Simon* was a landscape gardener but due to ongoing debilitating mental health issues has been unable to work for many years. Last year Employment Support Allowance (ESA) assessors found him fit for work, which not only reduced his income but also required him to actively seek work. His mental health condition prevented him from attending the Jobcentre and as a result his benefits were stopped leaving him with no income.
Simon’s gas and electricity supply relies on prepaid fuel cards, and following his benefit cuts he was living without heating, lights or hot water. Due to his situation, Simon’s mental health worsened and by the time a Perennial caseworker visited him, he was unable to leave his home.
We immediately helped by awarding a crisis grant to credit Simon’s fuel cards so he could put the heating on and have a hot meal.
Perennial has also awarded a grant to reduce rent arrears and stop possession proceedings, without which Simon would have become homeless.
After assessing the full situation, Perennial took the ESA to tribunal and won. As a result Simon’s ESA has been reinstated.
An application for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was also made in December 2016, but was refused and is under appeal. The process is not yet resolved and has taken more than 12 months, which has also significantly impacted on Simon’s health.
We will continue to help him access mental healthcare and to assist him financially for as long as he needs us.
* Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality and photo is posed by a model.
If you know of someone who needs help, please contact Perennial today.