We helped over 11,000 people during 2022-2023. Here are some case studies showing the difference we’ve made to people’s lives. Names have been changed to protect identity.
In 2017, Martin, 28, had a motorbike accident and suffered life changing physical and mental injuries. After five operations and intensive physio Martin applied for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and was awarded the lowest amount for mobility only.
In 2021, and following a long wait for a mental health assessment, Martin was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Martin then requested a review of his PIP allowance which resulted in the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) stopping his PIP payments and was awarded nothing.
Martin came to Citizens Advice in East Dorset & Purbeck for help, where the Adviser raised a mandatory reconsideration which resulted in an appeal.
Before this got to the Tribunal Court, DWP made an offer to Martin but it was only for the same amount Martin originally received. Martin accepted this offer but wanted his appeal to remain for the Daily Living aspect of PIP but this was declined.
Another mandatory reconsideration was raised and then an appeal, and in November 2024, Martin went to a PIP Tribunal with the Adviser as his representative.
Martin was finally awarded enhanced rate of both components for PIP and his arrears were backdated to his original review date of June 2021.
Total financial outcome £15,500 (as at Feb ’24)
Martin said: “I am eternally grateful to my Adviser and all at CA for their support, compassion and professionalism, thank you. I can now get the mobility car I so desperately need.”
Jane and Lawrence’s Story
Jane and Lawrence are in their 50s, are disabled and live with life-limiting health problems in a rental property. They also have an adult child living at the property who requires support.
A Section 21 notice was served by their landlord resulting in them being asked to leave their property and were initially placed in a lower band on the housing register. Jane believed their health conditions made their position more vulnerable and should be awarded a higher priority.
We liaised with the Homelessness Team at Dorset Council and acted on Jane and Lawrence’s behalf. We assisted them through the housing process and ensured all legislation was followed correctly.
Jane and Lawrence were awarded the highest priority on the housing register and offered a permanent two-bedroom bungalow which they were really pleased with as it suited their needs. We supported them with their benefit applications, ensuring all their benefits were correct, including Personal Independence Payment and Council Tax support.
Due to Jane and Lawrence having no white goods, an application was made to Dorset Council’s Emergency Local Assistance. They were also supported with supermarket vouchers.
- Universal Credit; Housing element award for a new property – 12 monthly payments of £469.00. The total ongoing annual amount is £5,628.00.
- Council Tax Reduction – 1 x annual payment of £1,998.00. The total yearly amount is £1,998.00.
- Household Support Grant 3 – Supermarket Voucher – £200.00
- Emergency Local Assistance – £580.00 – to purchase white goods
- Winter Warmth supermarket voucher – £200
Total financial outcome £8606
Misty came to Citizens Advice after a relationship breakdown. She lived in rented accommodation and, prior to leaving, her ex-partner had been paying all the bills. Misty did not have an income of her own and did not know how she would be able to pay her rent or other household bills. Misty suffered from mental and physical health conditions that impacted her ability to work and carry-out everyday activities.
- A full benefits check was completed
- Helped complete an application for Universal Credit and Council Tax support
- Assisted with a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) application
- Helped notify Universal Credit of their health condition
- Applied for the Dorset Council Household Support Fund to provide £150 in supermarket vouchers
Total financial outcome £11365
Misty is waiting to see whether PIP has been awarded and will get help to apply for Limited Capability for Work and Work-Related Activity from Universal Credit, this would mean further potential financial gains of £8221 per year.
Misty said we had saved her life as she did not know what she would have done without our ongoing support. Misty was able to continue paying her rent and become financially independent and was extremely grateful for our help.
Nora lives with her three children. Each member of the household has a health condition. Nora rents a two-bedroom house from the Housing Association with an EPC rating of B and her income is made up of Universal Credit, Child Benefit and Child Disability Living Allowance for all three children.
Nora was in debt with her energy supplier and was unhappy with how the supplier was managing her account and liaising with her, she felt harassed.
We supported Nora with a formal complaint to her energy supplier regarding cancelling clients direct debit, failure to set up a direct debit on request; harassment calls and missing out on the warm home discount.
The energy supplier identified issue of accounts being split; gas smart meter not sending readings.
The energy supplier merged gas and electric account to one; set up direct debit; agreed payment plan for account debit; fixed gas smart meter readings issue; stopped and apologies for harassment calls; provided compensation of £140 that equated to the warm home discount that Nora missed out on.
Nora is reducing energy usage with energy savings advice and tips provided.
Nora was referred to debt advise for support and was also referred to Citizens Advice for support to apply for hardship fund to help with energy debit.