Money Matters – February 2024
January 31st 2024, by ccha2120
Supporting our residents through the Cost of Living crisis
We know that paying bills, buying food, and keeping up with increasing energy costs is hard if you have a low income. We want to help our residents where we can.
ccha has a small fund and can provide vouchers for food, gas or electricity if you are experiencing financial hardship.
You do not need to be on benefits to apply, you can be in work, out of work or on a State Pension.
If you have savings or already received support from our fund in the last 12 months, we may not be able to help and can only help again in exceptional circumstances.
If you are struggling and would like to apply for help, please contact our Welfare, Benefit & Debt Advisor, Jane White by emailing email@example.com.
If you do not have access to email, please call us on 0800 054 6710 and we will arrange for Jane to call you back.
ccha resident –
“Thank you for everything you did for our family. I can’t imagine the kind of 2023 I would’ve had otherwise. There were positives in the latter half of the year for us, and I do not doubt that most of them were only possible because of the help you gave me and my family.”
Calling all residents of pension age and above
Many people aged 66 or above miss out on hundreds of pounds annually by not claiming their pension credit when they could be eligible.
If you, a friend or a family member are a pensioner and your total income is less than £220 per week, or you are a couple with a combined income of less than £320 per week (which does not include any money you receive for disabilities such as Personal Independence Payment, DLA or Attendance Allowance), please do get in touch with our Welfare Advisor on 0800 054 6710 to see if you could be entitled to pension credit.
If you receive disability benefits, you may be entitled to a pension credit even if your income exceeds this.
Even if you are only entitled to a few pounds of pension credit, receiving pension credit is a gateway to discounts such as free NHS dental care, specific government cost of living payments, etc.
Good news story –
A resident on zero income was referred to our Welfare Advisor before Christmas. We established that his state pension was suspended nearly a decade ago because the DWP could not contact him. After dozens of phone calls and emails, the DWP agreed to backdate his benefits, and he received a nice lump sum in time for Christmas!
Warning to Self-Employed people on Universal Credit
A word of caution for those thinking of starting their own business in regards to Universal Credit and the Minimum Income Floor (MIF).
If you receive specific means-tested benefits, such as Universal Credit, you may find that the DWP works out your payments based on an assumed income, which could be higher than your actual income.
For example, you may only make a profit of £500 a month, but if the DWP decides you are ‘gainfully self-employed’, they may assume that your income each month is at least £1400, even if you make a loss and your payments will be reduced, possibly to nothing.
Only some self-employed are subject to the Minimum Income Floor. For example, if you are a carer, sick or the primary carer for your children, you could be exempt from these rules. If you are currently self-employed and subject to the MIF, and your circumstances change by being unable to work or reducing your work hours, please contact the DWP immediately to tell them of your change of circumstances. If your MIF is too high, you may be able to get this reduced.
True story – One of our residents had a growing business and was also on Universal Credit as their income was still relatively low. After 12 months on Universal Credit, the DWP applied the MIF and assumed payment of £1450 per month. Our resident became sick and was not making any money at all. Our resident’s Universal Credit payments were reduced to zero as the DWP took income rather than the resident’s actual income, which resulted in a surge of rent arrears. Our Income Team assisted and negotiated with the DWP to get the MIF removed and payments backdated.