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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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