Commentary on Universal Credit

Not sure how anyone lives on the standard allowance of Universal Credit of £292.22 a month for under 25 and £368.74 a month for over 25. Usually you need some of it to top up rent payments as housing benefit or UC housing element isn’t enough.

Then you have costs like:
Food, council tax, electricity, gas, water, sewage, mobile phone, home insurance, laundry (in house appliances or £8-£16 a week at a laundrette), bus/train journeys, possibly disposal of garden waste, clothes, toiletries, maybe broadband, postage etc..

When I was homeless it cost £6 to wash a load & £2 to dry at a laundrette. Washing is too heavy to carry wet. The hotel I stayed in washed bedding & towels otherwise that would have been an extra cost. In my new home I pay £6.09 pcm for breakdown insurance of my washing machine.

In a launderette you have to bring your own detergent or buy it. You also need to have the right change.I used to regularly go to the bank and experience stigma for that as I went every week. Fortunately I took my laundry in my suitcase on wheels otherwise there are travel costs.

Food banks here require vouchers. I’m lucky to have not needed one. They can check eligibility (e.g. Proof of ID, address, bank statement, benefit evidence etc..). You are then issued a voucher that entitles you to a food parcel that can last at least 3 days. Same process again.

The only photo ID I have is my passport. A passport renewal costs £82.50 every 10 years excluding the cost of 2 photos. It can take 10 weeks to receive a new one. This must be very worrying for those that need photo id. My driving license was withdrawn due to my disability.

I don’t know about others but I can make clothes last longer.Though footwear tends to wear out for me every 6 to 9 months. It usually costs £50 to £65 to buy semi-descent footwear to last that long. I do a lot of walking and it would cost me more to use the bus. So that’s £10pcm.

In the end your unlikely to cope on UC Standard Allowance so will find a job you can cope with temporarily or have a breakdown. You’ll then be drugged up with psychiatric medication and possibly become permanently disabled. You may lose friends & family as you would ask for help.

If your able to get a Doctor to sign you off sick on a weekly or fortnightly basis until your eligible for a decision on a Work Capability Assessment (WCA) then it’s possible after that you may get an extra £390.06 a month.

To be successful you need to get enough points on a UC50 questionnaire, have medical evidence (down to you to provide) and possibly be interviewed.Usually this takes 3 to 6 months before you are considered eligible and unfit for work.

If your unfitness to work becomes enduring and considered a disability then you maybe eligible for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). That’s another questionnaire that needs a certain number of points, medical evidence and possibly a interview.

PIP can be an extra weekly payment of £26.90 to £172.75.All these assessments require reassessment at 6 or 12 monthly or more intervals.It’s a complex system claiming welfare in the UK. As well as stigma it’s no surprise why people have breakdowns or want to kill themselves.

I laugh at it now but my bank would require you to be an account holder to get change for the launderette. Then I was told to not use the ATM to get £10 cash out to change and draw my £10 out directly in £2 coins.Sometimes I had to show my passport to achieve that.Hard work to do anything in the UK.

These days I see my washing machine as my greatest blessing. Every time I run it I say to myself “What a pleasure and a privilege” 😊.

I think a washing machine might even outcompete a Bible to me. A passport is probably the next one as it’s the key to everything in the UK. Though it may not matter anymore for bad reasons rather than good. If we decide no one is eligible for any help or charity.

The welfare and housing support in the UK has the means to inflict destitution and stigma as a deterrence and punishment. I found these days I have less concern about my living standards and don’t compare it with to others. My benchmark is the Kings and slaves from the Bible.

The Bible records the social history of people from over 2500 years ago.There are battles between God and Kings. As well as much social injustice and problems with the social contract. Its wise if possible to take a long view of history as perspective before taking your own life.

So by taking the above tweets into consideration. I’m for the most part telling myself I’m extremely wealthy. If you do it enough times you start to believe it. I read the Bible everyday. I seem to be fairing well with the exception of a family and social life to the Bible.

The lack of social life has in some ways is a protective factor. I can become out of touch on what is considered an expected good standard of living. The idea of owning a car is alien to me. I have never owned one. I don’t think I would want one.

A phone or computer on the other hand is something I want. Plus it’s essential if you want help and support in the 21st century. It was easier to go caveman during biblical times than it is today. Water wasn’t polluted, there was much land and vegetation to build your own home.