An intervention from the heart.

Submitted on 

A referral was received to carry out a benefit check in May 2023, for an individual that had a cancer diagnosis and whom had been admitted to hospital as had suddenly been unable to use their legs. The client had previously been fit and well and had rapidly become ill and had spent the past 6 months in hospital. Due to the admission to hospital, the client had not had access to a computer for banking and had been unable to keep abreast of payments and bills and subsequently, had been issued a summons for non- payment of council tax.  DS visited the client whilst still in hospital and assisted with various telephone calls to pay outstanding bills and contacting TDC to confirm that the client was in receipt of housing benefit. The clients tenancy had also been taken over by a 3rd party and we liaised with them and TDC regarding the increase in rent and requested a new tenancy agreement. We carried out a benefit check and discussed applying for Attendance Allowance and DS assisted the client to complete the form. At this stage the individual did not have sufficient care needs for the high rate and was awarded low rate AA. Once the client had received confirmation of the AA award, DS assisted with an application for a blue badge which was successful. A pension credit application was also made but the client was not eligible. Some six months on, the client continues to need a package of care and is reliant on the carers for personal care needs and mobility.  DS promised to make contact in January 2024 to follow up if now eligible to apply for night time attendance allowance and an appointment has been made to apply in the next few weeks. So far DS has been working with this individual for over 6 months and it will continue for a further 3 months until the result of the increase AA award is known.

For this individual, our intervention has been hugely helpful. The client feels reassured that we are available to give support and the client tells me that the service provided was “professional and knowledgeable” and is grateful for the help received.

The case study on this report shows what is important to people and the possible impact on physical and mental health when they experience financial difficulties. This particular client has no relatives and or family that were able to help. When first meeting this client, it was clear how much of a detrimental effect the admission to hospital, diagnosis, reliance on hospital staff and being unable to access his finances, was having on his recovery. The client was overwhelmed by all that was happening, and we hoped that our intervention, reassurance and support, went some way in helping to relieve some of the anxiety and stress, regarding the unpaid bills and financial difficulties. The additional money awarded, will hopefully, give some comfort, should the client require additional help in the future

Our funders:

  • Torridge District Council
  • Lottery Community Fund
  • Northam Town Council
  • Bideford Bridge Trust
  • Bideford TC
  • Devon County Council
  • Edward Gosling Foundation
  • Nationwide Building society