. Other debts such as Council Tax, Student Loans, debts to HMRC, are also not covered by a DRO. I am currently the subject of a DRO for Insolvency and am midway through the 12 months Moratorium period, my personal debts will be written off by end of August if there is no increase to my income in that period that results in me having an extra £50 per month available after normal expenditure. If my income does increase beyond that level I have to inform the Receiver and the DRO will be revoked and I’ll be liable to pay the debts that were included on my Credit Report when I applied for the DRO. Anyone wanting to go through this process should contact the CAB and they arrange it all for you and give you all the necessary forms to fill in. But it won’t write off any DWP loans.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. P.S.

        It puts me in an awkward position of having to apply for jobs to keep the Jobcentre happy and avoid getting Sanctioned, but I can’t afford to get a job until after August when my DRO is complete, but obviously I can’t tell the Jobcentre that so I’m walking a financial tight rope at the moment!


      2. P.P.S.

        I forgot to add that there is a £90 fee to pay to the Receiver when applying for a DRO, and the CAB will let you pay this into an account they set up for you in installments as you can afford, though the sooner it is paid the better, because the CAB cannot submit the application on your behalf until the £90 fee is is place.


      3. Comment added 13th May 2019. This is completely wrong. I felt I just had to respond to correct this very bad and misleading advice. I too am the subject of a very recent Debt Relief Order (March 2019) and am in the early months of the 12 month moratorium period. I can only but think that you were very poorly advised or have completely misunderstood what you were told. Who gave you this bad advice, and who applied for your DRO? If you have indeed taken out a DRO, then all DEBTS should be included. So, if you had such debts and didn’t include them, you cannot add them later, and have lost an opportunity to cancel all your debts. So, to make it abundantly clear for you and for everyone else:

        Most types of debt can be included as long as your total debts are no more than £20,000. Most DEBTS can be written-off via a DRO. Bank loans, credit card debt, utility bills can, as you say, be included in a DRO, but so too can TV License arrears/debt, telephone/broadband/TV package arrears/debt, because they are all legitimate debts.

        DWP loans ARE treated as debts for DRO purposes. I’ve just done this very thing and had my recent UC loan completely cancelled. In fact, given my plan to go for a DRO I should’ve borrowed more knowing full well that it would be written off! Always the learning curve. HOWEVER, I note that on the National Debtline webpage Budgeting Loans and Crisis Loans are shown as Excluded Debts. Yet my DRO adviser told me that UC Advance Payments are treated as debts for DRO purposes. Maybe this is a UC oversight, or perhaps because it is an Advance Payment and not a loan? Nevertheless, however, it is categorised, it is nevertheless some kind of loan for otherwise I had to pay it back over a year. There appears to be a bit of a contradiction or confusion here.

        Council Tax debt and HMRC debt such as tax credit overpayments ARE also treated as debts for DRO purposes. I’ve just cancelled 3 years worth of council tax arrears with my DRO, and this includes all court costs because not fines, as well as any outstanding bailiff fees/charges.

        [As an aside you should also know that after 1 year, if the bailiffs hired by the council fail to get any money out of you, the debt is returned to the council and reverts back to the original debt excluding all bailiff charges. It will then begin again. It’s a bit like snakes and ladders, and so one need not fear the massive rising debt due to bailiff fees. It’s an illusion. Just never let the bailiffs into your home; have no dealings with them whatsoever. Make any and all payments direct to the council and pay the bailiffs nowt! Ignore all their threats, for that is all they are, threats. They will, of course, deny this, for they use language that is not considered a threat in law!]

        Rent arrears can also be included, BUT BEWARE, and this is a BIG BUT, it has been ‘ruled’ that a landlord can still apply to the court for an eviction on the basis of rent arrears even if the landlord cannot chase you for this debt now cancelled by a DRO. This because though the landlord cannot now chase you for the debt they can still apply for an eviction because you technically still owe the landlord money. So you must still pay your rent arrears if you wish to keep the roof over your head.

        Court fines and similar cannot be included, for they are technically not debts. The same applies to so-called student loans which cannot be written-off as debts either.

        My debts arose because I was self-employed receiving Working Tax Credit and subject to the Bedroom Tax. Tameside MBC elected to incorporate large swathes of Universal Credit legislation in their CTS Scheme, and they did not even consult on this. I was subject to the Minimum Income Floor and had to pay FULL council tax even though on a very low income. Ability to pay is no longer a consideration, or rather was! After 5 years of fighting with TMBC they’ve been forced to change their Council Tax Support scheme and remove the discrimination practiced between the employed worker and the self-employed worker! I could not get legal aid to fight them. I won my independent Tribunal Hearing but the judge had no power to change their scheme. The judge said their was potential for challenge by way of Judicial Review and under the Human Rights Act, but again I couldn’t get legal aid!

