Tag: universal credit

Universal Credit uplift ends leaving thousands hungry and cold.

Well it came as no surprise to see that the government ignored the petitions signed by the public, demonstrations from DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts) and pressure from MPs to end the £20 Universal Credit that was introduced during the pandemic.

I and many others expected this to happen because the Tory party is an evil, cruel machine that won’t stop until the poor and disabled are gone and destroyed. They want the working class totally compliant to their needs and not their own, this has been proven in the policies and decisions that they make.

Universal Credit wasn’t constructed to help people, instead it does the opposite. If you’re unemployed the payments given aren’t enough to live on let alone survive. If you’re working you can never satisfy the system and are put under immense pressure to find more working hours.

As well as the reduction of monies given to claimants money for debts is also garnished and taken away before their payments are received. This leaves the claimant with virtually nothing to live on after paying their rents which are constantly increasing.

Some people. say that you can get these payments reduced, when in reality it’s either impossible to or at best extremely difficult to do so. The debt repayment amounts are usually implemented without consulting the claimant and they aren’t taking their income, or lack of it into consideration.

DWP and council tax debts amongst others have been the cause of people taking their own lives and attempting to do so. Having no money to provide for yourself and family members makes you feel worthless and its very understandable that people can’t see the point of being alive anymore.

Feeling like a failure to yourself and your family if you have one is soul destroying, it leaves you questioning what have I done wrong to deserve this? In reality they’ve done nothing wrong at all. The fault lies totally at the governments feet and their cruel and heartless polices.

Once you step back it’s easy to see why the government does this. They do it because they see disabled and poor people as surplus to requirements. If they can’t make a profit out of you then they’ll persecute the hell out of you. They do this until a persons on their deathbed and beyond and no apologies are given for doing this.

Then the pandemic arrived and at first the government tried to ignore it, they tried to downplay it until they could no longer do so. When they did start to address it the measures that they took were far from adequate and damn right dangerous. Basically they didn’t care if the working class died because they are surplus to requirements anyway.

After much pressure being put on them by the opposition, campaigners like myself and even Tory Mp’s they reluctantly introduced the £20 uplift Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit claimants which was virtually their admission that the monies being given weren’t adequate.

For some the £20 uplift might appear to be nothing, some still think that everyone has this amount of money to hand when in reality they don’t.

When you have nothing, no money at all £20 makes a massive difference, it made the difference between eating and not eating, heating and not heating and it greatly improved the quality of life of thousands of people.

The uplift has proven too greatly improve a persons and their families life, it was an extra buffer that they could rely on and it made a big improvement in their lives. It also improved the economy because people had a little bit more money to spend.

As soon as the first date was given we campaigned hard to prevent it from happening and it worked. The government withdrew their plans and moved the date until October and this is where we are now.

I’ve had many phone calls and emails from people asking me what will they do next, is there any more funding that they can access and sadly the answer was no, no there isn’t. It’s gone and theres nothing that can be done about it.

The governments decision to end the uplift has caused and will cause great distress and illness for many. Trying to feed yourself and your family will be back to near impossible forcing them to go back to food banks for help.

Foodbanks rely upon donations of food though, and many of the people that donate food are poor themselves so I expect food donations will decrease making it very hard for the to continue with their work.

The governments answer to this is to find more work and to ask your boss for a pay increase and more working hours. This is extremely hard to get though because There might not be any extra hours available and jobs can be hard to get.

Theresa Coffey also announced that she’s going to target disabled people who think that they can’t work because in her warped world they can. To say this is cruel beyond belief is an understatement. They know that they can’t work, they know that its impossible for them to work and it’s extremely hard to find an employer that is willing to make their business premises disabled friendly and be understanding of a persons disability.

Whilst Coffey was singing about having the time of her life on Karaoke at the Tory party Conference, thousands of people were and still are in distress and falling deeper into poverty because of the decisions that she’s made and is making.

I’ve never had any illusion that the Tory party would care for the working class. I grew up under the shadow of Thatcher and I lived in poverty then, having holes in my shoes was a regular occurrence. I knew that they’re cruel and have swinging bricks where their hearts should be.

This Tory government has taken cruelty to a whole different level though, they’re monsters and we must keep campaigning against their evil plans. There are more of us than them and we will never forget their cruelty.

Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas on Pexels.com

A big shout out goes to DPAC for their amazing week of action against the withdrawal of the uplift, and also campaigning to get it given to those on legacy benefits also. To say they’re amazing is an understatement.

I have some bad news though. My yearly payment for this website host and my domain name is coming up in November. In total it comes to £115 and I just don’t have the money to renew it.

I hardly have enough money to live on as it is and I’m reliant upon food banks and kindness. £115 may as well be a million pounds to me because I just can’t afford to pay it.

I really don’t want to loose all of my work which totals to about eight years of writing, campaigning and raising awareness. To put it bluntly I will be devastated and heartbroken.

I don’t want to change website hosts though because I don’t like change and this payment gives me the add ons and features that I need to keep it going.

My dream was to pass this blog down to my children and The Working Class Movement Library in Manchester when I’m long gone.

I really don’t want to stop blogging.

If anyone would like to donate to keep my blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

A huge thank you to everyone that has and does help to keep my blog and campaign going. I honestly couldn’t do this without you.

Cancel The £20 Universal Credit Uplift Cut.

I’ve spoken to many people and helped hundreds of people over the years since Universal Credit was first implemented in my local town, which incidentally was one of the three ‘trial’ areas for Universal Credit introducing it to an unbeknown community.

Out of all the people that I’ve spoken to throughout the years, not one of them has told me that their payments provided them with a large enough income for them to survive, indeed the opposite applies.

Everyone that I’ve helped or spoken to were and still are living in poverty, unable to provide the very basics for themselves and their families.

Then the pandemic hit us, killing thousands and resulting in survivors battling with Long Covid. The government decided that they’d throw a lifeline to Universal Credit claimants which was an extra £20 a week uplift to help them through the pandemic.

The uplift was and is providing Universal Credit claimants the means to actually survive, to buy some food or to pay a bill that they were an unable to do before.

Whilst £20 isn’t a lot to some people, indeed it isn’t a lot of money at all, it has enabled people to survive.

This lifeline will be taken away in October if the government don’t respond to calls from campaigners, politicians, and even some Tory party politicians.

Universal Credit was created under the guise of making claiming a benefit easier, to help more financially and to make it easier to find work whilst claiming Universal Credit.

It wasn’t long before myself and others saw the reality of claiming Universal Credit, the poverty that it forces upon people and the punishing regime that they are forced to comply to.

The truth is the system was designed to be unfair and designed to be cruel. I have no doubt that it was introduced to force people to comply otherwise loose everything. I’ve been documenting this for years, I’ve seen the terror in a persons eyes when they’ve just been told that they’ve been sanctioned and didn’t know why.

With Universal Credit came cruelty like I’ve never seen before. Claimants being gaslighted by so called work coaches, being spoken to as if they’re the worst thing in the world and that nothing that they do is ever good enough.

I’ve seen people loose their homes and families because they can no longer afford the rent or provide for their children. I’ve helped hundreds of people throughout the years dependant upon food parcels to survive, all of which is documented in this blog.

I cannot see any justification in removing the £20 uplift, we are still living during a pandemic, still becoming ill with Covid 19 and people are still dying from it. The £20 uplift is literally the choice between living or dying. Only a sadistic government would do so.

To put it bluntly Universal Credit doesn’t provide enough to live on, it’s highly prejudiced against claimants and it certainly doesn’t help anyone to find employment. What is needed is a system that actually helps people instead of making them much worse off.

We can only pray for the government to give in to demands to cancel the cut and to continue giving the uplift or making it permanent.

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A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign. I couldn’t do it without you.

Its Not Good Enough

I’ve been campaigning against the cruel system which is Universal Credit since it’s conception. I have with friends held weekly demonstrations against the cruelty of said system and have been told countless accounts of how Universal Credit has affected people, how it has caused many people to end their life’s, split families up and has Rendered people ill, depressed, stressed, hungry and feeling that they can never satisfy the demands of the system which was created in order to ‘help’ people.

The truth is that Universal Credit doesn’t help many, it leaves people in a much worse financially than they were before. It wears people down until they can’t cope any more.

