Advice Work – the highs and lows

Yesterday in The Well two different members of the team were working with two different people in two different offices.

One was helping a person deal with debt and the other helping a person with pension credit.

One made a phone call and after some discussion was able to get the person’s debt reduced by over £1000!

The other made a phone call and was told unless the person provides his passport (he doesn’t have one), his Indefinite Leave to Remain evidence (he’s lost it) and proof of when he came to the UK (long ago!) they cannot proceed with his application.  This from the DWP who for several years have been paying the person Job Seekers Allowance based on the residence evidence he was able to show them when he applied, but for some reason that’s not good enough for Pension Credit.

Just to add to the frustration both his English and his IT skills are very limited, and how do the Home Office intend to contact him re his documents?  Via the email address that he cannot get into!  When we tried to give to them the updated email, we asked “can I give you the call reference number?”  “No, give me his address . . .”  The advisor spent a ridiculous amount of time finally getting to the point of giving the new email address.  The Home Office ended the call by saying “In future when you phone, please just give the call reference number, that will make it easier and quicker to access the case.”

Two different cases, two very different outcomes, two very different emotions. One finished feeling exhilarated, the other frustrated.  All in a day’s work and all part of trying to help people by doing the best they can, sometimes with great success, other times meeting obstacles that seem insurmountable.

Today’s a new day!  Different advisors, different cases, different emotions – no doubt today we will see success for some people, and for others we’ll have to refer, or ask them to come back or just wait a bit longer for their issue to be resolved.

Do you like helping people?  Do you like solving problems? (Or maybe not!) We have vacancies for two volunteers who are in agreement with the ethos and values of The Well and look forward to hearing from you it could be you!



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