As the credit crunch is a deepening recession SSHA has been offering it's free advice to help maximise their income.
Advice and support officers at the housing association have been staffing the freephone hotline to answer all manner of benefit related enquiries including; housing benefit, fuel allowance, child tax credit, redundancy related benefits and pensions. And it is expected that demand for this service will continue to grow over the coming months as the Government continues to struggle with reining in the economic downturn.
The team have already helped dozens of customers maximise their income, including Mr Evans*; an 80-something local gentleman who had never claimed his state pension. Mr Evans was earning his income by pulling peoples’ dustbins out to the roadside on collection day, but he was living in poverty and struggling to make ends meet. With the help of the team Mr Evans now claims a pension and housing benefit that allow him to live a more comfortable retired life.
Sue Rowley, managing director of South Staffordshire Housing Association says: "In times of recession we often see an increased demand for our services and so it’s important that we carry on investing in and developing products that help our customers.
"The freephone number is available to any of our 5300 households across South Staffordshire, Cannock, Shropshire and Stafford. If people are struggling or their circumstances have changed we will do all we can to help and advise them."
For anyone who wishes to seek advice from the team call the Association on 0800 096 8690.
*Customer’s name changed for confidentiality reasons