In the first six months of 2020, the local charity has helped resolve around 8000 issues for its clients. It’s achieved more than £1 million increased income and £40,000 worth of debts written off through expert advice and support.
At the beginning of lockdown, face-to-face appointments were suspended, but the online and telephone services have allowed CAP to continue offering advice at a time when it’s been needed most. In fact, CAP’s advisers have witnessed a 64% rise in emails and almost 200% rise in phone calls.
Sharon lives with multiple mental health conditions.
With help from her mental health support worker, Sharon explained to us that she couldn’t meet all of her regular expenditure with her current benefit income. We helped to draw up a budget and maximise her income.
We identified that Sharon may be entitled to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Severe Mental Impairment (SMI) exemption from Council Tax. Sharon’s support worker agreed to help her make applications for both PIP and SMI exemption. Sharon was awarded PIP and SMI effectively increasing income by over £600 per month.
We decided that a Debt Relief Order (DRO) would be a good option to give Sharon a fresh start, leaving her debt free. We helped her submit the DRO application and soon £6000 of debt was written off.
Sharon is now debt free, has a bigger income and can manage her finances better than before. Her mental health has improved significantly as a result.
To continue helping people like Sharon, Citizens Advice Peterborough relies on its dedicated staff and trained volunteers.
With the government’s job retention scheme coming to an end in October and both residents and businesses navigate an ongoing recession, Citizens Advice Peterborough continues to offer free, impartial and confidential advice on a range of issues.
The service is available 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. Clients can access the telephone advice service on 0344 499 4120.
For more information, visit the Citizens Advice Peterborough website, or find them on Facebook.