It doesn’t discriminate though, it treats everyone in the same manner, making some people feel like a criminal for asking for help because they need it and deserve to be helped.

if you look through this blog you will read many stories of how this system has treated people, how its worn people down and has for some been a massive contributor into people taking their own life.

We’ve handed out hundreds of food parcels, literally fed people that haven’t eaten for days. Indeed, I wrote in an earlier blog post I documented that I gave a woman and her children some tinned food and goodies, and how they walked across the road and ate the food out of the tins because they were hungry and hadn’t eaten a real meal for a long time.

I’ve spoken to people that had been discriminated against by the DWP because of the way they looked. If you scroll down my blog posts you will read that a man was discriminated against because he wasn’t wearing a suit and tie and proper shoes for his appointment at the Jobcentre.

This was blatant discrimination because they knew how poor he was, how he’d had no money for over a month and only possessed one pair of canvas shoes and a thin summer jacket.

The demands that the DWP make to people can be completely ridiculous like this, if he had’t spoken to us he would never have found out that he didn’t have to do this.

I also helped a woman with a young baby who was told by her advisor that she couldn’t come to the Jobcentre with her baby. This is completely unfair and also untrue. Children are allowed to attend appointments but the DWP like to make the rules up as they please.

I’ve spoken and helped people that were very close to taking their own life because they couldn’t cope with the DWP bullying anymore. I’ve also helped people that became homeless when Universal Credit was first introduced into my town and two other local authorities. I’ll also never forget being told by a police officer that a man that I had helped but was later let down by the system, that he had taken his own life because he couldn’t see any future for himself.

I really could talk forever about this, please scroll through my blogs and my media posts to see more. It’s cruelty certainly ignited a fire inside of me to make me determined to fight these and other injustices throughout the DWP and other systems.

Universal Credit was introduced under the guise of supposedly making it easier to claim and that people would be better off financially. It wasn’t long before it was shown to do anything but this. It can virtually destroy people.

Years ago I made a promise, prompted by my friend Michael to document everything that I see, hear and experience in this blog. I really didn’t expect it to be read by anyone at all but it was because it wasn’t being spoken about back then.

Although I can’t be there today to take part in the day of action because I developed Potts Syndrome which comes and goes, but today it’s here after having Covid and Long Covid I am there in spirit. Covid nearly broke me but it didn’t and I’m very grateful to have survived it.

I stand in solidarity with everyone that’s campaigning against Universal Credit whilst also demanding that the government introduces the £20 uplift to disabled people as well. Disabled people have been hit the hardest by the pandemic, many haven’t been able to leave their homes because of quarantine restrictions and also the lack of carers being able to help at home. It’s absolutely shocking that the government treats them in this way.

The DWP systems aren’t good enough. They don’t help people, instead they punish people because of their own existence. I fear that this will continue to worsen because they hate poor and disabled people, and they don’t care if we suffer either.

I also experienced the death of my son which was totally unexpected and through no fault of his own. He went to bed and didn’t wake up. Joseph was disabled and he had to fight for every penny that he got from the DWP. I’ve lost count of the amount of appeals that he had to make to get his rightful payments.

When I first learnt that my son had died I didn’t know how I would continue, grief can take you to some very dark places. Despite this I think that I’m learning how to cope with it, knowing that it’s ok to have an off day or to feel sad sometimes. My daughters and everyone that reads my blog and supports both the campaign and blog have really helped me. It’s ok to cry and there shouldn’t be any shame surrounding this.

My son shared the same birthday as me which is coming up very soon, so I know that’s going to be a tough day for us all.

I want to do more though. I don’t think that I’m doing enough to raise awareness and to help people. Despite this I do know that I do need to keep this blog going because despite everything I still need to get the truth out there. If anyone would like to donate towards the upkeep of this blog and my campaign theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Let’s get the truth out there!

Government refuses to extend Universal Credit uplift.

This week Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey announced that the government has no plans to continue the £20 Universal Credit uplift, confirming that payments will be ending in late September.

Coffey also announced that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will be contacting claimants so they are aware that their payments will change in late September whilst at the same time and they will be directed to budgeting advice.

The £20 a week uplift was increased for six months in March after charities and organisations had warned the government that it and would damage the mental health and physical health of those living in poverty.

