What Our Clients Say
Every year thousands of people come to us for help solving their problems. 77% say they couldn’t have solved them without us, while 82% say advice made a difference to their lives.
Incredibly helpful people, genuinely care about your situation.
A fantastic service totally free very professional and discreet, can’t thank the staff enough!
They have been really helpful so far for us, have even told us we can come back if we need any further help with paperwork. Only waited about 30 minutes for a drop-in appointment. Highly recommended.
Friendly and excellent knowledge.
I would like to say a huge thank you for your time, patience and understanding. The service provided by the Citizens Advice Bureau is an invaluable community asset, which without us using we would have had a very different outcome. Your submission statement was a vital part in the appeal hearing going our way.
Really friendly, knowledgeable and efficient. Couldn't fault the service at all.
Thank you so much for all your help, you were a light at the end of a very dark tunnel, and the world is a nicer place for you being in it.
I got sorted with PIP finally 10 months later, with your help. I would not have got it otherwise. You gave me the get up and fight. Thanks to everyone for all the help I received.
Thank you for the time you spent and advice you gave which resulted in a very good outcome.
I would like to thank everyone who I met at the Citizens Advice Bureau for their help in submitting the mandatory reconsideration for PIP. The situation had really made me feel ill with stress and I cried every day for weeks. I am in remission from Breast Cancer and really didn’t need extra stress. I met a lovely sympathetic lady who put me at my ease and said I should appeal and arranged for me to go through the mandatory reconsideration. I have now been awarded the enhanced PIP for both care and mobility. I am just so grateful for the help I received at Citizens Advice and certainly wouldn’t consider going anywhere else in the future.
These people do so much to help people like myself. I don't know what I would do without them as I am blind. Thank you.
Lovely staff. Always able to help. Nothing is too much for them. Will highly recommend.
Thank you for your support with the British Gas Energy Trust and for helping me get the full amount owed. I hope you can help people in a similar position to me to reduce some of their stress and financial burden as you did with me. I am so pleased and grateful that organisations like the C.A.B. exist and are there to help people in fuel poverty. Many thanks for all you've done.
The staff are caring, courteous and knowledgeable and give support and confidence to their clients.
I cannot praise the service highly enough. The help we have received regarding a debt relief order has been invaluable. We could not have done this alone.
You are listened to and understood. You are not made to feel stupid or incompetent. It's very comforting to know there are people there to help and not to be felt alone. Thank you.
Brilliant service by very compassionate and empathetic people which is half the battle. Thank you all for being supportive.
I am very grateful for the service. I find all the staff are very gentle, kind and knowledgeable. They are very patient, not rushed at all. All queries are dealt with effectively in a reassuring way.
I consider this to be an amazing service and I'm very fortunate to have one so close to me. I have recently been made redundant so to be able to obtain free advice from knowledgeable people is brilliant. All the staff I met on my visit were so welcoming, sincere and eager to help. A very big thank you to all concerned.
- 90% of our clients (surveyed in 2019) found their overall experience good or very good
- 91% felt they could now find a way forward to at least a moderate extent
- 89% said we were easy to access
- 92% would be likely or very likely to recommend our services.
- 83% report their problem has been completely, mostly or partly solved
Lydia was 59 and lived alone in Council housing, and suffered from learning difficulties and uncontrolled Diabetes along with other health conditions. Because of her state of long-term disability, she was receiving Disability Living Allowance (DLA) at the highest rate, which also meant she received an additional amount on her other benefits to cover the costs of living alone with her conditions.
Lydia was transferred onto the new disability benefit, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in May 2016 but was scored 0 points at assessment and refused the benefit altogether. This meant she lost not only her disability benefits but also her additional premiums, leaving her with very little income to cover the costs of her health and support needs.
We helped Lydia with her appeal, including using our specialist caseworker to draft a formal submission to the Tribunal, which successfully overturned the decision in June 2017 and awarded the highest rate of PIP, allowing her to once again receive the financial support she needed. She was also awarded backdated payments of £10,316 to cover the 13-month period when she was without her disability benefits.
Aisha was a single parent of 3 young children who had built up £897 rent arrears due to the benefit cap, and was facing repossession action by the local authority, putting her at her children at risk of homelessness. Because she was on an introductory tenancy her position was especially precarious, as she only had one opportunity to appeal the decision.
We sought a review of the Council’s decision and successfully stopped the repossession action by agreeing a repayment arrangement which Aisha would be able to afford, preventing her and her family from becoming homeless. We also identified that she was making high weekly payments for a furniture pack, and helped her apply for a charitable grant from the Greggs foundation for a refurbished cooker worth £150, reducing the weekly payments she needed to make.
Joan attended the North Shields CAB office requiring assistance with her rent arrears of £551.00. She is a single parent with four children under 14 years of age. Her Housing Benefit has been affected by the benefits cap and capped at £25.29 p/w.
Reduced benefit income has contributed towards her inability to meet her rent and she has rent arrears.
Citizens Advice arranged with North Tyneside Council for the minimum amount to be deducted from her Income Support towards the arrears each week. However, Joan was still struggling to meet the shortfall of £93.00 per week.
After making further enquiries with North Tyneside Council we identified the Joan was paying for a furniture package (cooker only) which was increasing her overall gross rent by £33.00 each week.
We discussed charitable grants with the client and identified she would be eligible for assistance through the Greggs fund. We assisted the client with completion of the charity application for a refurbished cooker.
Joan’s application was successful, and she was no longer was required to pay £33.00 per week to the local authority for a cooker. Not only did returning the furniture package reduce her overall gross rent but this also reduced the client’s shortfall to £64.00 per week.
Joan was relieved when she received a response that her application for a refurbished cooker had been accepted. The Greggs fund sent the client a voucher to contact East Durham Trust who organised for a refurbished cooker to be delivered to her home.
We completed a budget for the Joan, which taking into account the saving of £33.00 a week, meant her shortfall was manageable.
Sam & Ben’s* Story
Ben is 70, married and lives with his wife and 33-year-old Grandson Sam, in his own home. He has third party consent to act on his Grandson’s behalf as his Sam has agora-phobia and does not leave the house. Sam is in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) with the support group component.
Ben attended Citizens Advice North Tyneside about Sam’s Personal Independence Payment (PIP) appeal. He was in receipt of the high rate care and low rate mobility components of Disability Living Allowance (DLA). However, he then had his PIP reviewed. Ben completed the PIP2 form on his behalf and Sam’s award was decided on the information in the forms and a call to Sam’s Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN). Sam was awarded the standard rate of PIP for Daily Living, but no award for Mobility, and his DLA would stop. Ben went through the appeals process and was given an appointment with CAB to write a submission on Sam’s behalf, as the DWP did not change the decision at the reconsideration stage.
A submission was drafted and submitted that he should be awarded the enhanced rate of PIP for Daily Living and the standard rate for Mobility. The appeal was heard using the papers as Sam could not leave the house to attend. The DWP called to advise that they had revised their decision in Sam’s favour, based on the information provided, and the appeal would lapse. Ben’s Grandson was awarded the enhanced rate of PIP for Daily Living and the standard rate for Mobility until 2019, when he will be reviewed again.
This resulted in a back payment of £1,176 and £5,725 per year in extra benefit.
* Names have been changed to protect the client’s confidentiality.