Q. Do you have deductions taken from your benefits?
Q. What are you having deducted and what impact is it having?
I'm currently deducted over £100 per month. Leaving £1207 each month. Which sounds like a lot but after rent, bills, utilities, etc. (which I pay off the day my payment arrives for fear of spending it on food and ending in arrears). We're often left with under £200 for the whole month, for food or travel or other things the kids may need. It's normally spent within two weeks, leaving us two weeks of waiting for the next payment. I'm terrified of how little money we'll have after the pandemic is over and I'll have to travel to the jobcentre twice a month (bus fair for me and two 5+ kids, in our area day tickets, is roughly £15). The £30 per month just for two trips per week is a huge chunk. Monthly tickets, which would be my ideal, would cost over £100 for the three of us. I've no idea how I'm going to manage on this budget after the pandemic stops. Then next year, in spring these deductions stop but others will start (from overpaid child tax credit from last year and old budgeting loan from last Christmas when I was on income support - moved to universal in the spring, during first lock down), so once one debt gets paid others will replace them. I hate to say it but the only reason I have as much money as I do each month currently (the £200) is because the pandemic is reducing my expenditures, such as travel, and allowing a pause in some debts (the CTC & BL). I want the virus gone so I can take my kids back to play groups and events, but I've no idea how we'll cope on our income under such conditions.