Case Studies

Case Studies

The following provides examples of how Healthier Wealthier Children has been able to assists families struggling with money worries in difficult circumstances. The case studies have been provided from North, East, South East and South West Glasgow, Inverclyde and Renfrewshire. They exemplify the work being undertaken by Healthier Wealthier Children across NHSGGC.  

 

Case Study 1

  • Mum with 2 children under 7. Son suffering from learning difficulties and bowel problems. Mum required replacement bed and bedding, washing machine and clothes. Community Care grant of £373 awarded after initial rejection. Only successful because money advice service persisted given patient under severe emotional and financial pressure.
  • Disability Living Allowance applied for. Son awarded high rate care for 2 years on 5th April but the award was backdated to 11th March. Mum did not wish to appeal the fact that no mobility component was awarded.
  • As there was an award of high rate care this led onto the client being eligible for Carer's Allowance. Third appointment made to complete forms and benefit awarded. A backdate had been requested and granted to the 11th March when the DLA was awarded.
  • his then led to a review of patient’s Income Support so that all relevant premiums could be added and recalculated.
  • Patient went from receiving £255.00 per week to now receiving £451.71 per week for all benefits.
  • All backdated money received as lump sum was £2,360
Client says:
“I have found the service really beneficial and was shocked at how much I
was actually entitled to after the Job Centre initially rejected my case. If only
there were a million X [Income Maximisers] out there.”

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Case Study 2 

  • Working mum on maternity leave, still living with parents, had never accessed the benefits system before. On the 36th week of pregnancy, the patient was referred to the money advice service by her midwife, allowing money advice service to begin a full assessment of her needs.
  • After explaining what statutory pay entitlements the mum would get, a benefit check revealed that she would only be eligible for benefits after the birth of the baby.
  •  Mum agreed to come back for a second appointment to help her to apply for the relevant benefits, including Child Tax Credits, Sure Start Maternity Grant and Child Benefit.
  • The Sure Start Maternity Grant would only be applicable after the qualifying benefit of Child Tax Credits was awarded. At the third appointment, this was applied for after the good news came through about the Child Tax Credits. 
  • All in all, the mum will receive a net gain in benefits awarded of just under £4,890 for the year

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Case Study 3 

A young couple with 3 children, the youngest 2 are under 5 and each has a disability. Dad works full time in fairly low paid employment with mum at home full time caring for the children. The couple are owner occupiers. Mum finds it very difficult to go out with the children as she is unable to use public transport and taxis are too expensive. Due to the children’s mobility difficulties, Mum and the children spend most of their time at home which means heating the home for most of the day and night. Due to the children’s disabilities mum has to do lots of laundry. These factors are having a big impact on the family’s energy bills. Debt has been accrued with Brighthouse, a high street weekly payment household goods store, totalling £6000 for a suite and a tv. Weekly payments to Brighthouse are £33 with 2 payments remaining on the suite.

 
The family Health Visitor suggested a referral to HWC following a diagnosis of significant disability of youngest child. Mum commented she did not think that a child of 2 and half years would be entitled to DLA but was happy for the referrals to be made.

 

Following referral to HWC the Income Maximiser assisted the family in applying for additional benefits. The family were awarded Middle Rate Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and disabled child element of tax credits. This amounted to an additional £47.80 and £52.21 extra per week respectively. Mum stated that the extra money will help with taxi costs, she can now afford hackney style taxis to get out and about to hospital appointments; this had been a problem in the past with the larger style pram. Mum can also afford taxis to go to clubs and support groups in her area. The extra money will also go towards utilities bills and mum will not have to worry as much about times when she has to heat the house for days at a time, i.e. winter 10/11 was a very worrying time. A benefit check also revealed that the couple were entitled to Council Tax Benefit, they assumed they wouldn’t be as they were owner occupiers, this saved the family £943.44 per year.

The couple were also supported to apply for a mentored loan of £500 from their local credit union and Money Matters, the income maximiser also negotiated the return of the tv to Brighthouse. A tv was purchased from a local supermarket for under £500 with repayments on the mentored loan £12 per week, £2 of which is savings with the credit union.

Engagement with the service has clearly brought about significant improvement for this couple and while this may not be the case for everyone it highlights the potential contribution Health Visitors and other key health staff groups can make to reducing child poverty.

 

Case Study 4 

Client referred by family support worker. Client recently separated from partner very stressed.

  • Young women with two children one under 5 with long term illness.
  •  Child has had various operations but has not been diagnosed.
  • Income Max got support to complete D.L.A application for child
  • Client has a lot of Debt to Brighthouse to a sum of £6,000 for a suite and television and a small amount to Provident, client paying off debt at £33.00 a week.
  • Client only had 2 payments to go to finish of paying for suite but had just got the television.
  • Outcomes
  • Income Max got client a mentored loan through Credit union and Money Matters for £500.
  • Money Matters negotiated with Brighthouse for client to return television.
  • With the £500 loan the client bought a new television from Tesco.
  • Client now only paying £12 per week back for mentored Loan of which £2.00 is being put into her credit union, by the time client has paid off loan she have savings for the first time.
  • Money Matters got her re-payments to Provident down to a £1 per week and changed clients energy over to the social tariff saving her another £7.00 per week.
  • Client was unsuccessful on the first application for D.L.A – Welfare Rights Officer appealed was given D.L.A and higher rate tax credit and carers allowance which has given the family an additional £130 per week.

