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Payday loans causing havoc

A young mum, separated from the child's father, due to domestic abuse issues, received £60 last week in benefits only to have a Payday loan immediately collect £52 from her bank account leaving her without any money for food.  She has moved from pillar to post, to avoid having to live at home, and this has meant she has really struggled financially.  The child's father was assisting with daycare for the child while she worked, but this has now fallen apart.  She has no gas or electricity, and on the day we were contacted had just prepared the last pasta she had in the house for her son's lunch.  Our agents have issued her with a food voucher, but she will have to wait until the food bank is open for her to redeem that.  We agreed between us to send her £150 so she can stock up her cupboards and freezer and put some money on to her energy meters.  

Tags : Benefits UniversalCredit DomesticAbuse Poverty FuelPoverty FoodPoverty

Single Father with cancer

A single father of a 15 year old daughter has been through surgery and treatment for a brain tumour.  Before his diagnosis he was working full-time and was of the belief his job was safe.  When he was discharged from hospital he came home to find he'd lost his job.  His health has improved now and he has been looking for employment but struggling to find someone that will take him on because of his previous cancer diagnosis.  He was in receipt of Employment Support Allowance, but was taken off that because he was job searching, and he was refused Personal Independence Payments.  Our agents have been helping him to apply for housing benefit, council tax benefit and to apply for ESA again, as it is clear he needs to take more time to heal properly before he goes back to work.  He has no money coming in at all at the moment and is being supported by family and friends, as well as his daughter accessing her savings.  He is often going without food as he has no money to buy any.  We agreed to send them £120 so they can buy some food and be able to top up his energy meters.

Tags : Poverty Unemployment ESA PIP NoFood FoodPoverty

Man living alone without income

Yesterday our help was needed for a man who lives alone in a one bedroomed flat.  He separated from his wife last October, but despite this she has been accessing and debiting his bank account without his knowledge, forcing him to shut his account down to prevent this from continuing to happen.  He was in receipt of Employment Support Allowance as he suffers with depression, extreme anxiety and Chronic obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), however he failed his assessment and his benefits ceased being paid in February.  Since then he has existed on two small crisis loans from his local council, but he has had his maximum and can't have any more.  Our agents are going to help him with appealing the decision but as it will take some time for the DWP to look at his case again he will be without money while he waits.  We agreed to send him £150 so he can buy some food and pay some of his bills.  

Tags : DWP Benefits ESA Appeals Debt Poverty FoodPoverty

Young mum with cancer needs help

We were asked to help a young mum of two small children.  She has recently been diagnosed with cervical cancer and is about to start treatment for this, radiotherapy and surgery.  Following the surgery she is going to need a replacement mattress as the one she currently has will no longer be suitable, they have applied for a grant to buy a new mattress for her.  Before she became ill she was working full time and providing for her family.  Since her diagnosis she has had to give up work and apply for Universal Credit.  By applying for this though her previous payments of child tax and working tax credit have been stopped, and her Universal Credit payment last month was just £20 for the three of them.  She is currently trying to buy what little food she can using her credit card and the debt this is causing is stressing her out.  We agreed to send the family £150 so they can buy food and energy for the next month.

Tags : YoungMum Cancer youngchildren UniversalCredit FamiliesinPoverty FoodPoverty

Family in dire straits

Help was needed for a family that arrived here in the UK back in 2011.  The parents separated for a while and lived their lives, however the father became dependant on alcohol in 2017 and was unable to work as a result.  He claimed for Employment Support Allowance and joined a detox programme which has resulted in him giving up alcohol completely.  Shortly after the couple moved back in together but have now realised that this was a mistake and they should have stayed apart.  The wife is now considered homeless and is waiting to secure accommodation for her and their teenaged children.  Both parents have submitted separate claims for Universal Credit, and despite them having worked almost continuously since they arrived in the UK in 2011 they are both having to fulfill a habitual residency test.  The initial test they failed and the first claim was cancelled.  They are now claiming again, and need to wait for the result of the habitual residency test before they can make an advanced claim on the Universal Credit.  The Mother now works part-time, 16 hours per week but it is not enought money to keep a household of four going.  We agreed to send over £150 to allow them to purchase energy and fuel.

