Imagine feeling so overwhelmed that opening your mail was impossible
Miss P age 44 Home visit – Referred by Mental Health Professional
Miss P had a Breakdown in her mental health 12 years ago. She has been sectioned 6 times since under the Mental Health Act and has worked sporadically over this time. Miss P was placed in the Contribution based Employment Support Allowance – Work Related Activity Group (WRAG).
Client (Miss P) does not open mail. Miss P was sent a letter asking her to attend a work focused interview. Miss P was unaware that she was in the work group as she had not opened the letter telling her. This led to her being sanctioned for not attending a work focused interview. Case was further complicated as her 52 weeks on Contribution based Employment Support Allowance (ESA) came to an end. She was sent an ESA Income based form which has also gone unopened.
Client (Miss P) was visted by a CPN (community psychiatric nurse) who referred her to South Bristol Advice Service (SBAS) as she had not been paid for 5 months. She had been living off savings and had £60 left in her bank account as her ESA had stopped her rent and council Tax reduction had stopped, putting her home at risk. SBAS put in a Housing Benefit claim based on her nil income to prevent further arrears.
SBAS put in an appeal based on mental health issues and challenged, in a late appeal, the fact that she was in the WRAG group. With help from a mental health services assessment and care plan this was overturned on review and she was placed retrospectively in the Support Group. Sanction was no longer valid and income was restored to former level. Housing and Council Benefit were informed.
We advised Miss P that we could help her claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) which would increase her income. She was awarded Standard Rate Mobility and Enhanced Rate Daily Living (allowances).
Miss P now contacts us on a regular basis to help her deal with letters when she feels overwhelmed or unable to open her mail.
Find out more about South Bristol Advice Services by exploring the Cumberland Basin Route on Bristol Giving Day – the Bridges Challenge.