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Universal Credit and parenting woes

Wrapping up the week, we closed off a few requests we received in the last couple of days.  

A lady who due to some work she did 6 months ago is having issues with getting an advanced payment on her Universal Credit payments, and has to wait until September when her UC is paid.  In the meantime there is her and her 16 year old son and they are without food or unable to top up their energy meters, so we sent them £100 to allow them to do this.

Another family we helped is because the household is overcrowded in a tiny first floor flat.  They have two children, ages 7 and 12 and there is a lot of tension and arguments between the children, so the parents have given over their bedroom so they can have a room each.  This means the parents are sleeping in the living room and via our client asked for some help to purchase a sofabed so they can get a decent nights sleep.  They have been trying to save despite the fact that they work, but they are living such a hand to mouth existence that this is proving impossible.  We agreed to help them out with some money to go towards it.

 

 

Tags : Benefits Poverty UniversalCredit whenworkingdoesn'tpay parenting

Been a busy week so far!

The contact with us for help this week has been very full on.  The following are just some of the cases that we have actioned payments to in the past couple of days.  

A mother of four children, her second youngest being 11 months and the youngest 2 weeks old.  She is unable to claim any child benefit for the two youngest as she already has two older children, due to the new regulations.  As there is a large gap in ages between her older children and the youngest ones she is having to start all over again with equipment, clothes, etc and is struggling.  We sent her some money to help her out until her next Universal Credit payment is due.

A man continuing to suffer with the consequences of treatment he received for cancer as a child is unable to buy food or top up his energy meters, so we sent him a small amount to tide him over.  Another case of a man who'd had a stroke and desperately needed some way of being able to contact people as he didn't have a landline, nor a mobile phone.  We sent him £50 to purchase a phone and top it up with some credit.

A mother and her 5 children, that as a family fled a domestic violence situation to her mother's house.  The home was way overcrowded and the older boys were displaying aggressive behaviour at home and at school which was felt to be a hangover from the domestic violence situation.  A home has been found for them all of their own, but the mother needed help to hire a man with a van to move her furniture over to their new home.

A couple which having separated for a while, got back together and submitted a joint claim for Universal Credit.  While they'd been apart they had acrued debt with the DWP who decided to claw it back from their next UC payment, leaving them with nothing to live on.  An appeal has been made to the DWP to reduce some of their debt repayments, which has helped for future payments going forward.  We sent the family, they and their young daughter money to buy some food.

Another case was that of a military veteran that had served in Iraq, part of what he did involved work with IEDs.  This has left him with PTSD and has meant he just struggles through each day. His son was due to come and stay with him but he didn't have enough money for food.  Our agents supplied him and his son with a food voucher, but he also needed to submit an application for Employment Support Allowance.  His poor mental health meant that the form was filled in so badly they had to redo it for him and contact his doctor for support. Our clients wanted to know if we could help with the cost of the doctor writing a letter which interpreted his mental state to support his ESA application, which we agreed to do.

An elderly man in receipt of pension credit is in a lot of debt, so much so that the DWP are making deductions on his pension credit.  He is recovering from cancer treatment and has had three heart attacks and a mental breakdown.  The debt and the deductions are causing him extra anxiety as he can't afford to buy food or top up his energy meters, so we sent him £100 so he could do that.

Finally, for now, a lady who has suffered with domestic violence for years.  She has managed to leave the situation but this has impacted her working situation so much so that she has been suspended from work, due to her home situation, and has been on statutory sick pay.  This has had a knock on on her finances, and she has been left with a lot of debts which she is trying to resolve.  We sent her £120 to buy food and top up her energy meters, to last her until her next UC payment next month.

 

Tags : Benefits UC SSP MilitaryVeterans SingleParents Poverty EnergyMeters DomesticViolence Cancer

Help on a very wet Wednesday!

We helped lots of people today, one who has a stoma fitted, which failed and caused her bed and bedding to become ruined.  Her sister helped her get most cleaned up, but she needed a new mattress topper as the stoma had leaked everywhere, as well as some new bedding.  The lady is due to go back to hospital to have more of her bowel removed and will need to be able to recuperate fully.  Today we heard that she has been out and got what she needed so she knows now she can relax a bit in readiness for her operation.

Another lady who has been in pain and with mobility issues her whole life, which leaves her depressed and often unable to leave her home; has finally been able to get a bed after years of sleeping on the sofa.  She cannot though afford to buy any bedding, so we agreed to send her £50 so she could get what she needed.

We helped a man with £100 to get some food shopping and cover some of his smaller bills.  He lives alone, renting a room in a shared house.  He has recently been diagnosed with renal cancer and has had to give up work while he receives treatment. 

Also we helped a man who has been living and working in the UK for the past 20 years.  He is now estranged from his wife and three children and considered to be here illegally.  Although it is likely he will be prosecuted, it is unlikely he will be deported.  He has fallen into arrears with his rent, etc because he is not permitted to work at the moment.  Our agents are confident this can be resolved as he has never been in trouble or broken the law whilst he has been here and has been a member of his family for over 10 years.  We sent him £75 so he could cover some small bills and buy some food.

Tags : Benefits Stoma Cancer Poverty Debts

Mum of 2 needs DRO

A mother of two children ages 13 and 10, was working previously as a cleaner and also was registered as a carer for her Grandfather.  She is on Universal Credit now and desperately trying to resolve the debts that she built up while her housing benefit and council tax relief payments weren't in place.  She has begun the process of applying for a DRO, and is now at a stage where the application can be submitted, however she does not have enough money to pay the DRO application fee of £90.  We agreed to cover that for her and sent off a cheque to send with her application.

Tags : Debts SingleParents Carers Poverty

Young family in dire straits

A young mum of three children, ages 9, 8 and 15 months has had to have her partner move in with her as she is currently 3 months pregnant, expecting twins and is struggling with the pregnancy.  She was in receipt of Universal Credit, however having informed the DWP of her partner moving in they have stopped her payments while they reassess her situation.  Her partner receives £50 statutory sickness pay per week, plus she receives £42 child benefit.  Their housing benefit has stopped being paid while her financial situation is looked at by the DWP.  In the meantime rent arrears are building up and she has no money to buy food for the family.  We agreed to send the family £150 to do an essential food shop.

Tags : DWP UniversalCredit Poverty Pregnancy Children

Student unable to access benefits

A student waiting on going into her second year at university has discovered that although she is here on refugee status she is unable to claim any benefits during the summer holidays, which has left her with rent arrears and being unable to purchase any food.  She doesn't have access to any money, nor any family here that can help her.  She has managed to secure some employment on a zero hours contract so will be able to bring in some income to help herself but is obviously unable to plan ahead due to the nature of her contract.  We agreed to send her £80 to allow her to buy some food.  Our agents are going to look into securing a Discretionary Housing Payment to help with the rent arrears and also to see if there is any assistance for students.

Tags : Students University Refugee Poverty RentArrears

Cancer patient struggling to pay energy costs

A man who was previously working full-time has had to give up work following a diagnosis of cancer.  He has had to give up working as following surgery and complications he is no longer able to work.  His wife has also had to give up her full-time job to care for her husband.  They moved for a while to live with their daughter and her 4 children, but his surgery and overcrowding meant they had to move to alternative accommodation.  They are currently existing on statutory sick pay alone, and having to pay from that their rent and council tax, leaving them with very little a month for food and bills.  We offered to send them £75 go towards topping up their energy meters and getting some food in.

Tags : Cancer SSP Sicknessbenefits Poverty

Victim of domestic abuse without money

A lady who has recently been given settled status in the UK has been a victim of domestic violence.  She has had to move urgently away from her ex-husband, who paid all the bills so she is currently without any access to money.  She has submitted a claim for Universal Credit but is in a battle with the DWP as to whether she is entitled to any benefits or not.  In the meantime she has no money for food, bus fares or to top up her energy meters, so we offered to send her £50 to last her until she can get her UC claim resolved.

