Universal Credit switch loses family free school meals

One of the many stories I wrote about Universal Credit was this one (30 September 2015) about how, because Universal Credit did not follow the existing practice of “passporting” benefits, a family suddenly lost their free school meals after switching to the new benefit.

In order to bring stories about personal finance to life, I often interviewed subjects and let them tell their own story through a first person narrative:

The benefit cap meant I immediately lost £627 a month. I rang them and said: “Look – I was still on the grace period. It’s not right just to cancel it.” They said it was a new claim and I didn’t have a grace period anymore.

At this point, I had a breakdown. I felt suicidal – the only thing that stopped me was my four children. I certainly wasn’t in a position to look for jobs.

And then, one day, I got a letter telling me my children’s free school meals were going to stop because I wasn’t receiving a particular benefit. It was a nightmare.

You can read the full story here.