An unemployed Huyton mum-of-four was given just 50p a week to pay her family鈥檚 rent after Tory benefit cap changes.

More than 7,500 families across Britain have had their housing benefits cut to just 50p a week and charities are warning people could lose their homes.

The cuts, introduced in November 2015, are part of the government鈥檚 attempt to get unemployed people back to work by capping their payments to a maximum of £20,000 if they live outside of London.

Steve and Kim Carmichael, from Huyton, will be in the spotlight on Panorama on BBC One tonight.

Investigators followed the family over five months to see how their lives have changed since the benefit cap.

Kim and Steve Carmichael

They used to get £500 a week in benefits to look after their four children but their payments were cut by £120 in November under the changes.

They say their rent used to be covered by housing benefit but that has since been cut to the minimum amount.

Steve said: 鈥淣ow it鈥檚 only 50p a week - so that鈥檚 £2 a month, which they may as well keep. It costs more to send a letter out.?/p>

The family was threatened with eviction at the end of January because of their rent arrears.

They then got a payment from a special government fund set up to help those who have been affected by the cap.

But this payment also ran out at the end of March and they will now have to apply for more money. If they don鈥檛 get it, they could lose their home.

Two of Kim and Steve Carmichael's four children

The government says the benefit cap tries to level up 鈥渢he playing field between families who are in work and who are reliant on benefits.?/p>

Chief executive of the Child Poverty Action Group Alison Garnham said: 鈥淢any of the savings the government intended to make are being lost because they have to spend on discretionary housing payments, in order to prevent people being made homeless. So they鈥檙e taking with one hand and giving back with another hand, it鈥檚 kind of a strange way of determining public policy on benefits.?/p>

Kim says the family has been struggling since their benefits were capped.

She said: ?pound;20,000 a year does sound a lot but it鈥檚 not a lot really. By the time you鈥檝e paid your gas, your electric, your rent if you鈥檝e got to pay rent, your council tax, your food shopping, clothes for the kids, trips, school trips and stuff like that, you know, your weekly money soon goes.?/p>

Neither Steve nor Kim has worked for almost nine years. Under the rules, they could get their full benefits back if they worked 24 hours a week between them.

Kim and Steve Carmichael

Steve says he is looking for work, but he hasn鈥檛 been able to find a job in the four months since the family was capped.

The discretionary housing payments the couple have received are one of a range of measures the Government says it has put in place to support those in the most need.

One of Kim and Steve Carmichael's four children

Minister for Welfare Delivery Caroline Nokes said: 鈥淲hat we sought to do was incentivise work because we know that the outcomes for children will be better if they鈥檙e in families that are working.

鈥淭he flexible support fund and our new personal support package for jobseekers is about trying to make sure that people have absolutely the most amount of support, to enable them to make the right decision and the transition into work.?/p>

You can watch the programme tonight at 9pm on BBC One. 鈥淧anorama: The Benefit Cap ?Is it Working??/p>