What are your experiences of claiming UC? Especially the role of computers in making decisions about your benefits?: "I miss being on Income support, sure I have a little more money technically in my account each month, but as debts pule up on UC it looks like more but can be used for alot less. UC feels like mental torture. It's a very unfair and unjust system, where people are treated as just statistics, data, inhumane. There aren't special circumstances for people on an individual level. So many times I've not gotten gotten a job because I've had to declare that due to domestic abuse and my ex still posing a threat, there are certain tasks I can't do at work (eg anything public or involved with media non-anonamously) or that if my ex does find us we'd likely be forced to move again and I'd need flexible work for home options to accommodate these security and safety needs. Not to mention if I were to mention my mental health struggles, my PTSD from abuse that means someday I'm hyper productive and other days I'm easily triggered and unable to eat or heck even breath sometimes. These facts make me pretty unimpressive to employers, and I don't have to declare them but if I don't and get the job and then get fired for it later than what's the effing point. The probability of be getting a job before my children are adults, when my safely requirements can be relaxed, is next to impossible. It feels impossible. So many times people say to me "but surely there's special allowances for families in your circumstances?" No, no there's not. There's no special allowances for single parent households with kids over five who've lost a partner to death or accident and are actively greiving, or to singe parents who've lost a partner to abuse, as in our case. Single parent households are doubley shamed for daring to be in benefits and for having kids while on benefits. The system doesn't support us, just barely stops us from starving. Just. The system has to make one of two choices, 1) be more nuanced and flexible to different households personal circumstances and situations, meaning some houses need extra support and less pressures (such as santioned and meetings) than others. Which would be hard to do on the current system as it's not designed for nuance. Or, option 2) universal credit should become a type of universal basic income that treats everyone as equally worthy to a stable basic income that isn't based on circumstance. Better to give everyone more and have a couple take advantage, then give everyone else and that same couple still take advantage either way. It would be very easy for universal credit to be made into a universal basic income, people could opt in or out as their desire by signing on or off. No more sanctions or stigma if shaming. Not focus on community and training projects instead of fraud or workcoach meetings that do nothing to benefit anyone but cause more work and stress for everyone."

Victoria B
Apr 7, 2021

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