A 40 year old gentleman, known to Threshold over many years, was released from prison and made his way to the charity’s offices looking for Outreach to help with calls to the DWP with regards to his claim.
He had spent 3 weeks in prison and during this time his claim had been closed down. This meant he had to make a new claim for Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance.
This gentleman is alcohol dependant and has a substance misuse issue. This has, in the past, had a negative impact on his long term resettlement in that he was unable to sustain supported accommodation due to ‘dry house’ hostel rules.
It was not possible to make this claim over the phone and so we had to wait for forms to be sent out via the post. This gentleman has difficulties with literacy so Outreach helped him fill out the forms when they arrived. Within a few weeks his benefit was up and running.
This particular gentleman is a prolific offender and would resort to crime to get instant cash. The delay in making a claim for benefits posed the risk that this gentleman would go down the path that offers the least resistance.
Had the gentleman spent a longer period of time in prison, the prison service would help him set up a claim before he was released.