SARH helps residents find additional income
A money management expert has helped identify more than £850,000 of additional income for people across Stafford in the past two years.
Liz Pilley, a money management advisor for Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH), works with customers giving advice on grants, housing benefits, utility tariffs and a range of benefits such as pension credits, working tax credit and carer’s allowances.
She said: “One customer I have worked with had a pension which owed them £19,000 but they didn’t know how to access it – with a bit of basic help and advice they are now claiming the money they were entitled to.”
Ms Pilley also carries out affordability checks for customers who find it difficult to pay their rent or other charges to SARH. She also provides support and guidance to help customers prioritise their debts to prevent arrears occurring or escalating.
She explained: “I try to encourage customers to budget their money so they can save at least a little bit each week even if it’s just £2. Over a year that is worth more than £100, which could help pay a bill or ease the pressure for unexpected events,” said Liz.
Ms Pilley is now due to start training to be able to manage customers’ debts, helping to reduce how much they owe or bring down their regular payments.
SARH chief executive Karen Armitage added: “Liz has played an absolutely vital role in helping our customers to maximise their income and fully utilise the benefits they are entitled to since she joined SARH in 2009.
“Our main aim is to ensure customers have a settled and sustained tenancy that is free from any financial hardship and the phenomenal amount of additional money Liz has been able to identify for some of our customers has made a real difference to their lives.”