Amina’s Story – A Better Life

Age Better in Sheffield is a partnership of individuals and organisations who work together across Sheffield to tackle loneliness and isolation for people aged 50 and over. Read on to find out about one of our clients journeys. 

Amina* is single and lives in her own house with her son, and is working two jobs to support her family and pay her mortgage, earning £200 per month. Working two jobs has caused problems with her tax-code and Universal Credit benefit, so with the support of SOAR’s Community Development Worker (CDW), Amina met with Citizen’s Advice (SCALC) to see if she was over-paying her tax and/or entitled to a higher benefit rate.

Our SCALC Advice Worker was able to inform Amina about how her employment affects her tax and benefits, and she now has a much better understanding of these systems and the information that she needs to disclose to employers and statutory services. SCALC were able to help with changing her tax code and reiterated the importance of attending her future appointments with Job Centre+ to prove her earnings in support of her Universal Credit allowance.

Once the above issues had been rectified, Amina attended our benefits drop-in session to seek further help with her Universal Credit claim as she was having difficulty using the online system. Sofeena, our CDW, was able to help her with the online application and SCALC helped her to claim for this to be backdated.

Amina wasn’t able to receive any additional benefits income due to increase her hours at work, but she gained more confidence and knowledge for any future dealings with SCALC/DWP. Amina really appreciated the help and support given, in particular having Sofeena attend SCALC appointments with her as a friendly face and to provide a translation.  This made her feel at ease and more organised as she was not aware of procedures and systems involved with this kind of claim.

“Having someone accessible and approach with the language skills help resolve my matter efficiently” – Amina

Amina recommended our service to a family member who then attended our benefits drop in the following week. Amina is now attending the social group and has been speaking with our financial support workers there to look at further ways of reducing her bills.

*Client’s name has been changed for confidentiality