The government’s answer to this is to announce that they’ve doubled the amount of work coaches and organisations that they work with, meanwhile totally ignoring the fact that the well being of thousands of people depends upon the £20 uplift.

Their plans obviously don’t include how to feed themselves and their families when their vital £20 is taken away from them. it might not be a lot of money to some, but it has enabled people to buy some food, get some glass and electric and to top up a mobile phone or internet if they have access to these.

Having a good internet connection is requested by the DWP and failure to have this can, and has ended with claimants being sanctioned.

The announcement to end the uplift payments was made after ignoring the advice of six former Conservative work and pension secretaries whom have requested that the Chancellor to make the £20 uplift permanent. They warned that if they failed to extend the uplift it would cause immense damage to living standards, health and the opportunity to improve their lives.

Indeed Prime Minister Boris Johnson whilst talking to the Commons Liaison Committee had requested to reconsider any plans to end the uplift and also said that higher skilled jobs are the best way forward.

Therese Coffey then announced that a collective decision was made to “shift the focus strongly into getting people into work” as the economy opens up. She also announced that this will ‘help’ when the country reaches step four of the Covid 19 road map and ‘more opportunities’ will be created for claimants.

Conservative MP Nigel Mills is quoted as saying “It sounds like this is a ‘dates not data’ decision, that we’ve just chosen to end this at the end of September and not going to review that based on any data at all.“’We’ll just kind of assume it will all be OK’ – that seems to be a pretty fair summary of what you’re saying: ‘We haven’t got any data yet that you don’t need this uplift, but we’re going to take it away regardless because that’s what we planned in the Budget’.”

Needless to say this is a terrible decision made by the government, fronted by Therese Coffey Work and Pensions Secretary. This decision has been made whilst ignoring the evidence given to her by charities, organisations and felt conservative Mp’s.

Not only will the refusal to extend the £20 uplift cause immense suffering and stress, they still fail to recognise that disabled people are struggling to get by and haven’t been included in any £20 uplift plans.

Along with the governments blatant discrimination against disabled people, the government is also still ploughing ahead to end lockdown and mask wearing whilst covid 19 cases and deaths are increasing.

Many disabled people have been housebound unable to go out for fear of infection and in many cases a lack of help. I’m very concerned that demands will be made of them to travel to assessments and DWP appointments when its obviously not safe to do so.

The government have blood on their hands for more than one reason.

Personally I’m going to continue to wear a mask and social distance for many reasons, one being that I’m still battling with Long Covid and other health conditions. Catching covid again, even though I’m fully vaccinated isn’t something that I want to go through again.

I’m also extremely worried about my children and grandchildren catching this new variant of Covid 19 also.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

How am I? Today is another migraine day for me, yippee. I hope that it passes asap.

I really hope that you are all ok. Lots of love to you all.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Every share etc makes a massive difference in the truth getting out there.

A huge thanks to everyone that has and does support my blog, it means the world to me.

If anyone would like to donate to keep my blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

Thank you and keep safe.

PIP AWARDS FALL TO ALL TIME LOW.

It appears that the DWP are back to their old tricks again. The pandemic isn’t even over yet they continue with their obvious discrimination against disabled people.

Theres nothing that the government and the DWP appear to enjoy more than target vulnerable people with impossible targets to meet and to basically make their lives ask difficult as possible.

You might remember that a recent court hearing that the DWP had been wrongly using the law in relation to PIP mobility based on mental health grounds. (Personal Independence Payments)

The DWP although not admitting any wrongdoing, they did say that this would result in an increase of approximately 14% of the PIP mobility component. You can bet that they didn’t like that.

Meanwhile the brilliant team over at Benefits And Work have looked at the figures for claimants that claim PIP for anxiety and depression, this being listed as being the most likely to be affected by the court ruling.

They discovered that immediately after the DWP started implementing the new ruling, the award rates for mobility for depression and anxiety rose quite dramatically rising from 14% to up to 25% .

As if by some cruel feat of magic, the PIP award rates started to fall again, resulting in an all time low which is now far greater than before the court ruling.

Once again the DWP had most likely thought that they could ignore the ruling, thinking that no one would notice their deception. After all it’s easy to target the most vulnerable and the people that will find it extremely hard to fight back.

It’s very easy for the DWP to do this though, indeed it’s taken them just over a year to achieve this gross injustice.

