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Family broken apart by domestic violence

A mother of three is having to live apart from her children at the moment as one is with the child's grandmother, and two others are currently in foster care.  This is due to domestic violence within the house and the Police are now involved and will arrest immediately if the father goes near the property.  She had to move away briefly for safety reasons but has now returned to find that everything in the house has been smashed up.  She is in a mess financially as has debts with her housing provider, as well as council tax, etc.  As she needs so much and it is hopeful that the children will be able to return home soon we agreed to send her £200  with a view that if she can be persuaded to apply for a Debt Relief Order, then we would be prepared to cover the cost of that too.  Our agents say that currently she is not in the right headspace to be able to deal with applying for a DRO on top of everything else she currently has going on. 

Tags : Domesticviolence domesticabuse familiesincare povertyintheUK debts UniversalCredit

Lady in desperate situation

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.

Tags : Tenancies PIP UC Benefits Bills debts

Lady in intensive care

We were asked if we could help out a couple, both pensioners.  The lady has been diagnosed with cancer, and unfortunately has ended up in intensive care in a hospital some distance away from where they live.  The husband makes the 166 mile round trip to see her 2-3 times a week and stays when he can in the patient hotel at the hospital.  He has nowhere to store food while he visits so is reliant on catering avaible at the hospital which is expensive.  Although they are both in receipt of their pension, their outgoings are just £13 shy of the money they receive each month, due to an outstanding amount on their mortgage.  We agreed to send the couple £70 to help pay for food while he visits his wife in hospital.

Tags : Cancer intensivecare pensions debts mortgage travelcosts

Mother of three under threat of bailiffs

A mother of three, with severe mental health problems is having difficulties with bailiffs knocking on her door chasing debts.  She has had a very difficult life, with her mother being imprisoned when she was a child, resulting in her being cared for outside of the family.  After struggling with this, she then went to live with her grandparents until her grandfather died when she was 11.  Her mother returned but was very manipulative and bad with money, so she has not had good role models in her life.  As well as that her mother was physically abusive towards her and also kept her away from school, resulting in her suffering in terms of her education. She has been really let down in respect of support and care, and now finds herself in debt again due to this lack of support.  The bailiffs are causing her a great deal of stress and impacting her mental health in a very negative way.  Our agents are very impressed at how caring she is with her own children and how she is trying to make their lives better, but this recent development is really getting her down.  We were asked to support her by covering the cost of a debt relief order, which we were happy to do, along with sending her £60 as a morale boost for her and her family.

Tags : debts benefits prison physicalabuse poverty DRO

Support was needed for a young single mum of two girls.  The mother was brought up as a looked after child in the care system, due to sexual abuse.  She has been the victim of domestic abuse and has recently moved from a women's refuge to a home of her own.  Initially she was very scared and vulnerable when she fled the domestic abuse situation, but is now with the help of her health visitor, the early help team and self-help services beginning to address some of the difficulties she has faced.  She has begun to address some of the debts she has and now has payment plans in place for those, mostly relating to her previous home.  She has been through a lot, even though she is only 21 years old herself.  We were asked if we could consider this young lady for a Biscuit Fund boost which we agreed to and sent across £100.  

Tags : Lookedafterchildren sexualabuse childrenincase domesticabuse poverty debts

Formerly homeless young mum and baby need help

A young mum and her baby, previously living in a homeless shelter visited our agents for financial help and advice.  Our agents are really impressed at how hard this young mother is working to be a good mother herself.  As a child she spent a lot of her life living street homeless or in care.  She has learning problems and is struggling to be able to budget properly.  Our agents are helping her with budgeting and guiding her with how to cook cheap nutritious meals.  They have also been making sure she has access to food vouchers to be able to feed herself and her one year old.  We decided to send her £150 to help her address some small debts and have money for other things, to hopefully reduce some of the worry she is having, which is impacting negatively on her mental health.

Tags : SingleMum growingupincare poverty homelessness debts mentalhealth

Universal Credit not working for people!

