DWP delays mean more food parcels

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              DWP delays mean more food parcels
       Sep 4 2012

       A woman with a six-month-old baby is among those referred to a food bank to help
       feed her family.

       The woman's case is one of those highlighted in the Citizens Advice Scotland

       It reveals how the mother, previously a single parent, made a joint application for
       jobseeker's allowance after forming a relationship with her partner who is the
       father of her new baby.

       When the couple made the application her claims for child tax credit, housing
       benefit and council tax benefit were stopped, leaving her with child benefit as her
       only income, she said. The woman turned to a Citizens Advice Bureau in the south
       of Scotland for help, reporting that she had not heard anything about her new
       benefit application after two weeks.

       When she asked about the delay, she said no reason was given and was told she
       would just have to wait for a decision. As the woman had no money for food, she
       was referred to a local food bank for help.

       A Citizens Advice Bureau in the west of Scotland referred a woman with diabetes
       for a food parcel because she was left without benefits for weeks because of
       delays. The woman has been using a wheelchair for almost a year because of a
       degenerative disease linked to her diabetes.

       She applied for employment and support allowance (ESA) but was classed as fit for
       work and was told to apply for jobseeker's allowance (JSA). When she made the
JSA application the woman was then told she was indeed not fit for work and
should reapply for ESA.

Although she had made the claim three weeks before, she was told it could take
another 14 days to process her application.

In the same region, a Citizens Advice Bureau reported that one man whom staff
were helping has to rely on food parcels from local churches.

The man, who is homeless, said a sanction was applied to his jobseeker's allowance
because he missed a date for signing on for the second time this year. As he could
not claim a hardship payment or crisis loan, he was referred for a food parcel.

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Description: A woman with a six-month-old baby is among those referred to a food bank to help feed her family.