They know that they can ignore court rulings because they’re accountable to no one. Knowing that this will result in the suffering of so many people they continue not caring and denying people their rightful payment awards.

Whilst the pandemic had opened up lots more access to online meetings and events, those without the internet cannot access help this way. Can you imagine being awarded such a meagre amount of money that leaves you unable to leave your home? Unable to pay or find internet access?

It’s cruelty beyond belief, and I don’t for one minute doubt that the DWP know exactly what they’re doing.

At a time when society should be helping each other the DWP decided to make disabled peoples lives even harder, which is no surprise and they will continue until they’re physically out of government.

What can we do to help each other? We can give help, advice and solidarity to anyone that we know that needs it. This makes a world of difference. I will continue to campaign against the ugly DWP machine and the government for as long as I am able to.

A huge thank you to Benefits And Work for all the hard work that they do. If you haven’t checked them out yet `I urge you to because they’re amazing!

https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/about-us

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog posts. Every share really helps to raise awareness which in turn helps people. We need to get the truth out there.

A huge thank you to everyone that supports my blog and campaign. I’m slowly trying to get back to a new normal for me. Loosing my son has devastated me, but as a disabled person himself he would want me to continue to fight for fairness and equality for all.

I don’t receive any funding for either my blog and campaign. Theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

A huge thank you to everyone that supports my work and a massive thank you to everyone that has supported me and shown me kindness throughout this awful time.

Let the bodies pile high says Johnson

Yesterday was quite a busy day for Dominic Cummings the former chief aide whilst he gave evidence in a seven hour hearing regarding the governments handling of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Cummings particulally took aim at Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock, depicting the chaos and failing of the government’s handling of the Covid 19 crisis, saying that the failure, incompetence at the top of government stating that Covid 19 had killed thousands that didn’t need to die.

Whilst many people had already realised that Prime Minister Johnson anti lockdown, ignored scientists advice and failed to introduce lockdowns in adequate time. This is the same prime minister that openly said that he didn’t care about people dying, saying ‘Let the bodies pile high’.

For myself and others it comes as no shock. Johnson and his ilk have no sympathy or care for working class people, even less sympathy is given to disabled and elderly people, you can see this in their policies and their attitude.

What people need to realise is that Johnson and co come from and live in a totally different world than most people. They come from a place of great privilege and they like to flaunt this whenever possible.

Their handling of the pandemic is a good example of this. for example whilst thousands of people were dying, Carrie Symonds, Johnsons girlfriend was shown to be more concerned about her dog than the pandemic and the death toll. Symonds also saw this as a perfect opportunity to try and find her friends jobs within the government.

Johnson knew exactly what he was doing though, he was warned by officials that a lockdown was needed but failed to act, taking him a further ten days to agree to a lockdown.

There was no plan for the government to use in the event of a pandemic, despite many in government believing that there was. This has undoubtedly has resulted in thousands of deaths. Ironically a plan had been created by the Labour Party which would have undoubtably helped thousands of people and would have prevented thousands of deaths.

Johnson also described Covid 19 as ‘the swine flu’ and stated that he was going to get Chris Whitty to inject him with Covid 19 live on television to prove that its nothing to be scared of.

Mark Sedwill the then Cabinet Secretary suggested that people should have Covid 19 parties like chicken pox parties, believing that herd immunity would then be reached by September. Meanwhile the government were drawing on a whiteboard asking who they can’t save with no regard for their safety nor regard for them at all.

Its very clear that the government doesn’t care and never will care. We only have to look at the way that the government treats disabled and working class people. Their policies have resulted in the deaths thousands before the pandemic and not one care has been given about this either.

It is completely normal for the government to treat people like this, we mean nothing to them. If they can’t make any use of us financially through exploitation such as their Workfare schemes, they punish people by making it extremely hard to claim benefits such as Universal Credit, ESA and PIP.

Such cruelty will continue for as long as they’re able to do so, with no effective opposition at the moment I can see such cruelty continuing for a long time to come.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Every share helps to get the truth out there.

I would like to thank you all for your patience, especially after my son’s death. I’m trying to get back to normal, whatever my new normal is now.

I’m aiming to get at least one blog post published every week, hopefully improving the quality of them along the way.