        Unfortunately in the very year I’ve won my council tax position, HMRC decided I was not gainfully self-employed though I had been so for the last 10 years. They stopped my WTC and I then claimed UC. They demanded back the whole years worth of WTC as an overpayment, which threat prompted my taking a DRO this year. HMRC changed their rules and have not told people and this is happening to many self-employed people across the country and avoids the transitional protection that should apply when they are finally moved onto UC.

        And so I built-up £7,000 worth of debt, all without borrowing a penny! Before 2013, when the Government introduced their Welfare Reforms and the Bedroom Tax, I paid all my bills and had no debt.

        Love, Light & Laughter
        Steve Starlord

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hi Starlord,

        I was merely stating the facts as I was told in person by the CAB, and apologies if that is incorrect, but that is what they told me, i.e. that Official debts such as to HMRC, DWP, or Council Tax are not covered by the DRO and cannot be written off by Insolvency. I’m not on UC, I’m on JSA, but I can’t see how that would make a difference. If you’ve been told or found out otherwise then fair enough and good luck to you.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. P.S.

        I have got a DRO and it was the CAB that submitted the application for it. They obtained a Credit Report first and the DRO applies to every debt listed on that. As it happens I didn’t have any debts to HMRC or Council Tax arrears. I did have a DWP debt for a Budgeting Loan, which was not listed on the Credit Report and which I was informed by the CAB was not covered by the DRO. I also have Student Loans which (I was told) are also not included in the DRO and they did not appear on the Credit Report either. I had debts to two Banks and Npower, both of which are now the subject of the DRO. The outstanding amount of my Water bill also showed up as a debt on the Credit Report and so that was written off too. The CAB handled the process and advised me.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Hi Trev,
        You raise another interesting matter, that of the reliability of CAB. I don’t like using CAB because locally they are hired by Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council (TMBC). I think also in recent years Tameside Council won the funding delivery contract from the Government, and he who pays the piper calls the tune. However, it is my understanding that this has now changed, that CAB recently won the contract back, and so this might make a difference? In addition with the completion of the brand new ‘Tameside One’ building, CAB are situated once again inside the councils building. This was the case a few years ago too in the old building, but years before that they had their own separate building. And many years before that we had a separate independent Welfare Rights organisation in Tameside, before CAB were parachuted-in. Then local funding was moved by Tameside Council to CAB and they died off. Tameside Council have done the same with other ‘difficult’ to control organisations in Tameside over the years including the Tameside Volunteer Centre. The new organisation set-up by Tameside Council and populated by their workers was called Tameside Third Sector Coalition (T3SC). However, they did not die and remained a thorn in their side despite cutting their local funding which now went to T3SC instead. But all this is another story, but you get the drift.

        So now it is even worse, for CAB are based inside the same building alongside the Jobcentre! I suppose it makes it quicker to pass a sanctioned person across the floor to CAB! I’ve also heard a ‘rumour’ that CAB are to employ someone who will be based inside the local Jobcentre itself. They will be paid to help people apply for Universal Credit online from inside the Jobcentre. There are two Jobcentre’s remaining in Tameside, so presumably two new paid positions. I don’t think they are voluntary roles.

        A couple of years ago I obtained a Financial Statement from CAB in relation to my Council Tax arrears, bailiffs, court hearings, etc. Unfortunately, because Tameside Council hire them and the fact that it concerns Tameside Council’s Council Tax, I really didn’t feel I could trust them. Still, it was only a Financial Statement. I’d previously submitted my own versions both to Tameside Council as well as the bailiffs which were not liked. So, I thought, I’d get an official one, and how could I possibly go wrong getting one from CAB, especially in relation to Council Tax? Unfortunately, Tameside Council didn’t like the Financial Statement produced by CAB last year, the very organisation they pay to provide them. The figures, the numbers, were calculated using CAB’s system, but this wasn’t good enough for Tameside Council. They wanted more detail than they provided. This because different debts are summed together in different ways. It appears different organisations use different systems. I essentially ignored Tameside Council and carried-on. After all I’d provided more precise details before which they didn’t like.

