A mum who receives £16 a month in benefits has said she survives by eating pancakes.
Julie Harper, 52, has struggled financially since losing her job at Marks and Spencer at the start of the COVID pandemic in 2020.
She says she has £16 left from her Universal Credit once she pays her bills and is worried she could lose her home and have to put one of her sick dogs down.
Julie, from St Johns, Worcester, said: “I've been living off pancakes as flour eggs and milk are all cheap. I've had toast and so have the dogs.”
The single mum-of-three spends just £4 a week at the supermarket, buying milk, eggs, flour, bread and butter and going some days without food.
She has lived in her three-bedroomed house for the last 22 years but wants to downsize to a one-bed flat after her children moved out in September.
Julie relies on UC payments to survive, which used to give her £155 a month.
But her carers allowance was taken away after her daughter left, meaning her monthly bills increased, including a £116.18 monthly bedroom tax.
Once the money is deducted from her benefits and the contributions towards housing are taken, she is left with £16 a month.
Julie added: You don’t even feel human. I feel forgotten.”
She said: “The few days before you get your benefits you’re skint anyway, it’s been three weeks since I had a full meal. I don’t even think I could eat a full meal now.
“It's not having the money that’s the problem but the psychological state of it.”
Julie has been forced to get help from a local foodbank and use most of what little money she has on dog food to keep her beloved pets fed.
Her dire situation has led vets to offer to put Julie’s German Shephard down free of charge if she can’t afford the medication.
Julie added: “The dogs is the hardest part of all of this. I will always feed them over myself but it’s awful.
“When you look at them and they’ve only had a piece of toast a day it doesn’t make you feel like a good person.
“The medication to keep one dog going is £58 a month, it’s essential medication."
Platform Housing said that they are aware of Miss Harper's situation and have been supporting her "for some time".
Lisa Fairlie, director of housing operations at Platform Housing Group said: "We are aware of our customer's concerns and as such we have been supporting her for some time as well as signposting her to other agencies.
"We will continue to work with Ms Harper to find the right solution for her."