Jun 28, 2019
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.
Mar 29, 2019
A single dad, living with his 6 year old daughter has been sanctioned by Universal Credit and will not receive another payment until 18th April. He has debts for his energy, tv licence, and council tax. He borrowed £7 to put on to his energy meters, but because the standing charges were £5, that has meant he is still without power. We agreed to send him £75 to help him out.
Jan 23, 2019
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.
Sep 27, 2018
Our help was asked for in respect of a man who is battling depression. He missed an appointment with the DWP and consequently the DWP have sanctioned his money and he was left with no money to cover his bills, which he now in debt with, nor any money to buy food. When our agent visited him, he was very tearful and feeling unable to cope, so they asked us if we could help him until he could get a claim for Universal Credit submitted. Our agents are taking him to his local CAB office next week to get the UC claim started and we agreed in the meantime to send him £100 to help him out.
Sep 24, 2018
We were approached regarding a woman who has recently lost her partner and is under serious stress at the moment, due to other issues beside this. With all this stress she missed an appointment with the DWP and as a result her money has been sanctioned and won't be back in payment for at least four weeks. She has some arrears regarding her rent and council tax, and no money to pay bills or buy food. We were asked if we could consider helping her out in the interim. We agreed to send her £100 to hopefully tide her over until her payments can restart.
Aug 15, 2018
A mother who lives with her 20 year old daughter has had her ESA sanctioned for four weeks. She is suffering with mental health problems and this has left her in a very difficult financial situation. Her daughter has a part-time job, working 12 hours a week, but this is the only income they have at the moment. She has applied for a hardship payment, and has been given a food voucher. Our agents are assisting her to apply for PIP, but in the meantime, until her sanction is lifted in September she is very hard up. We agreed to send her £100 to use to buy food and top up her energy meters.
Mar 6, 2018
Our client, a single mother of two children has had her Universal Credit claim sanctioned for three months, because she did not attend a meeting at the Job Centre, which she says she was never notified of. She is in the process of appealing this decision, but like most things with the DWP, it takes ages to make any progress. In the meantime she has two sons, one 13, the other 16 that are depending on her for their needs. She has had some help from elsewhere from her local authority and her energy supplier for food, and gas and electric, but has now exhausted all that help. So we were contacted as a last resort for help. She won't receive any money from the DWP until the end of March when her sanction expires, so we agreed to send her £150 to tide her over until then.
Dec 3, 2017
We were approached about a lady that our contact had noticed online, posting about the fact that she has recently been sanctioned by the DWP, and also has had to deal with the fact that her home had been badly damaged by vandals. We agreed between us to send her £60 to spend on food and keep her ticking over until her sanction can be overturned.
Oct 2, 2017
We were approached about a man in his early 30s who is desperately struggling to keep his head above water financially. He is in receipt of Universal Credit but has been sanctioned because he missed some appointments. He has severe mental health problems, which get in the way of him keeping his appointments. The property he is in is his first property in his own name, as he grew up in the care system, then was in supported housing of one kind or another. In his property he nly has a table and a sofa to his name. He lives alone, has no family to support him and was recently attacked by a gang which has only heightened his anxieties. He has rent arrears, debts and utiliity arrears too which our agents are going to help him try to get sorted out. They discovered he has had no money for two weeks, so has been unable to purchase any food, so all he has been living on is a box of Weetos per week, allowing himself two handfulls a day. Our agents sorted him out a food voucher, but asked for some money from us to help him. His bank account was £38 overdrawn, so we sent across £100 to cover his overdraft and allow him enough money to buy some food which will hopefully last him until they can appeal his sanction and sort his benefits payments out.
Sep 20, 2017
We had a rather odd request. Our agent asked us if we could assist a man they are helping with £50 to pay for a letter from his doctor, stating his medical conditions and how they affect him so that the letter could be sent to the courts for his forthcoming tribunal hearing. Normally at a disability hearing a doctor has to be present, but this is not an ordinary tribunal, and one that a doctor is not routinely there because they don't normally consider medical needs at this type of tribunal. The young man, 26 years old has been diagnosed with MS, along with a whole host of other conditions. He had to be sent a good distance from his home for treatment, which he did, but he didn't react too well so was unable to travel home, let alone the further 15 miles from where he normally lives to attend the meeting. As he failed to show, they suspended/sanctioned his benefits, ignoring his medical situation completely that rendered him unable to be present. Our agents are very confident that this letter will allow the tribunal to understand completely his failure to attend, and will reinstate his benefits payments.
