Extra help for clients with mental health issues
From the beginning of September 2017 Citizens Advice Wokingham is running a new project to provide extra help for people with mental health issues in Wokingham Borough. Using funding supplied by the Berkshire Community Foundation we are providing an extra 4 hours a week of specialist help in debt and welfare benefits. The funding will allow the project to run for 8 months until April 2018.
John Ferguson (Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Wokingham) said “We are grateful to the Berkshire Community Foundation for this funding. We see quite a few people with mental health issues and this funding will allow us to have extra time with them to help them solve their problems with debt and benefits, without impacting the time available for other clients.”
Citizens Advice Wokingham can be contacted by calling 0300 330 1189, emailing email@example.com or in person at Waterford House, Erftstadt Court, Wokingham (Mon – Thurs 9-3, Fri 9-1) or next to the library in Woodley (Mon & Wed 9.30 – 3.30).
Some recent case Studies
This client has been coming to see us for many years. She has been supported through very difficult times by one of our more experienced advisers.
She had many debts that came to light after her husband’s tragic death, many of which she did not previously know about. She was working but on a low income and was struggling to manage.
Our Money Advice specialist established that she would be a good candidate for a Debt Relief Order, having total debts of less that £20,000. However, the client could not afford the £90 application fee.
After looking into the possibilities of finding a charitable grant to pay the DRO fee for the client we applied to the Retail Trust Charity for help with the fee which was successful. We then applied for a Debt Relief Order for the client which made her debt free and allowed her to make a fresh start without the constant worry over finances.
The client has long term multiple health problems including learning disabilities. He had been in receipt of Disability Living Allowance for many years. His health was deteriorating and he was required to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
He was also in receipt of Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and was in the Support Group, therefore not required to take part in any work related activities. Following a medical assessment, despite his deteriorating health, he was moved to the Work Related Activity Group. At the assessment the assessor was told of several activities that the client had difficulty with, these were not properly recorded and he wasn’t awarded points where he should have been.
We helped the client ask for a mandatory reconsideration of his ESA and helped with the PIP application, both were successful and he is now receiving the benefits he is entitled to.
The client has severe physical disabilities and had been in receipt of Disability Living Allowance for many years and was now being required to transfer to Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
He had already applied for PIP but, following an assessment by the DWP, it was refused. He came to see us and we helped him in asking for a reconsideration of the decision. This was also refused.
We then helped him to appeal the decision, completing the appeal form and advising him on what evidence he needed to get. We helped him deal with all the paperwork for the hearing, ensuring that all medical evidence had been sent to HM Courts and Tribunal Service. We also helped him prepare a statement for the hearing to ensure that he was able to put his case across. We explained the process in detail to the client and his friend who was going to accompany him to the hearing.
He was finally awarded PIP at the hearing, which was backdated to the date of the original claim some 5 months previously.
Our Client’s say
- Very good
- The adviser was very professional
- Didn’t feel rushed at all
- What a lovely lady to talk to!
- Very professional, helpful and courteous, thank you
- Please thank the adviser; I’m really grateful to her for her kindness and support.
100% of clients said that they would use us again and 99% said they would recommend our service to others.