Mr Ashraf* came to The Well in a desperate situation. Having very little English, we were able to organise a Punjabi translator. He had recently taken on guardianship of his two nephews but found himself in financial hardship having not heard anything back from the Universal Credit claim he had made five months previously due to his low income. This was, in turn, slowing down the process of being able to apply for any benefits relating to the children in his care.
After repeated attempts to contact Universal Credit and being told it was being investigated, one of our Advisors decided to involve a local MP. After explaining the whole story to the local MP on Mr Ashraf’s behalf, the MP was compelled to write to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on his behalf to help speed up the investigation.
Mr Ashraf soon returned to The Well with a letter that he wanted explained to him and we were delighted to tell him that he was going to be backdated owed benefit from five months and compensated £200 as the issue was found to be an error on DWP’s behalf. The total came to almost £6000, which was an immense relief to Mr Ashraf who had been borrowing from friends and relying on foodbank vouchers to sustain his new family.
We were then able to proceed with applying for Scottish Child Payment and a Best Start Grant for the young children in his care.
Each time Mr Ashraf comes to The Well we notice his English language skills are improving and he comes across as more happy and confident now that this weight has been lifted from him.
*Name and some details have been changed for privacy