Apr 9, 2018
This case just goes to show that people from all walks of life are affected when they find themselves in a situation where they are unable to work any longer and become reliant on the benefits system. Our client here is an academic, who found himself in a situation where his previous social housing home, was expensive to heat and had a vermin problem that was proving impossible to resolve. He decided to move home and went to a new area and a new housing association property, which he does get some help paying for via housing benefit. He is currently in receipt of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA). He has been 'invited' to apply for Personal Indpendence Payments (PIP), which will replace the DLA, but this is not as easy to do as it might seem, as many applicants having been on DLA for some years frequently find themselves refused PIP and are faced with tribunals to try to get the decision overturned. Often the wait time to get a refusal overturned if it goes beyond the mandatory reconsideration stage, and ends up at tribunal can take almost a year to resolve.
This man is struggling to keep his head above water financially, as his benefits payments aren't stretching far enough. He is currently without a bed, so sleeps on the floor, doesn't have a cooker, so cooks on a camping stove. There is no furniture, nor any carpets in his home. He chooses between heating his home and eating, it is that much of a hand to mouth existence. He visits the food bank when he is able to, but still isn't coping too well, and the lack of decent nutrition is impacting his physical and mental health negatively.
Our agents are assisting him with the transition from DLA to PIP, as if these payments stop then he will be in even more trouble financially. They are helping him to apply for a grant to obtain some carpeting or floor coverings for his house, so he isn't sleeping on a concrete floor. Local to him furniture banks will be able to supply some second hand or used items, and we agreed to send him £120 to help him purchase items of his own choice, as well as some food.
Oct 18, 2017
We were approached by our agents who have recently begun supporting a single man who has been sofa surfing for the past six years, staying with friends and family. He has most recently been staying with a friend in a one bedroomed flat, but the friend has now expressed his need for our client to leave. Our agents have managed to find him suitable accommodation, but in order to be able to move in he needs some help with the deposit and the admin fee. He does not have any savings and the only possessions he owns are his clothes.
He needed £50 to cover the admin fee and the deposit is £400. We agreed we would send across £200 to help him, £50 for the admin fee and £150 towards the deposit. The landlorad has said that he can pay the remainder of the deposit over the next six months.
Mar 27, 2017
We were contacted urgently about a lady who needed help. She'd been offered accommodation of her own, which meant she could move out of the hostel she'd been staying at. The only barrier to her being able to move in was the requirement to pay £104 advance payment of her rent. This was all that was in the way of her being in her own place, so we agreed to send across the money to the agents helping her, so the payment could be made on her behalf.
Oct 15, 2016
A lady came to our attention, a single mum who had recently had her abusive partner removed from their home and was facing the threat of imminent eviction. She is a student, studying full time to try to improve their long term situation as well as being a mum. She'd been having trouble with obtaining housing benefit because her council kept saying she wasn't entitled. This is where our contact came in who spoke to this lady's local authority and reminded them of the housing benefit rules. They then confirmed that she was entitled after all, and arrangement was made to process the housing benefit claim, which would though only be backdated so far. This resulted in a shortfall in the rent, which they expected this lady to find, which was proving almost impossible for her as she is existing on child tax credits payments only, (the child benefit was still being claimed by her abusive partner, which they are in the process of having switched back).
We agreed that we would meet the shortfall in rent so she didn't have to worry about that, and give her some extra money to be able to buy food and clothing for herself and her two children. In all we agreed a total amount of £250. Our agent is going to continue supporting this young woman until her issues can be fully resolved.
Aug 18, 2016
A lady we were aware of had been struggling to manage in the rented property she was in, her ill health meant that her existing home was no longer suitable, and she desperately needed to move to a bungalow. A suitable property came up and all was fine, apart from the fact that she had to move with only a weeks notice. She was so stressed out about the situation, "how could she possibly be expected by housing to be able to move without giving the full notice on her existing home?" She is someone who has been through so much, losing two close family members only a few months ago, yet she always steps up and tries to lift others spirits when they are down. We were honoured to be able to offer some help towards the situation.
The paperwork is now signed, and she moves any day. The hard work for her now begins as she has to pack up her life and move to her new place, where hopefully she will be happier and better able to cope.
May 2, 2016
We were made aware of a young mum, 34 weeks pregnant and still working part time to bring some money into the household. Her partner stays at home to look after their disabled son. They were behind with their bills despite her doing all she could. She was aware that their second child was due very soon and she had nothing prepared for their arrival and was worried out of her mind about their bills and how they would cope. They were offered help with an application for Disability Living Allowance for the child, and referred for help with budgeting. We sent over a sum of £150 for her to get some food and some items in place ready for the new baby.
May 2, 2016
We have been very busy and have a lot of cases to catch up on and don't always get time to blog what we've been up to. So lots of catching up posts tonight while we have some time.
We had been alerted to a gentleman that was literally without food, gas or electricity. There was an issue with his benefits claim which had had a knock on effect on his housing benefit and council tax assistance and was in certain danger of being evicted.
We were able to guide him to help with his benefits and sorted out a delivery of shopping to be sent to him so we knew he had food, as well as some money to put on his meters for gas and electricity. He updated us shortly after to say that following the advice his benefit claim had been sorted and put in place.