Building Lives - Overcoming Barriers

Once someone’s immigration status has been secured their journey really begins! Getting over the legal hurdles, being granted the right to live and work in our community is often just the first of a number of challenges our clients face. With your help we can offer free and confidential advice, support and legal representation to those who need it, whatever their background or language, to guide and steer them through the maze.

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Shahnaz’s story

Shahnaz, a native Arabic speaker, was surprised to discover that her pension, housing benefit and council tax support had all been stopped. She contacted the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) but was told that she didn’t have a right to live in the UK. This was a huge shock. Shahnaz is an EU citizen and been living in the UK for fourteen years.

She struggled to find advice. We were able to help her, in her own language, to lodge an appeal against the DWP’s decision. The appeal was successful and her pension credit of £163 was reinstated.

Further, we wrote to the DWP to ensure that Shahnaz’s rent arrears of £33,000 were cleared. Shahnaz also received £8,286 in back payments for the period she was left without support. She was also refunded £520 in council tax she paid from her savings.

You can help others like Shahnaz build lives and overcome barriers.

Maryan’s Story

Maryan, is blind, has mental health problems and lives alone. She came to us asking for help to fill a Personal Independence Payment form. we also carried out a benefits check.

She was not getting all she was entitled to. E.g.the severe disability premium, an extra amount she had been entitled to since 2014. We completed the form and sent it to the DWP, with supporting medical evidence and tenancy agreements to support her request.

Maryan was awarded the Enhanced Daily Living (£85.60 per week) and Enhanced Mobility (£59.75 per week) both components of Personal Independence Payment. She received a payment of £12,509.62 of arrears of the Severe Disability Premium from 2014. She is also receiving the severe disability premium of £64.30 per week.

You can help others like Maryan build lives and overcome barriers.

Hassan’s Story

Hassan, an Arabic speaker, is married and has a disability. His claim for reassessing his housing benefit, council tax support and to reinstate his benefits had stalled. He had rent and council tax arrears and a court summons for non-payment of council tax.

We contacted the Council Tax office, prior the court date, with an arrangement plan for him to pay his council tax and to suspend the court hearing pending reinstatement of the council tax support.

His housing benefit and council tax benefit were reinstated but £115 had been added to his council tax bill, despite having made an prior arrangements to pay. We wrote a letter to the council, asking them to remove the £115 court fees from his bill.

Hassan received a new council tax bill with the £115 costs removed. Further, he was awarded housing benefit of £89.39 per week plus council tax support of £4.36 weekly.

You can help others like Hassan build lives and overcome barriers.