Tags : Settledstatus UC domesticviolence Poverty

Agent with three cases that needed our help

We were approached about three separate men that each needed some help.  Two of the men had got themselves into so much debt that they were struggling to see a way forward.  The first man is a father of two children who live with his ex partner.  He is being hounded by bailiffs and unable to cope.  The second man has been left in a lot of debt after his partner who he was a carer for was admitted to a nursing home where they subsequently died.  He has been left in a lot of debt, with money owed to the nursing home.  Both men were in need of the application fee for the cost of a debt relief order, which we were prepared to cover.

The third man has recently been released from prison and found in his absence the debts have been mounting up.  The repayments are being deducted from his Universal Credit, along with repayments for a budgeting loan and UC advanced payment.  He is unable at the moment to top up his energy meters or buy any food, so we agreed to send him £75 to allow this to happen.

Tags : DRO Benefits Debt Poverty Prison UnpaidBills NursingHomeFees

Lady in refuge without money

A lady fled her home and from a domestic abuse situation and used every penny she had to pay the fare to get to the refuge in another part of the UK.  This has left her without any money at all.  She currently receives payments for Employment Support Allowance being disabled, but won't receive further payment for some time.  We agreed to send her £75 to tide her over until her next payment.

Tags : domesticabuse ESA Benefits Refuge Poverty

Family burgled and left without cash for energy meters

A grandmother was burgled and her handbag and car taken among other items.  She has had to have all her bank cards cancelled.  The grandmother has her grandson living with her, and as a family are in receipt of benefits.  She has no access to any money, as the little she had was in her purse when it was stolen.  They are without money for food or to top up their energy meters.  We agreed to send them £80.

Tags : Benefits Burglary Poverty nomoney energymeters

Lady struggling after a broken neck

A lady who was working part-time in her local supermarket has had to give up work following complications after breaking her neck.  As she is not able to work she has found herself in a considerable amount of debt.  Her local authority are assisting her to apply for benefits, however our agents asked if we could possibly cover the fee for a Debt Relief Order in her name.  We agreed to help her with this and sent across a cheque for £90 to go with the application, as well as transferred across a boost of £60 for her and her 6 year old son.

Tags : DRO Poverty Debts Benefits

Disabled lady now dealing with cancer

A lady previously unable to work due to mental health issues is now finding herself undergoing serious treatment for cancer.  She was previously in receipt of Employment Support Allowance, however at renewal she failed the assessment and is currently only in receipt of her Personal Independence Payment of £360 per month.  Her monthly outgoings are £350, leaving her with just £10 for essentials and food to last her the month.  Our agents have helped her to reapply for ESA, and hopefully this will be successful.  In the meantime she is struggling to cope and really needed our help.  We agreed to send her £100 to go towards food and fuel.

Tags : ESA PIP DWP Cancer Poverty MentalHealth

Single mum with two year old in a complete mess

We were asked if we could consider assisting a young mum with a two year old.  Up until Christmas she had a carer that lived in with her, but her carer left.  Unfortunately this meant that she was unable to attend an assessment for work capability and subsequently lost her entitlement to Employment Support Allowance.  She has been without any ESA payments for two months and existing on her child tax credits and child benefit.  However this week she found out that her tax credits have been stopped because a claim for Universal Credit has been made, which she claims she has not done.  She had no food in the house, no credit on her mobile phone to contact tax credits to find out what was going on.  Our agents are helping her to deal with the DWP and sort out an appeal for her.  We agreed to send her £150 to buy food, phone credit and to be able to put some credit on her energy meters.  Today we received this reply from our agents.

"C was absolutely blown away and there were a lot of tears (mainly from staff here!!). She is a lovely lady and her self-esteem and confidence are at an all time low so she could not believe that people wanted to help her – hence the tears.  Cannot thank you enough for the help and support you give our customers – greatly appreciated."
 

Tags : Benefits DWP SingleParents Disability Poverty

Single man trying to survive on £17 a week

A single man in his thirties has been without any income at all apart from money raised from the occasional music lesson and some busking which raises approximately £17 a week.  He lives alone in a one bedroomed flat and suffers with depression, anxiety and PTSD.  Our agents have helped him to apply for the benefits he is entitled to claim and he now has a claim in for Universal Credit and is awaiting an assessment by the DWP to determine whether he has limited capability for work or not.  He is also being assisted to put in a claim for Personal Independence Payment, as well as a Discretionary Housing Payment to help with the shortfall in his housing benefit and the cost of his monthly rent.  He is also receiving guidance from his local debt team at Citizens Advice as he has built up a number of debts that are making his anxiety worse.  We agreed to cover the cost of a Debt Relief Order to address the debts, and send him £75 to help him out while he waits for his benefits to kick into payment.

Tags : DRO Benefits Poverty Debts MentalHealth

Man due Universal Credit payment of 81p

A man who was previously on Universal Credit found himself a job which was okay for two months, but sadly that job ended.  He was paid his last wage and it seems that Universal Credit think he was paid more than he actually was, so by the time they'd deducted what they believed to be his wages, it left him with a UC payment of 81p for the month.  He is unable to apply for an advanced payment as he had already claimed that when he first went on to UC, and he is in fact making the repayments for the advance payment at the moment.  He currently has no job, no money and is only due to receive 81p from UC, so he is really in a predicament.  He won't be due another UC payment until the 3rd of August, so is unable to manage until then.  We agreed to send him £100.  Our agents are trying to get his UC payment corrected, and have sent copies of his pay slips so that they can see how much he was actually paid, compared to what was reported to have been paid.

Tags : Benefits Unemployment UniversalCredit Poverty

Man completes rehab and is finally off the streets

We were approached about help for a young man, fomerly a qualified HGV mechanic who has been living on the streets and dealing with a drug addiction.  He has completed rehab, is living in a homeless hostel and is now clean of drugs.  He was in receipt of Universal Credit, but has been sanctioned because he lost his phone and missed an appointment.  It is essential he has access to a phone to stay connected to the DWP and know when his appointments are due to take place at the job centre, because if he fails to attend his benefits are automatically stopped as has happened on this occasion.  We were asked if we could cover the cost of a replacement phone and some credit to be applied to the device.  We agreed to send him £60 so he could do this and have some money left over to buy some food.

Tags : Benefits UniversalCredit Sanctions MissedAppointments Poverty Homelessness Drugs Rehab

Young mum of two struggling to manage

Our help was needed for a young mum who was a care leaver following the death of one parent when she was 7, and then the other parent after that as a result of alcoholism.  She got together with someone who she discovered was a gang member, he treated her very badly and was violent towards her.  He is considered very dangerous and has an extensive and violent criminal history.  She and her two children are now far away from him and finally safe, however she is now having to address the huge amount of debt she is in.  Her energy supplier have a warrant to enter her home to install a prepayment meter as she is in so much debt with them.  She admits she has not been good with her money but she has been through so much, plus did not have the guidance from her parents when she was younger, having been orphaned at a young age.  Our agents are helping her to source the proper debt help and she is working towards applying for a Debt Relief Order for which the fee is £90.  We agreed to cover the cost of that fee so she can begin to get her life on track, as well as an extra £60 for her and the boys.  She is working closely with the visiting health team, is attending a parenting course and is hoping to study for her GCSEs.  She wants to become a good role model for her children and work towards giving them a better life.

Tags : Benefits domesticabuse refuge DRO Poverty ChildreninCare OrphanedChildren CareLeavers

Former HGV driver dealing with cancer

A man who was previously working as an HGV driver has been diagnosed with cancer and is currently undergoing extensive chemotherapy for this.  He is not in receipt of any money at all, and his outgoings are over £700 a month.  Our agents are helping him to apply for Employment Support Allowance and housing benefit, something he has never had to do before.  In the meantime he does not have any money to buy food, and his consultant has told him that due to the aggressive treatment he is receiving he needs to keep his strength up to be able to cope.  We agreed to send him £100.

Tags : Benefits ESA PIP Cancer CancerTreatment Poverty

Lady flees domestic abuse

A lady fled her hometown to escape a very violent relationship and is currently being housed by a refuge far away from where she used to live.  She has left behind family and friends and arrived without any money at all.  Her Employment Support Allowance payments have also been stopped without any explanation.  Our agents will help her get this resolved however at the moment she has no money whatsoever to purchase food, toiletries and essential items and it is likley getting her ESA back into payment might take some time.  We agreed to send her £120 to help her out.

