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Case studies

Nobody knows what's around the corner. As bills go up and products in the shops get more and more expensive, many of us in Middlesbrough are fearful of losing our job, falling ill, or an unexpected bill landing on the doormat. But help is always at hand.

Case study - Paul

Paul was struggling to support his son Anthony, who had been diagnosed with cancer during the Covid lockdown.

Paul had some savings and was using them to help pay his son's rent and bills, as Anthony had to miss work to undergo chemotherapy. But the money was running out and Paul didn't think there was anywhere else to turn.

After speaking to his local councillor – who contacted the council's Director of Public Health – our crisis support team of advisors quickly made contact with the DWP. Fast track Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment applications were submitted, while a Discretionary Housing Payment of £40 per week, for 10 months, was arranged to cover a shortfall in his son's rent.

Paul was overwhelmed at how much help there was available, and the fact our teams had managed to sort out his family's issue in just one day.

Case study - Ashleigh

Making sure our children have a roof over their heads is a parent's primary concern. So when Ashleigh, a mum-of-three, was told by her landlord that her family would be evicted so a relative could move into their rented home, she didn't know where to turn.

Ashleigh works but had fallen into arrears with her rent – meaning it was unlikely she'd be offered a property from a social housing provider. But as one of her children is disabled, Ashleigh did not want to move into temporary accommodation and was worried her options were limited.

After making contact, our team of advisors sprang into action to help. A full benefit check identified that Ashleigh had been entitled to £55 per week towards her rent which she hadn't been claiming. She'd also never made an application for help with the rent shortfall through a Discretionary Housing Payment. An urgent application was completed and the full shortfall in rent was covered for the previous six months.

As Ashleigh was no longer in arrears she was able to move with her children into a new home through a registered social housing provider, and breathe easily again.

Need help?

If you need support, we're here for you. Find out more about the help available in the cost of living section.