Oct 30, 2018
We were asked to help a mother of four children, aged 1 to 11. One of the children is on the autistic spectrum with Aspergers. The mother has recently finished a degree which has now led to a full-time job. However she and her children have been living in temporary accommodation for some time now and are about ready to move to a permanent home. While she was at University she had a student loan and when she finished she was able to claim housing benefit and income support. She correctly told the local authority she was starting work and she was aware she would no longer be entitled to claim housing benefit, but asked for a run on of her benefits payments. Unfortunately because she wasn't claiming income support for the 26 weeks prior, this was against the rules and her housing benefit and income support were immediately stopped. This caused arrears of the rent at her temporary accommodation and the knock on of this is the inability to move to the permanent accommodation with rent arrears. There is a history of domestic violence within the family and the children have to travel some distance to schools, so understandably this lady is keen to move and get the children settled. We were initially asked to clear the arrears and provide some extra for moving costs, however we had to point out we are only a small charity relying on the goodwill of others so would be unable to provide such a large amount. We did agree between us though that we would send her £100 to be used to buy food and put some money on to the energy meters so that they could at least stay warm in the meantime. Our agents are assisting them with the arrears and getting those resolved so that she and her family can move.
Oct 19, 2018
A mum of three boys, 9, 6 and 3 years old are currently living in supported accommodation, designed to help lone parents suffering with mental health issues. The accommodation is overcrowded and they have been given some furniture, but she is struggling to get a bed suitable for the three year old. She is currently paying back a budgeting loan, has service charges to pay for where they are living as well as bills and food, so does not have any spare cash left to save for this. We agreed to send the family £80 to help them out.
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.
Jun 12, 2017
A gentleman in his 50s who'd worked for many years in the furniture removals business. He strained himself and was unable to work, but also unable to claim Statutory Sick Pay so put in a claim for income support instead, for which he received £80 a week, of which £13 he paid cover his rent and council tax. Unfortunately his condition worsened and he ended up in hospital with a punctured lung. On release from hospital he resigned from his job as he knew he would be unable to continue to work in that environment. The downside has been that his claim for income support has been now been suspended until he can provide payment slips from his old employer, who is now refusing to supply any of those. He has an agency helping him now to put in a claim for Employment Support Allowance instead as well as a claim for Personal Independence Payments. They will also help him get his claim for housing benefit and council tax help sorted out. He has been without any income since the middle of May, so we agreed to send across £100 to help him manage until his benefits can be reinstated.