Tags : Benefits domesticabuse fleeinghome ESA Poverty

Urgent request for help

Our agents contacted us this morning to ask if we could offer some urgent assistance to one of their clients.  A lady is currently experiencing a lot of debt and is having large amounts deducted from her Universal Credit payments.  Our agents are working with the hardship team at the DWP to get these debt repayments under control and to a more manageable amount.  In the meantime the lady has no food (she is Vegan) and no credit on her gas or electricity and was likely to be without all three over the weekend.  We agreed to send her £60 as an emergency payment so she could top up her meters and buy some food.

Tags : Poverty Debt UniversalCredit Vegan FuelPoverty Arrears

Mother flees home to the UK with her children

We were asked to help a mother and her three children.  They were all living outside of the UK and were the victims of domestic abuse.  The family fled that country and returned to the UK where they are being assisted by a women's refuge.  The mother is British and is currently in the process of applying for benefits with the assistance of our agents.  It will take several weeks for them to receive anything, so we agreed to send the family £200 to allow them to buy food as currently they have nothing at all.

Tags : DomesticViolence DomesticAbuse Poverty WomensRefuge

Vulnerable woman financially abused by her own family

We had an urgent request to help a very vulnerable disabled woman who has many physical disabilities which have been present since birth.  She lives with her family, but her physical conditions means she can only walk a few steps.  If she asks her family to buy her some food, they will do that, but when they take her debit card they withdraw cash for themselves from the cashpoint.  Also they use her motability vehicle without her permission and frequently leave it without petrol.  Their behaviour towards her has left her without any money to buy any food.  Our agent when they visited saw she had an empty fridge and there was no money on the electricity meters, plus her car was parked some distance away so this lady would have been unable to access it.  She is still waiting for a family member to return her debit card to her.  The stress of this, plus the fact that the lady is in debt is causing her mental health to fail her.  Our agents are applying for safeguarding for this lady as it is clear she is being abused by her own family and she is not safe.  We agreed to send her £100 and are currently working with our agents to get the money to her safely.

Tags : Benefits VulnerableAdults FinancialAbuse Poverty Debt Safeguarding

Debt Relief Order Request

We were asked to help a lady who had recently become widowed after her husband died.  She gave up work to care for him when his dementia meant he couldn't be left alone any longer.  She is in receipt of pension and a top up of Universal Credit, and once all her bills are paid she is left with £14 to live on.  Our agents want to apply for a debt relief order for her as her debts are causing extreme anxiety and she simply isn't coping.  We agreed to send them the £90 so they could apply for a debt relief order on her behalf.

Tags : DRO Poverty Bereavement Debts Pension UniversalCredit

Single mother scammed out of her benefits

A single mother of two daughters living at home, and an older son who lives away recently responded to an advert on Facebook which suggested if she was on benefits she could get a loan of £1200.  Existing on just her ESA, (she has applied for PIP and has been refused that, which she is currently in the process of appealing), she answered the ad.  She had to give her details for them to facilitate the loan, which they said they'd done.  They contacted her again to check she had received the money, and used her details to access her bank account and without her knowledge debit the amount of £1200 from her bank account immediately.  Seeing the money was missing she contacted the Police and the DWP only to discover that a fraudulent Universal Credit claim had been made in her name and an advance payment of £1200 had been applied for in her name.  By making this claim, the fraudsters had caused her existing claim to be closed, thereby her losing access to her legacy benefits.  The bank has refunded half of what was taken from her account, but the DWP are refusing to put her back on the benefit she was claiming, ESA, and not only that, are now insisting that she repays £100 a month back to cover the £1200 loan.  Also she is going to have to wait sometime before she actually receives a Universal Credit payment, leaving her without money to buy food for her and her children.  Our agents are assisting her with getting this mess sorted out, but it does look like now she will have to remain on Universal Credit.  We agreed to send her £100 to help her last out until her next benefit payment.

Tags : DWP UniversalCredit LegacyBenefits Scams FraudulentActivity Poverty IllegalLoans

Mother dealing with impact of her having cancer as a child

A mother of two children, who herself had very intensive treatment for cancer as a child, is now as an adult finding it difficult to do the most basic of tasks.  Unfortunately she did not receive the full help and support she should have received when she was a child, and that is impacting on her life now.  She is now being supported and part of that is helping her with her finances.  She is in receipt of Universal Credit and child benefit, but our agents are helping her to apply for personal independence payment as her condition interferes with her ability to live a normal life.  The mother is frequently going without meals so that her children have enough to eat, so we sent her £100 to use to buy some food and stock her cupboards and fridge up with.

Tags : UniversalCredit CancerTreatment Poverty Benefits DWP

Family without food

A family consisting of mum, dad, two children and a third on the way are without food.  Mum, although pregnant, works part-time at a very low paid job.  They do get some Universal Credit, but that and her wages is nowhere near enough for them to live on.  The father is unable to work due to mental health issues, and the family are having to borrow from a family member money to top up their gas and electricity meters.  They are accessing the foodbanks just to survive.  Their cooker is broken and they cannot afford to replace it, so they have 'bought' a microwave via finance to be able to cook their food, the little they can get their hands on.  We agreed to send the family £200 to get them a little ahead with things and be able to buy some food.

Tags : Benefits UniversalCredit Part-timeworking Poverty FamiliesinPoverty Povertyin2019

Family's Universal Credit claim is a complete mess

A family that are in receipt of Universal Credit after being given incorrect advice, as they should have remained on tax credits as they were previously claiming.  The DWP also have a non-dependent deduction coming off the Universal Creidt claim, which is also incorrect.  The mother was working part-time but has had to give up work due to ill health, her husband is also too sick to work and one of their children is type 1 diabetic.  Our agents are working with the family to try to better organise their monthly outgoings, as well are getting their benefits claim sorted out.  In the meantime the family are completely without money to buy food, so we agreed to send the family £100 to help them out until their next payment on the 17th June.

Tags : Benefits DWP UniversalCredit Debts Poverty

Very vulnerable man in debt

We were made aware of a vulnerable 60 year old adult, he is blind, is disabled and was recently moved from claiming Employment Support Allowance to Universal Credit and put into the work capability group, despite being blind.  This move reduced his monthly income by £300, causing him to fall seriously into debt with his rent, gas, electric and water.  Our agents have asked if we could consider covering the cost of a debt relief order, so that he can get his debts into order.  We agreed to send the £90 to cover this, plus an extra £30 boost.

Tags : Debt DRO Poverty UniversalCredit Benefits DWP

Lady in new tenancy is struggling to stay there

A woman who was recently in receipt of contributions based Employment Support Allowance, was encouraged to apply for Universal Credit to help with her housing costs.  She was advised to take an advance on her Universal Credit payment to cover the first months rent/deposit on her new home.  This has meant she is now having £50 deducted each month to repay the advance payment, plus another £50 deduction because of a tax credit overpayment.  As a new tenant she is now at high risk of losing her home because she is in rent arrears and unable to catch up.  The stress and anxiety of this is only making matters worse and seriously impacting on her mental health.  She is without money for food or to top up her energy meters so we agreed to send her £100 to help her.  Our agents are assisting her with her benefits situation, which will hopefully improve before too long.

Tags : Benefits UniversalCredit RentArrears Poverty

Single mum of 1 unable to access benefits

We were approached about a single mum of a five year old child.  She is a Polish National who settled here in the UK in 2008 where she was working until she moved to support her older child in college and subsequently lost her job.  Previously she was in receipt of income support and child tax credits, as well has housing and council tax benefit.  However she has had to put in a claim for Universal Credit instead and has now been told she is no longer entitled to any benefits other than child benefit and the £60 a week she receives in maintenance from her child's father.  She is now in arrears with her rent, and hasn't received benefits since April this year.  Our agents are assisting her with applying for settled status and are hopeful this can be resolved quickly so she can be in receipt of Universal Credit.  In the meantime the lady is working with her job coach towards setting herself up in business as a florist.  We agreed to send the family £100 as a boost towards food and fuel.

