Benefits Re-instated For a Long-term Disabled Chinese Man After Intervention by Chinese Welfare Trust

Sunday, 20 November 2016

We have in the past few months dealt with a complex case that involved a vulnerable disabled man being put through a benefits system that negatively impacted on his wellbeing.

Mr M, in his late fifties, suffers from multiple health issues including impaired speech and a degenerative illness and that has worsened in the past thirty years. He has been a long-term benefits recipient and a housing association tenant.

In May 2016 Mr M first contacted Chinese National Healthy Living Centre for the suspension of his Income Support entitlement as a result of a failed Employment Support Allowance (ESA) assessment. A few weeks later the outreach support worker of Chinese Welfare Trust was alerted to Mr M’s predicament as he now had mounting rent arrears due to his housing benefit being stopped.

Our support worker made immediate contact with the rent department of Mr M’s housing association and advised them of his case and vulnerability. At the same time, we took action to resolve Mr M’s benefit entitlement by following up with the Department of Work and Pensions, his GP, and involved other support service agents such as Westminster Adult Service and Age UK. Working alongside our partner agencies we took the pragmatic approach to help Mr M to get back inside the system by re-applying for ESA as a person fit for work while appealing against the previous ESA termination (not-fit for work) decision.

Within a few weeks of our intervention Mr M started to get his benefits again. This resolved his rent and council tax arrears problems and, with our mediation, his landlord decided not to take further action against Mr M. Our support worker is still handling the outstanding issues in this case with the Department of Work and Pensions, but for now, the potentially disastrous consequence that Mr M was facing has come to pass and he can breathe a sigh of relief.

Latest update: Mr M has been awarded ESA for two years until May 2018 when his case will be reviewed by the Department of Work and Pensions. Our support worker will continue to monitor Mr M’s wellbeing and advocate for his rights.

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