Benefits a double edged sword

Many people on a limited income are able to cope thanks to the benefits they receive. However, this is often a double edged sword, as benefits can be stopped by the Government or by administration for all sorts of reasons, frequently leaving recipients with a sudden drop in their income. The following two stories demonstrate how differing circumstances can have similar effects. 

Anna is a single mother, and was just about managing to provide for herself and her 5 year old son with the help of child benefit and child tax credits.  Wanting to improve her circumstances Anna began to attend college, and was able to receive the ESA (Education Support Allowance), which made life a bit easier.  Unfortunately personal circumstances prevented her from attending college for a short period, and consequently her ESA was withdrawn.  Now months later she is still trying to sort it out and has asked the CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau) to help her with this.  In the meantime she is struggling to make her money work  and Foodbank is able to stand with her to provide some food during this difficult time.

Duncan was admitted to hospital due to manic depression, but whilst in their care other issues were discovered, and he ended up staying for several weeks.  This caused his benefits to be temporarily stopped, however when he was sent home it was clear that it would take a few weeks before the benefits were reinstated and he began receiving the money again. Avon & Wiltshire Partnership were able to give him a Foodbank voucher to ensure he still had food in the period whilst waiting for this benefits, and were also able to get a crisis loan for him to help with his bills.