The Universal Credit uplift has helped me afford increasing utility bills

By Freya • 14 September 2021

Freya shares with us what the £20 Universal Credit uplift has meant for her and asks you to write to the Chancellor to ask him to stop benefit cuts.  

Living through the pandemic has been a bit up and down. Being at home all the time has been such a struggle, especially on my mental health. I have found it difficult to get face to face appointments with mental health services and had the stress of having to pay extra on bills. Luckily, I live with my partner and he has been really supportive throughout.

What the uplift has meant to me

The £20 uplift has made a difference in so many ways. It has helped make sure we

  • Can manage the rise in utility bills due to us being at home all the time and the prices increasing
  • Can pay extra utility charges that come up
  • Have been able to pay a little extra on rent to make sure we do not fall behind
  • Are able to buy more food in a food shop to last us longer

It has taken a weight off our shoulders and ensured that we are not going to fall behind or not be able to pay a bill because we are a little short.

Why the uplift is important

The uplift is important because it can make all the difference between being able to eat or paying rent.  £20 a week doesn’t sound like it would make an impact but it does. I haven’t got any children but for me and my partner it has made a big difference, so I can only imagine how much it has helped families.

As a peer researcher for Young Women’s Trust I have spoken to other young women who have shared stories about how the uplift has helped them. These conversations have shown me that it is hard to make money stretch to a liveable income when you are on benefits. This means many are left struggling.