Olivia’s story

Vulnerable housing association tenant subject to benefit cap assisted by CHAC

This is an example of complex case, in the sense that it involves a combination of benefits (Housing Benefit, Discretionary Housing Payment, and Disability Living Allowance), a client with a disability with a child with a disability and also subject to the benefit cap. It also illustrates how those with the most difficult circumstances can find themselves with major housing difficulties, which CHAC can help resolve.
— Paul Wilkinson, manager

Olivia was a housing association tenant. She had bipolar and was a single mother with dependent children, one of whom was disabled. She was subject to the benefit cap and her housing benefit was only 50p every week while her weekly rent was just over £165. Her rent arrears were increasing rapidly and so the housing association asked the court bailiffs evict her.

When she came to CHAC her rent arrears were over £3000. We helped Olivia make a successful application for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) of £3,500 to pay off all her rent arrears. We ensured that she got help from the Citizens Advice to claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for her disabled daughter. CHAC also helped her obtain a second DHP to pay her rent shortfall for several weeks until she received DLA for her daughter which ended Olivia’s benefit cap.

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