A COUPLE say they are on the breadline after they received just a penny in benefits for the month of February.

Emma Young and her partner Christian Boyce say they have had to go to a food bank for the first time and face eviction from their Bolton At Home house in Halliwell as their finances reach crisis point.

Emma, who works part-time in Asda in Horwich, said the problem started in January, when she received a bumper wage packet for working extra hours over Christmas.

Her February pay check came four weeks later — but within a month of when calculations for universal credit are made — meaning that she was logged as having received two months wages in a month.

The government then slashed the amount of benefit she received in February.

Ms Young, aged 31, said she supports the household as her boyfriend Christian cannot work because of mental health issues, and the couple have spiralling debt from existing rent arrears and payday loans repayments.

She said: “I was due to be paid on February 13, looked at my bank account expecting to see some money and there was just one penny been put in.

“It’s left us crazy for this month. I can’t pay my rent, and now the car is gone – it’s horrendous.

“There’s nothing I can do, I’ve just got to suck it. I’ve had to go to a food bank, which is awful.

“You try your best to go to work and get on, and then this happens. I’ve tried to speak to the JobCentre about it but they keep fobbing us off.”

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions accepted the payment into her account was ‘very little’ because Ms Young received two wages in one monthly period.

She had also received an advance, and a repayment of that Universal Credit payment meant the benefits she was given was reduced, the government spokeman added.

Ms Young was also in arrears with her rent with Bolton At Home before she began claiming Universal Credit in September.

The spokesman said: “For some people monthly benefit payments can mean a significant change to their financial routine, which is why our work coaches are on hand to provide budgeting advice.

“Also benefit advances are available for those who need them.

“Claimants should inform their landlord if they face difficulties paying their rent, while landlords can inform us directly if there is a problem.”