Originally, the payment was due on the first day of September. It didn’t come through. All the documents were already handed in. All ‘the evidence’ was in Scottish hands. So, I was perplexed to find myself slipping into my overdraft. When I went to see my work coach — that’s Dick, to you — he told me to call up Scotland, again. A few minutes of Vivaldi followed.
This time the phone was answered by a chirpy Scotswoman. A welcome change from the dour voices of past calls. She couldn’t find a reason why the payment hadn’t been made, but she reassured me that I would get my money that very day. I would get a text message, apparently. This was surprising good news from Scotland.
On my way out, I passed Dick at his desk and explained. Dick surmised that “they probably forgot to push the button”. For a moment, I imagined the dour office types being thrown out of a plane and skydiving towards a huge red button with PAYMENT across it in black letters. Sadly, the parachutes never work, but the splatter does send the money.
Just over an hour later, I got the text: “Mr White We will make a Universal Credit payment of approx £XXX.XX to your usual account. It should arrive by the end of today. DWP Universal Credit”.
Bear in mind, I was made redundant on July 15 and I went into the job centre four days later. The first week was taken out of the assessment, you don’t get anything for that time. Overall, my first round of Universal Credit was almost two months late. That’s how it goes, I suppose.
This was originally written for Notes from the Underclass.