The following are a variety of Case Studies, Testimonials and Feedback from our various services.

Case Study 1

Client is a 62 year old woman with multiple long-term health problems, including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) and arthritis in her hips, knees, neck and back.She also has a diagnosis of Bi-polar Disorder and depression and anxiety – all of which is treated with medication and regular input from the specialist mental health team.She is also being supported by the Torbay Coronavirus Helpline, who arranged a volunteer to walk her dog during lockdown.

Client had been in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for several years at the higher rate for both components but was only awarded the standard rate when she recently transferred to PIP and as a result saw her payments reduced by £68.10 per week.She needed help to write a mandatory reconsideration letter – this was challenging under lockdown, especially given the client’s mental health issues, and involved lengthy phone conversations and the client sending photographs of her decision letter and accompanying medical evidence.The mandatory reconsideration was submitted and if unsuccessful she will be supported to appeal at tribunal.
Outcome – Full PIP rate awarded for mobility and living after appeal.

Financial Gains – PIP Enhanced Living Rate = £3,541 ie: 52 weeks x PIP award.

Case Study 2

Client is a 53 year old man, living alone in a housing association flat.He has long-term physical and mental health issues, including arthritis, spine problems and chronic obesity.He has suffered with depression and anxiety for many years and also severe agoraphobia which means he only leaves the house to go to the local shop a few yards away.He had been in receipt of DLA for both care and mobility for many years, but when transferring to PIP lost all entitlement.He was being seen by the Wellbeing team who referred him for help with challenging this decision.

Our worker visited him at home and then prepared a detailed mandatory reconsideration of the decision not to award him PIP.The original decision was upheld and TAN are now appealing that decision at tribunal.

Case Study 3

Client is a 63 year old married woman referred to us by the Crafty Fox. She is an insulin dependent diabetic and has suffered with depression for many years. She now uses a wheelchair and has a prosthetic limb as she lost her leg in a road accident 6 years ago.She had previously been in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – Middle Rate Care and High Rate Mobility – but this ended following a PIP medical assessment where she scored insufficient points for any level of award.

Her husband acts as her carer and this decision meant he also lost his entitlement to Carer’s Allowance.We submitted an appeal for the client and a date was set for 24th March 2020.On the 23rd March, HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS_ cancelled all face to face tribunals, but the DWP have subsequently offered an award of PIP at Standard Rate for Daily Living and Enhanced for Mobility (the equivalent of her DLA award).The client was very happy with this, and we are now helping her husband to reclaim Carer’s Allowance.

Outcome – Awarded PIP Standard Rate for Daily Living @ £59.70 & Enhanced Rate @ £62.25 for Mobility.

Financial Gains – £122,20 x 52 weeks = £6,354.40

Case Study 4

50 year old woman, Sanctuary tenant, needed support to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for her 16 year old daughter who was transferring from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children.Daughter has autism and special educational needs.Initially saw client face to face but lockdown implemented before we could finish completing application so further support had to be via telephone and email.

Outcome – Application successful, daughter awarded enhanced rate for both components of PIP – daily living and mobility

Financial Gains – £151.40 pw x 52 weeks = £7,872.80

Case Study 5

Mixed aged couple, Sanctuary tenants, under new benefit rules male partner lost entitlement to Pension Credit when female partner moved in.They had to claim Universal Credit and were now significantly worse off.Carried out benefit check, all statutory entitlements in place but identified possible entitlement to discretionary housing payment from Torbay Council as couple at risk of falling into rent arrears.Referral to Homemaker SW for help with debt issues.

TestImonial 

Catherine Fritz, Crafty Fox Volunteer

“The training I’ve received from Susan Bottomley as part of FAIR has been exceptional. The training is delivered in bite-sized modules of 3-4 hours, each focusing on a discrete topic, with cross references between topics. The materials are well designed and well-structured; they are easy to follow and also provide excellent reference material. Susan’s thorough knowledge of the benefit system, always up to date, is a very important part of the training. She explains the rules and human situations so well, that the information comes to life. I tend to ask questions and Susan always has the required knowledge at her fingertips, often having anticipated the questions that might be asked. The training sessions also provide useful exercises to enable us to apply the information we’ve just encountered. These exercises are so important!  People don’t learn by listening; they learn by doing. I make this statement as a cognitive/educational psychologist.

 

Understanding Need & Effective Signposting

‘It was very informative. Well delivered. Good course’.

‘This was very informative. Lots of new tips and how to get help. A very good speaker. Thank you’.

‘Reflection of underlying issues. Review of Level 2 resources. Discussion of lots of practical issues. Professionally delivered. Based on extensive knowledge and experience. Very valuable’.

‘Loads of brilliant info. Always delivered clearly. Does not rush ahead. Brilliant’.

‘Finding out about what different groups could offer in Torbay at different levels. Thanks, it was really useful, I feel a lot more confident now’.

Introduction to Benefits

‘Good overview of benefits – the complexities and how to know what information is needed’.

‘All was very good – relevant information to use’.

‘Helpful explanation of passporting benefits – how different benefits can overlap/complement each other’.

‘Learning about the ‘legacy benefits’ and how they are calculated was particularly helpful. Also, the ‘Entitled to’ tool. Really useful, thank you!!’

‘The search site for benefits entitlement was particularly helpful. A good session. Explained well’.

‘Information was well organised. Q & A throughout. Sample decision letters. Extremely valuable!

Introduction to Debt Advice

‘Exercises were very helpful’.

‘Working at a good pace. Friendly, clear and enjoyable. Thank you’.

‘Good handout. Well presented’.

‘All the content was helpful’.

Employment & Support Allowance

‘Very informative. Paperwork given out will be very useful. Good course. Lots of useful information to enable us to help clients’.

‘Very complex benefit to cover in a short time – the handouts give us the information we can go through to understand this benefit in greater depth’.

‘Very helpful workshop. A lot to take in!’

‘Understand the difficulties faced by claimants was particularly helpful’.

‘Case studies particularly helpful. Always good’.

Attendance Allowance

‘Case studies were particularly helpful’.

The handouts made it very clear’.

‘Knew nothing about Attendance Allowance prior to this training. Thank you’.

‘I found the case study very useful. Clear and informative. Easy to understand’.

‘Materials were very helpful’.

PIP Training

‘Good to unpick scenarios of what evidence needs to be investigated and provided’.

‘All information very useful. Good session with time to ask questions’.

‘Helped me to look beyond the questions at the effect on any person for help with their daily living – understanding the issues’.

‘All of it was helpful, particularly how to think round the questions. Splendid’.

Universal Credit

‘All helpful. Very informative. Very complex’.

‘Cleared away some of the fog around Universal Credit’.

‘Explained very clearly as usual. Great to have time to ask questions’.

‘Good to go through examples’.

‘Handouts clear and concise’. In depth knowledge. Very helpful – related to ESA/other benefits and entitlements’.

‘Informative session. Gave me all I needed advice wise’.

‘Exercises and Q & A particularly helpful’.

Mencap / Welfare Benefits

‘Very informative meeting’;

‘Very, very informative and helpful’;

‘Very useful evening, thank you’;

Confidentiality

‘Great course! Will look forward to the next one’.

‘Very well explained! Thank you’.

‘Clarification on what consent required for sharing’.

‘Very informative and worthwhile’.

‘Brilliant, well done. Very clear’.