Help stop disabled Dad, his wife and 6 week old baby being evicted.
Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) urgently need to raise money to stop this family with a disabled Dad and 6 week old baby being evicted. The landlord uses the rent money to pay the mortgage so although sympathetic also needs to be paid or the property will be repossessed. If they are evicted the family would have been evicted for rent arrears so it is unlikely that the Council would accept responsibility for re-homing them as they would be deemed to be intentionally homeless.
This is where our welfare state falls down completely as Mark’s claim for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) has been ended as he had a severe stroke last August and missed one or probably two appointments for Work Capability Assessments while in hospital so his ESA was stopped.
However Catch 22 - as he isn’t able to take any job due to his disabilities he can’t claim Job Seekers Allowance either so he has had no income for 7 months now and it is likely to be a further 5-6 months before his appeal can be heard. He has been left unable to claim any social security payment to cover his living costs.
He had been using his Disability Living Allowance (DLA) of £550 per month to make up the £300 a month shortfall in his rent but since he was reassessed for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which has replaced DLA, he has now been left with only £56 a week as his family’s sole income. He will apply for a Mandatory Reconsideration but 80% of these are refused and then he will be left with another lengthy wait – up to 12 months – for a tribunal hearing. At tribunal over 70% of cases are successful but it is too long for people to wait for many the damage caused by waiting cannot be undone.
Mark did everything he could to get this problems sorted out and sought help from his MP who seems to have failed to get the decision to reverse his ESA being stopped due to him being in hospital. Nor do they appear to have grasped that he will have no income from any source for 12 months. We hope to follow this up with the MP concerned to clarify why this was.
He also sought help from an advice bureau who again do not seem to have challenged the loss of his ESA due to being in hospital. He has tried to get loans from DWP and is using food vouchers. As well as rent arrears he has credit card debts, utility debts and no source of income for several more months other than the £56 per week PIP plus some Housing Benefit which doesn’t cover his full rent. He has spent what little savings he did have supporting his family for the last 7 months.
We are now advising him re-rent and housing benefits and will follow up his loss of ESA but all of that will take time that he and his family don’t have. If you can spare even £1 or the cost of a cup of coffee out please help us clear these debts and save this family from eviction due to no fault of their own.