Taken nearly 5 months work to get final outcomes 

 

Case Study 5 

Client a young single mum with young baby who is concerned about debt

  • Client has been given a £50 fine for dropping a crisp bag in the street on her estate by community warden. 
  • Client not able to pay fine.
  • Income Max telephoned Community Warden Team to appeal as mother said she didn’t mean to drop it; it fell out of the pram.
  • Community Warden team said “you can appeal for fines for dog pooh or cigarettes but not litter”.
  • Income max explained client’s situation – Community Warden gave client extension of 4 weeks to pay.
  • Client still not able to get the money together in time.
  • Income Max telephoned again to see if she could pay it back so much a week.
  • Case now has been sent to Sheriff court and the fine had gone up to £75.00 for non payment.
  • Income Max eventually managed to get the court to agree that client to pay £5.00 each week which would be taken of her benefits to pay the fine.
  • Court would not waiver the additional £25.00 interest added due to late payment.
  • Have taken this case to Council representative and suggested that maybe instead of a fine that in some cases individuals could be told to attend a two hour awareness session on the environment which might be more appropriate. Instead of increasing peoples debt.

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Case Study 6 

Referral from Social work support worker- Mother not receiving Healthy Start vouchers.

  • Client had put in 4 applications for Healthy Start Vouchers never received anything.
  • Income Max contacted Healthy Start Helpline and was told that client must have moved address and not informed Healthy Start therefore 1st application not valid
  • 2nd application midwife wrote the wrong estimated delivery date on the application again void (no letter ever sent to client)
  • 3rd application H/V did not put her postcode of work base therefore application void. (even although H/V tel on the form)
  • Income Max appealed against decision and asked if vouchers payment could be backdated is it was not client’s fault.
  • Healthy Start at first said no and every time Income Max telephoned they would give a different reason why client was not entitled to backdated money. No consistency at all with the helpline staff.
  • When Income Max quoted something from the Healthy Start booklet in defence of client helpline staff stated that the booklet was wrong.
  •  Income Max e-mailed Rights adviser who she had met the week before at a training event and told her the story. The Rights adviser advised Income Max that the booklet was correct.
  •  Income Max eventually got clients claim backdated and client received £269.00 for backdated money alone

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Case Study 7 

Due to the intervention of an Income Maximiser, a family where one of the parents was working, discovered that they were entitled to extra weekly benefits totalling £140.

This was because the youngest of their three children have disabilities and have now been awarded Middle Rate Disability Allowance of £47.80 and the disabled child element of tax credits, equal to £52.21.

The additional cash is easing the financial burden because the mum is unable to work, staying at home to look after the younger children.

Because of the children’s mobility problems they were unable to use public transport and since taxis are expensive, a lot of time was spent at home.

And the children’s disabilities means that mum has a lot of laundry to do, adding to the energy bills.

Now the family can afford taxis to attend hospital appointments, clubs and support groups in their area and have more money to put towards utility bills.

Case Study 8 

A home owning family involved mum working full-time in a low paid job, with dad looking after their three young children.

They spoke to a Health Visitor Support Worker about their financial concerns and stress and anxiety this was causing, but thought that they were receiving all of the benefits they could apply for.

 An appointment with an Income Maximiser led to a benefit check being carried out which revealed that they were entitled to Council Tax Benefit, saving them £943.44 annually.

The parents reported that this extra help is reducing their financial pressures and stress and mum now felt able to look for a better paid job.

Also the family are now in a position to set aside money for any emergencies, such as replacing their washing machine and also buy the children new toys which they hadn’t been able to do for sometime.

Case Study 9

A single parent was working part-time (on national minimum wage) and struggling to cope due to the needs of her only child who had been unwell for some time and was exhibiting behaviour and learning difficulties: the child had been undergoing investigation for strange seizures and was not adjusting well at school. When referred, the mother could no longer work due to stress and anxiety and was on sick leave: however, the employer was not paying SSP and the DWP would not award ESA because of the employer’s responsibility.

Fortunately, there occurred at this time a definitive diagnosis of absence epilepsy – a rare condition - which enabled a straight-forward claim for Disability Living Allowance: since the child was awarded high-rate care and low-rate mobility there was also a significant increase in the Child Tax Credits award. It was not really feasible for the parent to return to work due to the time and effort involved in caring for her child hence this meant applying for Income Support and Carer’s Allowance (including the carer’s premium on the I.S.)

In total, including back-dated payments, household income is now £337 per week or £17,524 over the course of the next year. This means that the parent can now focus solely on the support and development of her child and provide properly for additional needs.