Erica lives with her son in a small ex-mining village. Her mother, who died a few months ago, lived with the family, with Erica acting as her unofficial carer. Both Erica and her son are in poor health and receive Employment and Support Allowance, Child Benefit and Tax Credits. Since her mother’s death, they have been in spiralling financial difficulties, as they used to rely on Erica’s mother’s pension. They have experienced a number of benefit delays and find the administration of the benefits system very frustrating. Erica’s debts, including housing arrears and a loan, have escalated due to death expenses. Her mother’s funeral was delayed by several months because Erica could not afford funeral costs.