So I received that letter.
“Important: you’ve received more universal credit than you’re entitled to.”
No clear explanation why. No monetary break down. Just a couple of dates in between which they apparently didn’t file their paperwork correctly, yet I am the one to blame. And now I owe them an aching sum.
I didn’t declare everything. Yet I did. Numerous meetings. Numerous declarations. Photocopies. Scans. Uploads. Interviews.
In every other business transaction in your life. There’s the decorum to address you as a human being and explain what brought you to a certain set of circumstances.
But universal credit is immune.
For one month they sent me continuous threats that it was about to be suspended. Until they realised it was an error on their part. Various threatening messages received with no due cause, followed up by a callous explanation of a misunderstanding and a meek “sorry for the confusion.”. And now this.
Confusion? That’s not confusion. That’s groceries. That’s the rent that keeps my children off the streets. That’s what gives me the stability to carry on earning and eventually become self sufficient so I don’t rely on Universal Credit.
But right now, you’re the relationship I wished I’d never have. But I need you. You’re not marriage material. You’re a rebound. But I need you for my emotional and financial security.
Yet every few weeks you toy with it. So I never feel too settled or content. Lord knows how the world would cope with single parents who felt too stable.
I left one demeaning relationship to be dehumanised by the next. I was emotionally abused by my ex, but I’ll only feel free from it when I cut this tie too.
Universal credit/tories. One in the same. We are a number to you. But we are just people who fell on bad circumstances.
One day I will be stronger. When that time comes, I will do something about this. Universal credit is meant to get people back on their feet, but the lack of organisation, the communication devalues those who need it. We are more than a figure. We need more than finances. Money helps. But talk to us like we are humans.
We are vulnerable but we are trying.
Treat people like scum, and they will eventually behave that way too. For what is the point in trying when nobody is paying attention?
Pay attention. Money helps us temporarily. Emotional recognition could help us indefinitely.