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Emily Masters says there is a stigma attached to being a young person on Universal Credit

Serina Sandhu 10:05 Thursday November 15th 2018.

In a new series, i reveals how the controversial Universal Credit system is affecting the lives of people up and down the UK through emotional and financial stress.

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One month Emily Masters’ Universal Credit payment was £438. The next month it was £342. Then it dropped to zero.

Two months later it climbed marginally to £34. In August it was £537.

This has been Emily’s life for the last 10 months. She signed on to Universal Credit in February 2018 after losing her job and since then she has rarely received the same amount of money in any two months.

And she has no idea why. The 25-year-old, who lives in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, has repeatedly tried to ask the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) why her monthly payment fluctuates so drastically but has only been told the issue will be looked at.

She is one of thousands of people who are struggling with the controversial system, which rolls six benefits into one monthly payment. Others have reported Universal Credit errors that have left them waiting weeks for their payment or only getting a fraction of what they should, leaving them without enough money to get by.

‘Nothing got resolved’

Emily appears despondent about her situation. “The amount of errors I have encountered with the Universal Credit system…,” she says, trailing off before finishing the sentence.

“One month I got paid absolutely nothing because they had on record I had worked apparently. So they didn’t pay me anything

I wasn’t working,” she says categorically. “I did raise it. Nothing got resolved.”

 

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