Aug 16, 2019
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.
Aug 8, 2019
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.
Jul 26, 2019
A lady who was registered as her husband's carer has been left in a mess after her husband walked out. She doesn't know where he is, just that he no longer wished to remain married to her. He said he would submit a claim for Universal Credit but when a check was made, there was no live claim in her name. She has no idea about any of the bills, etc which were all in her husband's name. His name has been taken off the tenancy, and it is in her name only now, but she needs help and guidance with council tax, applying for Universal Credit and PIP which our agents have agreed to do. They have also issued her with food vouchers, but she will not receive any money from UC for some time. In the meantime we agreed to send her £100 to help her out.
Jul 26, 2019
A single mum with two children has managed to leave a terrible domestic abuse situation. She is waiting on a PIP assessment as she is deaf, but because she needs a translator that can use sign language, this has proved difficult for the DWP who have cancelled her assessment on a number of occasions. She is waiting to hear about Universal Credit, but in the meantime has no money at all for gas, electric or food. We agreed to send her £80 to help her until she should receive some money in early August.
Jul 26, 2019
A single man in his early 60s has prostrate cancer and is currently surviving on Universal Credit of £276 per month. He had arrears on all his bills, and is struggling to cope. He has been in receipt of food vouchers but the food doesn't last him long as he doesn't have a fridge. We sent him a small amount of money to pay for a second hand one.
Jul 15, 2019
A mother of four children, all under 8 years of age was recently scammed by someone that approached her outside the school as she was waiting to collect her children. They told her they could organise a £1500 loan and for that she would need to pay them £350 fee. She gave them her details, the 'loan' was organised and paid into her bank account, and she gave him the £350 fee. When she went to draw out her child tax credits they weren't in the bank as expected, so she contacted the Tax Credits department only to be told her claim had been closed down as she was now claiming Universal Credit and the payments would be included with that. She explained she hadn't submitted a claim for Universal Credit only to discover that a claim had been made in her name, presumably by the person that approached her outside the school and they had requested an advanced payment on the UC, which she would have to repay at a fixed amount each month. One of her sons has had a kidney transplant and needs special pads and a specific diet, as well as regular trips to hospital which she currently cannot afford. We agreed to send the family £200 to help them until the next benefits payment would be paid to her.
Jun 5, 2019
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.
May 24, 2019
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.
May 14, 2019
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.
Apr 24, 2019
We were asked to assist a young vulnerable adult who has recently been offered housing. He doesn't though have anything to furnish his home with, nor the funds to be able to purchase them, as his Employment Support Allowance or Personal Independence Payments won't stretch that far. He is in the process of switching over to claim Universal Credit but his first payment for that won't be for some time yet. We agreed to send him £100 to use as he sees fit to purchase some essential items to get him started.
Apr 12, 2019
A lady who lives alone has been diagnosed with lung cancer. Her income on Employment Support Allowance is currently £81 per week and she is struggling to meet her outgoings each month. Our agents are helping her to apply for both Universal Credit so she can get some financial support with her rent, and also to apply for Personal Independence Payment as she will be entitled to that benefit. Our agents have applied elsewhere for a grant as she needs to purchase a new mattress so she can be certain of getting enough suitable sleep so that she can begin to recover. We agreed to send her £100 to help her with her energy costs and money for food.
Mar 27, 2019
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.
May 24, 2018
Our case today was for a man, sadly now widowed and lives alone. He has severe diabeties which has affected his eyesight causing cataracts to form in both eyes, and he has issues with his mobility. He is currently in receipt of Universal Credit and has been advised to apply for Personal Independence Payments, which they have done, but it will take several weeks before he is even assessed as suitable to claim. In the meantime he does not have any food, not does he have any spare money to put on to the meters so that he might have access to hot water. Our contact would normally offer him a food voucher to take to a food bank, but many of the tinned foods that he would be provided with would not be suitable for him to eat. We agreed to send him £80 so that he could resolve both these issues.