Ada is 76 years old, recently bereaved and lives in a 2 bedroomed council flat. She is in receipt of State Retirement Pension and a small occupational pension. Her ongoing health problems had begun to deteriorate and she was struggling to make ends meet.
A telephone appointment was arranged where our adviser informed Ada she was entitled to Attendance Allowance (AA) and advised her to make a claim for Housing Benefit (HB) and Council Tax Reduction (CTR). Due to her current circumstances, there was no entitlement to Pension Credit.
A home visit was arranged where our adviser helped Ada complete the AA form. Ada said that she had not yet made a claim for HB and CTR. A further appointment was arranged to support Ada in making these applications. She also disclosed she had various problems with her teeth but that she was unable to afford the dental charges. Ada was advised of the NHS low income scheme and sent a HC1 form to complete.
The housing benefit application was processed quickly and a nil decision was given. A few weeks later Ada received a successful outcome on the AA application and she had been awarded the high rate.
Our adviser contacted the council to request a Mandatory Reconsideration on the HB decision and provided them with a copy of the AA decision. She also reported to the council tax department that Ada had been awarded AA and provided a copy of the decision letter.
The HB application was reassessed and a weekly entitlement of £57.10 per week awarded including an arrears payment of £1256.20. Her claim for CTR was also successful with an annual rebate of £1243.16 and a direct refund of £498.29 awarded.
Due to receiving AA, Ada was now entitled to Pension Credit. Our adviser made a further appointment to help her submit an application and requested it to be backdated to the same date as the AA application. The Pension Credit was successful and Ada awarded £43.37 per week and paid arrears of £482.09.
During this process Ada also received a positive decision on the HC1 application form and was now able to get her long overdue dental treatment done.
Ada was extremely pleased with the outcome. She said that, for the first time, she is able to purchase food that is not reduced, and she does not worry so much about how she is going to manage her bills. She feels more able to socialise and see her friends more often, so doesn’t feel so isolated. She had even booked a coach holiday with her friend for later in the year.
“The allowance I received will allow me to install a stair lift and hire someone’s help, ensuring that I can continue living in my home as long as possible, even as daily tasks become more challenging.”
When Christa’s partner suffered a stroke, they could no longer manage financially and accrued debt of over £18,000.
Katy, a carer with two disabled sons, faced an £8,600 overpayment bill caused by DWP errors.