How do I survive when the £80 stops...

(158 Posts)
barryclarry Thu 23-Sep-21 08:15:37

Hi In February I had to make a UC claim as I had to leave my full time job due to my deteriorating mental health.
I have no kids and I live alone.
I have been providing fit notes to the job centre but still haven't had a medical.

During the 5 week wait I had to take out a advance.
They are taking £65 from my money a month to pay this off.
My payment next month will be £553
£330 is my rent
£60 is my gas /electric
£25 is my broadband
£40 other debts including my water rates
That is £455
I will have £98 to last the month for food and anything else.
(Sorry if my calculations are slightly out )

I'm panicking.
I don't know how I'm going to manage tbh
Is anyone else gonna struggle ?

OP’s posts: |
Hen2018 Thu 23-Sep-21 08:18:38

Yes, we are. We’re paying an advance plus a budgeting loan back.

Lone parent with a disabled child and absolutely no idea how I’m going to work round the shortfall. My electricity bill has just gone up by £30 a month too.

Sirzy Thu 23-Sep-21 08:21:16

Is your broadband rne best deal? I am assuming it will be but worth checking.

Can you contact the companies your in debt to to discuss changing payment plans?

Do you have storage so you can stock up on feeezable reduce food? Look at what food bank options are local.

Do you have any old books/dvds that you could sell via ziffit or similar?

Good luck. This whole reduction really is awful.

barryclarry Thu 23-Sep-21 08:24:29

I'm trying my best to find a work from home job (struggling )
On the cheapest broadband deal and my debts are really the littlest amount I can pay too

OP’s posts: |
MatildaIThink Thu 23-Sep-21 08:25:55

Check on Entitled To, to make sure you are getting what you are eligible for, my rough estimate is that you should be getting close to £750 pm, but that does depend on your age and I think being in limbo of not being fully medically signed off and not looking for work might be where that issue comes from.
www.entitledto.co.uk/
Also keep in mind that you will be able to obtain food from a food bank if needed, although I understand that is not ideal.

I think the key thing though is to address your mental health issues, whilst I know improvement is not instant February was seven months ago. Has your GP referred you for any form of therapy yet, are you on medication that improves how you feel?

DeathMetalMum Thu 23-Sep-21 08:27:33

Ask to reduce the payment for the advance. While it may mean you spend longer paying it off it should give you some extra cash. If I remember correctly as long as you are paying back something towards it they have to accept it.

Heartsinflowers Thu 23-Sep-21 08:29:46

Hi I’m sorry you are struggling. I’m suffering with my mental health at the moment. Constant tiredness and my hair is falling out. I dm self employed but had no idea I could take a break and claim UC. I desperately need a couple of months at least to get back on my feet but how do you prove mental health? Do you give a letter to UC from your doctor? In answer to your question can you try buying and selling online, surveys, Avon mystery shopper (if able to go out) dog walking can be good and will bring in come extra cash while walking is good for mental health. Good luck x

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Reduceddutiesboredom Thu 23-Sep-21 08:35:11

I had no idea UC could be so low! Have you applied for other benefits - I’m sure you can get PIPs if your mental health is bad? Try speaking to citizens advise or money matters and hopefully they’ll be able to give you some options.

Until then I’d suggest doing a strict meal plan. There’s a page on Facebook called “feed yourself for a pound a day” or something similar, some of the ideas look really good & they have lots of handy tips for budgeting.

As someone else suggested if you have anything you no longer need/ have use for sell it if you can.

I hope your mental health improves and you can get back to work soon flowers

Aroundtheworldin80moves Thu 23-Sep-21 08:36:46

Do you need the broadband, or could you manage with an unlimited plan?

barryclarry Thu 23-Sep-21 08:39:46

@Heartsinflowers hi I'm sorry your having a tough time.
You would speak with that doctor and they should issue you with a fit note.
When making a UC claim online,state you have health issues and a fit note
Get well soon

OP’s posts: |
theseoldbone Thu 23-Sep-21 08:40:11

I can't understand why the "advance" has to be paid back? Surely it should just be the first month of benefits? It's not a loan, it's what a person is entitled to so why do they make you pay it back. Absolutely disgusting.

I'm so sorry you're in this position. I have been there. Once you have LCWRA and PIP things do get easier. Have you accessed help with your claim to give you the best chance of it being accepted?

barryclarry Thu 23-Sep-21 08:40:20

@Aroundtheworldin80moves no I really need the broadband
I use my laptop a lot especially looking down work /cvs etc

OP’s posts: |
theseoldbone Thu 23-Sep-21 08:44:29

Sorry, I now see you are looking for work. If you aren't able to find a job due to the restrictions your health is giving you, you may want to consider LCWRA and PIP. You can still look, it just means you don't have to and the extra money will help you while you get back on your feet

Hen2018 Thu 23-Sep-21 08:45:38

I do make a few £ using survey sites including yougov and Prolific. I have also had to EBay pretty much anything not tied down over the last year.

