Jenny

How are we supposed to live, eat, pay our bills?

My name is Jenny and I live in Ellesmere Port. We were left relying on benefits when my husband had a fall and dislocated his foot, needing hospitalisation and an operation. We have three children.

As he was self-employed, the only income we had coming in was our family allowance. We applied for benefits but were told it would take 5-6 weeks for the claim to be processed and in the meantime we were left having to ask friends and family to help us out. I didn’t like having to rely on them , so I went back to the DWP and asked if there was any help I could get until our benefits started coming through. One person suggested I get a food voucher and go to the food bank. When I asked how to do that I was told she didn’t know. If the people who are supposed to help you don’t know, how are people like me supposed to know? I did end up going to the food bank and I was very relieved when I found they could help me.

I have now found a part-time job and this means that I can now claim Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. The job is covering for maternity leave, and this is due to end in August – I’m not sure what will happen then. I’m also doing some voluntary work and hope that the extra experience will help me find work in the future.

I decided to take part in Real Benefits Street because I don’t think some people realise we’re not all scroungers or lazy – sometimes things happen and the benefits system is supposed to be there to help out. I don’t understand how the system can take so long, leaving people like me and my family with no money for 5-6 weeks. How are we supposed to live, eat, pay our bills?

Channel 4’s Benefits Street doesn’t tell the real story.

 

 

Jenny's featured video

Jenny

How are we supposed to live, eat, pay our bills?

My name is Jenny and I live in Ellesmere Port. We were left relying on benefits when my husband had a fall and dislocated his foot, needing hospitalisation and an operation. We have three children.

As he was self-employed, the only income we had coming in was our family allowance. We applied for benefits but were told it would take 5-6 weeks for the claim to be processed and in the meantime we were left having to ask friends and family to help us out. I didn’t like having to rely on them , so I went back to the DWP and asked if there was any help I could get until our benefits started coming through. One person suggested I get a food voucher and go to the food bank. When I asked how to do that I was told she didn’t know. If the people who are supposed to help you don’t know, how are people like me supposed to know? I did end up going to the food bank and I was very relieved when I found they could help me.

I have now found a part-time job and this means that I can now claim Working Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. The job is covering for maternity leave, and this is due to end in August – I’m not sure what will happen then. I’m also doing some voluntary work and hope that the extra experience will help me find work in the future.

I decided to take part in Real Benefits Street because I don’t think some people realise we’re not all scroungers or lazy – sometimes things happen and the benefits system is supposed to be there to help out. I don’t understand how the system can take so long, leaving people like me and my family with no money for 5-6 weeks. How are we supposed to live, eat, pay our bills?

Channel 4’s Benefits Street doesn’t tell the real story.

 

 

“It’s not a good feeling when you realise you’ve got to go back onto benefits. Not when you’re used to a regular income and being able to set your budget.”

Jenny