Tags : PolishNational UniversalCredit Benefits Poverty SingleParents SettledStatus RefusalofBenefits

Single dad without money for food

A single dad who is self-employed as an artist has been in receipt of Universal Credit, where because some weeks he doesn't earn anything at all, he is classed by UC as being ungainfully employed.  He has issues with inflamation in his vertebrae which means he is hunched over and sometimes unable to lift his head up to face whoever he is speaking to.  This inflamation causes fusing of his vertebrae and leaves him in constant pain and discomfort.  He lives with his 10 year old son who is no longer in contact with his mother, which has caused issues for the son, sometimes meaning he refuses to go to school.  This means that his father is then unable to work, impacting further on their lack of income.  The father has applied for Personal Independence Payment, but this has so far been refused. This young family have been relying on the support of food parcels from their local foodbank.  We agreed to send them £100 to help them out.

Tags : DWP Benefits UniversalCredit Poverty NoIncome

Man with chest pains loses his job

A man who started experiencing chest pains in December was sent to the hospital for scans.  He ended up going off sick from work, and in January he ended up losing his job due to being off sick.  He applied to claim Universal Credit and his first payment he received of £165, but then the next month only £31.  His rent is in arrears, as are his utilities.  He is still undergoing tests at the hospital to try to figure out what is going on, and the money situation is causing him stress and anxiety which is only making matters worse.  He doesn't have enough money to survive on, nor money for food.  We agreed to send him £100.

Tags : DWPBenefits UC RentArrears UtilitiesAreas Poverty

Lady moving from temporary accommodation

A lady has been living in very temporary accommodation since October this year.  In March she was moved to more permanent accommodation but this happened at very short notice.  She moved in, but was without many things she needed to run a simple home, such as bedding, crockery, pots and pans, etc.  She was helped with the electricity costs when she moved in, but in May her Universal Credit payment was paid into her account and they had reduced her payment by £86 to repay her Universal Credit advance, as well as payment towards a previous advance on a historic claim.  After bills, this left her with £76 for the month to cover all her food, and other items.  She is still without proper bedding, etc.  We agreed to send her £100 as a boost to help her get a bit more settled and organised.

Tags : DWP Benefits TemporaryAccommodation Poverty UniversalCredit

New parents without money

A family whose baby has been born seven and a half weeks early are without any money until the 10th of June when their Universal Credit payment will be made.  An application for a Sure Start maternity grant and child benefit has been made but that will take some time to be processed.  In the meantime they are headed home with their new son without any money on them at all.  The mother has previously had issues around drugs but has cooperated really well with the support that was put in place for her and has been clean now for well over a year.  We agreed to send the family £100 to help them out on this new beginning for them all.  We received some feedback shortly after we'd sent the money to express how grateful they were that someone had reached out to them to help.

Tags : Benefits UniversalCredit Poverty PrematureBirths

Man with cancer unable to claim sickness benefit

A man who previously worked part-time in a snooker hall, has been diagnosed with mouth cancer and is undergoing treatment.  Due to his condition he now finds he is unable to work, and had to give up his job.  As he only worked a few hours he is not entitled to sickness benefit, so is struggling financially.  Our agents are assisting him in applying for Universal Credit, and will also help him to apply for Personal Independence Payments.  In the meantime he is without any money and is relying solely on the support of friends and family.  We agreed to send him £80 to help him out.

Tags : UniversalCredit Cancer PIP Poverty SSP Notworking

Young man unable to work

A young man who was treated for cancer as a child, is now finding as an adult that reprecussions from that time are preventing him from being able to work, finding even the simplest of tasks a challenge.  He lives in sheltered accommodation and receives £231 per month in Universal Credit.  After his deductions for things such as energy costs, his mobile phone, TV Licence. travelling to hospital he is not left with enough money to purchase much in the way of food, often going hungry instead.  We agreed to send him £100 so he could stock up his cupboards and freezer.

Tags : Benefits DWP ShelteredAccommodation ChildhoodCancer Poverty

Man shifted to Universal Credit in error by DWP

We were approached about a man who having been refused his ESA application his payments stopped and he was forced on to Universal Credit in error by the DWP.  He was appealing the ESA decision and was when it was in payment in receipt of Severe Disability Payments, so he was entitled to legacy benefits, rather than Universal Credit.  Our agents who are assisting him with his appeal phoned the DWP on his behalf to get this sorted out and the DWP immediately stopped his UC payments, and as it was part way through the month, any owing payment is then not made. This meant that he was completely out of money until his next PIP payment, due to be paid next week.  In the meantime he has no credit on his energy meters or any food in his flat.  We agreed to send him £50 to keep him going until his payment next Tuesday.   

Tags : Benefits ESA SDP UC DWP Poverty

Single mum of 1 unaware of help available

A single mother of an 11 year old has got herself into debt because her Universal Credit payment does not cover the full amount of her monthly rent, so she has to make up the shortfall herself, which leaves her with not enough money for food.  She was unaware she could apply for help from her council via a Discretionary Housing Payment for the shortfall, our agents are assisting her with this now.  She is already under threat of eviction, and is scared for the future.  We agreed to send £150 to help them with food, etc.

Tags : Rent Benefits UniversalCredit Poverty RentArrears Homelessness

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

Teenage mother needs help

We were asked to help a teenaged mum who literally had nothing she needed for her baby.  We made some enquiries and managed to find out this was a very young mum.   Although her own mother is very supportive of her, the family as a whole are struggling financially and unable to help her get some essential items.  We discussed this matter between ourselves and decided to send her £100 to help her out.  We later received a very grateful reply and said this help meant the world to them.

Tags : TeenageMums Poverty NewBaby

Lady refused Employment Support Allowance

A lady who has recently been refused Employment Support Allowance (ESA) has been existing off the goodwill of freinds and family for the past 12 weeks.  Our agents have been advising her and have suggested she might put in a claim for Universal Credit, but her appeal hearing is so close, that if she takes the UC route she won't then be able to go back on to ESA.  Our agents are contacting the Tribunals Service to try to get her hearing date as soon as possible, but at the moment she is at her tether regarding managing to cope financially.  We agreed to send her £75.

Tags : ESA DWP Benefits Tribunals UC Poverty

Single man left with not enough to live off

A man working part-time, 24 hours per week, has his income topped up by Universal Credit.  Unfortunately his landlord has applied to have the man's housing arrears paid direct from his UC and this has left him with £32 to last him until the middle of June, for food and fuel.  We agreed to send him £75 to help him out.

Tags : UniversalCredit Rentarrears Poverty

Single dad in need of our help

We were approached about a single dad of four children, aged 2 to 13 years.  He has separated from the childrens' mother and has been granted sole custody.  The mother ran up debts in their joint names by fraudently using their joint bank account details to the sum of £12,000.  The father and the children are relying on the help of foodbanks to survive.  Our agents are in the process of arranging a Debt Relief Order for him, which they asked us to cover the cost of.  We agreed to this, and to also send over £70 to use to buy some food for the family.

Tags : Singleparents DebtReliefOrder Poverty Debts

Man left without money for food

A man who left detox at the beginning of April after years of alcohol abuse.  He is now dry and trying to get his life back on track.  He is living in supported accommodation and is in need of bedding, as well as food.  He is not due a Universal Credit payment until the middle of May, and the small amount of money he did have he used to repay an illegal money lender.  He is now free from that debt, but was without food last week, so our agents managed to secure a small amount of money for him.  However he was facing this week with no money for food again so we agreed to send him £40.

Tags : UniversalCredit Poverty SupportedAccommodation Alcoholism Detox

Small family in need of help

Our help was requested for a young couple that have a 5 month old child.  They currently share a two-bedroomed flat with the child's grandmother, whose flat is in a poor state of repair.  She has been in receipt of benefits for a long time and has not been able to afford to have any carpets put down anywhere in the flat, so it is floorboards which are not in a good condition, nor could they be sanded and sealed.  The health visitor that contacted us is concerned about the development of the child as they are of an age where they need to go on to the floor, but it is currently unsafe.  The parents are unable to afford to get any carpet or rugs as the father only works hours that are made available to him and these are sporadic so they are unable to plan.  Plus the mother was living with two other children in a house, but the children were taken into care and she fell behind with the rent, so it repaying that back, which she must do to be able to go back on to the housing register for their own home.  The father was a looked after child, so struggles emotionally, and he too lost two children from a previous relationship.  They are trying desperately to do everything right by their baby son, hence the request for our help.  We agreed to send them £130 as they'd had a quote for that much to fit some carpet.

