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Benefits gone astray

Couple who have not recieved their benefits since december.
Julie Briggs and Chris Breckenridge with manager Liz Childs, second from left and information and support worker Yvonne Conner, right.

Couple who have not recieved their benefits since december. Julie Briggs and Chris Breckenridge with manager Liz Childs, second from left and information and support worker Yvonne Conner, right.

A community resource centre is feeling the pressure after changes in the benefits system causes upheaval for its service users.

Mixenden Parents and Resource Centre’s Yvonne Conner has been helping Julie Briggs and Chris Breckenridge, both 43, of nearby Wheatley Court, who have been in a financial quandary after their benefits were paid into the wrong bank account - leaving them with no payment of benefits for a month.

After changing from Job Seekers Allowance to Employment and Support Allowance the couple, who suffer from depression, found that their account was not credited with the fortnightly payment of £386, on January 31.

Mr Breckenridge who studies Food Safety at the centre said: “We were struggling to keep warm - with no money for gas and electricity. We had to pawn our phones in.”

“I never want to go through that again,”said Miss Briggs.

Yvonne Conner traced the money and negotiated with the bank to get it returned.

“Department for Work and Pensions did not care that this money had gone astray - all they said was they’d paid it out. We tried to get an emergency loan from the council but they couldn’t help - provisions are running out, this is something that will affect more and more people,” she said.

The couple said they don’t know how they’d have coped if it wasn’t for Yvonne’s help.

They hope to receive benefits in their account today.

 

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