Early last year my husband was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer's. Swamped with leaflets, it was very difficult to understand much of the advice given and who best to approach for help. A friend suggested we talk to Citizens Advice about the possibility of Attendance Allowance because Government forms can be extremely complex.
It is the first time I have used the Citizens Advice and oh my goodness I cannot praise them enough. We met with two volunteers at the Loughborough office. They proved to be exceptionally helpful not only with assisting with the form filling but their sympathetic approach gave me a huge amount of confidence. As a result of their help, our application was successful.
The allowance has enabled us to get practical help at home. In the greater scheme of things, this may seem trivial but in the circumstances just having this help means that I am not stressed about a clean kitchen floor, keeping up the garden or being able to pop out on short errands, which is a huge help.
Alas we are getting to the stage where getting out is going to be more difficult but for now my husband and I can take a walk every day. I have very little time for myself although family and friends do help out when they can.
I think there are a great many people, like myself, who do not realise that the Citizens Advice is a charity. Of course I have been spreading the word. This is a vital service which has my full support.
Peter contacted us at the height of the pandemic. He lives alone in social housing and has a recurrent mental health condition. He had been unemployed for some time due to ill health and had accumulated a number of debts including for electricity and rent.
He was facing eviction but our Debt Adviser negotiated with the Council and. they agreed to set aside the possession order so Peter could stay in his flat. His rent is now deducted from his benefits.
Peter's total debts came to less than £20,000, he had no assets and was unlikely to be able to increase his income in future. A Debt Relief Order (DRO) to clear what he owed seemed a possible solution. He accepted that this would have an impact on any future credit but his main concern was to clear his debts and start again. The Debt Adviser contacted all his creditors who consented to put any further action on hold while the DRO was processed. She also referred him to our Energy Adviser to help him switch provider and reduce his future bills.