Customer news Money Advice

Supporting customers in claiming benefits

Our Money Advice and Benefits team are here to support you through difficult financial times. We have lots of experience in supporting customers with their benefit applications and have been able to help many people get back on their feet.   

At the beginning of the first lockdown in 2020, Sam (Money Advice and Benefits Advisor) worked with a customer to support his claim for Personal Independent Payments (PIP). The customer, Mr. A, had made a claim in 2018 but hadn’t received information on the outcome. 

Mr. A had both physical and mental health issues, suffering from anxiety, depression, and seizures and fits that came as a result of his stress. Mr. A lived alone in a 1-bedroom flat that he paid for via Housing Benefit, he also received Employment and Support Allowance. Whilst his rent arrears were relatively low, Mr. A had debts of around £8,000 that he was struggling pay. 

To help Mr. A keep on top of his financial problems, Sam set up a three-way telephone medical assessment to open the PIP claim again. 

After around 4 to 5 weeks, Sam took a call from a team leader at the Department for Work and Pensions. The team leader explained that our PIP application had revealed an error in the way the Department had handled Mr. A’s last claim for PIP in 2018 – his claim had been filed incorrectly and he had never been given a decision despite a very supportive letter from his GP in 2018. 

The team leader apologised for what had happened with Mr. A’s application and made the decision to make a 10-year award of the standard rate of daily living and enhanced rate of mobility components; and made the same award for his original claim, which was from June 2018 to June 2020.  

Once Mr. A had received his full backdated entitlements, he had over £23,000 in his bank account and was able to pay his debts, avoiding the option of having to apply for a Debt Relief Order (DRO). His monthly income has also increased by around £900, which amounts to around £108,000 over the next 10 years. 

“Without the help from the Money Advice and Benefits team and VIVID, I would have never been able to get to the bottom of what happened to my previous claim for PIP. Being able to clear all my debts and having an increase in income for the next 10 years is a huge weight off my mind. Thank you all for all the help and support.” 

If you are struggling financially or need help claiming benefits, please get in touch with us and find out how we can help you.