Mr A approached Citizens Advice Northumberland for help when his Employment Support Allowance (ESA) payments stopped. Mr A worked for many years but after suffering a heart attack and stroke, which lead to a range of physical health issues and memory problems, he had to give up working and claim benefits. After Mr A completed the ESA application form, he was awarded 0 points. One of our advisers completed a mandatory reconsideration request on the client’s behalf which overturned the decision without the need for the client to go to appeal. He was awarded 15 points and placed in the ESA support group which is an acknowledgement by DWP that he is not well enough to work and not well enough to be helped to improve his chances of getting work in the future. He was awarded £110.75 per week and received £1772 arrears. We also helped Mr A claim housing benefit (HB) and council tax reduction (CTR).
The extra money came as a great relief to the client, who was able to clear a bank overdraft and repay debts to family members who had lent him money. He felt much more able to concentrate on his health after sorting his finances out.