Oct 28, 2015
We received a referral from one of our external sources, which we agreed to help, although we were not entirely happy with the way the client was being advised. While we exist to give people help when they are in desperate financial situations, we do expect them to do whatever they can within the constraints of "The System" to help themselves as well. We have had to point out to this referrer's senior staff member that we are not a substitute service for the DWP and that their clients must show a certain level of willingness to shift for themselves before they can reasonably expect handouts from organisations like ours. Most, if not all, of our previous clients have let it be known in conversation with us that they are jumping (or at the very least clambering) through every hoop necessary in order to resolve their difficulties.
This client had been refused ESA and was waiting for an appeal hearing date. We were told by the referrer that they had suggested that he apply for JSA while he was waiting but had been told by him that the harsher procedures applying to JSA would exacerbate his mental health and stress problems. As there are plenty of advocacy services in existence for people with MH issues, we found the referrer's acceptance of this excuse curious, to say the least.
However, we had already agreed to provide assistance in this case, but the referrer has now been advised that we would take a dim view of any such future excuses. While we don't hedge our clients round with paperwork or demand proof of need, we do expect people to conform to a generally minimum standard of behaviour within the benefits system and to make use of whatever alternatives are available. TBF does not exist to bail out real scroungers!
This client received £150 from us.