Tags : DWP Lookedafterchildren Rentarrears Poverty ChildDevelopment

Young man with cancer loses his job

We were asked to help a young man in his early twenties who is currently in hospital receiving treatment for cancer.  When he asked his employer for time off for treatment they removed him from his job which our agents are intending to challenge with his former employer.  He is without money and will have to claim benefits on his release from hospital but he is currently without any money so we agreed to send him £50 so he could get some groceries on his way home.

Tags : Cancer Unemployment Poverty CancerTreatment

Man being made homeless after 20 years in the same property

A man who has lived at the same address for over 20 years is being made homeless by his landlord.  He struggles with his mental health which he has been unable to receive treatment for, this means he cannot cope with taking good care of himself, such as washing or personal care.  He is in receipt of Universal Credit, but after loans he repays to the DWP he is left with £50 per week.  He is not due another benefit payment until the 16th of May and is currently completely out of money.  In fact when we were told about him he hadn't eaten anything in 4 days.  We immediately sent him £20 to get some food.  He has no money for gas or electric which means he is unable to have any lighting on or cook any food, nor does he have any food either.  We agreed to send him a further £80 to help him with this. 

Tags : UniversalCredit Benefits Poverty ExtremePoverty Homelessness

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

Father relocates to support daughter and her family

Our help was requested for a man who has uprooted himself and moved to another part of the country to support his daughter and her children following a relationship breakdown.  He has just signed a tenancy on a flat in the area and is in need of some essential items, such as pots, pans, bedding, crockery etc.  He has made a claim for Universal Credit but that won't come into payment for some time.  In the meantime we agreed to send him £75 to help him out, so he can go around the local charity shops and pick up some inexpensive second-hand items to get him started.

Tags : UniversalCredit Relocating NewHome Poverty

Mother of 4 trying to turn her life around

We were approached about a single mother of four children who is trying desperately to turn her life around.  She has recovered from issues in her life that left her with depression, psychotic depression and mental health problems.  She has been moved recently from Employment Support Allowance to Universal Credit which has meant delays in her receiving any money (5 weeks so far), which means her putting the children before herself and she is really struggling.  She is studying for a qualification which will mean she has a better future for her and her children, and is volunteering through her church and also with a couple of local groups to her, working one to one with vulnerable adults around issues such as substance abuse and homelessness.  We were asked if we could offer her some financial support, which we agreed to and sent her £150.

Tags : Training Qualifications Benefits UniversalCredit Poverty FamiliesinPoverty

Lady here as a refugee trying to make a new life

N came to the UK as a refugee, and initially found work as an interpreter.  She has had to give that up for the moment as she is in so much pain with her arthritis, plus she is extremely stressed  and anxious as she has no idea of the whereabouts of her son who also fled their home country and is trying to seek refuge.  She has no idea of whether he is safe or not.  When she arrived here she had nothing, so when she was given accommodation she had to lease the furniture as well as the accommodation.  She is in receipt of Universal Credit, but there were problems when it was first set up and this has left her in dire circumstances.  After her bills are paid she has only £36 for food, gas and electric to last her until the end of May.  We agreed to send her £100 to help her manage until then.

Tags : Refugee UniversalCredit Poverty Arthritis

Lady whose son diagnosed with cancer

A mother previously working full-time has had to go onto Statutory Sick Pay as her 13 year old son has been diagnosed with cancer.  She is still in receipt of working and child tax credits, but her SSP and benefits is ued to pay her rent and bills, including council tax.  Her son is currently in hospital receiving chemotherapy treatment, and although he has meals provided, nothing is provided for the mother who stays close by her son's side.  As she doesn't have money she is unable to afford any food from the hospital and often goes without eating.  She is also struggling to afford the bus fares between the hospital and home, so our agents asked for our help.  We agreed to send her £100 to help the family out.

Tags : SingleParents Cancer Hospital Chemotherapy SSP Poverty

Man with cancer having to give up self-employment

A man who has always been self-employed has been diagnosed with cancer and is currently undergoing intensive treatment.  He had to give up working in December because of his condition, and has recently submitted a claim to be put on to Employment Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payments, which will take some time to be received, assessed and put into payment.  He has been existing by using the remains of a tax rebate and his overdraft to pay his mortgage and bills.  His cooker has broken and our agents have applied for a grant to get this replaced but asked us to help him with some money for food, which we agreed to, sending him £100.

Tags : Benefits ESA PIP Cancer CancerTreatment Poverty Self-Employment

Single mum of three under stress trying to cope

A family comprising a single mother and her three children, aged 16, 10 and 1 year respectively.  The children have just come off a child protection plan and their care is now shared between the courts and the mother.  The mother has a history of complex mental and emotional health issues which she takes a variety of medications for.  The family home is is complete disarray though, as they don't have a washing machine so the mother washes their clothes in the bath.  This means that the children are unable to bathe as there is usually washing left to soak.  They are all living in a 2 bedroomed home, so there are issues around over crowding.  The house is filled with clutter as is the garden which she has received a warning about.  The school are concerned about the middle child who often arrives at school, unwashed, in dirty clothes and without having had anything to eat.  The mother lost her own mother quite recently, who it is believed was the person that held the family together and without her mother, she is really struggling to cope.  As it was a very dire situation we agreed to send her £200, which her social worker will help her to manage.

Tags : ChildProtectionOrder Poverty Neglect Clutter

Single mum needs help with DRO fees

A young mum with a daughter has been desperately trying to save up enough money to cover the cost of a DRO (Debt Relief Order) which costs £90.  Everytime she gets close an emergency crops up and the money is needed elsewhere.  In the meantime she is being relentlessly pursued for money she doesn't have.  She was diagnosed with anxiety and depression over 10 years ago, but lately it has become even harder for her to bear.  She got into this mess when she found herself unable to cope financially and began to rely on credit to get by, just with basic items, not luxuries.  The father of  the child contributes but it is only minimally, and she works part-time, but is limited as to how many hours she can work as she needs to cover child care costs.  The mother is constantly focused on what she cannot afford to buy and feels her daughter is missing out as she cannot send to her birthday parties as she has no spare money at all to afford a birthday present for her daughter to gift at the party.  She is unable to sleep properly and the stress of worrying about money is impacting her mental health, plus she feels her and her daughter are very isolated because of their financial situation.  The child's daughter are supporting the family by providing extra help for the daughter in class to help her socialise more.

We agreed to send her £120, £90 to cover the cost of the DRO and £30 as a small boost for her and her daughter.  Hopefully with this and some budgeting advice she will be able to get her life back on track.

Tags : Debt Poverty Benefits Loneparents DRO Depression Anxiety

Father in his 20's with cancer

A father in his twenties of three children, all 5 years and under lost his job just before Christmas and there was a delay in the family being able to claim and have benefits put into payment.  This meant that over the Christmas period they were supported by their local foodbank who made sure they had food for a family of two adults and three children, as well as some gifts for them to give the children.  Since then they have been struggling to manage financially and now the father has been recently diagnosed with cancer.  The mother is very concerned at how they will manage financially and mentally, as they got behind with the rent when her partner was off work and before housing benefit came into payment.  She wants to make sure that the children's lives carry on as normally as possible despite their father's diagnosis.  We agreed to send the family £200 to give them a bit of breathing space.

Tags : Benefits Cancer Poverty YoungFamilies OutofWork

Lady returns to the UK and is unable to claim benefits

We were told about a lady who is British but has been working outside the UK in France for the past four years.  While she was away,her father died and she was subjected to a serious assault which caused  her mental health to become so bad she ended up in psychiatric care.  She has now returned to the UK, but like anyone arriving here, she has to wait 3 months before she can apply for Universal Credit.  Under the mental health act she was transferred into British psychiatric care here in the UK and is now able to live independently in temporary accommodation.  However she has no money to buy food or toiletries, and also her fathers ashes are awaiting her to collect them at a funeral directors at the opposite end of the country (she would need to travel there to collect them.)  We agreed to send her £150 as she will have to wait for the UC claim, and even once that is in place it will take time for it to be put into payment.

