Feb 1, 2017
A young pregnant mother, 21 years old, had been in receipt of employment support allowance, until November last year, when she failed to attend a meeting with her work coach at the job centre, which is a requirement of being placed in the work related activity group of ESA. The young woman has aspergers and anger issues and is usually accompanied to her meetings by her Grandmother, but she was unfortunately unwell herself and couldn't attend. Missing the appointment meant that the ESA payments were stopped immediately. There is an agency now helping the family to get the payments reinstated but it will take some time for any payments to arrive again.
This young woman's father had died when she was 11 years old, and she continued to live with her mother but that relationship had completely broken down by the time she was 16 so her Grandparents took her in and looked after her, which is where she still is today. The loss of the ESA payments has put a huge strain on the whole family, so we agreed to send across £150 to be split between the Grandparents and the young woman.
Jan 26, 2017
We were told of a couple, who'd recently had to move home after they had been subject to being stalked. Since moving, the wife had been fortunate enough to find work but the work was very intermittent. Her husband is disabled and unable to work, and because his wife is working he is unable to claim any out of work benefits to help them. Following the move of home they'd fallen into arrears with their rent. An agency are helping the husband apply for Personal Independence Payment, and would also see if it might be possible for them to apply for a discretionary housing payment (these though are very hard to be awarded, and looked at on a case by case basis by the local authority.) We agreed as a group to arrange for £100 to be sent to the couple to help relieve some of the worry regarding the arrears.
It is not just people that aren't working that are struggling financially, it is also those in employment, but where their hours of work are not regular enough for them to make any plans, rely on them or even meet their basic living requirements.
Jan 10, 2017
We were made aware of a woman who although she'd applied for welfare benefits, she was told that although she would receive payments, those would not begin for six weeks. This leaves her without food, fuel or housing benefit. Our contact said they would assist her with applying for housing benefit and council tax relief on a nil income basis with her local authority. Also, she will be encouraged to apply for a benefits advance and assistance in the form of vouchers for her local food bank to get her through this period. We agreed to send across the sum of £100 so she could top up her energy meters and buy some food.