Young dad reveals problems with universal credit system

Ryan McGrath with 10-week-old son Kai
Ryan McGrath with 10-week-old son Kai

A Wigan dad has spoken of his problems with the universal credit system.


Ryan McGrath said he had received universal credit payments since October 2014.

But he had issues when he was employed for a short time and then wanted to return to claiming universal credit.
He believed the claim was kept open for a certain amount of time, but says this did not happen.

Ryan, 22, said: “I have had a lot of trouble with universal credit all the time, since I have been on it.

“I have had problems in the past where I have had a job for a month and when I got back to claiming, they say it was closed in their system.”

He is currently in a dispute with the universal credit system about a £300 loan he was given last year.

He believed he had paid the final balance last week, but has been told he owes £50 still.

Ryan, who has no fixed address, had hoped to apply for a new loan after paying it back as he was struggling financially.
But he is not eligible because of the outstanding balance and says he is now struggling to buy essentials, including special milk for his 10-week-old son Kai, who is lactose intolerant.

A spokesman for the Department For Work And Pensions said: “With universal credit, people are moving into work faster and staying in work longer than under the old system.”

“Universal credit is already in every job centre for single claimants and we are rolling it out to a wider range of people in a safe and controlled way. The vast majority of claimants are paid in full and on time, and are comfortable managing their money. Advance payments and budgeting support is available for anyone who needs extra help.”

It is understood that new loans can be provided for people if their circumstances change, even if they already have a loan.