Praxis Community Projects

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Welfare Advice

Praxis provides advice and casework on welfare benefits for those who are currently unable to work or who are seeking work, and help with claiming ‘in work’ benefits.  

 

Vita’s story

Vita, from Lithuania, came to Praxis shortly after she arrived in the UK and started work as a cleaner. We helped her register on the Worker’s Registration Scheme and claim Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit. Vita came back to Praxis several months later as she had recently moved into her own accommodation and was struggling to meet her rent. She wanted to know if there were any other benefits for which she might qualify.

We assessed Vita’s circumstances and identified that she should be eligible for Housing Benefit. Vita was helped to complete an application, which meant she received two months’ backdated Housing Benefit plus £323 per month towards her rent.

 

Rene’s story

Rene had been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK, but came to Praxis because his Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) had been stopped after he failed the medical, despite suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and ongoing mental health issues. Rene asked Praxis to help him appeal against the decision, so Praxis lodged an appeal and ensured that his ESA continued to be paid until his appeal hearing. Rene’s mental health made the process challenging, as he would become very distressed and sometimes agitated and angry, tearing up letters from Jobcentre Plus or shouting at their staff members. Rene was represented at his appeal by Praxis. The appeal was successful and his ESA was reinstated.

We also help those who are struggling with debt, both by assistance with the immediate issue but also through preventative work using Money Management courses.

 

Anne’s story

Anne came to Praxis with a large pile of letters about her debt and possible bailiff actions. We sorted through the letters, which had been sent by two different companies, and realised they were all referring to two utility bill debts. Anne explained that following the reduction of her welfare benefits and subsequent overpayment recovery, she had been unable to pay her bills, as she had hardly enough to feed herself and her seven-year-old son. We called both companies and requested more time to arrange a repayment schedule. Meanwhile, we lodged applications to EDF and British Gas Trust Fund for Anne. A few weeks later we received letters from the Trust stating that they had written off both bills, totalling £1,718.00, on condition that Praxis supports Anne with money management. Praxis then liaised with Jobcentre Plus to reduce the benefit repayment rate and signed the client up for a Money Management workshop.


 

 

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