Apr 25, 2019
A young woman unable to work because of hip and joint problems, as well as extreme anxiety and depression received Employment Support Allowance of £53 per week. Her ESA was stopped last week which had a knock on effect on her housing benefit which meant the payments stopped being paid, putting her in arrears. There is a shortfall in her rent so she has to make up the difference which costs her £12 a fortnight, and to try to address some of the arrears. She is also in arrears for her water bills, but now has a payment plan in place. She often does not have enough money to top up her phone so she can contact her doctor or her occupational therapist, nor have money to pay for bus fare to attend her appointments. We agreed to send her £100, and our agents said they would help her to apply for Personal Independence Payments and to have her ESA reassessed.
Apr 24, 2019
We were asked to assist a young vulnerable adult who has recently been offered housing. He doesn't though have anything to furnish his home with, nor the funds to be able to purchase them, as his Employment Support Allowance or Personal Independence Payments won't stretch that far. He is in the process of switching over to claim Universal Credit but his first payment for that won't be for some time yet. We agreed to send him £100 to use as he sees fit to purchase some essential items to get him started.
Apr 12, 2019
A lady who lives alone has been diagnosed with lung cancer. Her income on Employment Support Allowance is currently £81 per week and she is struggling to meet her outgoings each month. Our agents are helping her to apply for both Universal Credit so she can get some financial support with her rent, and also to apply for Personal Independence Payment as she will be entitled to that benefit. Our agents have applied elsewhere for a grant as she needs to purchase a new mattress so she can be certain of getting enough suitable sleep so that she can begin to recover. We agreed to send her £100 to help her with her energy costs and money for food.
Apr 4, 2019
We were asked to help a man who has recently been released from a short spell in prison. He was in receipt of ESA and PIP but these stopped being paid. Another agent was supposed to be assisting him in getting these payments put back into place, but it never happened so he contacted the agency who approached us. This man is very vulnerable as he has had a stroke which has left him with memory problems and behavioural changes. Our agents are going to help him make the claim, but in the meantime he has no money to purchase any credit to put on to his energy meters, or money for food, so we sent him £75 so he could do this. We later had a response to say he was very grateful for the assistance.
Mar 29, 2019
A single lady, living alone who is in receipt of Employment Support Allowance is in a fair amount of debt. She struggles with severe anxiety and PTSD, and the debt is causing her anxiety to become worse. She has no disposable income to deal with the debts and has sought our agents assistance to get these resolved. They are helping her to apply for Personal Independence Payments and a Discretionary Housing Payment, but in the meantime they asked if we could fund the £90 fee for a Debt Relief Order, which we agreed to do.
Mar 28, 2019
We had a difficult case yesterday. A lady who has just been released from her latest period in hospital, this latest was for six months, was in dire need of some money. She has spent over 30 years of her life, more than half of it, sectioned under the mental health act. She is currently living in supported accommodation which they are hoping will work out for her as she doesn't want to have to go back into hospital again. She is though unable to cover the shortfall in her rent, nor pay her gas bill. Her mental health holds her back, but her budgeting skills are not good, so when our agents visited her she had absolutely no food in the house at all. They have put in an application for PIP, but she has only just been assessed so it will be at least another 4 weeks before that is put into payment. We agreed to send her £175, to cover the shortfall in the rent, the gas bill and to pay for some food.
Mar 20, 2019
We were approached about a lady who has recently had her Employment Support Allowance payments off her by the DWP because they believe she is living with her ex-partner. He is in fact living back with his mother, who has confirmed this to the DWP, but so far they have not reversed their decision. The lady is forced to live on just her Personal Independence Payments, which is not much at all. The lady suffers with severe mental health issues and often sees and hears people that others around her don't see. Her ex-partner still helps care for her when things get tough and it looks like someone has been under the impression they are living together and have possibly reported her to the DWP. The stress of all this has meant that she failed to respond to a housing and council tax benefit letter, so the support for both of those has now also stopped. The lady has been accessing the foodbank and is only entitled to one further visit there. She has had an emergency top up on her gas and electric, but again, this cannot be repeated. We offered to send her £150 to allow her to buy some food and top up her energy meters.
