Client stories

Helping with budgeting

Andrew visited our main office looking for advice. He has a son, aged 6, who has learning disabilities and is cared for on a full-time basis by his wife. Due to the financial impact of caring for their son, Andrew’s wife made an application for Carers Allowance but was unsuccessful – she has limited English and struggled with the application process, failing to answer a letter from the DWP requesting further information about her situation.

We helped Andrew’s wife to make a new online application for Carer’s Allowance, ensuring that her new application was completed on time and in full. As well as her limited English, Andrew’s wife was not confident using computers, so she was very grateful for the assistance available at East Barnwell. Following our help with her new application, Andrew’s wife was successfully awarded Carers Allowance. At £3,359.16 a year, this is an invaluable amount of money and will make a considerable different to this family’s ability to manage their household budget.

Improving quality of life

Patricia came to us at one of our GP surgery outreach sessions, as her limited mobility means she is unable to travel further. Patricia had many problems with her housing. She lives with her adult son who has learning difficulties and hard-to-manage behaviour. Patricia’s Housing Benefit claim had been stopped as her eligibility was affected by her son’s income, which lead to her falling behind on her rent and at risk of losing her home.

Patricia’s Housing Association had to move towards possession proceedings due to her large rent arrears, but they were aware of Patricia’s vulnerability and wanted to support her. Our adviser spoke to the council and the Housing Association on Patricia’s behalf due to her poor literacy and memory issues, and once they were made aware that Patricia was receiving support, they paused the possession proceedings.

After this immediate crisis was avoided, our adviser was successful in securing Attendance Allowance for Patricia, which then led to her Housing Benefit being reinstated. She was also paid her backdated Housing Benefit payments, which paid off her rent arrears and stopped her losing her home.

Our adviser had also noticed that Patricia had no adaptations to her home and was struggling to live there safely, including sleeping on the downstairs sofa due to her mobility issues. They contacted adult social services to request a needs assessment, which led to Patricia having adaptations made to her home and receiving equipment to improve her mobility. Now Patricia can live comfortably in her own home, and our work increased her annual income by £6,827.