We came across a lady who had been off work since earlier this year, having been taken to hospital suddenly in a desperate situation and needing life saving surgery. Unfortunately her sick pay (SSP) ran out in early October, and so she requested to claim Employment Support Allowance, but that wasn’t as straightforward as she thought it might be. Initially refused, they then agreed she could claim ESA but that it would not be paid until she had received her last payment from her employer, and as she was paid in arrears, this meant that she would be left for a period of time with no money coming in whatsoever. What made matters worse was that her daughter was now 18 years of age and about to begin studying at University. This of course means that the child tax credits and child benefits payments that were being received stopped in August, as her daughter was no longer eligible to claim. This changeover often catches parents out, but for this to happen as well as everything else for this lady meant that she and her daughter were really in a desperate situation, with no money for even food. We agreed a sum of £100 so they could buy some food until her ESA payments started being paid.