Becky’s story


Becky was on Universal Credit and working the maximum hours possible whilst caring for her child who was suffering from high risk mental illness. Becky was under pressure from her work coach to increase her working hours, and also struggling financially. She was subject to the benefit cap and her children’s father had stopped paying child maintenance. Under acute financial and emotional stress, Becky came to Citizens Advice Watford for help.

We gave Becky a Household Support Fund voucher due to her immediate lack of funds, then, after seeking expert advice, we helped Becky to write to her Universal Credit work coach, setting out why it was unreasonable to expect her to meet the UC work-related requirements due to her acute caring responsibilities.

We identified that Becky’s child could be eligible for Personal Independence Payment and helped Becky to make a successful application. Becky then became eligible for Carer’s Allowance and as a result the Benefit Cap was lifted. The total value of the successful benefit applications for Becky’s household was over £10,000.

We continued to help Becky by giving advice on how to make energy savings to reduce her outgoings, signposting her to Ofgem’s Priority Services Register and helping her to resolve debt acquired in this crisis period.

Becky was helped to move forward out of a crisis situation, enabling her to fulfil significant caring responsibilities on a secure financial footing.

Names have been changed