Tags : mentalhealth UKCitizens Benefits Funerals Ashes Poverty

Homeless man unable to stay with parents

A very vulnerable man who was released from prison last April has found himself living temporarily with his parents following the breakdown of his marriage last December.  His father has prostrate cancer and is being visited by carers to help him, and his son sleeping in the living room on a camp bed is not an ideal situation.  An alternative place to stay has been found for the man in local supported accommodation, but the man recently had his jacket stolen while he was in a public place and his wallet and money were in the pocket.  He won't receive any further money until the end of April, so is completely without anything until then.  We agreed between us to send him £100.

Tags : Benefits Prison Poverty MarriageBreakdown Cancer Accommodation

Single mum left with nothing from Universal Credit

Our agents contacted us about a single mum that works part-time, due the fluctuating nature of her hours of work, she has been in receipt of Universal Credit (UC), but this month it has ended up that she has received nothing from UC at all.  This has left her in a predicament over her bills and she is without any money to pay for her monthly bus pass, which comes to £64, or to top up her energy meters.  Our agents are currently applying for some energy credit on her behalf, as well as doing a benefits check to make sure she has fully claimed all she is able to.  We agreed to send her £100 to help her pay for her travel costs and for some money for food.  We had some feedback to say she was very grateful for the help, and that our agents are helping her to source access to a suitable training course so that she could apply for a full-time management job.

Tags : Benefits UniversalCredit Poverty travelpass singleparents

Single mum of three in a fix

A single mum of three children, a young teenager and 11 year old twins has recenlty had to submit a claim for Universal Credit when she was told she had to switch over.  She was a victim of domestic abuse for a number of years and relocated to a new area with the support of the Police.  Shortly after she moved she was involved in a car accident which left her with a brain injury and she lost her job.  Following being off work for twelve months, she has now found a job but doesn't start work until later this month and will have to wait for her wages to be paid  In the meantime she is without any money to pay for food or cover her bills.  We agreed to send her £150 to help her with this.

Tags : Benefits UniversalCredit Poverty DomesticAbuse BrainInjury Employment

Single mum needs DRO fee

A young mum of twin girls has had to move several times as she fled each time from domestic abuse.  The twins father has physically beaten her, leaving her with a broken neck on one occasion.  The father has since died and the shock of this and dealing with constant depression, suicidal thoughts and being unable to work since has meant she has not stayed on top of her debts and now has bailiffs chasing her.  Our agents have advised her to apply for a debt relief order and have in the meantime got her listed under the welfare category with the bailiffs so she has a bit of protection.  In the meantime though she does not have the money to be able to apply for the debt relief order, so we agreed to pay the £90 on her behalf.

Tags : DRO DomesticAbuse SingleParents Poverty Benefits

Victim of domestic abuse forced to relocate

A young mum of three children, a 10 and 11 year old, as well as a 7 month old baby.  She has been forced to relocate with the three children because her ex attacked her in front of the children, and damaged her belongings.  The relocation has been very quick and traumatic for the family, especially as they are now living in a different part of the country.  She is in receipt of Universal Credit, Child Benefit, and Carers Allowance as her son is in receipt of Disability Living Allowance.  Since the move she has had to cover a lot of expenditure she was unprepared for, such as replacing their cooker as her ex damaged it beyond use, new school uniforms, replacing the stair carpets as the existing ones where she moved to were unsafe, and blinds for the windows so they could have some privacy.  She has had a washing machine which she bought through a highstreet company that allows you to pay weekly for it, but a £300 washing machine was going to end up costing her £950 once all the interest had been factored in.  She has missed some payments due to all her extra expense and now the company are banging on her door trying to get her to pay even more each week to catch up.  She has ended up instructing them to take the machine back as she could no longer afford the weekly repayments. We sent her £80 to put towards a reconditioned washing machine.

Tags : Poverty DomesticAbuse DisabilityLivingAllowance SingleParents Relocation WashingMachines highinterestdebts

Prison leaver without money

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.

Tags : Poverty PrisonLeaver Benefits ESA PIP

DRO fee request

A man who lives alone, unable to read or write is struggling to manage his finances and has got himself into a mess with them.  Our agents are assisting him in applying for a debt relief order, however he cannot raise the money to pay the fee, and without that he can see no way out of the mess he is in.  We agreed to pay the £90 fee on his behalf.

Tags : DRO Poverty debt unabletoreadorwrite benefits

Lady in debt needs help

We agreed to help with the £90 cost of a debt relief order application.  A lady who only has £400 a month total income is struggling with her debts, making just day to day living almost impossible.  Our agents are going to help her apply for a discretionary housing payment to help her going forwards, but some relief from the debt will be an enormous relief for her.  

Tags : Debt Benefits Poverty DRO

Lady sectioned for over 30 years

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.

Tags : MentalHealth Sectioning ESA PIP Debt Rent Poverty

Woman on apprenticeship unable to manage financially

Our agents asked us if we could help a young woman who is currently employed via an apprenticeship scheme which means she is on a very low income.  She has a number of debts which she is repaying, but she is being referred to talking money to help her get the repayments organised.  The debt is causing her anxiety, and recently she has been off work due to catching a virus.  The knock on of this has meant her income has fallen even lower, leaving her without food or heating/electric.  Our agents have taken her to a foodbank to make sure she at least has some food but asked if we could help with the energy costs.  We agreed to send her £80.

Tags : Working Apprenticeships Debt Poverty Sickness FuelPoverty

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

Mother of one left without money

A young mother who is employed but in receipt of Universal Credit to top up her income has found herself through no fault of her own without any money.  She relies on the UC payment, but because her employer advised HMRC of an incorrect amount this has meant there was no UC payment.  She has been existing on foodbanks for her and her 3 year old daughter.  They have managed to secure an advance on the UC, and our agents are trying to get a resolution manager at the DWP to look at this lady's case as a priority one that needs resolving fast.  We sent over £150 as her next wage is not due until the middle of April.

Tags : DWP UC foodbanks Poverty singleparents

Mother flees domestic violence

Our agents asked us if we would consider helping a young mum of two children, ages 2 and 4.  They have had to leave their family home and are currently living in refuge accommodation.  When they arrived they had the clothes they wear wearing and she had a few items of clothing for the children.  All the benefits she receives goes to pay for the refuge accommodation as well as paying back her Universal Credit advance.  Our agents are concerned that she really needs some changes of clothes, specifically underwear, and some toiletry items.  We agreed to send the family £150 to help with this.

Tags : DWP Benefits UniversalCredit Poverty noclothes

Young woman flees home to refuge

We were contacted today about a young woman who was due to arrive at a refuge.  She was fleeing her family home and had discovered that her benefits were cancellled two weeks ago, but has no idea as to why this has happened.  Our agents said that once she has arrived they will get straight on to discovering why her benefits were stopped and get them back into payment again.  In the meantime they have no money at all, so we sent over £100 to help.

Tags : DWP Refuge YoungMums Poverty

Man with cancer struggling to buy food

Our help was needed today for a man who is currently receiving pallative care for cancer.  His care is being provided by his local hospice and he is finding the treatment has caused his taste to change.  All the money he receives from his benefits is swallowed up by bills, leaving him with no spare money to buy high calorie food he feels able to eat.  We agreed to send him £100 to help him out, and have advised our agents to get their client to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment to assist him with meeting his council tax bill.

Tags : DWP Benefits Poverty Cancer foodpoverty

Man unable to read or write

We were asked to help a man who left his job in January and has been without income since then.  He sought help today from our agents who assisted him in applying for Universal Credit.  His appointment to get this arranged is not until April, and then he will need to wait for it to be approved before he can possibly apply for an advance on his benefits (although he will be forced to repay this from future benefits payments.)  The man lives with his mother, who has threatened to kick him out on to the streets unless he contributes something to the household.  He is struggling and is unable to read or write, so dealing with the DWP is not easy for him.  We agreed to send him £75 which will hopefully help him out.

Tags : DWP UniversalCredit Unemployment Poverty Unabletoreadorwrite

Lady loses ESA

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.

