Sunderland family desperate after benefit payment delays

Charles Watson and his wife Tracy and son Cody

Charles Watson and his wife Tracy and son Cody

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A DESPERATE family say they have been left living on the breadline as they wait for benefit payments.

Charles Watson, 49, and his wife Tracy, 40, are struggling to make ends meet and support their two young children.

The Thorney Close couple, who are parents to Tia, aged three, and Cody, two, both suffer from severe disabilities leaving them unable to work and are reliant on incapacity benefit and disability allowance.

Charles said: “I should have got my disability allowance and my incapacity benefit but they haven’t gone into my bank. It should just go in automatically.

“I’ve called them loads of times. They have said that it has been issued but it hasn’t. I would know if the money had gone into my bank.”

Charles’ right hand is paralysed and he suffers from numbness in the left leg leaving him with difficulty walking. Tracy suffers from muscular dystrophy, a degenerative disorder where muscles weaken and diminish over time.

“She can’t do anything,” said Charles. “Her muscles are wasting away.”

Charles said that he is angry at the way his family has been treated. “The way they are treating disabled people, it’s a disgrace. They are messing people about. It’s terrible what they are doing to a family. I don’t think my health can take any more.

“We are more than angry. We’ve got no money to put on for the electric. I’ve had to contact the electric company to see if they will give us gas and electric until we get paid.

“It’s not right what they are doing to us.”

Without money in the bank Charles is unable to provide for his young family.

“We have enough nappies to last Cody for maybe three days at the most, then what are we going to do? The boy’s got milk there but it’s not going to last. With nothing in the bank we can’t do anything.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Work and Pensions said: “We’ve tried to contact family to confirm that the benefits paid to them have been received and we have given them a direct contact number should they have any problems.”

Twitter: @sunechohannah