This case was a frustrating one.  A young mother is trying to keep herself and her children afloat, working and being 'assisted' by Universal Credit.  She has rent arrears, owes money to her family and to her childminder.  She is paid minimum wage and has rent, etc  to pay.  She is supposed to be topped up by Universal Credit, but her payments are being cut because they say she is earning too much.  She has tried to get some advice but isn't fairing too well in the area of the country she lives and ended up being given some advice printed off the Internet that she could have found herself.  Our agent has helped her write an email to her local MP to get some help and support with her case with the DWP, because when she phoned them up and was on the phone for an hour, as soon as she said she wanted to lodge a formal complaint they hung up the phone on her.  We agreed to send her £100, plus an extra £50 for the children.

Tags : Benefits DWP UniversalCredit debts workingdoesn'tpay

Disabled Grandmother struggling to cope financially

We were asked to help a lady who lives alone but is struggling to manage financially.  She is in receipt of Employment Support Allowance, but has a number of deductions made from her payments because of utilities debts and repaying a social fund payment.  This has left her being unable to cope financially, and she is additionally stressed with Christmas around the corner, as the children need clothes which she can't afford to get them, or any Christmas presents.  Our agents are going to help her with the debt repayments to see if they can be reduced, but in the meantime we agreed to send £100 to the Grandmother, and an extra £50 to be used to buy presents for the three children, and maybe something for her daughter too.

Tags : DWP Christmas debts ESA benefits

Woman struggling to stay in her home

We were approached to help a woman who following a relationship breakdown found herself homeless.  She also had recently lost her expected baby which had had a huge impact on her mental health.  She was taken in and supported by a refuge then finally a flat was found for her to move into.  Her benefits payments have been impacted resulting in her not receiving her payments one month, which caused her to fall into arrears with her rent.  Our agents are helping her to apply for a discretionary housing payment and to get her rent arrears sorted.  We agreed that we would send her £30 as a moral boost and to allow her to get some groceries in.

Tags : Benefits refuge homeless rentarrears debts

House infested with bugs

In this case our client is a woman who has left an abusive relationship.  She accepted a housing association property and found out after she'd moved in that the flat was infested with bed bugs. She tried to get the housing association to help her but for some reason they refused to help, stating the issue was hers to resolve.  She borrowed £500 from her family to purchase replacement furniture and the cost of having the flat fumigated.  So far she has repaid half of what is owed, however her family are insisting that she repay the loan with half the benefits she has to live off.  This is leaving her in a situation where she is unable to afford food to eat or to be able to cover her bills.  She currently has the added stress of being on Job Seekers Allowance, having lost her Employment Support Allowance.  Our agents are helping her to get back on to ESA as the stress is seriously impacting her mental health.  We agreed between us that we would send her £50 to help her out in the interim.

Tags : JSA Benefits debts family bedbugs infestation

In desperate need of help!

We had an emergency request which we have been dealing with over the weekend (being volunteers working from home this does mean we work over the weekends on occasions).  The request was made on behalf of a single mum of four children, ranging in ages from 5 to 15.  All of the children have behavioural issues and she herself suffers with chronic depression.  She has been in a string of abusive relationships, the first one began when she was only 14 years of age.  Two years ago, with the help of a keyworker from a local children's centre, she left her last abusive relationship and took the children with her.   She now finally has a place to live, but still has debts relating to her accommodation which she is struggling to deal with.  Over the weekend she was without money because although she works 16 hours a week as a cleaner, last week it was half-term so she was unable to work as she had no childcare.  Her support worker is assisting her with this going forward so she doesn't face this problem again.  Her immediate problem that we were asked to help with was her inability to heat the home or buy food for herself and the children.  We agreed to send her £80 to clear the energy debt, £20 to add to the meters so she could use her gas and electricity, and £50 to buy some food.  Her local council have agreed to help her by paying some of the outstanding rent amounts directly to her landlord.  Our agent contacted us later that day to let us know how much of a help this was and she was confident that this had been a huge boost for her.

Tags : youngmum singlemum behaviourissues benefits domesticviolence debts UniversalCredit Nochildcare

Debts keep woman stuck in unsuitable housing

We are approached about a lady who is living alone in a three bedroomed house.  She has an issue with vermin in the property, is unable to climb the stairs, so sleeps downstairs on the sofa, and is unable to get in and out of the bath unassisted.  She is currently without any practical in person support to help her with keeping clean, so has hygiene issues.  She has been trying for a long time to get moved to a smaller more suitable property, but her landlords are refusing to help her until her debts are cleared for the extra bedrooms (this is due to the bedroom tax for the unoccupied rooms).  She has been diagnosed with mental and physical health difficultities and has made many threats of ending her own life due to the levels of stress she is under.  She is now being supported by our agents, plus she has a social worker who is putting things into place to turn her life around.  Our agents are confident that applying on her behalf for a Debt Relief Order to get her outstanding debts sorted is the best way to go forward, as this would be life changing for her.  We agreed to cover the £90 fee to allow this to happen.

