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Imagine living with a disability and not having enough money to cover your rent, fuel bills or even your link with the outside world, your telephone and care line.

This is exactly the situation that Jane* found herself in before she was referred to Jools Lovell, a money advisor at Bromford.

Jane had got into trouble with her rent as a result of to the under-occupancy charge (otherwise known as bedroom tax) because she has a spare bedroom in her home.

When Jools met with Jane, they worked together to find out exactly what her income was and how much she was paying out. Because of her disability, Jane was receiving disability living allowance (DLA) which has now been replaced by personal independence payment (PIP). Looking further into her claim, Jools discovered that Jane was on high rate for care and middle rate for her mobility.

Jools explains: “As my background was in support (mental health), I immediately recognised there was a very good chance that she should be entitled to severe disability allowance. I asked her about this and she didn’t have a clue what it was, saying that she’d never heard of it.

“We called the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and requested a claim form to be sent out. Jane told me that she would struggle with the form so when she received it I went back out and talked her through the process of completing the form. In large capital letters we also wrote on the form (as there wasn’t a tick box to request this) that it should be backdated to when her DLA started.

“I must admit I did feel quite confident she would be entitled to some payment but was unsure about how far back they would backdate it.

“A couple of weeks later she phoned me. She could hardly speak and at first and I thought she was having some sort of crisis. But then she said she’d had a letter from the DWP saying that her claim had been backdated. She hadn’t believed what she was reading and so she checked her bank account.

“There it was in black and white. A payment from the DWP for £11,900. Unsurprisingly, she was overjoyed and couldn’t thank me enough.

“Since receiving the back-payment, Jane has got herself back on track. She has paid off her rent arrears and got her account into credit. She can now pay her phone bill and afford to have her much needed care line back on too. Her fuel bills are all up to date and she’s started a savings account for herself.

“She’s always wanted a new bathroom and thanks to the back-dated payment she can now afford to make this a reality too and last, but by no means least - she also bought herself a new handbag!

“The backdated payment has really helped Jane to get her finances straight. Now that her claim has been updated, she will receive a severe disability supplement every month (which is the extra she gets on top of her DLA payment). This will cover the shortfall in housing benefit – so hopefully her rent will never be a problem again.”

The reason Jane got into trouble with her money was that she wasn’t receiving the correct amount of benefits. But now, thanks to Jools, she’s got enough money to cover the shortfall in her Housing Benefit.

If you feel that you may not be receiving everything you’re entitled to, take a look at this benefits calculator from entitledto or get in touch with one of our money advisors on 0330 1234 034.

 

*Name changed

 

Communication specialist - My days are spent telling stories, networking, copywriting, posting on social media and delivering training to colleagues - a bit of everything really! 

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