'I'm really struggling' Universal Credit leaves dad, 59, feeling suicidal as he has no money to buy food or pay bills

Adrian Wood has been forced to turn to food banks after Universal Credit changes mean he is sometimes unable to pay his bills or buy food

02 November 2018 - 09:53

DAD Adrian Wood says he feel suicidal over Universal Credit as he often left with no money to pay bills or buy food.

The 59-year-old, who lives in Nottingham, was moved on to the benefit at the beginning of the year.

After losing his job in August, the ex-chef is often with no money to buy food and has got behind on important bills for water and council tax.

He told The Sun: “Sometimes it makes me feel suicidal. Sometimes I just want to break down and cry. Sometimes I do.

“I’m left left with literally nothing and I’m supposed to feed myself. I can’t do it.

“I feel like I’m going to have to sell things to get by.

“I’m petrified because I don’t want to end up on the street. I’m constantly worried.

“I’m lucky that I’ve got family that can help me out.”

How Adrian is left without any money to pay bills or buy food

EVERY month is hard for Adrian, who was switched on to Universal Credit in January. Here's how his finances add up:

Universal Credit - £712 each month

From this he must pay:

Rent - £475

Council Tax - £56

Energy bills - £52

Water bills - £11.66 a month

Pay as you go phone - Around £10 a month

Food/groceries - £65 a month

This leaves him with £42.43 a month or £6 a day spare - but his bills and outgoings vary each month and sometimes he's left without any cash.

Adrian has visited a food bank twice - the maximum amount of times he can visit for a person living in his area - due to being without cash.

He said: "I find it really embarrassing. I went to the food bank on two occasions and they do a fantastic job but I felt like I'd been shot in the head."

More than three million people are set to go onto Universal Credit next year as part of a staged switchover from the current benefits system.

Hundreds of thousands of claimants are thought to be worse off under the new system.

And half of people on Universal Credit struggle to pay bills, according to a government report.

Adrian doesn’t currently qualify for disability benefits despite being unable to work due to a shoulder injury.

He had an operation on it last week and hopes to get back to work as soon as he’s recovered.

The dad-of-one claims he wasn't told about needing to claim a Council Tax reduction separately from Universal Credit, meaning he was behind on payments.

He has also cancelled his broadband bill because he's unable to pay it.

Earlier this week, the government announced £1.9billion funding a year for Universal Credit.

As part of the cash the Chancellor pledged to help 2.4million households - but only if they qualify if they have cash.

While other measures won't be put into place until next year or as late as 2021.

Sadly, Adrian is not one of those who eligible for extra money.

He added: “It’s not going to help me personally.
“All I want to do is get back to work. I want to put this all behind me.”

 

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