Case Study - CJ

CJ has lived on his own in the community since the age of 17. CJ has suffered with poor mental health since his teenage years which was caused by systematic abuse from his family.

He had brief spell in psychiatric hospital in 2011. Because of no family network client relied on the contact from the few friends he has to support him with his independent living. CJ rarely left his tenancy due to anxiety issues and contact from friends would take place in his home. CJ had significant difficulties in advocating for himself. He failed to address correspondence, phone calls and visits to his tenancy by officials that related to his benefits and tenancy which resulted in no benefit income for several months and eviction proceedings against him by local authority being issued prior to Caer Las tenancy support scheme assistance. CJ had no support service in place to help manage his mental health symptoms and not taking any prescribed medication.

CJ was supported to address pending eviction proceedings due to cancelled housing and council tax benefit claim resulting in increased rental arrears and CJ being at risk of homelessness. Staff assisted CJ to go through volume of mail that had accumulated to get an understanding of what has happened over he past few months before CJ engaged with tenancy support.

It was then discussed with CJ the priority support goals that needed to be actioned. Staff assisted CJ to start new claim for housing benefit and council tax. Supporting letters were added to inform housing office of the vulnerability and health issues CJ has been facing and requests for back dated benefits were submitted. Staff liaised with all relevant parties involved in CJs pending eviction including rent officer, rent manager, housing officer. A letter of support was submitted to the court informing the judge that the CJ is now in receipt of weekly tenancy support to assist CJ in improving his ability to live independently.

CJ's housing benefit and council tax benefit was reinstated and backdated amounts issued to his rent account. Eviction proceedings were withdrawn on the understanding that CJ engages with support and addresses his mental health.

As CJ was living on his own in 2 bed tenancy he was affected by welfare reform in relation to over occupancy and expected to make £12 a week bedroom tax payments. This resulted in CJ rent account still in arrears and tenancy still at risk. CJ was then assisted to apply for Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) to help cover rent shortfall. A letter of support was completed and added to DHP application. This was successful and CJ awarded £10 a week DHP payments and bedroom tax charges back dated. CJs was able to manage £2 a week rent payments. CJ was supported to make Warm Home Discount application to SSE utility company to assist with credit to his electricity metre due to low income. This was successful and CJ awarded £145 credit for his electricity metre. CJs building block was undergoing renovation and building staff needed access to his tenancy to be able to fit new bathroom, kitchen, windows and radiators. This posed a significant strain on CJ’s mental health and was not able to confidently liaise with building staff to allow them access to his flat. This caused delay in work being carried out and tenancy being at risk again. Staff worked with CJ in improving his ability to advocate for himself and communicate to building manager to making agreed arrangements for workmen to complete the work needed. Where this proved too much for CJ staff advocated on his behalf to ensure work was completed. CJ has now had all work completed. 

CJ is now managing daily medication regime and engaging with CMHT services. CJ is waiting for further assessment to see if he is eligible to be care managed via CMHT. CJ has attended and won PIP appeal which has had a very positive impact on his monthly income. CJ is now able to better manage his tenancy and is making plans to improve its condition with new flooring, furniture, painting and decorating. CJ would like to access voluntary work in the future when his anxiety disorder is better managed.

Sean Bolton