Tags : DWP ESA PIP Appeals Poverty HousingBenefit

Lady in refuge needs help

This case was a lady who had fled a domestic abuse situation where all her money was being taken off her by her partner.  She was housed initially by the local authority before she arrived at the refuge accommodation. On her arrival they discovered she had nothing, no spare clothes even.  We sent across to her £100 to help her out.

Tags : Benefits DomesticAbuse Refuge Shelter Poverty

Disabled mother of four struggling financially

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.

Tags : Benefits Disability Poverty PIP BenefitCap

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

Family on Universal Credit forced to consider giving up family pet

One of our agents was contacted today by a man who lost his job in December last year.  He has applied for Universal Credit but is still waiting all these weeks later for it to be sorted out properly.  He has fallen into arrears on his rent and has no money for food for him or his family.  Fortunately they are being well supported by their local foodbank who are supplying them with food, but they have no cat food to give them.  With only one can of food left, he made the painful call to ask if their cat could be rehomed to somewhere that could afford to feed it.  (According to our agents lots of people are abandoning their pets because they don't have enough money to feed them). We organised some tins of supermarket cat food for him, enough to last the month, until hopefully his Universal Credit is finally sorted out, and an extra £20 for him to get some essentials with.

Tags : Benefits UniversalCredit Poverty Pets GivingupPets OutofWork JobSeekers RentArrears

Man has his benefits stolen

Our agents asked us to assist a man who following visiting his local cashpoint, he drew out his £140 payment of Job Seekers Allowance.  On his way home he was attacked and robbed of all his money, leaving him with nothing to pay for food over the next two weeks until his payment is made again.  Although his friends were rallying round to help him, they too are in an extreme poverty situation and can only do so much without going without themselves.  We agreed to send him £80 to tide him over until his next benefit payment is made.

Tags : DWP Benefits JobSeekersAllowance Robbery Poverty nofood

Man has his benefits stolen

Our agents asked us to assist a man who following visiting his local cashpoint, he drew out his £140 payment of Job Seekers Allowance.  On his way home he was attacked and robbed of all his money, leaving him with nothing to pay for food over the next two weeks until his payment is made again.  Although his friends were rallying round to help him, they too are in an extreme poverty situation and can only do so much without going without themselves.  We agreed to send him £80 to tide him over until his next benefit payment is made.

Tags : DWP Benefits JobSeekersAllowance Robbery Poverty nofood

Lady on Employment Support Allowance in debt

A lady who suffers with thyroid disease, anxiety and depression is in debt and seems to be unable to break out of this cycle.  The stress of the debt hanging over her head is causing her anxiety to spiral, which only serves to make her depression worse.  Our agents have advised her to apply for a Debt Relief Order and get the debts resolved.  In order to do this she needed £90 to cover the administration cost, which we agreed to pay on her behalf.

Tags : DWP Benefits Debt Poverty DRO

Pensioner concerned by serious debt

We were asked to help out a pensioner who is currently quite unwell, she has had a heart attack, bypass surgery and a broken hip, as well as suffering from dementia, diabetes, cancer and vasculitis.  She has a number of debts which it leaves her struggling to cope with her bills and being able to make repayments to bring the debt levels down.  The stress of this is causing her extreme distress.  Our agents are going to assist her to apply for a Debt Relief Order and were in need of £90 to pay for the DRO.  We agreed to send this over so that this can be applied for.

Tags : DWP Pension Debt Poverty DRO

Gentleman being advised to be considered for Best Supportive Care

A man, previously employed in a factory, has been advised that the progression of his cancer now means that he needs to be cosnidered for best supportive care for his last months or weeks even.  He is not in receipt of any benefits, which our contact is going to investigate on his behalf.  He is currently living with his son and his family, and is struggling with trying to keep warm.  He wants to be able to contribute to some of the extra costs of keeping the house warm.  We agreed to send across £200 to pay for the extra energy costs.

Tags : Benefits Cancer PallativeCare EnergyCosts Poverty EnergyPoverty

Single lady forced to move home because of bedroom tax

We were approached to help a single lady currently living in a two bedroomed house, which is subject to bedroom tax as she is classed as under occupying the property.  A single bedroomed place has been found for her to move to, but where she is currently all the white goods in the kitchen are built in so she is unable to take them with her when she moves.  Our agents have applied for a grant on her behalf to obtain replacement white goods for her new home, but there will be a delay as the grant is approved.  This means that she will lose any fresh or frozen food she might already have, and will be without the means to even make a hot drink, or heat a premade meal.  They asked for enough money to purchase an inexpensive kettle and microwave, and for £50 to cover the cost of this which we agreed to send.

Tags : BedroomTax Appliances Forcedtomove Poverty

Man with cancer not coping with bills

A man diagnosed with skin cancer has had his application for Universal Credit turned down.  Currently he receives £280 a month from a personal pension and that is it, yet his rent alone is £122 a week.  He has an appointment scheduled with the DWP to get this refusal sorted out, it seems it has become complicated as he was self-employed before.  Our agents are prepared to help him appeal the decision if necessary.  We agreed to send him £100 towards his bills.

Tags : DWP Benefits UniversalCredit SkinCancer Poverty

Lady loses PIP and ESA

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.

Tags : DWP ESA PIP Poverty Appeals

Single mum unable to afford gas or electric

A single mum who is in receipt of Universal Credit to top up her wages is really struggling to manage financially.  Her UC amount varies from month to month, but usually she has just enough to cover the cost of her rent.  Once she has bought food, and paid her bills she doesn't have enough money to put any credit on to her energy meters.  We agreed to send £100 to help the family out.

Tags : UniversalCredit Benefits Debt FuelPoverty Poverty

Lady refused Employment Support Allowance

A lady in her early 40s, living with her adult son was refused Employment Support Allowance back in September last year when her claim came up for renewal, and her benefits payments stopped. She was working until 18 months ago, but had to stop due to a back injury.  Our agents are assisting her in applying for a discretionary housing payment to help with the bedroom tax situation, however the lady has a possession order against her for the property and is currently facing eviction as she is so far behind on her rent.  Currently she is living with her mother as she is at high risk of suicide, due to the depression that set in after she failed her ESA assessment.  Our agents are helping her to appeal the ESA decision and get her payments back into place.  We agreed to send her £100 to assist her.

Tags : DWP Benefits ESA Appeals BedroomTax Eviction Poverty

Travel costs needed to get to funeral

We were approached on be4half of a young woman whose Gran has recently died.  Her Gran raised her as a child, and although they are at opposite ends of the country the woman would like to be able to attend the funeral.  She recently lost her job when the care home she was working at closed suddenly without notice.  She applied for Universal Credit over 5 weeks ago, and has taken advantage of the fact that she can obtain an advance payment, as she is in privately rented accommodation and her landlord is unprepared to wait to be paid.  Universal Credit have told her that despite the fact she has already been waiting five weeks, she could have to wait a further three weeks before the first payment can be made.  The cost to get her from where she lives down south to Manchester and back would cost just over £72, which we agreed to cover.

Tags : DWP UniversalCredit Benefits Funerals TravelCosts Poverty JobSearching

Single mother wants to rebuild her life

A single mum who has throughout her life suffered abuse, from her parents growing up, from partners in relationships, often fleeing physical abuse.  She has tried many times to rebuild her life but keeps getting knocked back.  Our agents asked if we could help this single mum out, she is currently in receipt of Universal Credit and once all her rent and bills have been covered, she is left with £50 a week to heat the house and feed both her and her children.  We agreed to send her £100 to help her out.

Tags : DWP Benefits SingleMother UniversalCredit Poverty

Man flees domestic abuse

The man in question has recently moved from a small one bedroomed flat to a larger property.  He has fled a domestic abuse situation and needs a larger property as one of his children has moved in to live with him.  He was in receipt of Employment Support Allowance, however the date for his assessment clashed with a court date regarding the custody of his child.  He did inform DWP, but they cancelled his claim anyhow, so he is currently in the process of appealing that decision.  His second child could soon be moving in to live with him as well.  His landlord contacted our agents as this man was struggling for items for his home, and was also without money.  We agreed to send him £150 to help him out.

