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What about my financial situation?

What about my debts? How can I afford to look after myself and my children?

Handling your finances

To cope with money problems, we can help you:

  • Get back your personal belongings and possessions if you have to leave your home in an emergency because of domestic violence or abuse.
  • Avoid being liable for any debts that belong to the person abusing you.
  • Identify and prioritise debts, by looking at the options (for example, negotiating affordable repayments, declaring yourself bankrupt or applying for a court Debt Relief Order to manage your debts).
  • Maximise your income (for example, any benefits you could claim independently of an abusive or violent family member)
  • Identify the options for dealing with debts (for example, by negotiating affordable repayments or applying for bankruptcy)

For welfare benefits, we can:

  • Advise you on your rights to claim benefits independently of the person abusing you.
  • Help you appeal if you are refused benefits and advise and represent you at appeal hearings (for example, about Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment or overpayments of Tax Credits).
  • Help you challenge Department of Work and Pensions sanctions (for example, if you’re deemed not to have complied with job search directions).
  • Tap into support from other advice agencies with making claims and resolving benefits issues.

Read our case studies below to see how we’ve helped others like you. People’s names have been changed in these case studies.

Real-life money help

Wendy – avoiding her husband’s debts

Wendy came to see us after a creditor had taken action against her to recover a £12,000 loan taken out to help her husband repay his debts. Since the husband had since left the country, the creditor was pursuing Wendy for repayment of the loan.

Because Wendy’s husband had been unable to get a loan himself due to his credit rating, he threatened and coerced Wendy into taking out the loan. The lender failed to advise Wendy to take independent financial advice.

We successfully argued in court that since this contract was agreed to under undue influence, Wendy was not liable for the debt.

“It was such a massive weight off my shoulders to get the debt written off. My solicitor was excellent at court and put my case across so well. I can now get on with my life.”

Real-life money help

Ataa – support for appeals against benefit decisions

Ataa and her two young children previously lived in Sheffield, but moved to a refuge in Coventry in 2012 after fleeing her home due to domestic violence. Ataa had polio as a child and now has mobility difficulties.

She was also suffering frequent panic attacks – sometimes triggered just by seeing a vehicle like that used by her abusive ex-partner.

We helped Ataa claim against refusal of Employment Support Allowance and with a subsequent appeal for failing the work capability assessment. She had found it hard to get medical support and diagnosis for the depression and anxiety at the time she came to Coventry.

“I had no idea what I was entitled to and how to make ends meet until I spoke to an advisor. Without this support I don’t know how I would have coped.”

Real-life money help

Chinta – benefits appeal support and counselling

Chinta is originally from Coventry, but moved to Nottingham with her then partner. Having been subjected to domestic violence and forced to move into a refuge in Nottingham, Chinta returned to Coventry.

Because of a chronic back condition and problems with depression brought on by the abuse, she claimed Employment and Support Allowance.

We helped Chinta to get counselling, join a support group and assisted her in winning an appeal against a failed work capability assessment.

contact us

Expert, confidential legal help and advice.

024 7625 3172

Email: safeplace@covlaw.org.uk

Coventry Law Centre, Oakwood House, St Patricks Road Entrance, Coventry, CV1 2HL

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