435 requests can be filtered by 12 different categories so we thought it might
be good to take a look at one each month. So from the top ... our first
category is benefit delays and sanctions. Let me simply highlight
a few of our past requests to illustrate the problem:
- A lady in Bradford was sanctioned
while she was homeless. She had just been supported off the streets
but was suddenly left with no money for food and bills for 2 more
- A lady in Liverpool came
to the local church Foodbank after having her benefits sanctioned.
She had two young children living with her in her house with no
electricity. She was unable to take certain food items as they required
her to use electricity to heat up, she has tried to get help from the
council but they are taking a long time to sort the situation.
- A couple in East Yorkshire
had been through debt relief but a visit to the hospital meant a
missed appointment with the benefits office resulting in a delay to his
- A young adult in Hull has
finished college and is seeking employment, but receiving no benefits at
the moment and it could take up to 6 weeks or more before it comes
- A lady's benefits in Greater
Manchester keep getting sanctioned because they feel her husband is not
looking for work as much as he should. They have a loan that they need to
pay off, which they took out to help them feed their children.
I don't pretend to know the ins and outs of
these issues, but I can see from these stories (and there were many more I
could have chosen) that there are people left for a period of time with
absolutely nothing to live on. Delays in benefits can often come about
because of a change in circumstances, like a marriage break-up or bereavement. The individuals in
question are going through that emotional pain whilst experiencing deep anxiety
about their financial situation as savings get eaten up whilst they wait ... or
if there are no savings, real desperation sets in.
See here for live requests in this category.