I also receive no funding for my blog or my campaign. Every penny counts and it will help a great deal.

A huge thank you to everyone that shares and supports my blog and campaign. It means the world to me and has kept me going during such dark times.

Let’s talk about Covid deaths.

Dear readers, subscribers and friends, I hope that you are as well as can be. This week has been difficult for me because it’s the first time that I’ve been able to sit down and grieve for my son.

Everyone grieves in their own way and the time it takes for a person to grieve is totally individual. I truly don’t think that I’ll ever get over it and I’ll just learn to live with it.

It’s heartbreaking to know that thousands of people are mourning the loss of a loved one to Covid 19. No one as far as I’ve seen has spoken about their suffering and loss. I cannot comprehend their grief and pain.

The government has done a good job of hiding the true reality of the pandemic, the deaths, suffering, long covid sufferers and those already isolated because of illness and disability.

It’s very easy for the Prime Minister to open the borders, allow travel to countries overseas and to open up shops and businesses, he doesn’t have to cope with becoming ill and having no support, to be isolated in his home due to disability and illness. As most of you already know that he doesn’t care, he doesn’t care about our welfare and he certainly doesn’t want to improve our quality of life.

I don’t underestimate the joy felt by many when they realised that they could come out of lockdown but I do realise that the Indian strain of covid 19 will soon be in most of our communities because Johnson once again hasn’t put much, if any thought into ending the lockdown.

Like many of you reading this I’m fully vaccinated, and many will be awaiting either their first or second vaccination, but I’m a tad worried about the Indian strain coming our way because we just don’t know if the vaccination works with this strain of COVID 19.

What I can say is proceed with caution, wear a mask, wash your hands and remain cautious. It’s a terrible indictment of our government that Johnson thinks that its ok to say ‘Let the bodies pile up’ and still be allowed to continue as Prime Minister. I remember the days when the opposition used to oppose such wrongdoings but now there’s hardly any from Sir Kier Starmer.

I really hope that we start to have some decent opposition soon because thousands of people need this now.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Every share is important to get the truth out there.

I don’t receive any funding for both my blog and campaign. For anyone that would like to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog.

Thank you all so much for your support, it means the world to me.

I’ve had enough. My long Covid nightmare continues.

Dear readers and subscribers, you I get have realised that Ive been pretty much out of action this past week. I apologise for this, I feel awful about it and I hope that it doesn’t happen again.

Ive been struggling to get through this last rebound due to needing more meds and waiting for them to be processed.

I’ll be honest with you, I’m feeling pretty low at the moment. This past year has been a complete nightmare and so far it doesn’t appear to be easing.

My health is pretty rubbish at the moment, it takes me much longer to do tasks that I didn’t used to think about. My daughters more than fed up with me being ill and I do feel like I am to blame for this. Being a single parent is tough when you’re ill.

Yesterday I learnt that the support that I was getting will be ending next week. This was very difficult for me to process because I’m still needing help.

Ive noticed that many essential support networks and general support services locally are ending next week because apparently everything’s going back to normal.

It’s rather foolish to believe that because this latest lockdown is ending that Covid 19 has ended as well. So many people are still ill with it and are suffering from long covid.

It’s very neglectful of any support network to believe that this latest lockdown ending is the last lockdown that we are going to have.

Already the numbers of children that are infected with covid 19 are rising along with the schools re opening. Combine this with the majority of the population have only had one vaccination leaving others still waiting for their vaccination dates it arrive.

Not long ago Boris Johnson declared that we would ‘have to get used to people dying’. I for one can never get used to that. He should never have uttered those words.

To be honest the only things that have been keeping me going recently are this blog and your support. I need your support more than I ever have before.

I want to be better, maybe these latest meds will work. I don’t want to be in the position that I’m in now. It’s pretty dire tbh and I expect that thousands of other people are feeling the same as I am now.

If any organisations are reading this blog post, please reconsider stopping support just because the latest lockdown is ending. So may of us are, not by choice dependent upon this help.

I feel that Ive been totally honest with you, I needed to get this worry off my chest so to speak and I want people to realise how tough it is for long covid survivors.

One day, hopefully soon this nightmare will be over and I’ll be back to my normal self. It’s been so long since I’ve been there.

