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Find out how the local Citizens Advice service could help you

The CCG funds the work Citizens Advice does to tackle the non-clinical wider determinants of health, for example, people who struggle to maximise their income as a result of mental health problems.

We asked them to give an example of someone they have helped.  (Names have been changed) 

Mr. Smith was diagnosed with a type of bone marrow cancer. He was told that whilst his cancer could be treated, it could not be cured. This led him to believe that his condition was terminal and he came to us for help to sort his finances in this circumstance. He was also concerned about having to leave work and this was having a negative impact on his mental health.

His initial query was about his pension and what would happen if he was given 6 months or less to live. He also wanted to know more about non-means tested benefits. He did not feel comfortable applying for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) until he was quite far into his treatment regime. A PIP claim was made for him with the support of our team when he was ready. His claim was successful and after 5 months he was awarded Standard Rate Daily Living and Enhanced Rate Mobility amounting to £152.25 p/w.

Mr. Smith had to take time off of work due to his illness and treatment and was paid Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) during this time. When he finished his SSP period he came back to us for help claiming New Style Employment Support Allowance (NSESA). The advisor went through the form with him over the phone. He received his ESA award of £122.55 p/w within 6 weeks of application.

We also referred the client to Pension Wise for his query regarding his pension. Unfortunately, they were unable to help with his specific query. He said he would look further into this, if required, in the future and we provided him with a list of local free legal advice providers.

During the time we were supporting Mr. Smith we had a men’s mental health project running which provided men struggling with their mental health to access exercise and wellbeing classes for free via an app. Mr. Smith took up this offer and was provided access to the app.

Mr. Smith has now finished his treatment and was able to go back to work. He is happy to be back at work and has ended all his benefit claims as he does not feel he needs them due to his improved health both mentally and physically.