Our Income Maximisation teams are here to support all our customers with general money and budgeting advice.
Noor D’Agostino is a Senior Income and Maximisation Advisor, who regularly works with customers to help them access the right benefits and support for them.
‘Many of our customers come to my team when they need some advice or support with a number of issues that can affect their ability to pay their bills, rent or service charges. Sometimes it’s not even directly about being struggling to pay for things, they just need some extra help to make sure they’re receiving the support they need.
‘Two recent cases demonstrate that often people just aren’t aware of the help that is out there. That’s where we step in.’
He’s recently been working with Catalyst customers Lisa and Estaban, after they contacted the team to discuss changes to their usual income that was causing them concern.
Lisa contacted Noor when she was told there would be some changes to the benefits her family had previously been receiving.
‘We’d been receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for my son who has special educational needs. When it was last reviewed the decision came back as zero award, meaning we’d no longer receive his DLA. As a knock-on effect to this I lost my income support carer’s allowance, tax credits and housing benefit.
‘I didn’t know what to do, but thankfully Noor helped me claim Universal Credit (UC) and appeal the DLA decision.
‘The thought of going to the tribunal was very daunting, and if I’m honest I’m not sure I would have done it without his support. I’m glad I did though as it was a complete turnaround. The tribunal awarded my son a higher rate care and lower rate mobility components of DLA and backdated the DLA we had missed for the previous 18 months. The team also helped me reclaim my carer’s allowance and additional UC.
‘It’s such a relief to know this is all sorted out. I also know if I have any concerns or queries about any of this in the future, I can speak to one of the income maximisation team and they will do all they can to help.
This case highlights how many parents have children receiving additional support at school but are often unaware their children may be entitled to DLA. Once their child is receiving DLA, the family may also be entitled to a carer’s allowance and additional tax credits. That’s why it’s important for customers to get in touch with us, so we can help.’
Estaban got in touch with the team about the pension credit changes and how these changes might affect him.
‘Both my wife and I are working. The only difference is I am of pensionable age and my wife is of working age. We were concerned about how the new benefit rules were changing for mixed aged couples because of UC and needed some advice.
‘Noor talked through our current situation and explained to us that because my wife’s child-minding job was finishing soon, they could help us increase our weekly Housing Benefit payment. This means we now receive an annual increase of £3,151.72, which is just amazing for us. We couldn’t be more grateful.’
People of pensionable age tend to under claim benefits. We always encourage people of this age group to have benefit checks to see if they may be entitled to other benefits.’
How our Income Maximisation team can help you
Our money and benefits advisors work with customers across all our locations. Find out more about how they can help you and book an appointment.