Trivallis’s Money Advice Team spend their days advising tenants on topics including rent payments, saving money, home and benefits applications. This information is also put in their ‘Valleys’ magazine distributed on a quarterly basis.
Mr Smith, a Trivallis tenant, saved a significant sum of money after reading advice in Valleys and speaking with a money advisor. He shares his story below:
“I was flicking through the magazine and saw it said; ‘if you are claiming Severe Disability Premium you won’t need to move over to Universal Credit.’
“I had no idea there was such a benefit.
“The thing that caught my eye was purely the fact that Universal Credit was mentioned. As I’m moving home shortly, I knew I would have to make a claim for it but now my SDP money is protected and my other benefits won’t be affected.”
“After reading the criteria I believed SDP is something I’m entitled to.
“I picked up the phone and gave Trivallis’ Money Advice team a call. After chatting through my situation, Vikki [from the team] advised me I should be able to get a back date as well start claiming for SDP which would be an additional weekly payment. She then suggested I call the Department of Work and Pensions.”
“I spoke to a gentleman from the DWP and he agreed that I should be receiving SDP. I completed all the necessary steps over the phone and was then told I would be given a back date within six working days.”
“On the Monday morning, which was only three days after I made the call, six brown envelopes were posted through my door and my stress levels were going through the roof!
“When I opened them I couldn’t believe it, they each said I had been paid this and paid that so I thought I’d better check online. They had awarded me over £14,000 as it was money I was owed from not getting SDP and I was also told I would be getting an extra £65 a week from now on.
“This payment has made a real difference to my life. The stress isn’t there anymore and I know I can pay for my own care when I move home which is a big relief. I feel a lot happier and without the magazine and support from Vikki, I wouldn’t have been able to get the back dated payment.
“Everything about the process was really straightforward. Although it took a little while to get through to the DWP, I answered all their questions and was paid the money within a few days.
“I would have been moved on to Universal Credit but the magazine helped me to realise there were other options for me. I really think it could help a lot of people which is why I want to share my story.”
“I have plans to move closer to my family, and am looking forward to what the future holds. I truly feel like I can do what I want now and can’t wait to see what happens next.”
Housing associations in Wales don’t just build homes. They aim to create strong and sustainable communities by supporting tenants in their everyday lives. To see our sector vision, click here.
Supporting tenants has been fundamental to the last 30 years. See our timeline here:
View the full timeline here (PDF).