A COUPLE grieving the death of their four-year-old son say they’re being forced to live on just £20 a week following a Universal Credit “nightmare”.
Sabrina McCarl and partner Marco Simoes were devastated when their severely disabled son Tiago McCarl-Simoes died from pneumonia in 2016.
Marco – a Portuguese national – claims he’s been refused Universal Credit on residency grounds – despite previously working in the UK.
And Sabrina says her monthly allowance leaves the couple and their surviving son, Ruben, with around £80 a month, it’s reported.
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Marc, 36, told Birmingham Live:”We’ve tried to do everything the correct way, but Universal Credit is the biggest mess ever.
“After our son passed away we moved houses and I was told to apply for Universal Credit.
“I showed them all the documents and paperwork, right down to my NHS number, but they decided I wasn’t entitled to anything, even though everything was fine before.
“It’s been a nightmare. We only survive on my partner’s money, we can’t afford clothes and I haven’t had £10 in my wallet for the last year.”
Marco says he may now be forced to move back to Portugal and leave his family behind.
It’s been a nightmare. We only survive on my partner’s money, we can’t afford clothes and I haven’t had £10 in my wallet for the last year
He also claims he underwent surgery on his hand to remove tumours but will need further treatment as well as monitoring to ensure the growths are not cancerous.
Sabrina, 30, reportedly has doctor’s notes for depression and anxiety as the basis for her £900 Universal Credit claim a month.
This amount has to cover rent, gas and electricity at the housing association home where they live, she claims.
She told Birmingham Live: “By the time we’ve paid the bills we barely have £20 to £30 a week to spare, and much of that is taken up with bus fares,” said Sabrina.
“I’ve had to turn to family to borrow money and to foodbanks.
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“We’ve told them about our bereavement and how we have struggled since but it’s made no difference, they just don’t take into account your needs.”
A DWP spokesperson said:“Ms McCarl receives more than £900 a month in Universal Credit, including housing and child support.
“We have an obligation to support people who are fully resident in the UK. Mr Simoes has not provided evidence of the right to reside in the UK and therefore is not eligible to receive Universal Credit. This decision has been upheld after review.”