Wellhouse income advice officer secures £3.7m in support for residents
The vital work in advocacy and income maximisation of Wellhouse Housing Association’s (WHA) income advice officer has resulted in £3.7 million in financial support being secured for more than 500 tenants, including £341,637 for tenants during 2021 alone.
The forward-thinking housing association is urging all its tenants to utilise the expertise of Laura Reilly to make sure they are accessing the correct levels of monetary support and benefits.
Since she joined WHA in 2018, Laura has helped 529 people to secure the financial support they are entitled to as individuals or families as well as challenging benefit decisions and providing appeal representation.
Laura is keen to highlight the importance of conversations around money and income and believes with the hike in gas and electricity prices, as well as the rise of living expenses post-pandemic, more people than ever will be entitled to support which they are unaware of, or need support to apply for.
Laura said: “I know it can be difficult for people but avoiding talking about money and finances can often mean people are missing out, not only on what they are entitled to, but they are also failing to get the financial backing they require to cover their essential living costs.
“I often find that just a quick chat with tenants can help us to figure out how we can make sure they are kept warm, have the correct benefits and know what they can and can’t challenge when it comes to benefit decisions.”
For one tenant, Laura’s work resulted in successfully overturning a rejection of their Personal Independence Payment, allowing them to be reassessed and finding they were entitled to a higher rate of support than they were originally receiving, allowing for a more stable living situation for the tenant.
WHA chairwoman, Maureen Morris, said: “Laura provides a vitally important service to our tenants and we know that as Christmas approaches and the colder weather sets in, many people will be experiencing financial anxiety, not to mention fuel and food poverty.
“I would urge all our tenants to speak to Laura as she has been invaluable in improving the lives of many tenants by providing assistance and expertise and helping them access what they are entitled to.”