Tags : benefits housingproblems bedroomtax debts DRO suicidethreats

Single mum of two struggling to manage

We were approached and asked to help a mum of two children.  She suffers with depression and has recently been refused ESA at an assessment earlier this year.  She is now existing on her child tax credits and child benefits payments only which are not stretching far enough, so has been borrowing from friends and relatives with no spare cash to be able to pay that back.  Our agents are helping her to request for this decision to be reconsidered, and also that her housing benefit be put back into payment before she falls too deeply into rental arrears.  She doesn't feel mentally able enough to claim job seekers allowance, but our agents are going to help her with this, because it will take a long time for the application to have the ESA decision overturned.  We agreed to send the family £100 so that they can buy some food and to help with gas and electric.

Tags : ESArefusal debts benefits singleparents nomoney

Mother of four in need of assistance

In this case we have a mother of four adult children.  After deductions from her benefits because she has four adults living with her, she is left with not enough to live off and cover their bills.  One adult child works and helps her out, two others are in receipt of benefits themselves and give her a small amount each week.  The youngest has mental health issues and is struggling to claim benefits for themself, so that they could offer some contribution to the household budget.  The mother has been getting increasingly into debt, and has been advised to submit an application for a debt relief order, which she needed help in applying for.  We agreed to pay the £90 fee. 

Tags : debts debtrelieforder rentarrears benefits housingbenefit

DRO help needed

The request for help came on behalf of a young man that after deductions are taken from his benefits has £130 per month to live off, to buy food, pay for heat and electric and cover all his bills.  This is not enough, and he is in arrears with his rent because of a shortfall in housing benefit because of the bedroom tax.  He is going without heat and food to try to stay above water financially.  His advisor has instructed him to apply for a Debt Relief Order, but this costs £90 and he can't afford to live, let alone raise that much money.  So his advisers approached us and asked if we would be prepared to make the payment for him.  They said that this would be life changing for him, so we agreed we would be happy to help.

Tags : benefits debtrelieforder debts housingbenefit bedroomtax

Man with Crohns disease left without fridge

We were asked today to help a man who is in a huge amount of debt following being wrongly found fit for work last year.  He has Crohns disease, and is seriously underweight as a result.  His fridge has broken which is essential to him to store fresh food, and without it he will have to rely on convenience food which he can't afford to buy anyhow.  He is unable to afford to purchase a replacement fridge.  We agreed to send him £150 to pay for a new fridge and give him a small buffer to buy some food with.

Tags : benefits ESA debts Crohnsdisease fridge freshfood

Care worker in a fix

Our help was needed this time for a lady who has been working as a carer for the past 15 years, working 7 days a week just to stay on top of her bills.  The pressure of this has caused her to have two heart attacks, leaving her with ongoing problems.  She has suffered domestic abuse in the past too, meaning she ended up loosing her home and is struggling to keep the one she is in now.  She has been advised to apply for a debt relief order, but does not have the £90 fee to apply.  We agreed to cover this for her, and offered an extra £40 to give her a little bit of a buffer.

Tags : lowincome debts heartattack

Lady had to quit her job to become a carer at home

We were asked to help a lady who has had to give up her job to become a carer in her home.  She is struggling to stay on top of all the bills but is finding it very hard as she simply does not have enough money coming into the house.  She is trying to work part-time to help out the financial situation at home, but it is not working too well.  She is now getting bailiffs calling at the house, and this is causing her extreme anxiety, and is making her depression much worse than it was before.  We agreed we would help her with this and arranged to have the money sent over so the application for the DRO could be made on her behalf.

Tags : debts bailiffs debtrelieforder carers

Single mum of two needs help

Our agents contacted us today about a single mum of two children, who has severe mental health problems.  She has been living almost on fresh air and has run out of the tiny amount of money she has to live on, leaving her without gas, electric, food and nappies.  We agreed to help her out by sending over £150 to tide her over until her next payment is due.  Our agents feel at such a stressful time, some help from us might be the boost she so desperately needs.

