One Hastoe resident, Jane*, recently suffered a relationship breakdown. Both her husband and grown up son left the home, leaving her devastated and in a state of shock. In addition to this extreme emotional upheaval, Jane felt bewildered by looming bills and financial worries, and contemplated how she would face the future alone.
One of the Hastoe Housing Officers worked in conjunction with our Benefit and Welfare Advisor, Mark Adkins, to begin supporting Jane through this extremely unsettling time. Jane did not know where to start, or what financial support was out there for her as her husband had always organised the rent payments in the past.
Our Benefit and Welfare Advisor, Mark, got straight to work doing what he does best, immediately supporting and advising Jane about what she would be entitled to financially. Mark helped by completing and submitting applications alongside Jane and was there to support her through the process so she didn’t feel alone. Initially, Jane was awarded Universal Credit (UC) and Council Tax support in the way of a 25% single person discount. However, living in a three bedroom house, and now with just Jane residing in the property, she was subject to bedroom tax. This reduced Jane’s UC payment by 25%, leaving a shortfall for Jane to fund out of her own personal allowance.
We’ve set out Jane’s payments below, which shows what Jane was left with to fund a whole month of living, including heating and water bills, food, travel and other necessities.
Whilst Jane was extremely grateful for the financial support, she was also very concerned about the amount she was left with to fund living each month. Mark was able to help Jane to make a claim for Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) from the local council. Jane was awarded a sum of £450.00. While this is only on a short term basis, it gives Jane some temporary relief and allows her time to explore options for longer term support.
Jane told us that having support and help from Hastoe’s Benefit and Welfare service has been a pillar of support in her lowest moments, saying, “Thank you so much for your assistance. It really does help to know you are in my corner”.
Mark continues to support Jane and is currently assisting with a Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Mark said,