Rhys is offering peace of mind
Almost 300 of our most vulnerable clients have been given peace of mind that they are receiving the right financial support.
Since April our partnership with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) and Torfaen and Newport Citizens Advice colleagues, has helped 286 people benefit from income gains totalling £289,642.
Rhys Lewis (pictured) has recently joined the team. Rhys and Shan Harris offer advice and support to people from the whole of Gwent who are under the care of ABUHB secondary health services.
Rhys said that the support he and Shan offer includes welfare benefit advice, as well as debt, money management and other issues.
“We are available to outpatients in the community as well as people on in-patient wards to give the tailored advice to meet their specific needs,” he said. “We do this over the phone or we use the Attend Anywhere platform.”
Shan recently supported a mother to two teenagers who referred herself to the project after being referred by a friend.
Daisy (not her real name) was receiving care from her GP for her mental health. She had suffered a bereavement and was unable to work due to ongoing mental health problems. She wasn’t receiving Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) due to an issue with employer contributions and was struggling to cope financially.
Shan rang Daisy to see how she could help. Shan discovered that Daisy was in rent and council tax arrears as well as having an outstanding Magistrates Court fine.
Shan said: “Daisy was receiving Child Tax and Working Tax credits, Child Benefit and had been attempting to survive on the small amount of income she had as she was not aware of what benefits she was entitled to.
“She gave me consent to speak to her local authority, her landlord and the Magistrates Court to help find a solution. I also referred her to our Debt Services. The Magistrates and local authority agreed to put the debt on hold for four weeks while interventions were put in place.
“We also contacted HMRC and discovered Daisy had insufficient earnings to qualify for SSP. We advised her that she may qualify for New Style Employment and Support Allowance and could apply for Universal Credit with housing costs. This would mean that the tax credits would stop. We have helped Daisy to apply for Personal Independence Payment, a Discretionary Housing Payment and a Council Tax Reduction.”
Daisy said: “Thank you for helping me, I was struggling as I did not know what I was entitled to”.
Since April, across Gwent the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board project has helped 286 people to solve 795 problems.
54% of our clients were female and 46% were male.
82% of people supported had a diagnosed long term condition.
The top five issue were:
- Health and Community Care