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.