Mar 19, 2019
A disabled mum of four children is struggling to manage financially. She is affected heavily by the benefit cap, having to find £400 a month to top up the cost of her rent. She had her PIP claim refused last year and our agents are going to help her appeal this, or at least reclaim. Her fridge is leaking and her vacuum is broken, and she does not have any money to have these repaired or replaced. She has applied for a local council assistance scheme, but has been refused as they say they only focus now on care leavers or people that have come from a street homeless situation. We agreed to send her £120 to allow her to get these fixed or purchase reconditioned replacements.
Feb 27, 2019
This lady was late returning her renewal form for PIP (Personal Independence Payment) and so consequently the DWP closed down her claim. She was also told that her Employment Support Allowance claim was also closed and she had gone to being awarded 0 points, so no longer eligible to benefits. The impact of this is that she now is without any money coming in as well. She was due in hospital to have some day surgery on her feet and this will mean she will have to stay off her feet for a while, so she can properly recover. We agreed to send her £150 to help her out until our agents can get her benefits back in payment.
Feb 27, 2019
We were asked to help a single lady who is recovering from treatment for cancer. Throughout her treatment she was in receipt of Employment Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payment, which has now been stopped by the DWP as they consider her treatment to be complete. She is still in a great deal of discomfort and pain, is at high risk of infection, as well as suffering with extreme fatique. All of these make it impossible for her to consider working, and so she is reliant on her mother to cover the cost of her rent and her bills, as obviously her housing benefit also stopped being paid. She is struggling with trying to keep warm despite the milder weather, and is concerned about whether she will be able to cover the cost of her gas and electric. We agreed to send her £150 in the meantime until her benefits can be brought back into payment again.
Feb 8, 2019
This lady had relocated from a completely different part of the UK and found herself being admitted to a refuge miles from her former home. Where she was living she was being exploited which had resulted in her being left with just £16 of her Employment Support Allowance and Personal Independence benefits payments to last her for two weeks. We sent her £100 to use to buy food and pay for gas and or electricity.
Feb 7, 2019
A former nurse now impacted by cancer is struggling to manage financially. She is in receipt of Employment Support Allowance and also Personal Independence Payments (PIP) however the PIP payments have now stopped being paid and she is currently in the process of appealing that decision. The stopping of her payments has made life extremely difficult financially. Her condition will only get worse than it is already, and the stress of her change of income has made matters worse. She needs to be scrupulous about hygiene, but is worried about having enough money to put the heating on so she can have hot water. We agreed to send her £100 to help her out.
Feb 1, 2019
Due to the changes in the retirement age, now many women having to wait much longer before they can claim their pension, women that are disabled are having to continue to claim Employment Support Allowance (ESA) as an income replacing benefit. This lady, 64 years of age and living alone, was in receipt of ESA and PIP (Personal Independence Payments), however when her claims came up for renewal, she repeated her application but this time was turned down, found fit for work and taken off both claims, leaving her without any financial support. She applied for Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) instead, but due to her being disabled was not able to fulfill the requirements of JSA and so the DWP cancelled her claim. She has been without any money since just before Christmas. She has been living off two small local authority grants and a food voucher since December 21st. The Welfare Rights team that are helping her are going to assist her to appeal the ESA decision and to get the pre-assessment rate of ESA benefits put back into place. This though takes time to do, as a sick note has to be obtained from the doctor and sent to the DWP and they then have to get the application processed before payment can be made. We agreed to send the lady £100 so she can have some money for food and fuel.
Jan 25, 2019
We were approached by a doctor who has been treating a patient diagnosed with cancer. The diagnosis has meant he has had to be on sick leave from his job as a care worker, and is in receipt of statutory sick pay. It is looking like his employers are wanting to make him redundant which is causing him a great deal of stress. As a result of the cancer he has had to have an above knee amputation, meaning his existing home was no longer suitable. The cost of moving to more suitable accommodation has brought up extra costs at a time when his income is seriously limited. We were asked if we could consider helping him and agreed to send him a grant of £100. Local agencies are helping him to determine how he stands contractually regarding his employment situation.
Dec 22, 2018
We were asked to help a man who had lost his PIP (Personal Independence Payment) award. He successfully appealed it but it took a year to be heard and then although he'd won, he was waiting to be repaid the money he was due, dating back to when his PIP award was cancelled. Completely without money for Christmas he was really fed up as it meant even longer to wait. We offered him £50 to tide him over as finally found out that the payment to him from the DWP would be made on the 27th of this month.