Please read, share and tweet my blog. I really want to get the reality of our situations out there for everyone to read.

For anyone that would like to donate to keep both my blog, myself and the campaign going theres a donate button at the top and bottom of this blog post.

I really need your support and I thank everyone that does and has supported my blog and campaign.

Thank you.

I’m struggling……

Dear readers and subscribers, you may have noticed that I’ve been quiet this week. My aim is to produce at least three blog posts a week. I want to provide more newsworthy content as well as my weekly blog which is personal to me.

I have failed to do this because once again I’ve rebounded. I’ve got yet another chest infection that has hit me extremely hard, not only physically but mentally.

I really thought that I’d beaten my long covid symptoms, and for the most part I have. What I didn’t count on was that I could get another chest infection which has made me feel so ill.

I felt the symptoms up to about 14 days ago, I get pains in my right lung which are hard to describe. I stupidly ignored these symptoms because I didn’t want to be ill again, I didn’t want to have to say that I’m ill again because I’m sure that everyone is fed up of me saying this.

I carried on as usual until last Sunday when my body told me that I couldn’t continue like I was doing. My sats dropped to a low level and just doing the most basic chores made me breathless and tired.

I admitted defeat and spoke to my doctor. They diagnosed another chest infection and advised me that I should really go to the hospital. Easier said than done though when you’re a single parent and your child is totally dependent upon you.

I explained my situation and I was prescribed anti antibiotics and more inhalers. My consultant has been notified and I’m waiting for an appointment to see him.

There’s no doubting that I was extremely foolish to ignore my symptoms, don’t ever do this. For anyone in a similar situation to me, please act upon your symptoms and get help. I can’t believe that I was so stupid.

I think the main reason as to why I ignored my new symptoms is because I had such a long run of better health. I wasn’t struggling as much and I was seriously considering the fact that I would be well very soon.

I wanted to hold onto that hope, to become normal once again, to be included in future plans and to have ambitions of achieving my goals.

My goals aren’t particularly hard to achieve for an able bodied person. I love walking, I used to walk miles everyday and I so wanted to walk to Hartshead Pike once again with my daughter. Maybe one day I’ll achieve this.

Luckily I think that my antibiotics have started to work and my sats are much better than they were. Not perfect, far from it but acceptable for both myself and my doctor and consultant.

I know that the Covid 19 virus has damaged my lungs, especially my right lung and I have to accept that I’m more vulnerable to getting chest infections, but it’s impossible for me to live in a covid free environment. My daughter returned to school and with that came the spread of viruses brought home through no fault of her own.

So yes I’m struggling, yes I’m fed up of complaining about my health but this week has certainly been a big challenge for me. I want to do more, to eat more healthily and to have a better lifestyle but it’s impossible when I’m dependent upon such a low income.

I’m not only worried about my physical health I’m worried about how on earth can I juggle things around to provide everything that I need to get healthy again. It’s bloody impossible but I’ll try my best to do this.

For now my goals are low. I would first like to once again achieve my goal of more blog content because I love to write and I love to hear from all of you, because you are important.

As for my health, I’m back to taking it a day at a time, hopefully achieving small goals along the way. I’m grateful to be alive, to have survived Covid19, and to still be here talking to all of you.

Please keep safe, wear a mask and don’t for one minute think that this virus has gone away. It hasn’t and we still need to be careful.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Every time that my blog is shared results in more people reading about the truth of our life’s, our struggles and how shitty life is for us at the moment.

I don’t get any funding for writing my blog and at the moment I’m really struggling financially. For anyone that would like to donate theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog piece.

Every penny enables me to continue to blog and it really helps my campaign. I want to be back to normal again I really do.

A huge thank you to everyone that shares and supports my blog and campaign. I really couldn’t do this without your help. It would be impossible. Thank you all so much.

High Court rules that taking high amounts of payments from Universal Credit payments unlawful.

Most people that claim Universal Credit find themselves in debt through no fault of their own. The five week wait for a new claim to be processed ensures that they’re going to accrue debts.

At the time of writing the DWP can automatically take high level deductions from a persons universal credit payments personal allowance for court fine payments, council tax debts and suchlike.

