Supporting Juan to understand Universal Credit, obtain part-time work, and gain independent living skills.
Juan was referred to floating support after moving into a private tenancy and leaving a supported housing scheme. Prior to this he had lived with his grandparent who had unfortunately passed away and he wasn’t able to inherit the tenancy.
Juan had left the supported housing scheme with high arrears and no income, and very few independent living skills. He had moved into a new area with no support network.
Juan was keen to work and, in the past, had worked for an agency, although this would be for a week and then no work for several months, which meant his Job Seekers Allowance would stop and not start again.
How did we support Juan?
Our first step was to support Juan to apply for the relevant benefits to pay for food and bills and have the majority of his rent paid through Universal Credit. We then devised a budgeting plan so that Juan would manage being paid monthly rather than fortnightly and help him understand which are priority and non-priority bills.
We then looked into employment and how this might affect Universal Credit. We supported Juan to know how to communicate within the benefit system if there was a question or a problem. Juan learned how to request his housing costs be paid directly to the landlord to prevent housing costs from being spent on other bills and accruing arrears in his new accommodation.
What strengths did Juan show?
Juan showed a lot of resilience and maturity – despite all the challenges he has faced prior to our support and with trying to understand the benefits system, he has persevered and taken responsibility for this. He has engaged with support well and communicated effectively to get the knowledge he needs.
He now understands how to navigate the benefits system successfully and can manage any changes without his income suddenly stopping. He has recently begun new part-time employment and has understood the impact this will have on his Universal Credit claim and housing costs and make an informed decision on how many hours he will work. He has also successfully applied for a small grant through Universal Credit to fund his first two weeks of travel to his place of employment. In addition, he has been able to work out the quickest and most cost-effective route to take. Juan has also approached his landlord with a plan to repay arrears and prevent any plans to evict him based on arrears.
Overall, our support meant that Juan has acquired independent living skills.