Dec 11, 2018
We sent £30 to help a man out who was struggling with the cold as he was unable to afford to put his heating on in his home. He is in receipt of Employment Support Allowance, and was receiving Personal Independence Payment, which topped up his ESA and is to help you to try to live as normal a life as possible. He lost his PIP a year ago and has been waiting since then to have his case come up at a tribunal so the decision can be challenged. He is on a pre-payment meter for his gas and electric and they are too expensive to run, so when he has the money he puts on a small portable radiator, but even that he hasn't been able to afford to use. His home being constantly cold is negatively impacting on his already failing health.
Nov 1, 2018
Our clients today are a couple that are really struggling financially. Our agents are in the process of sorting their benefits out so that their claim is correct, which it isn't currently. One of the couple is having serious issues with their health and it is necessary for them to attend hospital more frequently than they'd budgeted for. They are in receipt of PIP (Personal Independence Payments) but that goes to pay for the vehicle. They didn't have any money to put fuel in the car to get to the hospital so we agreed to send them £30 to cover this.
Aug 15, 2018
A mother who lives with her 20 year old daughter has had her ESA sanctioned for four weeks. She is suffering with mental health problems and this has left her in a very difficult financial situation. Her daughter has a part-time job, working 12 hours a week, but this is the only income they have at the moment. She has applied for a hardship payment, and has been given a food voucher. Our agents are assisting her to apply for PIP, but in the meantime, until her sanction is lifted in September she is very hard up. We agreed to send her £100 to use to buy food and top up her energy meters.
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.
May 24, 2018
Our case today was for a man, sadly now widowed and lives alone. He has severe diabeties which has affected his eyesight causing cataracts to form in both eyes, and he has issues with his mobility. He is currently in receipt of Universal Credit and has been advised to apply for Personal Independence Payments, which they have done, but it will take several weeks before he is even assessed as suitable to claim. In the meantime he does not have any food, not does he have any spare money to put on to the meters so that he might have access to hot water. Our contact would normally offer him a food voucher to take to a food bank, but many of the tinned foods that he would be provided with would not be suitable for him to eat. We agreed to send him £80 so that he could resolve both these issues.
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.
Mar 2, 2018
A 39 year old man needed our help. He suffers with epilepsy following a brain injury which now impacts his memory quite badly. Our agents are helping him as his benefits have been cut dramatically and they are assisting him to appeal this. They have discovered that his home is in a poor decorative state, plus he has a concrete floor which means if he falls during a fit he can considerably injure himself. He is without a kettle and boils water on the stove, but there are health and safety reasons why this is not a good idea for him to do. They asked on his behalf for some funds to help him pick up some things to help him, which we agreed to do.
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.
Feb 13, 2018
Our help was requested for a lady who was a nurse, working for the NHS, until she became unable to work through disability. Her son has now left full time education, so she no longer receives any financial support for him, and to complicate matters she has lost her PIP entitlement, which caused rent arrears as she lost her PIP premiums. A mix up with her council tax, resulted her being persued for eviction, this is now resolved. She is though in serious need of help with her gas, electric and for some food. We agreed to send her £100 to help her out.
Jan 8, 2018
It was an urgent request we received to help a man who has been long term homeless. He has been offered a home to move into but has absolutely no furniture whatsoever. Our agents have applied to the emergency fund with his local council to help purchase some items, but they wanted to know if we could help with some money to get him started. He is in receipt of ESA and PIP but has no spare money to purchase anything. We agreed to send him £100 and hopefully with that and the support of our agents he will be able to pick up some low cost items second hand on local selling sites.
Nov 13, 2017
We have worked with these agents before, and this time they brought to us a case where a young woman, 18 years old, who has just left the care system, has found herself without any money to survive on at all, not for food, anything. She put in an application for Employment Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payment, but has been told that the Department for Work and Pensions have lost her forms, and therefore she has to wait until they can be found and dealt with. She is a vulnerable person who has been left in a dreadful mess through no fault of her own. We agreed that we could send across £100, and our agents will help her manage the money, so she has enough to last her. We also advised our agents to apply to her local council for a welfare payment, which they are going to do. Unfortunately though, applications like these take a long time to be processed, the money agreed to, and released. This was an emergency situation and she needed help there and then, she could not wait. We were glad to be able to help her out.
