Gosport woman on Universal Credit 'hasn't seen a single penny' since March

A WOMAN who started claiming Universal Credit earlier this year is living on toast and noodles after not receiving a single payment.

Sunday, 15th September 2019, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 16th September 2019, 10:31 am

Maria Moffat, 56, from Gosport, signed up for Universal Credit payments in March, with an agreement for her landlord, the borough council, to be paid rent directly.

But Mrs Moffat has not been given any payment from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which has left her living on the bare essentials.

Not only is she eating toast and noodles each day, but there are often days where she and her partner cannot afford to keep the electric and gas meters running.

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Maria Moffat Picture: Vernon Nash (030819-002)
Maria Moffat Picture: Vernon Nash (030819-002)

This, the DWP says, is because Mrs Moffat is not actually owed any money for Universal Credit, following deductions.

Mrs Moffat said: ‘We’ve had to borrow money to pay for our energy meters, but truth be told there are days where we just go without.

‘It’s tough to keep going – I’m at the end of my tether and feel like I can’t carry on like this any more.’

Under Universal Credit, once deductions are made for Mrs Moffat’s pension and carer’s allowance, she is left with £34 for her rent – paid directly to the council – and no additional support.

This, she says, has left her much worse off than she was while claiming PIP and housing benefit, when the money left over for rent was much higher.

It’s only through her husband’s pension from the Royal Navy, and support from veterans’ charity SSAFA, that the couple have been able to keep a roof over their heads.

In total, the DWP has paid £407.33 in rent since she started claiming.

Registered disabled, Mrs Moffat uses a wheelchair, and does receive a disability allowance.

‘Our situation has become worse because we’ve ended up falling behind on rent,’ she said.

‘All I can afford to eat each day is a piece of toast and some noodles – that's all there is.’

A DWP spokesman said: ‘Mrs Moffat is not owed any money by the department.

‘Her Universal Credit award is adjusted to reflect her other income and a part-payment has been made to her landlord each month.’