Otis is my life, without him I have nothing ...

A Wigan woman and her mental health support dog could be left out on the streets after a string of errors led to her benefit being axed.

Friday, 19th May 2017, 11:12 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:33 pm
Hayley Wroth from Ince with her mental health support dog Otis

Hayley Wroth received universal credit to help with a series of severe mental health issues, which left her unable to work.

But after asking her now ex-partner to leave their home in Ince, the 21-year-old suddenly noticed she was not receiving her payments.

Despite having notified the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) about her change in circumstances, Hayley was later told her credit had been terminated and that she would receive no further payments.

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A distraught Hayley said: “I have literally been left with nothing.

“I have no income and I’m going to be homeless.”

The 21-year-old added: “I am on contribution-based support allowance, but I’ve been told I can’t claim that because I haven’t made enough contributions myself.

“Now I’m being threatened with a court summons for a home repossession, because I can’t pay my rent.

“I never had any problems with Job Seekers Allowance, but since Universal Credit rolled out, I’ve been through hell.

“I had an overdose in December because of the stress of it all.”

Hayley was advised to make a brand new claim instead, but has now gone more than a month with barely any money.

Her woes could be further added to if her housing association finds her a new property that does not allow pets - meaning she would be separated from her mental health support dog, Otis.

Otis, a Lurcher and Labrador crossbreed has been with her since November.

He helps her through periods of severe depression, anxiety, bipolar and borderline personality disorder, and through her current tests for schizophrenia.

Faced with the heartbreaking prospect of life without her beloved pet pooch, Hayley stressed: “That would be it for me. I wouldn’t survive without Otis.

“He is trained to notice when I’m having an episode before I even do.

“Even if I forget my tablets, Otis knows I’m due to take them. And if I am having an episode, he lies across my legs and I stroke him. He is my life support.”

A DWP spokesperson said: “We have been in touch with Ms Wroth and are working with her to ensure her claim is processed correctly.”