On the 24th October I received the suspended benefit payments that I should have started getting about six weeks earlier. Meanwhile the monthly direct debits for gas, electricity, tv license, contact lenses, council tax etc. had been unpaid as my account had breached the allowed limit in mid October and each non payment had added another unaffordable chunk onto my charges to be paid early December.
Bank charges weren’t the most pressing problem though; Since my claim for JSA hadn’t been approved until 24th October, all the other contingent benefit claims such as free school meals and prescriptions and of course the most important of all, housing benefit had not been paid. In the case of housing benefit I was now told I would need to make an entirely fresh claim and hope it would be backdated. Meanwhile I had been sent a final notice before action by the landlord and incurred a £50 administration charge for the trouble which was added to my rental arrears.