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Woman in terrible circumstances needs help

The lady in question, due to ill health had been unable to work for some weeks, months even.  She has a daughter who was born with issues with her hips which have required surgery.  The mother tried to claim Disability Living Allowance for the daughter but was unsuccessful as the daughter wants to live as normal a life as possible, so the DWP felt that the DLA payments weren't necessary.  The woman has cared for her late mother who was diagnosed with cancer, then lost her brother too some weeks later, where he was also diagnosed with cancer.  She has been struggling to stay on top of things and simply not making any success.  We were asked to help by paying the Debt Relief Order so that they can get her debts under control, which they feel will remove much of the stress she is currently under.

Tags : Debts benefits DWP DRO DLA

Debts keep woman stuck in unsuitable housing

We are approached about a lady who is living alone in a three bedroomed house.  She has an issue with vermin in the property, is unable to climb the stairs, so sleeps downstairs on the sofa, and is unable to get in and out of the bath unassisted.  She is currently without any practical in person support to help her with keeping clean, so has hygiene issues.  She has been trying for a long time to get moved to a smaller more suitable property, but her landlords are refusing to help her until her debts are cleared for the extra bedrooms (this is due to the bedroom tax for the unoccupied rooms).  She has been diagnosed with mental and physical health difficultities and has made many threats of ending her own life due to the levels of stress she is under.  She is now being supported by our agents, plus she has a social worker who is putting things into place to turn her life around.  Our agents are confident that applying on her behalf for a Debt Relief Order to get her outstanding debts sorted is the best way to go forward, as this would be life changing for her.  We agreed to cover the £90 fee to allow this to happen.

Tags : benefits housingproblems bedroomtax debts DRO suicidethreats

Foodbank supplies running low

We had a call out for help with a foodbank that had posted on social media that they were very low on non-perishable items and concerned they might have to turn people away.  This was a quick and easy decision, as one sum of money helps lots of people at once.  We agreed to send them £60 so that they could use the money to purchase what they needed.

Tags : foodbanks runninglowonsupplies non-perishablefoods

Domestic violence victim needs help

We were asked to help a single man in his 40s who has been a victim of domestic violence, which he feels very embarrassed and very vulnerable about as a result.  He left with nothing but the clothes he was wearing, the police and social services were involved, yet his ex partner destroyed all his clothes and belongings leaving him with only what he stood up in.  He has secured a small flat which he is renting, but it is unfurnished and his benefits do not stretch to cover being able to purchase what he needs.  He is currently in receipt of benefits because he has degenerative disc issues which means he is unable to work.  He wants to be able to have his children visit him, but he has nowhere for them to sit, nor is able to prepare any food.  We have signposted our agents to places in his area he can source preloved and donated items and sent across to him £80 so that he can use that money to buy some of the bits and pieces he needs.  Hopefully he will be able to get hold of some bigger items from places that help the vulnerable with household items, as well as other places like Freecycle. 

Tags : benefits domesticviolence fleeingtosafety nofurniture DWP

Man left without benefits payments

Our contact asked us to help a young man whose benefits were all stopped in January this year.  Since then he has been without any money and relying on his siblings to provide him with enough food to just about survive.  He is now being helped to get his benefits payments back into place, and to get the tenancy of his parents home transfered to his name,  It is expected that his payments will begin again in two weeks time, but he has exhausted all the local support schemes, including his right to a voucher at the food banks.  We agreed to send him £100 to keep him going until his money comes through.

Tags : benefits nofood nobenefitspayments DWP

Academic without food or furniture

This case just goes to show that people from all walks of life are affected when they find themselves in a situation where they are unable to work any longer and become reliant on the benefits system.  Our client here is an academic, who found himself in a situation where his previous social housing home, was expensive to heat and had a vermin problem that was proving impossible to resolve.  He decided to move home and went to a new area and a new housing association property, which he does get some help paying for via housing benefit.  He is currently in receipt of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA).  He has been 'invited' to apply for Personal Indpendence Payments (PIP), which will replace the DLA, but this is not as easy to do as it might seem, as many applicants having been on DLA for some years frequently find themselves refused PIP and are faced with tribunals to try to get the decision overturned.  Often the wait time to get a refusal overturned if it goes beyond the mandatory reconsideration stage, and ends up at tribunal can take almost a year to resolve.

This man is struggling to keep his head above water financially, as his benefits payments aren't stretching far enough.  He is currently without a bed, so sleeps on the floor, doesn't have a cooker, so cooks on a camping stove.  There is no furniture, nor any carpets in his home.  He chooses between heating his home and eating, it is that much of a hand to mouth existence.  He visits the food bank when he is able to, but still isn't coping too well, and the lack of decent nutrition is impacting his physical and mental health negatively.

Our agents are assisting him with the transition from DLA to PIP, as if these payments stop then he will be in even more trouble financially.  They are helping him to apply for a grant to obtain some carpeting or floor coverings for his house, so he isn't sleeping on a concrete floor.  Local to him furniture banks will be able to supply some second hand or used items, and we agreed to send him £120 to help him purchase items of his own choice, as well as some food.

Tags : benefits ESA DLA PIP housing nofurniture nobed

Single mum of two struggling to manage

We were approached and asked to help a mum of two children.  She suffers with depression and has recently been refused ESA at an assessment earlier this year.  She is now existing on her child tax credits and child benefits payments only which are not stretching far enough, so has been borrowing from friends and relatives with no spare cash to be able to pay that back.  Our agents are helping her to request for this decision to be reconsidered, and also that her housing benefit be put back into payment before she falls too deeply into rental arrears.  She doesn't feel mentally able enough to claim job seekers allowance, but our agents are going to help her with this, because it will take a long time for the application to have the ESA decision overturned.  We agreed to send the family £100 so that they can buy some food and to help with gas and electric.

Tags : ESArefusal debts benefits singleparents nomoney

Homeless support group calls out for help

A post on social media was spotted asking for a pair of trainers to fit a man who tonight finds himself street homeless, but does not have any suitable footwear.  They've been able to help him out with a sleeping bag and tent, but needed shoes.  We agreed to send the man £20 so that he can get himself some suitable footwear.

Tags : homelessness noshoes outonthestreets

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