Jul 12, 2018
It was brought to our attention that a lady who is chronically disabled, bed-bound and totally reliant on carers has had her benefits stopped. It seems that the system at the DWP defaulted to an old, (over 14 years old) address, which caused a change of circumstances and triggering a new claim. This means her Disability Living Allowance which was in payment has been stopped and she now has to apply for Personal Independence Payment instead. It is going to take some time to get this mess sorted out, but in the meantime we were asked if we could help her with some money so that she can hopefully cope until then. We agreed to send her £100.
Apr 24, 2018
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.
Apr 9, 2018
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.
Feb 14, 2018
We were asked to help out a lady who is in receipt of ESA, as she has Epilepsy, Anxiety and depression. She was in receipt of DLA, but when she was switched for PIP, she lost her claim. This has meant that her income has dropped by £130 per week. She is appealing the decision and is due to have her claim heard later this month, our Agents are confident that her PIP will be awarded. She needs help in the meantime to pay for some heating, as she is currently unable to heat her home. She needs to cover the next few week, because even if she is successful, it will take several weeks for the DWP to address the backpayment she would be due, and to actually pay that. We agreed to send her £150.
Sep 23, 2017
Details of our client today came to us via our agents who told us about this single mum with two children, her youngest, 10 years old is autistic and she was in receipt of DLA for him, plus carers allowance and income support. Her son's DLA came up for renew and the DWP decided that DLA payments were no longer necessary, so she lost that, the income support and the carers allowance, as well as the disabled child top up on child tax credits. This failure of the DLA impacts so many other payments and they have been without any benefits payments apart from basic child tax credit and child benefit since early August. She has had two welfare payments already from her local authority, and even though she has only 27p on her energy meters, her energy company is refusing to help her. Having exhausted all help in her local area, our agents turned to us for help. We agreed, as it was an urgent case, not coming to us until late on Friday, that we should send across £150 so she can top up her meters and get some much needed food into the house for the three of them.
Sep 1, 2017
We were contacted regarding a lady who has recently been invited to apply for PIP in the switch from DLA. Sadly she failed and has to appeal this decision, but is struggling as the only money she has coming in is her ESA payments. From next week it is likely she would have not had any gas or electricity. She has a liquid protein meal, so foodbanks are out of the question for her. We agreed to send over £100 so that she is able to top up her meters and buy the food she desperately needs.
Mar 16, 2017
We were approached about a man in his 50s, with complex mental health issues. He lives in a caravan in quite a remote area, not easily able to access public transport. His van needs gas bottles to provide fuel for the heating and for cooking. He had no money to pay for this, nor for electricity, food or fuel for his motorbike he uses to get into town. We agreed to send across £150 to allow him to purchase a bottle of gas (£52), to put some money on to his electricity meter and buy some food. He is being supported to get his application for Personal Independence Payment put through again, as he lost his award of PIP when he failed the transition from Disability Living Allowance.
Oct 24, 2016
When a claimant fails to be awarded PIP, you'd think that might be a straightforward thing to happen, but not at all. You see an award of PIP entitles and leads the way to other benefits help, which when PIP is not awarded, they simply fall away. The lady in question, a double amputee, with a serious illness on top of that, had applied to transition from DLA, Disability Living Allowance, which she had been in receipt of for some years, to PIP, Personal Independence Payment, which the Government brought in to replace DLA. (There is no choice in the matter, once you are 'invited' to apply for PIP, you cannot choose not to do that and remain in receipt of DLA. Once your invitation date has passed, your DLA payments stop). Increasingly we are seeing more and more seriously ill and disabled people, dependent on specially adapted vehicles, as was the case with this lady, having their cars taken away from them. This for her means that as well as the money she'd come to rely on to survive, her means of getting out of the house will be gone, so she will become housebound. She is appealing that decision thankfully, but as it takes so long to be resolved, it is highly likely that her specially adapted car will have to go back before she can get this resolved. This week she and her family are being fed by her friends that have stepped up to help her, and next week it would be the foodbanks for help. We agreed to send her £100 so she could buy some much needed food and other items, for which she was extremly grateful.