96 year old tenant receives rightful benefits

96 year old tenant receives rightful benefits Image

Through our safe and well calls, we’ve provided extra support to thousands of tenants, including those worried about making rent payments.

After just one call with a 96 year old tenant it was quickly identified that she was struggling financially, so we stepped in to offer support.

This could have easily been ignored and the signs missed, but after listening Mark Green, one of our Support Officers with experience in this area, decided to investigate. He quickly found that this tenant was only receiving her state pension and wasn’t sure what she was entitled to. 

As she was very hard of hearing, she gave permission for Mark to contact her son instead. He was also unsure, but did say she’d been paying rent out of her own savings for many years.

After looking into this Mark soon found that the state pension was too low and after a benefit check, found that she was entitled to pension credit, housing benefit and a council tax reduction.

After all the information was supplied, on 2 April, 2020 Mark made a claim for housing benefit. This was successfully awarded on 15 April, and by the end of the month, £1045.44 was paid onto her rent account.

Additional support has also seen a three month backdate of pension credit totalling £441. This will continue to be paid weekly, at a rate of £36.75. A further £215.76 has been reduced from her Council Tax bill, and once pension credit is in place, this bill will be reduced to nil.

This tenant, who before speaking to us was making rent payments out of her own savings and struggling financially, now has more than £970 credit on her rent account, and has even made a request to credit some back.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak and restrictions in place, Mark, who would usually visit tenants in similar situations face to face, had the challenge of giving this support in a new way. When asked about it he simply said: “My job is to be there for tenants and support them. We simply cannot walk away from this huge responsibility, especially in such a time of need.

“It’s very fitting that we’ve just celebrated the 75th anniversary of VE day, as she would have lived through it, and being able to take away some of those worries later on in her life makes me proud.”

To find out more about the safe and well calls we are making, or the support we can offer you take a look on our website.