Tags : singlemum nofood nogas noelectric nonappies debts benefits

Young mother in desperate need of help

We were approached about a young woman, who found herself in a situation where she was married at 17 and forced into a belief system that wasn't her own.  When she fell pregnant with her daughter, he husband walked out and left them both, leaving them in debt.  Her daughter is now two years old and doesn't have a bed to sleep in as the bed in their property was damaged by mould through no fault of their own.  She is currently searching for employment but finding it difficult to manage.  We were asked to help contribute towards the cost of a bed and mattress for her.  We agreed to send over £150.

Tags : benefits poorhousing debts nobed nomoney

Lady dealing with housing benefit complications

We were contacted about a lady who has been having problems with her housing benefit since the death of her husband a few years ago.  She has single handedly been trying to keep her family afloat and keep a roof over their heads, but she is the only one contributing.  She is at a point where all her money is being used to deal with debts, and to provide food for her adult children, leaving her unable to heat the house, nor have anything to eat herself. She is borrowing money from family and friend so that she can buy food, but of course has to pay that back as soon as her benefits payments come through.  Our agents asked us to help her by covering the £90 fee so that she can apply for a debt relief order.  We agreed with doing this, and to add an additional £30 so that she could afford to heat her home, especially as it is so cold right now with all the snow.

Tags : debts debtrelieforder nofood noheating

Debt Relief Order request

Just a quick one.  Our client this time is a lady who lives in her home with two people that are considered non-dependants, so her housing benefit payment is reduced, which has caused her to fall into arrears in other areas.  She is now at a point where she simply cannot manage on the £88 she receives once a fortnight.  The request was that we cover the Debt Relief Order cost of £90 so that she might with our agents support make an application to have her debts sorted out.

Tags : jobseekersallowance debts non-dependantdeductions arrears DRO

Unemployed man being pursued for debts

We were asked to help a young man who has found himself unemployed, and as he has spare bedrooms is liable for bedroom tax, and is in rent and council tax arrears which along with other debts is being pursued by the courts and bailiffs.  This is causing him extreme stress and anxiety, and he has been advised to allievate this by applying for a debt relief order.  However to do this he needs to pay the £90 fee, which he is unable to do.  We were asked if we could cover the cost of this for him which we agreed to do.

Tags : benefits jsa bedroomtax debts courts bailiffs unemployed

Young man in need of food

We were contacted to see if we could help a young man, who is currently estranged from his family.  He has Aspergers and mental health issues, and is struggling to manage his money.  He had unfortunately gone overdrawn on his bank account and when his benefits payment went into his account, it was all soaked up to cover the overdraft.  This has left him with nothing for food or energy.  Our agents were able to get him some food via the foodbank, but with no energy he is unable to cook any of it.  We agreed to send across £5 to clear his overdraft, £20 for his gas and electric and £30 to purchase some food.  Our agents said they'd try to assist him with managing his money going forward.

Tags : benefits overdrafts nogasnoelectric nofood debts

Lady struggling with debt to energy company

Our agents contacted us about a lady in her 50s with a heart condition, who had been registered as a carer for her sister, who sadly has now passed.  While struggling to grieve, she applied for ESA but had problems maintaining contact with her doctor and is now no longer claiming.  Her family have stepped in and are feeding her, but she has debt on her gas account, which means with very limited income she is struggling to meet the demands of the debt.  This also means she cannot afford to put her heating on, which she needs to be able to do right now.  Our agents are going to help her with her benefits, and have applied for a grant on her behalf to clear the debt, but it is not likely that they will hear back either way until the worst of this bad weather is over.  

The lady was in debt with her bank account, so transferring money to her would have been fruitless, as the banks would have just sucked it up in fees or overdraft.  Our agents have challenged the bank charges, which have been refunded, which has cleared the overdraft.  We agreed to transfer enough money, £110 to clear the debt with the gas company, so that she can put her heating back on again.

