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.
Mar 8, 2018
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.
Dec 6, 2017
Our agents wrote to us about one of their clients they are supporting who has a large amount of debt, and might even have to file for bankruptcy. She is a single mum of two children, one 3 and one 8 years old. The oldest childs bed has broken, and is falling apart, mostly because it is only suitable for a toddler. We were asked if we could consider contributing towards the cost of a new or second hand bed, so that the child could have a bed to sleep in, as obviously not sleeping properly will impact negatively on her health. We agreed to send her £100 to put towards the cost of a bed.
Oct 24, 2017
We were approached to see if we could possibly consider helping a couple who did not have a bed and were forced to sleep on the floor, without even a mattress. The wife works, in a situation where she helps others, extremely less fortunate than herself. They are in a huge amount of debt and unable to spend any money on a bed, and even if they come into any extra money she prioritises it for the debts first. Our agent wanted to arrange for a bed to be purchased on their behalf and delivered. (Our Agent knew any money we offered, they'd put straight to the debts. The lack of a bed, and lack of sleep, was seriously affecting the mental health of them both). The husband hasn't worked for five years as he suffers with extreme agoraphobia, and even the idea of a bed being delivered was sending him into extreme anxiety. Our agent managed to find a well priced bed frame, mattress, and a bottom sheet for them, and using discount codes got the price reduced to £192.91 including delivery on a day and time of their choice.