With 2018 now underway, our Welfare Benefits Team has taken stock and looked back at 2017 to see what an incredibly busy but successful year it was for them.

In just twelve months they achieved a massive financial gain of £1,575,079 for tenants.

A third of this was Housing Benefit and another third was for Disability Benefits. The remaining half a million pounds was a mixture of Employment and Support Allowance, Job Seeker’s Allowance, Universal Credit, Income Support and tax credits.

One of their biggest financial successes was getting a deferred State Pension worth over £70,000 in place for a recently widowed tenant.

Another was managing to track down a forgotten workplace pension which paid out over £10,000 in back payments and the tenant will now be getting a substantial amount each month.

As well as helping tenants to claim and understand the benefits they are entitled to, the team also helped tenants apply for Blue Badges, assisted with completing housing transfer forms, collated medical evidence and they have even delivered food parcels.

The team also represent our tenants by preparing full submissions and attending tribunal hearings regarding welfare benefit decisions made by the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP). They had an amazing success rate in 2017, winning 10 out of the 15 tribunals attended.

Prior to their hearing, one tenant commented: “It is not about winning this tribunal, it is about getting my voice heard.”

Thankfully they did get heard and went on to be awarded the highest rate possible for Personal Independence Payments along with the knowledge that their disabilities had finally been acknowledged.

Debbie Monaghan, Welfare Team Leader, said: “We have achieved some outstanding figures in 2017, but I would like to stress that this isn’t the only outcome that makes a successful visit.

“We pride ourselves on taking the time to visit our tenants in the safety and security of their own home and give them reassurance, guidance and a friendly face for them to connect with.”

With the introduction of Universal Credit in our region, 2018 will undoubtedly be another busy year for the team.

If you are a tenant of South Northants Homes and feel that you could benefit from some of the services our Welfare Benefits Team provides, please get in touch. Call us on 0300 123 5544.