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Ms J initially attended Advice Portsmouth about her non-priority creditors.
Due to the client’s poor physical and mental health and her problems with alcohol misuse, Ms J could not face opening and dealing with her post. Ms J is currently attending a detox programme and has done so since the beginning of December 2014.
Ms J was unaware that her housing benefit claim had the highest rate for non dependent deduction applied to it. This should not have been the case and due to this error Ms J was accruing rent arrears. After a suggestion made by her housing officer Ms J approached Advice Portsmouth for advice and assistance. An advisor contacted Housing Benefit to ensure they held the correct information and to request a review.
The advisor also assisted the client in making a claim for Personal Independence Payment and negotiated with Ms J’s Portsmouth City Council Housing Officer to pay a small amount off the arrears whilst we worked with her on her financial statement. Ms J is empowered and now deals with her post alone and maintains a weekly payment plan for her priority creditors. Ms J’s priority arrears have reduced and she is now receiving monthly contributions from her non dependant children.
As a result of the support we provided to Ms J, her Housing Benefit was reinstated and her review request was successful. Ms J is likely to receive a significant amount and we requested this be paid directly to her to support her with buying food and other necessities, as she still has to rely on family for financial support. Receiving the monies will also help her to pay some of her priority debts.
We continue to support Ms J as her situation improves and she becomes increasingly independent and able to deal with her own affairs.