UK common credit score lower: ‘We don’t understand how we’ll survive’

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I’m quick approaching 60 and I’ve been disabled for a few years now.

I’ve Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) kind IV – a debilitating genetic connective tissue dysfunction – in addition to osteoarthritis, arthritis, sleep apnea, bronchial asthma and plenty of different circumstances brought on by EDS.

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I used to work, however I needed to cease when the ache turned insufferable.

I can not stroll in any respect any extra. I’ve a easy wheelchair that requires somebody to push me round. My husband tries to assist me move as a lot as he can, however it is extremely tough for him – he additionally has mobility points and desires a hip substitute.

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I’ve lengthy been attempting to get myself a wheelchair with a right-hand toggle, so I can not less than have some semblance of dignity. This has not but been potential, and I have no idea when – if ever – I can move by myself once more. Currently, I spend 99 p.c of my time in mattress.

As we stay within the United Kingdom, a so-called welfare state, we obtain a number of advantages from the state to make ends meet.

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We have my husband’s small pension, my private independence cost, carers allowance, and common credit score – a month-to-month cost for out-of-work or low-income folks. On paper, this will likely appear to be greater than sufficient cash for 2 folks to get by. But the state deducts the pension and the carers allowance from our common credit score cost. In the top, we find yourself with simply sufficient cash to maintain a roof over our heads and a few meals on our desk. They lately instructed us they made an “overpayment” a couple of yr in the past, and they’re now progressively taking that again too.

It seems like they’re doing the whole lot they will to maintain us on the backside of the meals chain – to maintain us struggling.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government launched a short lived 20 kilos ($27 on the present trade charge) weekly enhance to common credit score funds in early 2020.

When we heard on the information that this scheme will quickly finish, we didn’t assume we had something to fret about. We had been satisfied that due to all the opposite bits and items we obtain, we had not been eligible for this further cost within the first place. The quantity we obtain had not modified within the final yr, and there had by no means been a point out of a “COVID-19 boost” in our cost breakdowns.

But then, out of the blue, we acquired a message on our on-line Universal Credit Journal informing us that we are going to be dropping the COVID-19 cost. Thinking there should have been a mistake, we went over our cost breakdowns from the previous yr as soon as once more. Indeed, there was no point out of this cost.

Since I wrestle to speak, my husband rang them and instructed them that now we have by no means acquired any such cost. He requested them how can they take again one thing they didn’t give us within the first place. The lady on the telephone instructed him that now we have certainly been receiving this enhance, and that the additional cost would cease from October.

By this time I used to be in tears. We common 255 kilos ($350) a month on common credit score. We borrow 200 kilos ($273.5) a month from my husband’s sister simply so we will get by. Losing 20-pound-a-week, nonetheless small it might appear to others, isn’t one thing we will afford.

My husband instructed the lady on the telephone that I used to be very anxious, and suicidal. Her reply to that was: “Is she going to do it now?” My husband put the telephone down – there was nothing left to say.

No one has since referred to as or come to our home to examine if we’re OK, if I’m nonetheless alive.

Days later, our electrical energy provider knowledgeable us that it’s going to almost double our month-to-month electrical energy funds. Two of us stay in a two-bed cottage – we aren’t working the nationwide grid from the property.

This was the ultimate nail within the coffin. Now, we have no idea how we’re going to survive. Our common credit score funds will go down subsequent month. We should pay the extortionate electrical energy invoice. We are determined. We have no idea what to do. I’m nonetheless suicidal. I’m struggling to discover a purpose to stay.

I want we didn’t want to say advantages, however we do. We are ashamed to be depending on the federal government, however now we have each labored. We didn’t select to be sick, we didn’t select to be disabled. We don’t drink, smoke or exit. We rescue and foster canine, cats and hedgehogs. We shouldn’t have a lot, however we do our greatest to assist animals in want.

We are usually not asking for a lot. All we wish is to be handled like human beings and to stay our remaining years with some dignity.

I need the federal government to listen to our voice and perceive what that 20-pound-a-week lower means to folks like us – that it’s a matter of life and dying.

I’ve no want to stay like this any extra.

If you or somebody you understand is prone to suicide, these organisations could possibly assist.

Also, within the UK and Irish Republic, contact Samaritans on 116 123 or e mail jo@samaritans.org.

For these bereaved by suicide within the UK, contact Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide.

In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.

In Australia, the disaster assist service Lifeline is 13 11 14.

Other worldwide suicide helplines may be discovered at www.befrienders.org

The views expressed on this article are the creator’s personal and don’t essentially mirror Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.

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