Tags : DWP Benefits ESA DomesticAbuse Children CustodyCases Poverty

Mature student finds apprenticeship cancelled

A mature student in his thirties had found an apprenticeship as a plumber.  He was with the business for almost a year but they realised they were in trouble and could no longer afford to keep him on.  He found another placement, but they messed him around and were refusing to pay him.  He suffers with depression and is the sole carer of his teenaged son.  All these issues are weighing him down, he is struggling to cope financially.  Our contacts had assisted him with money to put on to his fuel meters, and he's been to the foodbanks for food.  His child tax credits have stopped being paid, and he's had to apply for Universal Credit.  His first payment from Universal Credit won't be until the 20th February, and he has already had a £200 advance payment.  We agreed to send him £150 to buy food and to be able to top up his fuel meters.

Tags : DWP Benefits Apprenticeships UniversalCredit Poverty foodpoverty fuelpoverty

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

Lady in refuge accommodation without funds

A lady was moved into refuge accommodation today and the group helping her discovered that she had run out of money.  She is paid £230 per month to live off in Universal Credit payments.  She is not due another payment until the end of February, so they were very concerned about how she would cope.  We agreed to send her £100 so she could have money for food and fuel.

Tags : UniversalCredit Poverty Refugeaccommodation NoFood NoFuel

Lady of 64 left without any income

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.

Tags : DWP Benefits ESA PIP Pensions WaspiWomen FitforWork Poverty Benefitsnotpaying

Young mum of two struggling to cope

We were approached about a young mum of two boys, ages 5 and 3.  She was previously in receipt of child and working tax credit, but had to switch over to claiming Universal Credit instead.  This meant a break in her payments, resulting in her falling behind with her rent and some of her bills.  She works 5 hours per week as a play assistant and is studying towards a qualification which will improve her employment options once she is qualified.  She does not have access to a computer at home, so has to go to her local library and use the computers there to study.  She received an advance on her Universal Credit payment (otherwise they'd have had nothing to live off), repayment for the advance is being deducted at source from her benefits, leaving her and her boys even less money.  We advised our agents to encourage her to request to repay the advance over 12 months, so it lessens the monthly deductions.  We also agreed to send her £100 to help her out in the meantime.

Tags : DWP UniversalCredit WorkingTaxCredit ChildTaxCredits Poverty LivinginPoverty benefitspoverty

Freezing cold and no money for heating

We were asked to help a young woman who up until the 21st December last year was working.  She has attended a couple of job interviews but so far has not had any success in securing employment.  She is in the process of applying for benefits but has failed to get the application completed as she does not yet have a bank account.  To apply for an advance on her Universal Credit payment, she'd need a bank account.  Her friend will accept the first payment for her but is away until after the weekend.  In the meantime where she is staying is freezing cold and she has absolutely no money for food or heating.  We agreed to send her £70 to tide her over until her friend returns home.

Tags : Benefits Unemployment UniversalCredit BankAccounts Poverty FuelPoverty

Bereaved family need help

A family lost the father of the family and were renting a property from a relative of the family for a really low price.  However the mother has now remarried and they have now been given an official eviction date.  The mother is working, but she has depression and anxiety, and is also a recovering alcoholic.  They are in the process of seeking alternative accommodation, and will when they move need a new bed, double mattress and a fridge freezer.  The debt the family are in, including a large amount for council tax means they are unable to purchase what they need.  However as the financial needs of the family are far beyond our fund's remit, we couldn't agree to buy these items for them, but we did agree to send them £100 to go towards the things they need.  

Tags : DWP Benefits Debts Eviction Bereavement Poverty

Lady in Refuge without enough money

Our client is a lady currently living in temporary accommodation following a relationship breakdown.  She currently receives £73.10 every two weeks to live on.  She is really struggling to manage, and has to attend court next week regarding an incident with her husband.  She does not have the money to pay any bus fares to court or money to top up her gas and electric meters.  We agreed to send her £100 to help her with and hopefully relieve some of the stress she is currently under.

Tags : Refuge RelationshipBreakdowns Benefits Debts Poverty

Stroke causes man to close his business and end up in debt

The man in this situation had his own business and had been self-employed for some time.  He had been struggling because his clients would take a very long time to pay him, the stress made him unwell and resulted in him having a stroke.  He had to close his business down and has been in receipt of job seekers allowance.  His adult son moved in with him for a time, but he has his own health issues, but his presence in the house have only made his debts far worse.  He is now at a point where his debt repayment amounts are leaving him in a situation where he doesn't have enough money for food or to top up his energy meters.  His house is freezing cold, and have little to no food is making things much worse.  His health is just getting worse each day and he is due to have a blood pressure meter fitted this week, and his doctors are concerned his high blood pressure could trigger another stroke.  He recently lost his partner to cancer, and his depression is spiralling.  Our agents feel the best course of action is for him to apply for a debt relief order and they are prepared to help him apply for this.  He needs though the funding to cover the cost of the application.  We agreed to pay the £90 fee and sent an extra £30 so he can top his energy meters up.  

Tags : DebtDRO Stroke Benefits DWP JSA Poverty

Electrical issues damage kitchen appliances

We had a school contact us, one of the parents at the school, a single dad had experienced electrical problems in his kitchen which had resulted in his cooker, hob and fridge freezer becoming damaged, leaving them unusable.  The father is in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance, often needing financial assistance from the school.  He is in dire need of a new cooker and fridge freezer.  We don't cover the cost of new white goods as that is way beyond our remit, but we will offer £80 to go towards refurbished items.  We have also signposted him to a place where he can access funding specifically for the purposes of replacing white goods.

Tags : Benefits JobSeekersAllowance SingleParents WhiteGoods Poverty

Man unable to put on his heating

We were asked to assist a gentleman struggling with anxiety and depression.  He moved home in January 2018 and his gas meter was in arrears when he moved.  Since the move he has been trying really hard to clear the arrears so that he can have some heating on in his flat, as the lack of heat is triggering his depression and making him even worse.  His Universal Credits payments don't allow him to make any headway in clearing the debt and his mental health is really poor with this extreme cold weather.  Our agents had tried other agencies for help with grants, but all so far had refused because of his arrears.  We agreed to send him £100, so he could clear the debt completely and have £30 to top up his meter with.

Tags : UniversalCredit Benefits Debts FuelPoverty Poverty Depression

Diagnosis of cancer brings money worries

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.

Tags : DWP Benefits Poverty Cancer AboveKneeAmputation PIP MovingHome

Single man without food or heat

We were asked if we could help a single man in his 50s.  He had been in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), but managed to get a part-time job doing some cleaning work.  However this was causing him issues around his health so had to reluctantly give it up.  His JSA had been reduced due to his working, and since having to give the job up the deductions were still being made, leaving him with nothing to live on.  Our agents are trying to look into his claim and think he may have been sanctioned by the DWP, but as yet have been unable to ascertain this to be the case.  He has had an emergency payment from his local council as well as food vouchers, and exhausted all resources local to him.  We agreed to send him £100 so he can at least be able to buy some food and have money to top up his energy meters.

Tags : DWP JSA Sanctions Poverty NoFood Benefits

Student without essential uniform

We were asked to assist a family, single mum of three children, where the teenaged daughter had been out of education for 15 months.  The girl was now back in school, following support given to the family.  However she is struggling because her Mum who is on Universal Credit is unable to provide her with a school blazer and some items of PE kit.  The lack of these items is seriously impacting on this young girl's school experience.  We agreed to send the family £75 so that they can buy the blazer for her and the other things she needs, so she feels more included.

Tags : DWP Benefits UniversalCredit Poverty SchoolUniforms Education

Single mother of three children coping after ending abusive relationship

A single mother of three children, ages 8, 5 and 4, has recently separated from her abusive husband.  She is having to cope with being left on her own with the children, and has had to pay two months rent in advance so that they can stay in their current home.  The father has left with many of the household items, which she is hoping to replace in time.  She is having to rely temporarily on the benefits system in order to simply survive.  She has been engaging really well with all the agencies concerned that are trying to help her find suitable employment so that she can end her benefits claim.  She came to attention when she visited her local foodbank looking for help and support.  We agreed to send her  We agreed to send her £150 to help her and her children out.  She was really grateful for the help and support she had received.

Tags : Benefits SingleParents AbusiveRelationships Poverty

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