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Mary's Story

Mary found she was entitled to Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction.

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39 year old Mary was renting her home in London earning £14 an hour working as a temp. Unfortunately as her contract came to an end she was told that it would not be renewed, and she found herself with no income.

Keeping up with her outgoings became difficult, although she managed to arrange for her bank loan repayments to be delayed, paying the rest of her bills was a struggle. Mary’s situation worsened when her landlord decided to sell the property, and she was served an eviction notice. Realising that with no income she was in danger of becoming homeless, she decided to seek out some support.

Using a Google search, Mary typed in ‘Job Seekers Allowance’ and came across the Turn2us website. Finding the Benefits Calculator easy to use, it indicated that she was entitled to Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction. Using the Benefit Calculator gave Mary the confidence to apply, she says, “It didn’t feel like I would be entitled, so it gave me the confidence to actually go ahead and apply once I’d done the calculator, and the website came back quite clearly to say yes, you can claim.”

Once her applications were accepted, Mary began to receive around £73.10 a week in JSA, £720 a month Housing Benefit and a Council Tax Reduction. Although modest, this income “made a big difference”, she could pay her rent and keep up with her bills. She was also able her to search for a new job, she says, “It just helped me to be able to pay my rent, and I had a bit of money for job searches and things like that. It wasn’t much but you know it meant that I could kind of afford to live still.”

Since contacting Turn2us, Mary  has found a new job and is renting a new home, although she would like to buy her own home in the near future. She would highly recommend Turn2us, particularly their website, saying, “The whole process of applying for benefits, there’s very limited advice out there, and you do feel kind of quite daunted by the prospect of having to fill in all the forms and give all the information that you need to give, so it helps to kind of have that leg to stand on, fill in the form and discover that you are entitled to claim the benefits and you don’t feel quite so unsure when applying. This particular website it is useful, the information is accurate, it’s up to date and it does help.”

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