Hear how our benefits and welfare advisors can help

Find out how the team helped a Hastoe resident access benefits he didn't know he was entitled to after an unfortunate change of circumstances.

29 February 2024

'I have been in a bad place the last few months with illnesses etc. I started to get in arrears with my rent and Lisane got me through everything. Not just by helping with the rent to get me back on track, but she totally backed me all the way. She helped me by caring, understanding, showing compassion, and she made me laugh at times when I was so very down.'

Tracey Hastoe Tenant

'I’m so thankful for Mark's help. Being a disabled single mum of two is a very challenging life to lead. People like Mark in the world makes it so much better and I just want him to know how much I've appreciated his help with everything.'

Hastoe Tenant

Our Benefit and Welfare Advisors are on hand to assist with all things money-related; from budgeting to applying for benefits, or helping to reduce your bills. If any of the circumstances in the story below feel familiar then visit our benefit and welfare page to get in touch with the team. The service is completely free and available to all residents. 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 the team. 

One Hastoe resident, John (not his real name), was a joint tenant in a property with his friend. They were both of retirement age and had joint responsibility for household bills. Sadly, John's friend passed away recently. This was a huge shock to come to terms with and suddenly John was faced with paying the rent and all bills by himself. The council wrote to say that because the Housing Benefit had been registered to John's friend, John would not receive any help with paying his rent.

This really unsettled John so he called Hastoe to say he didn’t know what to do. John's Housing Officer referred him to the Benefit and Welfare team. Benefit and Welfare Advisor, Mark Adkins, immediately contacted John and quickly arranged to see him. Mark visited John at his home and chatted to him. After listening to his situation, Mark laid out a plan to help and gave him realistic advice on how long it would take to get the right support in place.

Something to think about, is that sometimes it’s not always obvious who is is need of help. In this case, if the joint tenant had not died, life for John would have continued. However, he would have continued to miss out on attendance allowance and the extra pension credit and not known this. Could we be able to help you too?"

Mark Adkins Benefit and Welfare Advisor

The first priority for Mark was getting John's Housing Benefit up and running again. He called the local council and requested a form to notify them of the situation and told them that John was now solely responsible for the rent. The council acted quickly and they arranged for his rent to be covered fully, along with his Council Tax. John had previously being paying this so this was a real bonus. Mark made sure to reassure John that his Pension Credit would remain in place.

Listening to John, Mark could see that he found daily life and living tasks difficult. Mark advised him to consider an application for Attendance Allowance (a disability benefit for those of pension age) and requested the form on his behalf. Once it arrived, Mark visited John and assisted him with filling out the form. This took a couple of months to process but was eventually awarded. With this extra allowance, John was also entitled to an increase of Pension Credit.

With Mark's help, John is much happier and settled. The extra money is making life easier and he is now better off by £260 per week.

Could you benefit from our money advice service?

Contact the Benefit and Welfare Team today 

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