Sep 12, 2017
We were approached about a mum who needed help for her daughter. The mother who is currently being sanctioned on her benefits, was unable to provide a suitable school uniform for the child. The knock on from this is that the child had missed a lot of her schooling last term as the mother had kept her off school. Our agents asked us to pay for a main set of uniform for her, which we did and actually placed an order with the local school uniform supplier and arranged for the mother to call by to collect this, so we could be certain the money was used for its intended purpose.
Aug 10, 2017
We have been contacted in this past week by organisations that are working with individuals to resolve their issues, as in each case they have been sanctioned for failing to attend a meeting. This is an awful outcome as simply missing an appointment, such as a bus being late, a date being forgotten (also don't forget, if you have mental health issues, then getting yourself up out of bed is like fighting a daily battle, let alone remembering an appointment), or even worse the claimant not being notified of the appointment to even be able to attend it. The knock on from a benefit sanction is usually the housing benefit and council tax relief payments also being stopped, it just goes on and on leading eventually to the threat of eviction. People who are struggling to keep body and soul together then have to 1) become aware of the situation, and 2) find help. This is a further hurdle for many that struggle with social interaction, agoraphobia, or more. Our agents are now faced with trying to get these individuals benefits restored, as well as their housing benefit and council tax relief. In each case we sent £100 to help them out, to have money for food, and in one case some essential clothes, until their benefits are restored.
Aug 3, 2017
A case we were approached about recently is very sad. Our contact has been supporting this man for some time. He has been living on the streets for a very long time, alcohol dependent, which many people are in that position, trying to blot out their feelings, so all they feel is numb. He has been in hostels for a long time and has finally been offered a real place to live. He is existing on the absolute basic level of Universal Credit, and has been coping with a sanction on his benefits for the past three months, as he was late for an appointment at the job centre. This happens so easily, it just needs lack of a bus fare and having to walk all the way there, sometimes several miles, or the bus not turning up to make a person late. Sadly the reasons why are often not considered and a sanction is slapped into place. This leaves a person with absolutely no money at all to buy food. So this man has been relying on foodbanks, and the people at the flats where he lives who have been sharing with him their own meagre supplies. His support worker was going through his financial statement with him, based on his payments being back in place and she commented that things must be really hard for him trying to manage. He explained that he didn't need much, but what he wanted to do would be to get out and walk more as it would help him cope and feel much better about himself, but he cannot afford to buy himself any shoes, nor see himself able to save up enough to buy any. So she approached us to ask if we could help him. We all agreed to help him, and sent over £50 to enable him to buy some decent trainers that would last him, and any left over he could use towards buying some food.
Jul 24, 2017
We were contacted about a young man that had been sanctioned on his Job Seekers payments because he failed to attend a Job Centre Interview, the reason he missed it was because he was in hospital. This meant his only source of income stopped so he was without money for food, gas or electric. We were asked for £60 to keep him going until his sanction could be reversed, and he can be transferred onto Employment Support Allowance, rather that Job Seekers.
Jun 16, 2017
We were contacted about a man who suffers with chronic anxiety who has been kicked off Employment Support Allowance, forced into applying for Job Seekers instead, and is now moved again, this time on to Universal Credit. However he is subject to sanctions by the DWP which can be for reasons as simple as being held up and arriving late to sign on for example. He is now on his fourth benefit sanction, is desperate for food, but has used up all his entitlement to food bank vouchers. He also cannot get another welfare emergency payment from his council for another 12 months. He has another month to run on his latest benefit sanction, so we agreed to send across £100 to tide him over until his benefits can restart again.
Apr 4, 2017
We were told about a family, who having got into rent arrears were being taken to court for eviction from their home. The debt had happened because the lady in question, a single mum, had been sanctioned a number of times through no fault of her own. This sanction meant that her housing benefit and council tax relief had stopped being paid, hence the debt. A fundraiser was put together by another party and raised over £900 to pay off the arrears, we stepped in and sent over £100. The total sum raised will be paid to clear the arrears, and it had been agreed if this happened within the time frame, then the eviction notice would not be enforced and they would be allowed to stay.