Anne, a single mother of two young children aged four and six, had worked in sales full time for the same company for nearly 19 years when she was made redundant at short notice just before Christmas 2012.
Living only on her redundancy payment and some child maintenance from her ex-partner for a while, Anne made some cost-cutting changes to help her support her family. These included switching to a cheaper supermarket, cutting back on luxuries, turning the heating down and renegotiating her mobile phone and broadband deals.
However, Anne knew that her savings would only last so long. She did not know where to go for help because, as she says, “I’d never had to be on benefits before. This is my first time. I didn’t know what I could get and what I couldn’t get”.
Searching the internet, she came across the Turn2us website where she discovered that she was entitled to a range of benefits, including Income Support and Housing Benefit which she had been unaware of prior to this. Turn2us were also able to give Anne information on what would happen to her Working Tax Credits once her employment contract was terminated.
Armed with this knowledge, Anne felt able to apply for these benefits. She says that “because I knew the information… it (the process of applying) was better than I thought it would be”. Anne now receives a weekly payment of £71 for Income Support and around £16 in Council Tax Benefit as well as a monthly sum of £360 for Housing Benefit.
Although Anne says that her current income is “a big drop from my wages”, she is grateful to Turn2us for their help and advice and says she would encourage other people to look on the website.