A CARE worker relying on the controversial new universal credit has been left struggling to pay bills after her income dropped dramatically.

Mary Scott, who is 61, has hit out at the new benefit system and says it causes nothing but misery.

She told the Tele that in a ‘ridiculous’ set of circumstances she has been receiving LESS money since her working wages dropped.

In the last two months she was told she was entitled to no payments — and has had to ask family and friends for help to just to make ends meet.

The Greenock gran says she’s been forced to spend time looking for more working hours to get by and is now terrified of being ‘sanctioned’ by benefit bureaucrats.

Mary, of Quarrier Street, said: “I have no money left at the end of the week.

“It has never been this bad.

“This is the worst I have ever felt.

“I am sick to the stomach and can’t eat or sleep.

“I used to work 30 hours a week and would be paid £200 but my hours have dropped.

“But I log on to my universal credit and I am not entitled to any money.

“I am worried that I can’t cover my rent.”

Mary says she simply cannot understand how the system works.

She told the Tele: “In May they gave me £60 but when my hours dropped it went to nothing.

“How crazy is that?

“It makes no sense.”

Mary is now under pressure to find another job to make up the hours but says this is not as easy as it sounds.

She added: “That is not how the care sector works.

“My hours could go back up and I need to be available.

“And obviously in the kind of work I do, people pass away.”

Mary says the universal credit system is unwieldy and makes no allowances for individual circumstances.

Mary added: “It is a disgrace. 

“The MPs and the people who are responsible for this should come and try to live like this.

“I have worked since I was 13 years old and love my job from the bottom of my heart but I’m having to get help from friends and family to survive.”

Mary says she’s contacted the local Financial Fitness team for help to try to sort out the minefield she’s been faced with.

But she added: “There are other people out there who can’t speak out and they are suffering in silence.

“People are being left with nothing.”

The Department for Work and Pensions say they will be getting in touch with Mary to try and resolve her case.

A spokesman said: “Universal credit provides tailored support not available under the old benefit system, including more help for those in work so they can eventually stop claiming benefits altogether.

 “We’re contacting Ms Scott to reassure her that her payments are fully up to date, including housing costs, and to offer any additional support she may require.”