Sep 1, 2017
We are unfortunately seeing a lot of these lately. The gentleman in question has severe mental health problems, and is currently in receipt of ESA, and was also being paid DLA, with a disability premium on top of that. However he was invited to switch over to PIP from DLA (claimants don't have any choice in the matter, if you don't accept the 'invitation' to switch, your DLA payments simply stop). This is what happened to this man, as he'd been given an appointment at a centre which was too far away for him to get to, so he requested a more suitable appointment at a closer location. Unfortunately he was simply registered as a 'no show' and so his payments stopped, the knock on of this happening is that his disability premium also stopped being paid, leaving him with just his ESA. He has fallen into debt and has been referred to our agent's debt counselling team. He currently has no gas, or electricity, no food and his son goes back to school on Monday, and currently does not have any uniform that fits him. We agreed to send £100 to help him out until his next payment is due. Our agents are supporting him to get his appeal in for his PIP application.
Jul 24, 2017
We were contacted about a young man that had been sanctioned on his Job Seekers payments because he failed to attend a Job Centre Interview, the reason he missed it was because he was in hospital. This meant his only source of income stopped so he was without money for food, gas or electric. We were asked for £60 to keep him going until his sanction could be reversed, and he can be transferred onto Employment Support Allowance, rather that Job Seekers.
Jul 8, 2017
Our client, a disabled lady who is a wheelchair user has been honest with the DWP and Tax Credits about her boyfriend moving in with her and her children. Their reaction was to say that he would now be financilly responsible for looking after her and her family. She was told to contact and apply for Universal Credit as she was no longer entitled to tax credits. Universal Credits said to her as she had three children, she couldn't claim Universal Credit and was told to ring Tax Credits back. They then told her she had to apply for Income Support, the result of that was that the DWP then stopped her ESA claim. They have been left only with the Child Benefit of £43.10 a week to live off for a family of five. Her partner is unable to take care of them financially as he was laid off his job six months ago. They've been told it will take 2-3 weeks to get their benefits payments sorted out and reinstated. Meanwhile they have pennies on their electricity meter. We agreed to send them £100 to keep them and their energy meters topped up for the time being.
Feb 23, 2017
Today we sent across £100 to help a newly single mother, with two children, each of whom have health issues. The mum does all she can to support and take care of her children, but all her benefits payments she was receiving were in joint names. Her husband leaving her and the children though means that there have been issues with the payments being made, and has messed up her housing benefit payments too. She is now receiving support to get her benefits reinstated. The money we sent will go towards putting some credit on her gas and electric meters and purchase some food for her and the children. When her husband left, the Police became involved and the Crown Prosecution Service are now looking to take the matter further, so hopefully our help today will remove a little of the stress for her.
Feb 23, 2017
Today our agent told us of a lady who has been homeless in the past and has lived in homeless shelters. She was finally offered a permanent place to live, but in order to be able to move in she had to clear some outstanding arrears. She did this using her Employment Support Allowance payments, but by doing so this left her without any money for food, cleaning materials, or money to put on her gas and electric meters. She has Chron's Disease, so has to have a careful diet to stay on top of it. We agreed to send £100, so that she could put £15 on each of her gas and electric meters, and the remaining £70 to buy food to stock up with, as well as some cleaning materials.