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Karen's story - "We're not living in luxury, we've only got the basics"

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Karen Firth lives in a three-bedroom house in Bilston, Wolverhampton, with her husband and 21-year-old son. Under the Welfare Reform changes she is only entitled to a two-bedroom property or will have to pay more to stay where she is.

Karen picks up the story:

"I need my own bedroom as I have Epilepsy which results in night fits and incontinence. It's easier to have a single bed to change and it would be unfair for me to share a bedroom with my husband, much as I would love to, because of my condition. Who wants to share a bed with someone who has fits and is incontinent? At the moment my husband can at least get back into a clean bed after I've had a seizure.

When I heard about welfare reform I was very shocked and disappointed about it all. To be forced to either move or pay more when I have a condition through no fault of my own is stressful.

I don't want to keep moving, I want to be settled. I thought this house was for life. I don't really want to move as I'm close to my family here but I'm being forced to. I'd have to find about £50 more a month which is a lot of money to find especially as I'm on Disability Living Allowance. Sometimes it's hard to find money for a loaf of bread, we're not living in luxury, we've only got the basics."

To download a PDF version of this case study, click here.

Visit the Welfare Reform area to view our FAQ pages and learn more about the four major changes to benefits.

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