Eastbourne mother training to be vet nurse punished by benefit cap

Kelly White, mother of five at her home in Foxglove Road, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-170501-110546008

Kelly White, mother of five at her home in Foxglove Road, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-170501-110546008

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An Eastbourne mother who is training to be a veterinary nurse is facing having her dream shattered by the benefit cap.

Kelly White, 33, of Foxglove Road, managed to get a place on a full-time course and wanted to work her way out of the benefits system, but has now been told she won’t be able to receive support unless she gets a job immediately.

Since the benefit cap came into action in November, the single mother of five has not received enough money to afford her rent and is now facing eviction on January 17 and homelessness.

She said, “I don’t know what to do. I can’t believe it.

“I’m trying to better my life. I’m trying to get off benefits. I was doing well for once. I put all my effort into my work – I’ve never worked so hard.”

She wants this qualification so she can make a better life for herself and her children.

“If I don’t do this course I’m always going to need to be on benefits,” she said.

A spokesperson from Eastbourne Borough Council said, “The new benefit cap introduced by central government is affecting around 200 homes in Eastbourne, representing a total loss of housing benefit of around £886,000 a year across the borough.

“We have appointed a dedicated officer who is working hard to help those people we know will face difficulties managing their household expenses because of the cap.

The council has been contacting people who are affected to make them aware ahead of the changes.

Any Eastbourne resident who has concerns can contact the council on 01323 415611.”

A spokesperson from the Department for Work and Pensions said, “We are committed to helping people into jobs and the Benefit Cap provides a clear incentive to move into employment.

“Across Eastbourne, 75 per cent of households who were previously capped are no longer affected by it.

“The Benefit Cap restores fairness to the system – even with the new cap, households across Eastbourne can still receive the equivalent of a pre-tax salary of £25,000 and anyone eligible for working tax credits, carers allowance, and most disability benefits are exempt from the cap.”