The DWP has a blanket policy of always cutting benefit by the maximum amount possible which is given regardless of personal circumstances. This leaves already financially vulnerable people struggling to buy food and to pay bills.

Yesterday the High Court has today ruled that this policy and practice of taking high amounts of payments from a persons Universal Credit is unlawful.

In February 2020, Shelter launched a legal challenge on behalf of four people, all of whom had a history of rough sleeping and therefore are hugely impacted affected by deductions being taken out of their Universal Credit payments.

Shelter challenged the DWPs deductions policy and all decisions to apply the ‘maximum deduction rate’ to universal credit. They also challenged this for all court fine payments regardless of the claimant’s personal circumstances.

The DWPs policy of deducting the maximum amount of 30% from the Universal Credit standard allowance leaves claimants with as little as £51 per week to live on., that is unless they have more deductions taken from their payments for other debts such as DWP loans etc.

These payments ensure that claimants cant afford to heat and or eat, pay for transport to get themselves to appointments and to buy essential phone credit to fulfil their required Universal Credit job searches.

Shelter argued in court that the DWP’s deductions policy and approach to deductions unlawfully removes an important discretion prescribed by law.  Regulation 4 of The Fines (Deductions from Income Support) Regulations 1992) provides the DWP discretion to deduct a minimum of 5% from peoples’ UC to pay back court fines (and a maximum of £108.35).

The DWP’s blanket policy removes this discretion by setting a fixed maximum deduction of 30% and doesn’t allow claimants to request a lower deduction even in exceptional circumstances where they’re facing hardship.

The DWP’s defence of this policy is that in theory Universal Credit claimants can return to the magistrates’ court to request a direct repayment plan.

In reality this is impracticable. Most claimants aren’t aware that they can do this and the DWP aren’t exactly helpful if a person wants to do this.

The deductions regime is an effective means of repayment of debts, however as it stands the high level of repayments pushes a claimant even further into debt and poverty because repayments aren’t set at a reasonable level, taking into account a claimants financial circumstances.

Shelters case was heard at the High Court before Mr Justice Kerr via a remote hearing on 12 and 13 January 2021. Shelter’s claim was also heard together with a second claim brought by Hackney Community Law Centre acting on behalf of a disabled UC claimant.

The court found that DWP’s deductions policy is unlawful because it ‘fetters discretion’: i.e. it prevents decision makers from taking a UC claimant’s personal circumstances into account when setting the deduction rate.

The court ruled that by setting a fixed rate for deductions from UC for fines, and the DWP’s inflexible approach in making decisions on these cases, removes the discretion provided for in the relevant legislation. This is unlawful.

Responding to the DWP’s defence of an ‘alternative route’ through the magistrates’ court, Mr Justice Kerr states:

‘The deductions regime is paternalistic: the debtor cannot be left to pay off court fines voluntarily; they must be made to do so, for their sake and society’s.  The Secretary of State’s passivity leaves unperformed the duty upon her to make that happen in appropriate cases.’

The High Court ruled that the DWP’s policy and practice in its present form was not lawful. The judge ordered that the relevant section in the deductions policy relating to fines be amended to reflect the judgment.

This judgment means that the DWP will have to change the deductions policy and their guidance must include discretion for DWP decision makers.

This will mean that Universal Credit claimants will be able ask the DWP to lower the amount deducted for court fine payments if they are struggling financially to pay them.

In reality nothing is changing regarding this legal decision yet because the DWP are as usual appealing the courts decision, but I will keep you posted about this.

This ruling has the opportunity to change Universal Credit claimants financial situations for the better, but you can bet that the DWP will drag this out for as long as possible.

My apologies for the lateness of this weeks blog. Yesterday was so busy for myself and my daughter and I’m once again unwell again.

I will endeavour to do my best to not let this happen again.

I’m so fed up with being unwell, not only does it impact me health wise it impacts my relationship with my children and it hits me hard financially.

I am doing my best to get well again because I hate feeling like this.

Please take care, keep safe and be kind to yourselves.

Please read, share and tweet my blog. Every time that you do this helps the truth to get out there which is extremely important.

A huge thank you to everyone that supports both my blog and campaign.

For anyone that would like to donate toward my blog and campaign theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Every donation makes a huge difference and enables me to continue with both my blog and campaign.

Sources Shelter.