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BLOG: How we supported a resident in appealing a benefit decision

08 August 2023

If you're worried about paying your rent, our Income team are here to help. They can help with repayment plans, budgeting and putting you in touch with other services that provide debt advice and support. We also have a Welfare Advice team who work with residents to make sure you're claiming and receiving all the benefits you're entitled to. In this blog, Pauline Clarke from our Welfare Advice team writes about how we supported a resident in rent arrears to appeal a benefit decision.

Pauline Clarke Photo

Back in October 2022 I picked up a referral for a resident as he was in rent arrears and struggling to pay. I went to see him so we could complete a benefit entitlement check. The resident had applied for Personal Independence Payment (which is a disability benefit) and had scored no points in his assessment which meant he was unsuccessful.

Pauline Clarke, Welfare Advisor

There is a one-month timeframe where he could ask for the decision to be reconsidered (known as Mandatory Reconsideration) by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which he didn’t do. But you can still ask for the decision to be reconsidered if there was a good cause for being late. This was submitted but again he was unsuccessful, the DWP did not change their decision. We then appealed to the Tribunal Service where we attended a hearing in front of a panel which included a judge, a medical professional and a legal professional. There was also a person from the DWP present representing their case.

The panel questioned the resident about his health condition and how it affects him daily. They then asked the DWP representative if he had any questions for the resident. He said ‘no’ but after hearing the evidence he recommended points for certain activities within each of the two components (Daily Living and Mobility) which make up Personal Independence Payment. The points recommended were enough for a Daily Living payment of £101.75 per week and a Mobility payment of £71 per week. This award would be backdated to November 2021 which is when he first applied and is awarded until November 2029.

This resident went from getting zero points at his initial assessment to getting the highest possible payment.

Many residents give up when they get turned down for benefit applications or don’t have someone to help them. The resident went through financial struggles over the past two years when he could have had this money which would have helped him greatly. At least now he finally has the benefit he should have been awarded in the first place.

He told me that he will use some of the backdated money (over £10,000) to pay off his rent arrears and help with the cost of living rises.

Support for residents

Please contact us to speak to our Income or Welfare team if you're worried about money, benefits or paying your rent. If you're struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living, we have a dedicated page on our website with advice and support available to you, including tips and support with energy bill increases. You can click here or the green button below to visit our Cost of Living hub

Support paying your rent

Cost of living advice and support

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