Today I received a letter in the post informing me that because I am under 35 and living alone, I am no longer entitled to the one bedroom rate, but has been decreased to the shared room rate. I am absolutely livid.
The shared room rate is £57.69 per week and one bedroom rate is £86.54 – a difference of 28.85 per week or £125.02 per month. Due to the fact I am already in receipt of this benefit, the letter says I will be moved to the shared rate on the anniversary date of my claim. It says I made the claim in June and so my anniversary is March? How does that make any sense whatsoever? I know they are on a different planet, but does that planet have a different meaning of a year as well?
A bit of background to my own case. I am self-employed and was trying to build a business that would hopefully be able to employ people – that was always my goal. I actually worked out my hourly rate based on the hours I worked and the income I had and it was less that £1 an hour. I gave up things I enjoyed when employed like holidays, a nice car, weekends away and that was my decision and my choice. I hoped that in the long-term I would build a business that meant I could have all those things again but all from my own work and that was a lot more satisfying to me.
So I am not, like the media make every one of us out to be, an idle, lazy, benefit scrounger. I am someone who worked hard to try to make my way in life. And then this illness struck – something I couldn’t plan or expect to happen and my business took a nose dive. I had no motivation to get new clients and I was starting to annoy the ones I did have because of my lack of availability and unreliability. I managed to hold on to a few and when I applied for housing benefit, that meant I could just about survive. And I mean literally cover my essential bills and petrol. Any food I buy is bought with my overdraft and I haven’t bought anything for ‘me’ since this all began.
If you haven’t read my previous posts, I am currently under the crisis team as I am in a bad way mentally and concentrating on purely keeping myself alive. So for this to land on my doorstep today is really the worst time it could happen. Maybe that would be good for them though – if I successfully committed suicide then they wouldn’t have to pay anything out – that would be a result for the government then wouldn’t it!!!!
So now I am left with the issue of how I am supposed to find an extra £125 a month? I am not in any fit state to look for more work in my business nevermind even think about getting an employed job (not that there is any of those either). I honestly have no idea what to do and thing this whole thing is absolutely disgusting!!