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Young mum of two struggling to cope

We were approached about a young mum of two boys, ages 5 and 3.  She was previously in receipt of child and working tax credit, but had to switch over to claiming Universal Credit instead.  This meant a break in her payments, resulting in her falling behind with her rent and some of her bills.  She works 5 hours per week as a play assistant and is studying towards a qualification which will improve her employment options once she is qualified.  She does not have access to a computer at home, so has to go to her local library and use the computers there to study.  She received an advance on her Universal Credit payment (otherwise they'd have had nothing to live off), repayment for the advance is being deducted at source from her benefits, leaving her and her boys even less money.  We advised our agents to encourage her to request to repay the advance over 12 months, so it lessens the monthly deductions.  We also agreed to send her £100 to help her out in the meantime.

Tags : DWP UniversalCredit WorkingTaxCredit ChildTaxCredits Poverty LivinginPoverty benefitspoverty

A sad case needing our help

We were approached for help for a young man, 22 years old, who has recently taken over the tenancy of his Mum's house, following her death earlier this year.  This young man has been given a catalogue of incorrect advice, and by places that should know better, which has resulted in him not having the financial support he should have been receiving.  He has ended up in terrible debt, which is awful for someone so young.  He is also a single parent, having been granted custody by the courts of his young 2 year old son, with the mother not being allowed access at all to the child.  He has been receiving no financial assistance regarding his son, as he'd been advised to stop his income support claim and claim universal credit instead, which triggered a stop in his child tax credits payments.  They are trying to exist on £53 per week.  Our agents are helping him get all the correct benefits back in place, and they are assisting him too with the council as he's fallen behind with his bedroom tax payments, but in fact he should have been given 12 months grace following the death of his mother.  He has had an awful lot to deal with in the past 10 months.

We agreed to send across to him £150 for him and his son, so they are able to buy some food and essential items.  He'd had to borrow the money to buy a postage stamp so he could send off some evidence to the DWP for his universal credit claim.

Tags : SingleDad Benefits NoMoneyforFood UniversalCredit ChildTaxCredits Custodyofchild

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