Single mother faces restless and ‘heartbreaking’ wait for cost of living payment

A single mother who hasn’t eaten well for two weeks and cries at night because of the cost of living crisis says waiting for a payment from the government to ease her struggle is “heartbreaking”.

More than eight million households on means-tested benefits are set to automatically receive direct payments of £326 between Thursday and the end of July from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – with a second installment of £324 to be transferred into the l ‘fall.

Sarah, a 23-year-old with a young son from the West Midlands, whose name has been changed because she doesn’t want her friends or family to know what she is going through, told the news agency of the Palestinian Authority that she was “praying” that she would do so. received payment on Thursday but was still waiting for Friday morning.

“It’s heartbreaking because I understand they said between July 14 and the end of the month, but many of us prayed for today, and to see others having it is heartbreaking because as a single mum my only income is Universal Credit, which is £485 a month,” she said.

“£485 isn’t a lot with the price going up so when they said ‘July 14th you get that payment’ it was a relief to know I don’t have to worry a little to have food on my plate and choose to eat or pay (my bills).

“I haven’t slept because I cried because the cost of living is horrible.

“I don’t want my friends or family knowing about my fight because it’s kind of embarrassing in a way.”

Sarah, who couldn’t work because an injury she suffered during her pregnancy left her ‘painful 24/7’ and in need of back surgery, had to give up eating enough food for two weeks to ensure her son eats “no matter what”.

“He eats well. I will always put it first. I don’t care about myself, I’ll eat when I can,” she said.

“(I eat) small amounts, like one meal a day, or I wouldn’t eat for two days to save on food so it lasts.”

Sarah said she hadn’t eaten well in over two weeks (Julien Behal/PA)

Sarah said she had been unable to sleep due to the stress of rising food prices and bills, and even wondered if she would receive the payment despite government assurances.

“(The payment) was for my electricity bill and buying a big grocery store, so I don’t have to worry for the next three weeks about what I should eat for the dinner, and now I have to wait and see when or if I get it,” she added.

People may be eligible to receive both government lump sums, which total £650, if they receive support such as Universal Credit, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment Allowance and income support, income support, pension credit, child tax credit or working tax credit.

Eligible individuals will be paid automatically so they don’t need to apply and payments may appear on accounts as “Cost of Living DWP”.

Sarah said she tried to contact the DWP to make sure she was eligible and to find out more about the process, but said she had “no response”.

A DWP spokesperson said: ‘All eligible households will automatically receive the first installment, and no one has to worry about missing out.

He said full payment details can be found on his website.

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Elaine R. Knight