In our Spring 2019 issue of Valleys Magazine we shared advice to make sure you know the facts about Severe Disability Premium (SDP). We highlighted what it is, why it matters and how to make sure your claim isn’t affected by Universal Credit (UC).
Following the release of the magazine, we were contacted by a tenant living in the Taff Valley. He asked the right questions, followed our guidance and was awarded a life changing sum of money. Although he was happy to tell his story, we are not able to share his name and have therefore, called him Mr Smith to respect his privacy.
Here is Mr Smith’s story…
“I was flicking through the magazine and saw it said…’if you are claiming Severe Disability Premium you won’t need to move over to Universal Credit.’ I had no idea there was such a benefit,” he explained.
“The thing that caught my eye was purely the fact that Universal Credit was mentioned. As I’m moving home shortly, I knew I would have to make a claim for it but now my SDP money is protected and my other benefits won’t be affected.”
After thoroughly reading the criteria, Mr Smith believed SDP could have been something he was entitled to.
“I picked up the phone and gave Trivallis’ Money Advice team a call. After chatting through my situation, Vikki [from the team] advised me I should be able to get a back date as well start claiming for SDP which would be an additional weekly payment.”
Once Mr Smith had spoken to Trivallis, he was advised to contact the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to discuss what he had learnt.
“I spoke to a gentleman from the DWP and he agreed that I should be receiving SDP. I completed all the necessary steps over the phone and was then told I would be given a back date within six working days,” he explained.
“On the Monday morning, which was only three days after I made the call, six brown envelopes were posted through my door and my stress levels were going through the roof!
“When I opened them I couldn’t believe it, they each said I had been paid this and paid that so I thought I’d better check online. They had awarded me over £14,000 as it was money I was owed from not getting SDP and I was also told I would be getting an extra £65 a week from now on.”
This payment has made a real difference to Mr Smith’s life for the better.
“The stress isn’t there anymore and I know I can pay for my own care when I move home which is a big relief. I feel a lot happier and without the magazine and support from Vikki, I wouldn’t have been able to get the back dated payment.
“Everything about the process was really straightforward. Although it took a little while to get through to the DWP, I answered all their questions and was paid the money within a few days.
“I would have been moved on to Universal Credit but the magazine helped me to realise there were other options for me. I really think it could help a lot of people which is why I want to share my story.”
With plans to move closer to his family at the end of the year, Mr Smith is looking forward to what the future holds: “I truly feel like I can do what I want now and can’t wait to see what happens next.”