        And so, when it came to my debts and my change of circumstance late last year, and the dire need for a Debt Relief Order, I contacted my landlord New Charter Homes, now part of Jigsaw Homes. It was my view that they would be keen to help me in order to ensure they get their rent paid. And they were. I’d just been kicked-off Working Tax Credit by HMRC, and transitioned-off Housing Benefit onto Universal Credit. I was dealt with by the Money Information Network Tameside (MiNT), a consortium led by New Charter. I met with Christina who provided an excellent service. She had been trained and could apply for a DRO. We discussed the matter in some depth, including what could and what could not be included in a DRO, and this was done before any inquiries were made into my Credit History and a Credit Report obtained. I added debts while I had the opportunity that weren’t even listed and which may or may not have expired.

        Christina also provided me with a Financial Statement, different to that provided by CAB, which I submitted to Tameside Council when making application recently for a Discretionary Housing Payment due to the Bedroom Tax. I’m still awaiting a response from Tameside Council.

        And to return to my own DRO and DWP ‘loan’, maybe there is a difference between how they are treated under JSA and under UC??? I discussed my UC ‘loan’ with Christina at the time who told me that it can be included and we included it, and the DWP have accepted this. However, I’ve not had written confirmation of this from the DWP. I’ve simply been told this over the phone, not in writing. However, they are behaving as if the DRO does apply to them, and though my loan has been cancelled, I am now making a third complaint because their system continues to deduct the loan from my monthly UC payment. They have to date been forced to make two separate payments as reimbursements of deductions taken from my UC payment, this despite their having received the DRO. And here we are again for a likely third reimbursement, if they are still unable to correct the system before payment is due on the 15th May 2019! They’ve been at this now for over 2 months affecting 3 payments! All other organisations have coped, including Tameside Council’s Council Tax section and HMRC.

        My alleged WTC overpayments have been written-off! I say alleged because I’m awaiting a date for attendance at an independent HMRC Appeal Tribunal. Victory or not will make no difference to my former self-employed status. If I win I can return to self-employment, but it will now be a new claim and I will accordingly be moved immediately onto UC with no transitional protection whatsoever! A pyrrhic victory. And the alleged debt, well, I’ve already cancelled that using the DRO. I had to. They act on the basis that one is guilty until proven innocent and intended taking large deductions from my UC to pay back £1,800, probably over a year, which works out at about £35 per week deducted at source from my £73pw UC personal allowance. I already lose £13pw through the Bedroom Tax! And I have to pay about £4pw council tax too! That would leave me with about £21pw to live-on for a year.

        I get the distinct impression that the DWP’s system simply cannot cope with DRO’s, that such write-off’s have not been incorporated into the software programming! Of course, the DWP have written-off millions in their botched creation of the not-fit-for-purpose Welfare Reforms, particularly Universal Credit which really needs to abolished. A return to JSA would be a good start, but even that was a flawed system introduced I think in 1995 by the Major Government and which Blair failed to repeal when he came to power in 1997, thereby setting the scene for the Tories Universal Credit travesty!

        Love, Light & Laughter
        Steve Starlord

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Hi Trev, re your earlier comment, and some related UC matters:

        “P.S. It puts me in an awkward position of having to apply for jobs to keep the Jobcentre happy and avoid getting Sanctioned, but I can’t afford to get a job until after August when my DRO is complete, but obviously I can’t tell the Jobcentre that so I’m walking a financial tight rope at the moment!”

        That does not exactly fit with what I was told by Christina at MiNT. I too have been applying for jobs while in my moratorium period. The DWP know full well that I have obtained a DRO. How could it be otherwise when I’ve written-off an alleged HMRC Working Tax Credit overpayment and a UC loan? This has not been an issue at the Jobcentre at all. It is open and above board.

        I may have been given different advice than you by Christina who obtained my DRO for me. We discussed this. In essence it would have to be a really well paid job to affect my DRO. She was of the opinion that it was not a concern even if I got a job. I would, of course, have to inform the relevant bodies, but it shouldn’t be a concern, assuming what I was told was correct. I’ve been looking for work for the last 6 months without success, 2 months of which overlap with my DRO moratorium period. However, I am about to enter a related period of uncertainty in that I’ve just made an application for Carers Allowance. It can take them up to 6 weeks to process a claim. Will Carers Allowance invalidate my DRO? I am unsure, but I think not given what I was told by Christina.

        Carers Allowance is £66.15pw, less than the UC Personal Allowance of £73.34pw. The gap used to be about £10pw but this has narrowed because Carers Allowance has not been frozen. In addition I will get the Carers Premium of £36.97pw making my income £110.31pw. And my rent will still be paid through UC. The Carers Premium is received as part of UC.

