A man has been left to sleep on the streets after his Universal Credit payments were cut.

Shaun Precious, 44, had been receiving benefits since 2017 and has been unable to find work since his father passed away.

His ordeal started after letters asking him to attend job centre appointments were sent to his late father’s address, rather than the hostel he was living in.

As a result, he missed the appointments and had his benefits sanctioned, HullLive reports .

He later attended a job centre meeting on Friday, February 1, in order to get Universal Credit money paid to him, but says he was left on hold for over an hour with a Department of Work and Pensions advisor before she hung up on him, explaining that her shift finished at 4.30pm.

Mr Precious says he suffers from mental health issues and has been left "suicidal" over the mix-up.

"After being sanctioned through no fault of my own, I’ve not been paid since December 18, which has left me unable to pay my rent at my hostel, and has left me starving as I’ve got no money for food either," said Mr Precious.

"To try and fix the problem, I told the Job Centre I’d only missed the meetings with them because they had sent the appointment letters to a house I don’t live at, so didn’t receive them, and I was told to come in to speak with one of their advisors to get my payment sorted for the next day.

"I went in to the Job Centre but all the woman I was assigned to did was ring the Universal Credit number and sat there on hold for over an hour trying to get through while listening to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, which I could have just done myself.

"Then when it got to 4.30pm, she hung up as she said she had finished her shift, and gave me another number to ring on Monday [February 4], and then kicked me out to just fend for myself with no money and food, and nowhere to sleep but on the streets.

"It’s made me suicidal – I’ve got mental issues, anxiety, depression and COPD and the streets are just no place for me to be, but I’ve got absolutely no money to pay for my hostel, and nothing to eat so I’m going to starve unless I can get to a food bank.

"I’ve had to live on the streets before and it’s so tough and not something I wanted to have to do again – it’s freezing and you have to keep moving all the time and dared not fall asleep in case of getting attacked.

"I’m just so fed up, I really am. I don’t know where to turn and I can’t believe that it has come to this through absolutely no fault of my own.

"I don’t know what more to do and I just hope that my payments can get sorted soon as it’s really unfair."

The DWP have indicated that Shaun notified them of his change of address in December and say there is a system of payments available for people who need immediate support.

A spokesman said: “Universal Credit is a force for good, and is working for the vast majority of people.

“Sanctions are only used in a very small percentage of cases when people fail to meet their agreed commitments in return for benefits, such as a failure to attend multiple meetings with their Work Coach without good reason.

“We will always contact people to resolve any issues around attendance, using the latest details they have provided us.”

Read More

Stop Universal Credit cruelty

  • Sign our petition
  • What is Universal Credit?
  • MPs blast a ‘DWP in denial’
  • Disabled people face losing £300 a month

Source: Read Full Article