How our benefit and welfare advisors helped Olivia keep her home

Explore how the team helped a Hastoe resident access the full benefits she was entitled to after her debt put her at risk of losing her home.

One Hastoe resident, Olivia (not her real name), was struggling with the stress of being in debt and trying to juggle her finances so she could afford rent and her essential living costs. She was a single parent with three children and, although she had returned to work part-time after a period of unemployment, she had fallen into arrears with her rent. At this time, she was not getting any benefit to help with rent payments. Her eldest son had also left home which meant she was no longer receiving a rent contribution from him and was under-occupying her property by one room.

One of our Benefit and Welfare Advisors organised a delivery from a local foodbank and suggested to the tenant she should apply for Universal Credit (UC). The advisor then supported Olivia to make a UC application and helped with her appointments. However, when the first UC payment was received, it was not enough to cover the full rent. Olivia's arrears were already over £2,000 which meant she was at risk of defaulting on her tenancy agreement and being evicted. However, our advisor had completed a benefit entitlement check so she knew the payment was wrong.

Our Benefit and Welfare Advisor contacted the tenant and persuaded her to contact Universal Credit again. With the advisor's support, alongside the tenant’s Jobcentre work coach and Citizens Advice, they established the tenant’s claim did not include her daughter. They were able to raise the case with Universal Credit but this took months to be looked into. During this time, our Benefit and Welfare Advisor continued to support the tenant with referrals to the foodbank and liaised with colleagues at Hastoe to avoid a court application for eviction. Eventually it was established that the tenant had been underpaid. Universal Credit issued a rebate for £4,700 which meant Olivia was able to clear her arrears in full.

Without my colleague's intervention and help, Olivia’s situation would have gone unnoticed and she could have lost her home. We are here to help with any money advice you may need. The service is free and available to all residents so get in touch if any of these circumstances feel familiar to you.

Mark Adkins Benefit and Welfare Advisor

You do not need to have rent arrears to receive advice and support from our advisors, and no question or query is too big or too small for our advisors.

Could you benefit from our free money advice service?

Contact the Benefit and Welfare Team today 

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