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Older couple finding it difficult to manage

We were approached about a couple that are one year short of retirement.  The lady works as a cleaner but has had to have three weeks off work as her arthritis has been so painful.  She has only just received her Statutory Sickness Payments.  They have a number of debts, and are subject to double bedroom tax as they have a three-bedroomed home.  They are desperate to down-size but their rent arrears are too high to allow that to happen.  They are trying to get to a position where they can address the arrears to allow a move to happen.  Their Universal Credit claim won't update to reflect that the wife has only received SSP, instead of her usual wage until early May.  They have been existing by using foodbank vouchers, as every penny they've received they've used to try to keep their home and fight off the threat of eviction and subsequent homelessness.  They've now exhausted their entitlement to help from the foodbank and have no money for gas or electricity either until they get any benefits payments in early May.  We agreed to send them £100 so they can buy some food and top up their energy meters.

Tags : elderlycouple retirement benefits sickness SSP poverty eviction homelessness

Needs a small oven

A man in his late 50s, following a relationship breakdown recently had to move into new accommodation.  He is keen to work, but is currently too unwell to do so and is waiting on a surgery date for an operation.  Now he is living in a bedsit, with shared bathroom facilities, but no cooking facilities whatsoever.  He used all his benefits money to pay his private landlord a deposit 2 months ago, but still has some money yet to be paid.  He has 70p left in the bank, and still two weeks to go until he receives his benefits payment again.  To add insult to injury, he has also had his pushbike stolen, so he is unable to replace that either.  We agreed to send him £100 so he could buy a small table top oven, or hob to use to cook food on, and have some money left over to buy food and be able to top up his energy meter.

Tags : sickness surgery operation unabletowork benefits bedsits deposits nocookingfacilities

Family in need of a boost at Christmas

This week we helped a family out, who through no fault of their own they have had a very rough year.  The mother had to give up her job when she fell il during her pregnancy, then following an emergency cesarean her husband had to take time off work to help take care of her and their family.  They have had a succession of issues through the year with things going wrong resulting in unexpected costs.  The Mum is quite thin and struggling to cope, so we agreed we would send them £100 to help them out to buy some decent food in and hopefully have a better Christmas than the one they were facing.

Tags : pregnancy sickness debt familyinneedoffood

Mum flees domestic abuse situation, taking her children with her

Our agents contacted us regarding a lady who has fled a serious domestic abuse situation, taking her three children with her.  They are currently being housed in temporary accommodation and the mum has been struggling with her health as a result of the abuse.  She has been claiming Statutory Sickness Payments, but that isn't enough to meet her outgoings.  She had to leave the family home suddenly and was unable to take the children's birth certificates with her, and without these she is unable to get the child benefit claim transferred to her.  The father is currently refusing to relinquish the child benefit claim, even though he is not in contact with them.  

We agreed to send £30, which would cover the cost of the three replacement birth certificates, along with a further £220 to allow them to buy some food and essential items.

Tags : domesticabuse singleparent statutorysickpay sickness nofood

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