John, 37, lives alone in a flat, and has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Within minutes of speaking with John it became apparent that he was very distressed and worried about the coronavirus outbreak. J
ohn explained that he had been in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) but that that had stopped the previous year. His mum had helped him to complete his PIP renewal form but the application had been unsuccessful; as a consequence, his income had reduced by more than £300 a week and he had been unable to pay his rent.
He had therefore begun to accrue rent arrears which his friends were helping him to pay off. Our Welfare and Debt and Money teams worked with John to pursue reconsideration of the previous PIP and ESA award decisions. Thanks to our support, John was awarded PIP payments that were backdated from September 2019 all the way to July 2023.
As he has a Severe Mental Health diagnosis, John was also awarded full council tax exemption.