Tags : Benefits DWP UniversalCredit AlcoholDependency EUNationals Homelessness FoodPoverty

Urgent request for assistance

We were approached to help a young lady who unfortunately suffers with many health conditions.  She is at the moment suffering very serious epileptic seizures several times a day which means she is unable to work as she would be a health and safety risk both to herself and those around her.  Up until now she has been existing financially on just her Disability Living Allowance payments, so our agents are helping her to make a claim for Universal Credit, but they are going into this knowing that it will take at least 7 weeks before payments are properly in place.  In the meantime she is without money for energy or food.  We agreed we would send over to her the sum of £150 to help her out. 

Tags : DWP Benefits DLA UniversalCredit Poverty FoodPoverty FuelPoverty Epilepsy NotFittoWork

Lady too terrified to leave her home

This lady was brought to our attention by our agents.  She is a lady in her late forties, that is in receipt of Universal Credit, but because her adult son currently lives with her that UC amount is seriously reduced.  He is moving out soon to move in with his girlfriend, this will leave her subject to bedroom tax as she will be occupying a 3 bedroomed home.  She is really struggling and is in quite serious debt, so our agents are referring her to their debt team to try to get this resolved.  She has been a victim of domestic violence which has been so severe it has left her with a brain injury.  This has meant she is unable to work, plus she rarely sleeps for very long as any noise and she wakes up.  She is afraid to leave the house as her ex-partner knows where she lives and has already damaged the property leaving her with a broken window she cannot afford to have repaired and her landlords have said that because it was done deliberately they won't pay to repair it either, so she is in her home and it is freezing cold.  She doesn't currently have any money for heating or for food.  We agreed to send her £100 to allow her to buy food and put credit on to her energy meters.

Tags : DWP UniversalCredit FoodPoverty FuelPoverty Debts Poverty

Man with cancer found fit for work

This situation is a man that has been diagnosed with head and neck cancer, needing to have extensive surgery.  He did have a job but had to give that up when he became too unwell to work.  He was in receipt of Universal Credit, but recently had a work capability assessment (WCA) where they found him fit for work, despite the fact he is unable to turn or lift his head or arms.  The outcome of the WCA has caused him emotional and psychological distress.  He is still at high risk of infection, so it is important that he has access to hot water for keeping clean, however he is having to decide between heating his home or being able to eat.  Our agents are going to help him put in an application for Personal Independence Payments, as well as appeal the decision of the WCA.  We agreed to send him £100 to buy food and fuel.

Tags : DWP UniversalCredit WCA FuelPoverty FoodPoverty Poverty Cancer

Mother of one without food and heat in freezing conditions

This mother of a six year is in employment, but for the past weeks she has not been given any shifts at work.  She is in receipt of Universal Credit but is unable to cover her council tax bill, nor have any money for food or heating.  She has been trying to find a better job where she can be guaranteed hours of work, but so far she has not had any success.  Her mental health and anxiety are being exacerbated by the stress of her situation. She is not due another Universal Credit payment until the middle of February.  We agreed to send her and her daughter £150 to cover the cost of topping up her energy meters and buying some food.

Tags : Benefits UniversalCredit ZeroHoursContracts FuelPoverty FoodPoverty DWP

Foodbank needs funds to be able to help others

We sent a £100 donation towards a foodbank that were crowdfunding to raise money to buy food to stock their foodbank larder.  We don't do this often, but we know that this money can help lots of families to have access to much needed food.

Tags : Foodbanks Benefits UniversalCredit FoodPoverty Familieswithoutfood

Single Dad needs money for gas and electricity

We were approached about helping a single dad who has sole care of his two oldest children, and at the weekends care of his youngest two as well.  Since taking on the care of the older children he has had to put in a claim for Universal Credit and he is really struggling to make ends meet.  Our contact had been speaking to this man who said that he has nothing on his gas meter at all and 75p on his electricity meter.  The house is cold, he is unable to heat it, nor does he have any money to be able to prepare a hot meal for them all.  His next Universal Credit payment is not due for at least a week.  We agreed that we would send over immediately £100 to go towards fuel and food.

Tags : Benefits SingleDad FuelPoverty FoodPoverty Noheat nohotfood DWP

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