“My name is Susan and I live with my 10 year old daughter.  I am on Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA).  I am looking for work in the education field, having qualified recently as a Teaching Assistant.  I am on the Work Programme which I haven’t found helpful at all.  I am doing voluntary work at the school my daughter goes to in order to get experience and references.

Since April, I have to pay £13 every month for Council Tax, whereas I got only a 70p a week increase in my JSA.  I have to find this extra money from somewhere to pay for the Council Tax, and the higher food and energy prices.  It is a real struggle living on benefits; if I had a choice I wouldn’t be on benefits.

The idea that benefits is a lifestyle choice is rubbish. No one would choose to live this life of counting pennies and anxiety / depression.  My hopes for the future are that I get work and am able to support myself and my daughter. ”

Listen to Susan’s interview, recorded in May 2015:

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