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Life On UC With 4% Kidney Function

January 8, 2019

Martin Weaver’s doctors have warned him he needs to take better care of himself.

 

They were alarmed to discover the father-of-two is living in a 35-year-old caravan with just a small electric heater to keep warm as the temperature plummeted into the minuses this winter.

 

The 42-year-old, who has had hereditary kidney disease all his life, deteriorated last May when he had a heart attack while he was having dialysis.

 

He was then forced to give up his job as a hotel manager – and become reliant on benefits.

 

But he says Universal Credit just wasn’t providing enough for him to live and pay rent, so he had no other option but to give up his one-bedroom flat.

 

His dietician is “horrified” that he is surviving on beans and tinned tomatoes on toast – which isn’t good for anyone with kidney problems – but he says he can’t afford to buy healthier food.

 

Martin told i: “I don’t know what else I can do, I can’t afford to pay for a house, Universal Credit just doesn’t pay enough for that. The benefits system just isn’t working.”

 

Staying in lay-bys

 

Martin, from Dorset, used to have dialysis at home and his kidney disease was under control until he was 38. When his kidneys started to deteriorate he needed a strong form of treatment in hospital called hemodialysis three times a week for four hours a time.

 

Now both organs are operating at just four per cent and he desperately needs a kidney transplant.

 

But because the hemodialysis has put a strain on his heart he needs surgery to repair this first, which he’s waited seven months for so far.

 

Now Martin, who also suffers from a painful bone condition as a result of the dialysis, gets £670 a month in benefits. His rent came to £540 which left him with £130 for food, gas, electric and council tax bills.

 

He parks at sites that cost from £12 a night and has to move every 28 days. Some times he’s stayed in lay-bys without any amenities when he hasn’t had the money.

 

Martin has two young sons, Max, five, and Tristen, three, who he usually shares custody of with his ex-wife. But now he isn’t keen on letting them come very often to the cold caravan.

 

“Having just over £100 to spend on all outgoings was impossible and it was either live in a caravan or live on the streets,” he said.

 

“Times when I’ve had to stay in lay-bys I’ve had to make do without any heat and use two duvets. “I’m lucky to have got the caravan for free off Facebook. But it does get freezing in the winter and there’s no toilet. I’ve just got a microwave. I haven’t had the gas checked to see if it’s safe. It’s not ideal for young kids.”

Skipping meals

 

As well as being unable to afford to pay towards his children, Martin says he skips lunch. “I usually have cereal for breakfast, then nothing for lunch and then toast with either beans or tinned tomatoes. “People with kidney problems should lower their intake of sodium, potassium and phosphorus, which you find in tinned foods. “I’ve also been told I need to eat more protein because it produces less waste for removal during dialysis. I would love a healthy chicken dinner with veg but I just can’t afford that.

 

“At the hospital they brought me a parcel from the food bank but it was all full of tinned foods.”

 

‘It feels like begging’

 

Martin has launched a GoFundMe appeal to ask for donations from the public.

 

“I hate doing it, it feels like begging when I’ve always worked,” he said. “I put up the page then took it down two days later but have put it back up because I’m desperate. I don’t know how long I will have to wait for the operation.”

 

He explained he had lined up a new house to live in, but is unsure if it will stand up.

 

“It was always difficult for people on benefits to find private landlords willing to let them stay,” he said. “But now it’s even harder. They have read in the press about people waiting 12 weeks for their payments and they don’t want to take the risk.

 

“Dealing with your benefits is all online too, which can be hard or impossible for people on benefits who can’t afford internet or a phone anymore.

 

“It feels like the whole system is set up to make people give up.”

 

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: “Universal Credit provides a safety net for those who need it and is designed to help people off benefits and into work, because work is the best route out of poverty and the best way to improve your life chances. Anyone struggling with housing costs can also apply for Discretionary Housing Payments.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. nick permalink
    January 8, 2019 12:24 am

    of course, the DWP is set up so that you kill yourself ‘anyone with half a brain can see that hence the continual month in month out postings of this type of news from across the internet.
    when will it stop? it won’t’ it will never stop and it’s about time the public got that message crystal clear

  2. January 8, 2019 2:36 am

    https://inews.co.uk/news/real-life/life-on-universal-credit-benfefits-dwp-father-42-heart-attack-kidney-caravan/?fbclid=IwAR0h9VnE7Qc-ufXPNJRSKInapH1Meaad8Z5CAvCnZjLjYzxkz_VgKD98KoY

    “Martin Weaver’s doctors have warned him he needs to take better care of himself”

    ***
    So why doesn’t Martin Weaver or any of his doctors call the police or social services about DWP Fraud/Vulnerable Adult Abuse??? Well??? Go On???
    ***

    “The father-of-two has dialysis three times a week (Photo: Martin Weaver)”

    So he’s getting *actual* ‘healthcare’?… that’s nice… I wonder what that’s like.

    “gets £670 a month in benefits. His rent came to £540 which left him with £130 for food, gas, electric and council tax bills. He parks at sites that cost from £12”

    None of that adds up or makes sense.

    “At the hospital they brought me a parcel from the food bank but it was all full of tinned foods.”

    Don’t hospitals have their own food??? (or TIN OPENERS?)

    “Martin has launched a GoFundMe appeal to ask for donations”

    Aaaaaah GoDefraudMe.com

    Pay up or the kid gets it –

    “He explained he had lined up a new house to live in”

    So WTF is it whining about???

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