News & Events

A Resident’s story

It can be challenging to manage money when the unexpected happens, whether due to the cost of living, loss of work, someone passing away or if your health declines. But you aren’t alone. Our Income Team is here to help.

Today, we talked about a resident with significant health problems whom we helped.

Health problems

A single resident with longstanding mental and physical health problems, who is in and out of work and surviving only on Disability Benefits and a small amount of Occupational Sick Pay, had accrued multiple debts and was receiving daily phone calls and letters from Bailiffs.

Following significant periods of sickness over the last 2 years, rent arrears had risen to over £6000, and the resident was no longer entitled to Statutory Sick Pay. The resident was also struggling to put their heating on, which was further impacting their health both physically and psychologically. The benefits for disabilities were also stopped, which made it harder for our residents.

How could we help?

With a sense of urgency, we provided the residents with an emergency fund for food and fuel, ensuring they could replenish their utility meters and purchase groceries on the very same day. Additionally, we expedited the setup of a Universal Credit (UC) claim to assist with rent and day-to-day living expenses, and facilitated an Advance Payment to cover the resident for the initial 5 weeks.

Our appeal against the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) decision to halt disability benefits was not only successful but also resulted in a significant amount of back-dated money. The financial boost allowed the residents to clear a portion of their rent arrears. The Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) agreed to eliminate the remaining arrears, effectively reducing the debt to zero.

Furthermore, it was important to support the resident in accessing Talking Therapies.
Our collaboration with a National Debt Charity was essential in setting up an affordable repayment plan with all but one of the debtors. This comprehensive plan has not only put an end to all the unwanted calls, letters, emails, and texts, but also established a separate payment for council tax arrears, ensuring a more manageable financial situation for our residents.

Finally, we referred our residents to the council’s Occupational Therapy department for adaptations, including a wet room, to make life at home more accessible.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, feel free to contact our Welfare Benefit & Debt Officer Jane on 0800 054 6710 or by emailing


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