CASE STUDY – MRS P
Mrs P was referred to Monkey in June 2016, and was referred to the Energy Advisor.
Mrs P lives in a 1900’s solid brick mid terraced house. The property is uninsulated as it does not have any cavity wall and it is heated by a gas central heating system. She suffers from several health issues.
When she moved into this property 6 years ago she asked her Energy Supplier to replace the pre-payment meters to credit meters. However about six months later it became apparent that she was struggling to pay for her gas and electricity so asked for the prepayment meters to be reinstalled. A gas prepayment meter was reinstalled but the Supplier refused to install an electric prepayment meter as it was situated high on the stair wall and deemed dangerous.
Mrs P is struggling on benefits and couldn’t afford to pay her gas and electricity so stopped topping up her gas and only used her electric. When visited in June 2016 she had not had any gas on since October 2015 and went a whole winter without using her heating system. When things became desperate she relied on plug in electric heaters which are very expensive to run and a wallpaper stripper which has caused huge condensation and damp problems in the house, and as a result this has affected her chest and breathing problems greatly. She was using her electric shower to fill a bath as she is unable to stand in the bath to shower and she was unaware that using her electric was four times as expensive as using her gas.
The Energy Advisor spoke to Mrs P’s Energy Supplier who reset the gas meter and arranged in the short term for her to top up her gas meter every week by at least £4 to pay for the daily standing charges and to service some of the debt. Her electricity debt is being paid by fuel direct where they take money directly from her benefits to pay for her usage. Mrs P has been registered for the warm homes discount of £140 and given energy efficiency advice and she is now aware of the cost of her actions. A Charis grant has been applied for requesting that the full £1700 be written off as it will take years to pay her debt off.
Due to her poor living conditions and her inability to cope Mrs P’s Housing Association is looking to move her into a smaller bungalow within weeks.
Mr S was referred by livin Financial Wellbeing Team. He asked for help with:
We offered him a Money Mentor appointment, and he received help from Managing Money Better to help sort out his problems with the energy company. He also received a discretionary housing payment to help with the ‘bedroom tax’, and rent arrears were cleared by SSAFA, who also agreed to provide a new washing machine, fridge freezer and cooker. He was given these items free from a friend so the charity fund was not required.
The support provided by the Money Mentors significantly increased Mr S’s confidence to manage his own finances and tenancy, as previously he felt he could not cope and was considering handing the keys back to livin.
Mr M registered online with Monkey in February 2016. He asked for help with:
We offered him a Money Mentor appointment and, working in partnership with his landlord, he had energy advice to make sure he was on the cheapest tariff and a water meter installed to save him money on his bills. He received discretionary housing payment to help with the ‘bedroom tax’. Mr M also opened a savings account with the local credit union.
The Money Mentor applied for a settlement grant and Mr M was successfully awarded a cooker, fridge freezer, washing machine, bedding and bed frame and curtains.
To maximise Mr M’s income we recommended he apply for PIP. He was successful in his application and received a backdate of over £1000. We also helped him to reduce his budgeting loan repayments which were leaving him in hardship.
As he had no previous experience of managing a tenancy and due to his vulnerabilities and health problems, it was agreed he would benefit from long term floating support. He is now receiving long term support from Stonham.
Mr G registered with Monkey in September 2013 and completed a financial confidence check which revealed he had little or no confidence in managing his money. Suffering from mental health issues, and with little experience of managing money, Mr G had been living with relatives but was preparing to move into his own home and live independently.
He requested support from the Monkey partnership to help him access affordable furniture and carpets. He needed help opening a bank account and taking out home contents insurance, general support to manage his money, live independently and help to find affordable gas and electricity suppliers.
The Monkey team made a number of referral appointments for Mr G including referring him to his local credit union and his landlord’s Welfare Benefits Advisor.
As a result, Mr G successfully opened a bank account, got access to affordable furniture and received £970 from the welfare assistance scheme and is now successfully living independently.
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