Apr 3, 2018
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.
Apr 3, 2018
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.
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.
Sep 1, 2017
This is a very sad case, a vulnerable couple, she 52, him 47, both suffering with health condition, wsere forced to leave their home following threats of violence. They literally left with what they could carry and have been living in a tent in a farmers field. Someone took pity on them, and suggested they stay in their home while they were away on holiday. They found a flat, and a landlord who was prepared to accept housing benefit payments, but then there was a problem in that their previous landlord was refusing to give them a reference. They finally found a landlord who was happy to work with them, understanding and sympathetic to their plight and they move into their new place early next week. We agreed to pay £100 towards their deposit.
Jun 24, 2017
Our agents approached us about a young woman, just 20 years old, who has severe mental health problems which prevent her from leaving her home. Due to this, she failed to attend a work capability assessment and subsequently her Employment Support Allowance has now stopped being paid. The knock on from this is that then her housing benefit and council tax relief was also stopped, resulting in her falling into quite serious debt. The agents are helping her with getting her benefits payments reinstated, and hopefully will be able to get the arrears on the housing benefit and council tax resolved. We agreed to send across £100 so that food could be bought for herr as she is currently without any food at all.
May 12, 2017
We were urgently approached about a lady who was under threat of losing her home. She was employed in a very low income job, but following her brother's suicide she had been unable to work. Her doctor has signed her off work for the time being, and she had put a claim in for sickness benefit, but was waiting for that to be actioned. In the meantime her landlord was pushing to repossess her home. We agreed to send across £250 directly to the landlord which was an agreed amount that would prevent things being taken further. Hopefully her claim for housing benefit will be in place soon and with the arrears caught up it will allow her a chance to try to recover from what has happened.
May 24, 2014
Gosh, it’s been a while since we wrote one of these! While we’ve not been writing, though, we’ve not been idle.
Here is a story from each month this year so far that touched our hearts.
Mrs W’s son had his JSA sanctioned – because he had just been diagnosed with cancer and missed an appointment, despite calling them beforehand to explain that he couldn’t attend. Sadly his cancer spread and, on advising the job centre that he was now receiving intensive chemotherapy, they took him off JSA and said he wasn’t entitled to anything else, leaving him with nothing for over a month – over Christmas, no less. He was later helped to fill in an ESA claim, which was still pending when we found his mum. We gave him £120 to tide him over until his income was reinstated, as well as offering our usual practical support.
Ms S, a disabled lady on basic benefits who was very good at budgeting them, fell foul of an internet scam, which took funds from her bank account without permission (we asked for more details, and this was something any one of us could have been taken in by). The bank were looking into it, with a view to refunding her in time, but her bills were about to go out by direct debit the next day, leaving her overdrawn with bank charges on top if that happened. She had already gotten excellent advice on fraud and contacting the bank from friends, so we sent her £100 to cover the shortfall in her bank, with a little extra to show that not everyone on the internet is a bad egg.
D was sanctioned for not doing enough on his work search. He was actually doing more than the law requires. His girlfriend W suffered the same fate the following month. Because they didn’t know about the nil declaration for Housing Benefit (and no-one at the Job Centre bothered to tell them) they fell into £1500 rent arrears with the threat of court. W was terrified of court and brought to tears by the thought of it. One of our agents assisted with the Nil income housing benefit claim, which cleared most of the rent arrears. We gave them a gift to clear the rest in full.
Mr J, a disabled man with a young child, was found fit for work. His ESA was stopped, leaving him and his son with only £20 a week to live on. We sent him £100 so he and his son could be well fed for a few weeks. Another good job jobbed.
Ms D was very concerned that her son, who has mental health problems and physical disabilities, would join the ever growing list of suicides linked to welfare reform. His ESA was stopped for over a month and a reconsideration turned him down, saying his conditions did not qualify, even though he was often unable to care for himself and suffered from hallucinations and delusions. We put him in touch with practical help, and gave a gift of £200 to assist with a backlog of bills and rent that were stacking up, giving him some space to get the help he needs, and his mum some peace of mind.