GreenSquare Tenants Support Project

GreenSquare Tenants Support ProjectGreenSquare Tenants Support Project

The Wiltshire Citizens Advice GreenSquare Tenants Support Team are a dedicated team that help GreenSquare Housing Association residents with debt management, budgeting, maximising income and welfare benefit claims.
 
The team comprises four part-time caseworkers, supported by a part-time administrator, who is the person most people will have their first contact with. One of the team often visits the local children’s centres to offer budgeting advice to groups and on a one-to-one basis.
 
The team also work closely with GreenSquare to help raise awareness of changes in legislation or policy that may affect their residents. Last year (1 April 2013 – 31 March 2014), 491 households accessed the service and were helped to gain nearly £800,000 in financial benefits.

Rishi and Jane’s* story

Rishi and Jane live in 1 bedroom property and are struggling to pay the bills, both suffer ill health. Our caseworker contacted them initially by telephone and carried out a benefit check and discussed their health issues.
 
We were able to help them claim Attendance Allowance and Carers Allowance which were both awarded. We also identified a discrepancy in the amount of Pension Credit being awarded and lodged an appeal which was successful.

Overall this household are now nearly £5,000 better off each year and no longer feel they are struggling to make ends meet.

* Client names have been changed.

Sue's* Story

Sue* was struggling to manage her debts, including council tax arrears. We carried out a full debt appointment and as part of our income maximisation work, we identified Sue* could make a claim for Personal Independence Payments and gave advice on how to make a claim. We also identified that her son had been receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA), for quite some time, but Sue had failed to notify benefit departments, such as Child Tax Creditsso she wasn’t receiving all the benefits she was eligible for.
 
We assisted Sue* in notifying all benefit agencies and she was awarded some backdates. We further advised Sue* to make a claim for Carers Allowance as she was caring for her disabled son, who was receiving Disability Living Allowance. Sue was later awarded the standard rate of Personal Independence Payments (PIP). As a result of the Carers Allowance and PIP award Sue’s* Employment & Support Allowance was also increased. With the advisors help Sue* was also awarded a Carer Premium and a Severe Disability Premium.
 
The total financial benefit to Sue*, including backdates totalled £14,711.30. The backdated payments Sue* received were in excess of her total outstanding debts and so as a result Sue is now in a position to clear her debts in full. Sue also now has sufficient income so she will not need to take on further credit again in the future.
 
With the specialist welfare benefit advice from the advisor, in the GreenSquare Tenants Support project, Sue’s* problem has been resolved and her life has been changed.

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