Tags : gascompanies benefits death bereavement debts nomoney noheating

Man in deep water over his water bill

Our client is a man who is employed on a zero hours contract, and quite often doesn't achieve even 8 hours of work.  He is being threatened by court action over his water bill which currently stands at £400.  The company he works for does corporate events and with Christmas on the horizon he will at least be given some extra hours, so might be able to raise some of this.  In the meantime we have discovered his 'employers' have been allowing him to take the out of date sandwiches to eat, so he has some food to survive on, which is not ideal.

He was advised and supported in getting in touch with a debt agency who have negotiated on his behalf, and as he is a single person living alone, the water company concerned have reduced his tarrif to a lower priced one and applied this as a backdated transaction which has reduced the amount owing.  The debt agency have got them to agree to stop the threat of court action and have agreed to a monthly repayment scheme for the remainder still owing.

We agreed to send across £50 to allow him to be able to buy some food that is not out of date, and £100 to go towards the next couple of months debt repayments, to allow him to catch his breath a bit.

Tags : Waterdebt debts zerohourcontracts nofood

Young man left in the cold

Our agents contacted us about a young man in his twenties.  He has been having difficulties with claiming Universal Credit which has left him £1,000 in arrears.  He is due in court later this month to deal with this.  To try to save up so he can clear some of the arrears, he has been managing without using any of his gas throughout the summer months.  This though has left him with a service charge debt, resulting in his gas being capped.  As it is now getting quite cold he is struggling without any heating, but they won't remove the cap without him clearing the debt of £65, which we agreed to pay on his behalf.

Tags : Universalcredit debts energycosts gas energycapped rentarrears benefits

Grieving girlfriend struggling to manage

Our client was a young woman, who having recently begun a work trial, with the hopes of getting a permanent job from it, was hit with the news that her boyfriend had been involved in an accident and killed.  Unfortunately, her new employer wasn't able to keep the position available for her, while they didn't know how long she'd need off work to grieve.  To make matters worse, she's been kicked out of where she was living, and is now staying with a relative, who is supporting her to the extent of making sure she takes her medication okay.  So she's been left with no income, no home, no boyfriend, but is being chased for debts.  We were asked if we could offer a small amount of money to help her somewhat.  We agreed to send £100 to her to help her out.

Tags : worktrials employment jobloss bereavement accidents debts

Grieving girlfriend struggling to manage

Our client was a young woman, who having recently begun a work trial, with the hopes of getting a permanent job from it, was hit with the news that her boyfriend had been involved in an accident and killed.  Unfortunately, her new employer wasn't able to keep the position available for her, while they didn't know how long she'd need off work to grieve.  To make matters worse, she's been kicked out of where she was living, and is now staying with a relative, who is supporting her to the extent of making sure she takes her medication okay.  So she's been left with no income, no home, no boyfriend, but is being chased for debts.  We were asked if we could offer a small amount of money to help her somewhat.  We agreed to send £100 to her to help her out.

Tags : worktrials employment jobloss bereavement accidents debts

Help needed to apply for debt relief order

We didn't have a great deal of information about this next case, other than that which our agent gave us.  She is a lady living alone, dealing with severe mental health issues, including bipolar disorder, and multiple personality disorders.  She is in debt, and the debt is causing her anxiety to escalate, but she is caught in a situation where she is unable to save enough to have the £90 available to pay for a debt relief order.  Our agents asked if we would consider paying this on her behalf, which we agreed to.  They assured us that they will help her with applying for this and will support her going forward.

Tags : DRO debtrelieforder debts benefits mentalhealth

Head in the sand!

We were contacted today by an agency that are working with a man suffering with anxiety and depression.  He had got himself into some quite serious debt and had effectively switched off to it all, shoving his head in the sand.  He hadn't claimed any benefits at all for the past two years, relying instead on family who had been putting him up and feeding him.  These debts have begun to catch up with him and the relentless letters chasing the debts are only serving to increase his anxiety and feed his depression.  The agency are now in the process of helping him to apply for employment support allowance, and seek much needed medical help.  They are also helping him deal with his debts, urging him to apply for a debt relief order, as he has no assets or savings.  Unfortunately, though with no money to his name he is unable to raise the £90 needed to pay for the fees for the order.  We agreed that by sending the money across to cover this, it would allow him to have some relief from stress and begin to rebuild his life again. 

Tags : ESA Benefits Nomoney DebtReliefOrder debts homelessness

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