        In addition, as a Carer I no longer have to look for work or have a claimant commitment, and am allowed to earn up to around £110pw without it affecting my benefits. How it will affect council tax is another matter. BUT I need to check-out how this would affect my DRO. Nothings easy. The relationship between Carers Allowance and UC is not an easy one and a DRO may only make this more difficult for me. I suspect the increase in income will not be sufficient?

        However, I am about to contact Christina for her advice. If it does affect my DRO, I may have to cancel my application for Carers Allowance and stay on UC and carry-out my caring duties for 35 hours per week while looking for work for the next 10 months. I can apply for Carers Allowance later. However, if this really does cause a problem with my DRO, I may opt to cancel the Carers Premium element instead and be £7pw worse off. My income would’ve gone down, not up, and this would not affect my DRO.

        I’ve already declared caring duties of 15 hours per week. I’ve declared my voluntary political work too, being a member of the Tameside Trades Union Council, which is acceptable. One does not have to be working in a charity shop. I did not, however, have to say what the work entailed. The work includes my being part of the delegation protesting outside Ashton Jobcentre every Thursday afternoon. I’m there also on behalf of Tameside Unemployed Workers Alliance.

        I opted to sign-on in Hyde, not Ashton. They don’t seem to know what the other is doing. I intended using Stalybridge Jobcentre but, unfortunately, it closed down a few years ago. It was the best. Ashton Jobcentre is the nastiest. I’m finding Hyde Jobcentre very pleasant by comparison.

        I realise that one no longer literally ‘signs-on’. However, I don’t have a phone and I choose to provide my jobsearch on paper as is my right. I do not use my UC Account and Journal for that purpose, and so must see my Work Coach at the Jobcentre every fortnight. This is perfectly legitimate. I had a little scrap about it at first, but one needs to know the rules and one’s rights. It’s far preferable to being pestered over the phone, being at their beck and call, and prone to a sanction for missed calls. They contact me through my UC Account and comments made here work both ways. Provided I comply with my Claimant Commitment they cannot touch me! I can only access my UC Account from public access points when available. Doing it in this way gains me more freedom.

        As regards the 35 hours per week work search, it isn’t an absolute. Right at the outset of my claim I ensured I cut this down. I offered 10 hours per week. After a bit of haggling we eventually settled on 20 hours per week. I got a 15 hours per week discount, perhaps because I argued and because I have caring duties and also do voluntary political work. They’ve never checked the validity of any of this. They just took my word for it! Still, 20 hours isn’t good, but it’s better than 35. I think there was a tribunal case where it was decided that the DWP cannot ask a claimant to provide a detailed breakdown of what they did and when they did it. All one has to do is note the day. One can get around this by choosing not to enter one’s jobsearch activities in the UC Account. In 6 months I’ve never done this, with no impact upon my UC payment.

        As I was told by my Work Coach, they just take your word for it. I’ve not been asked for proof or evidence of my caring duties. I did provide a voluntary work reference from Tameside Trades Union Council which proves my voluntary work. However, this was needed as proof of recent work activity working for someone else. Having been a self-employed sole trader for the last 10 years I don’t have any recent paid ‘working for someone else’ experience or references. I got my unpaid ‘work’ reference from the Trades Union Council! Job done.

        If it ‘looks’ right then they seem to accept it. Maybe they look deeper if and when they get suspicious? And if you are adept with the system and can use computers as I can, I can whittle this 20 hours down to about 10 hours. In other words, what would take most people 20 hours I can complete in 10 hours or less! And they don’t know this.

        Love, Light & Laughter
        Steve Starlord

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Well the person who was advising me at the CAB made it clear to me that I would be better not getting a job until after the Moratorium period of the DRO is complete and I have been declared Insolvent. She said “I’m not saying don’t get a job, because if you did that would be great, but do be aware that if you did your DRO could be revoked and you would have to make arrangements to repay your debts. That’s if there’s a change in circumstances to your income…an increase of income leaving you with £50 spare per month, once you’ve paid everything else, you’d have to inform the Receiver, or just come back and tell us, but if you think it’s not very likely that you’ll get a job you should be ok”. Reading between the lines of all that she was basically saying don’t get a job!


  5. I’m unclear why people have to use a 16 digit number to log in to their universal credit accounts, I was given a username, password and a security question, which are easy to remember. I currently work in Salford, and the (admittedly few) people I’ve encountered at my advice centre also use password and security questions.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, that’ll have to change, won’t it? They’re not getting away with making it impossible for people to access their UC accounts. Time for me to ask questions..


  6. It’s only now people are really beginning to understand what Universal Credit is like. Just a deliberate programme to get people off benefits, to destroy so-called long term unemployment claims, and to provide cheap, flexible labour for employers.

    Liked by 2 people

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