Jaz had been turned down for Employement & Support Allowance (ESA) for non-attendance at her ESA assessment – Jazzer’s suffers severe anxiety and was finding everything very overwhelming. It was clear to our adviser that the reason for non- attendance at the assessment provided strong grounds for our team to resolve the situation and we subsequently managed to get the decision overturned and Jaz’s ESA was reinstated.
When Jaz was sent for another ESA assessment they assessed her as being fit for work. At this point Jaz was extremely distraught about her benefits stopping. She had had a recent bereavement and everything was getting on top of her. Due to her ESA stopping her Housing Benefit (HB) had also been stopped and she was worried about getting evicted from her housing association property.
We met with Jaz and completed her mandatory reconsideration for her ESA. We discussed whether she wanted to make a claim for Universal Credit but she decided she did not want to do this. We made contact with the council – our team have a contact there who is extremely helpful when it involves vulnerable clients with Housing Benefit and Council Tax. He dealt with the issue straight away and stopped any further demands being sent.
We completed a Housing Benefit nil income form with Jaz and this was sent direct to the contact at the council who was also able to resolve a previous overpayment of Housing Benefit for the period when her ESA had stopped previously. We were informed of the date of which the housing association would receive the 8 weeks Housing Benefit they were owed and we could then pro-actively inform the housing association when they would be paid.
Jaz was so relieved to know that it had been resolved. Jaz is very good at handling her money but as her benefits had stopped she was struggling with the cost of food, our adviser helped Jaz apply for a grant which provided her with a Sainsbury’s voucher to help cover food and other expenses until her ESA was reinstated. Jaz had a successful outcome to her ESA mandatory reconsideration and they put her back into the support group component. Jaz was delighted that she did not have to go appeal.
Names have been changed.