Health & Wellness

Single Dad Takes Own Life After Long Wait for Universal Credit

A desperate single dad of three, Phillip Herron, tragically ended his life after waiting weeks for Universal Credit, with only £4.61 left in his account. Herron, 34, was overwhelmed by debts, including payday loans with exorbitant interest rates, and struggled to support his children after leaving his job to care for them. His mother, Sheena Derbyshire, shared that Phillip had quit his job to look after his kids and found himself in mounting debt.

In his final moments, Phillip uploaded a picture of himself crying to social media before taking his life in his car. His suicide note indicated that he believed his family would be better off without him. Sheena discovered the extent of his financial struggles, including debts totaling around £20,000 and an eviction notice, only after his death.

Universal Credit, introduced in 2013, often leaves claimants waiting for up to five weeks for their first payment. This delay has been criticized for driving families into deeper debt and poverty. Despite the tragic outcome, a Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson stated that it would be wrong to link Phillip’s death solely to his benefit claim, emphasizing the complexity of suicide.

Single Dad

Sheena has been left devastated and haunted by guilt, struggling to cope with the loss of her son. She hopes that sharing Phillip’s story will highlight the flaws in the Universal Credit system and prevent similar tragedies.

Margaret Greenwood, Shadow Work & Pensions Secretary, criticized the system, calling it “cruel and flawed” and urged for urgent reforms to prevent further suffering caused by delays and inefficiencies in processing claims.

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