“…you found words that I could recognise…”
North Bristol Advice Centre’s Get Online drop-in helps people to access online services and develop their digital skills. They help people like John, 67, who came to Get Online to do a welfare benefits check as he was struggling to get by on his pension, most of which went on rent. Using an online benefits calculator, we established that he was entitled to Housing Benefit and Council Tax reduction. John revealed that he had been in receipt of both, but they had been stopped because he’d failed to respond to a letter asking for additional information. This was because he was unable to read and there was no phone number on the letter he could call.
They helped John to submit a new application for both benefits online, and showed him how to check and organise the rest of his paperwork in a way he would find accessible. He was signposted to the Read Easy scheme, which provides a trained volunteer reading coach on a one to one basis. John was keen to develop his reading skills and signed up to the scheme. He returned to Get Online a few weeks later with a letter requesting supporting information; we helped him to scan the paperwork needed and submitting it online.
John’s application was successful. He received a backdated award of £1377 and now receives £49.20 per week housing benefit, reducing his weekly rent to a manageable £28.47, leaving him with enough money from his pension to live on.
“Every time I come in you always help me out. You found words that I could recognise and helped me label my paperwork so it’s much easier now.”
Find out more about North Bristol Advice Centre by exploring the City Centre Route on Bristol Giving Day.