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Older couple finding it difficult to manage

We were approached about a couple that are one year short of retirement.  The lady works as a cleaner but has had to have three weeks off work as her arthritis has been so painful.  She has only just received her Statutory Sickness Payments.  They have a number of debts, and are subject to double bedroom tax as they have a three-bedroomed home.  They are desperate to down-size but their rent arrears are too high to allow that to happen.  They are trying to get to a position where they can address the arrears to allow a move to happen.  Their Universal Credit claim won't update to reflect that the wife has only received SSP, instead of her usual wage until early May.  They have been existing by using foodbank vouchers, as every penny they've received they've used to try to keep their home and fight off the threat of eviction and subsequent homelessness.  They've now exhausted their entitlement to help from the foodbank and have no money for gas or electricity either until they get any benefits payments in early May.  We agreed to send them £100 so they can buy some food and top up their energy meters.

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Tags : elderlycouple retirement benefits sickness SSP poverty eviction homelessness

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