Street scene

Benefits withdrawals and Food Banks

Advisers often have to refer clients to food banks because their benefits have stopped due to administrative problems

As part of Advice NI’s research a benefits adviser explained that the cost of phone calls to social security benefit offices were a significant issue for clients and that advisers often have to refer clients to food banks because their benefits have stopped due to administrative problems:

‘’When someone loses an appeal for ESA the notification is not immediately processed, so they cannot sign onto JSA or ESA as the claim is still live. It normally stops 4 to 5 weeks after and sometimes they are not notified. They then make their fresh claim which can take 2 weeks plus to process, so during that time they might have no income at all. I have encountered people who have had their ESA appeal go ahead without notification. They get taken off ESA and their money stops without warning. They then have to sign on to JSA or ESA as a fresh claim which again can take time to process.’’