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"Embarrassed" woman on Universal Credit 'used toilet roll instead of Tampax' so she could afford to feed herself (3 Pics)

 A young woman on Universal Credit was forced to use tissues instead of tampons so she could afford to feed herself, a councillor has claimed.
As the Tories six-in-one benefit is rolled out across the countries, more people are coming forward with shocking stories of people suffering to adapt to harsh new regime.
Heather Wride, a councillor in Somerset, has revealed how the small town of Froome has been affected by the "massive divide" created by the Tories flagship benefit policy.
Currently people who apply for Universal Credit are forced to wait for up to six weeks for a payment - although that will be reduced to five from today.
 Frome town councillor, Heather Wride said her job has been totally changed by Universal Credit

Heather handed the woman a box of tampons and told her she was there if she needed her

For Heather, the waiting time is forcing some people to make a choice between being able to pay the rent and afford to eat, often with devastating consequences.
"I answered my door to a young lady," Heather told SomersetLive , "She was distressed and embarrassed because she could not afford Tampax, instead she was using toilet paper. Rather than buy what is a necessity, she chose to put food on the table.
"So, I gave her the box in my bathroom and told her that if she needed me, I would always be there."
But for Heather her job is no longer just about bin collections and planning meetings.
What is Universal Credit?
A single system replacing six benefits: Child and Working Tax Credits, Housing Benefits, Income Support, Jobseekers’ Allowance, and Employment and Support Allowance.
It was launched in 2013 as the pet project of Tory Iain Duncan Smith supposedly to make work pay.
Who claims it?
Low earners, those out of work and the sick or disabled. Already 610,000 people are on UC - 8% of benefit claimants.
It is being rolled out to individual Jobcentres including 52 in October.
What are the problems?
Debt-ridden claimants must wait six weeks for their first payment, with 19% waiting longer than that and 4% waiting ten weeks.
Research also suggests overall, UC leaves many working families worse off than the old system.
That is because payments taper away at 63p for every £1 claimants earn.
The timetable has also been put back seven times since 2013 after a string of glitches and will only be fully complete in March 2022.
"Since the introduction of universal credit, my role and what I do has changed entirely," said Heather, who represents Keyford in Frome.
"I now spend hours each week on the phone to the universal credit helpline on behalf of others as they can't afford to run their phones."
She says she provides them with everything from advice to simply a sandwich.
"The six week waiting time means that there's no food on the table. It's often people's wages that pay the rent so often people can't buy food so they're having to go to the foodbank."
According to Heather, some people in the town are experiencing depression and have felt suicidal as a result of the changes.
"It's heartbreaking," she said.
The impact is not just being felt by those out of work though, with Heather saying that people in work, on zero hours contracts or dependent on their child benefit are all experiencing hardship. People of all ages have been affected, she claims.
"Some people come to me because they're just so upset. The youngest person who's come to see me has been 17, the oldest in their 60s."
Bob Ashford, Chairman of Trustees of Fair Frome, an organisation that supports people living in poverty in the town said: "There's been a huge increase in people using the foodbank.
"Our take-up has noticeably doubled since the introduction of Universal Credit. Many people have to wait many weeks, and for lots that's many weeks too long so they're forced to come to the foodbank. Lots of people don't have a safety net anymore so they have to come to us".
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “There is a range of extra support we can offer people to help them manage their money, including direct payments to their landlords, emergency payments and budgeting advice.
“We encourage people to engage with this support and talk to their work coach if they are experiencing financial difficulties.”

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