The forum part of moneysavingexpert.com is also excellent.

Heartsinflowers Thu 23-Sep-21 08:47:47

@barryclarry thank you x

barryclarry Thu 23-Sep-21 08:49:54

@theseoldbone Thankyou for that,I'm waiting for the medical to hopefully get the lcwra added on.
I don't think I'm unwell enough for the pip so I won't apply for that.

OP’s posts: |
womaninatightspot Thu 23-Sep-21 08:50:43

It's not vast amounts but doing bits and bobs online makes me a few quid monthly. For example Ipsos isay surveys I get a 5-10 quid amazon voucher every month. It's not a lot but I do a couple of things mostly on ipad in front of telly and I'll use them up at christmas. I'd check out the make £10 a day thread as there is lots of good ideas on which sites pay up and for work you can do at home.

traveller11 Thu 23-Sep-21 08:52:23

BT Broadband has a better deal for UC claimants
www.bt.com/exp/broadband/home-essentials

Does your council offer help with discretionary rent payments if your housing element doesn't cover full rent?

Check your energy provider's requirements for the warm home discount - schemes should be opening up soon

Foodbank and local salvation army may be able to help you with dried/cupboard foods to tide you over. If you have a community fridge, you could get fresh foods from there and freeze any meats or breads

Keep hounding for your medical. I was lucky that my work coach was great and put me under not needing to look for work as I have medical issues too but am also pregnant - under 30 weeks so still technically needed to look for work. But I did need to keep on at her for a face to face meeting.

Madcats Thu 23-Sep-21 08:52:24

I'm not sure whether all water companies do it, but ours has special payment plans for people struggling with their bills. The local Citizens Advice and other debt agencies can refer people.

Depending on where you live they might also be able to give you help with fuel bills and interview costs/clothing.

It seems to me as if you have a good handle on what you are spending so it is worth giving them a call (most are only doing face to face for critical/special cases).

The best thing you can do is be proactive about seeking help with your finances.

I hope you can get some help.

MatildaIThink Thu 23-Sep-21 08:52:44

theseoldbone

I can't understand why the "advance" has to be paid back? Surely it should just be the first month of benefits? It's not a loan, it's what a person is entitled to so why do they make you pay it back. Absolutely disgusting.

I'm so sorry you're in this position. I have been there. Once you have LCWRA and PIP things do get easier. Have you accessed help with your claim to give you the best chance of it being accepted?

The advance is a loan because of how UC works. There is a five week wait for UC, then it kicks in and pays from that point forward, anything from before that first point of being eligible is a advance, a loan against future payments. The system was designed that way because there was an assumption that people would have lost their job and would at that point have their final pay cheque or redundancy payment to see them through the month, before UC then kicked in going forward.

Note that I am not saying that the system works that way in reality, but that was the thinking behind it's design.

reddA Thu 23-Sep-21 08:52:47

@barryclarry I just messaged you. hope you don't mind smile

BlueberrySugar Thu 23-Sep-21 08:55:08

Reduceddutiesboredom

I had no idea UC could be so low! Have you applied for other benefits - I’m sure you can get PIPs if your mental health is bad? Try speaking to citizens advise or money matters and hopefully they’ll be able to give you some options.

Until then I’d suggest doing a strict meal plan. There’s a page on Facebook called “feed yourself for a pound a day” or something similar, some of the ideas look really good & they have lots of handy tips for budgeting.

As someone else suggested if you have anything you no longer need/ have use for sell it if you can.

I hope your mental health improves and you can get back to work soon flowers


UC is making people homeless. The system is an absolute joke and it's so sad to see people struggling on the system. It's disgusting. It's actually not even humane.

theseoldbone Thu 23-Sep-21 09:00:21

barryclarry

*@theseoldbone* Thankyou for that,I'm waiting for the medical to hopefully get the lcwra added on.
I don't think I'm unwell enough for the pip so I won't apply for that.


It might be worth getting some advice just to be sure. I've taken the decision not to apply because the process is long and stressful and I don't think my mental health can stand it. But we are okay as I get the child element, CB, LCWRA and my dd gets dla. Overall we're not well off but we're okay.

If you have any additional costs because of your illness and you're up to the application process it's worth considering.

theseoldbone Thu 23-Sep-21 09:02:18

Ah yes and some water companies can write off old debts for people struggling. I had almost £100 write off. The info is on their website - ours is Thames Water so I don't know if yours would do the same

SpiderinaWingMirror Thu 23-Sep-21 09:03:52

I too don't Understand how UC can be set at a level that people can't pay for basics, food, light, heat and roof. It's a disgrace.
Dd had to claim uc when she lost her job during lockdown 1. Numerous times she said that if she didn't have parents she would have just given up. The 5 week wait is terrible for a start.

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