Oct 5, 2017
Our agents contacted us about a lady who had been reassessed for PIP and had failed the assessment. An award of PIP protects a person from the benefit cap, so the loss of her PIP award means that she now has to suddenly find an extra £120 per month for her rent and council tax. Both her adult sons live at home with her, so non-dependent deductions are made, hence the need to pay the £120 per month. Both sons were at college, so had some income from student loans, but this has now stopped, so the eldest son has been forced to sign on for Universal Credit, but the younger son did not want to because the stigma associated with signing on. We agreed we would offer some help but we wanted the mum to encourage the younger son to put his concerns to one side and apply for Universal Credit himself, this will at least give him some income to help the family out. We agreed to send across £150 to help them out until their payments come through.
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.
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.
Jun 8, 2017
A man who'd had some hassle with the DWP, them believing there had been an overpayment on their part of his Employment Support Allowance, stopped all his ESA payments while they investigated. He was cleared of all the claims and found that an overpayment hadn't been made, yet they have still not put his payments back in place again. Recently he had to renew his claim for Personal Indpendence Payments and the DWP have made a mess of that, resulting in the only payments he had coming in also being stopped, leaving him with nothing. We agreed to send across to him £100 so at least he had some money to buy food, gas and electric until he could hopefully get his benefits reinstated.
Jun 6, 2017
Today, our person in need was a lady in her early 50s who had been messed around by the DWP, which had resulted in not only her Employment Support Allowance payments being stopped, but also her Personal Independence Payments too. This had left her with no money for two weeks now, and she was in a position where she literally had no money, nor any food in the house she could muddle by on. Contact with the DWP had not been helpful at all, with them pushing her from pillar to post. We found somewhere she could go to for help with getting her benefits reinstated, and also somewhere she could go to for mental health support too. We agreed to send across £100 as she needed money for her utilities, as well as food, and it could be another two weeks before she begins to receive any kind of payments through from the DWP. She commented that she'd never voted before, but she definitely will be this Thursday.
May 24, 2017
A lady in receipt of Employment Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payment has recently been sent home after a full hip replacement, without any help and support, so a former neighbour of hers has been making the journey each day to make sure she is okay and helping her out. It was noticed that her cat was unable to bear weight on one of its legs, so it was taken to the vets for treatment, where following an xray it was discovered that the cat, like its owner has chronic osteoarthitis, which will be managed with pain relief. The lady still has to have another full hip replacement, as well as both knees replaced, and the vets bill was weighing heavily on her mind. An application was made to the PDSA who made a significant contribution, and we agreed we would settle the balance, to allow this lady to be relieved of the debt and able to focus on getting well enough for the next stage in her medical treatment.
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.
Jan 26, 2017
We were told of a couple, who'd recently had to move home after they had been subject to being stalked. Since moving, the wife had been fortunate enough to find work but the work was very intermittent. Her husband is disabled and unable to work, and because his wife is working he is unable to claim any out of work benefits to help them. Following the move of home they'd fallen into arrears with their rent. An agency are helping the husband apply for Personal Independence Payment, and would also see if it might be possible for them to apply for a discretionary housing payment (these though are very hard to be awarded, and looked at on a case by case basis by the local authority.) We agreed as a group to arrange for £100 to be sent to the couple to help relieve some of the worry regarding the arrears.
It is not just people that aren't working that are struggling financially, it is also those in employment, but where their hours of work are not regular enough for them to make any plans, rely on them or even meet their basic living requirements.
Dec 9, 2016
Our agent, who had personal knowledge of this lady, spotted a mention that she'd had to go to a foodbank for help to feed her and her family. On enquiry we found that although her husband works, his income is just over the limit that means they can not claim any additional financial help. She'd had to give up her part time job as her arthritis was preventing her from working, and her adult son had recently lost his job due to his mental health condition. The lady was signposted to apply for Employment Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payments for her son, as his mental health prevents him from working. We agreed to send across £100 as a boost to help them. She was extremely moved by the help and said that she was so happy, crying tears of joy, as she would be able to top up her meters and have the heating on.
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.
May 13, 2016
On the 13th we helped a girl who resides in a hostel. She has an inoperable tumour and fits everyday from it. The hostel moved her benefits from incapacity and income support to PIP only and it caused a massive drop to her income. She pays service duty at the hostel which amounts to £35 a week.
This left her wuth £40 per week to live on. Our expert benefit advisers worked out a plan to help sort her benefits out, and we sent her £50 to tide her over.