Blog

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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