As well as providing information and advice on a wide range of issues to anyone who lives or works in the Birmingham area, Citizens Advice Birmingham also provides targeted support to specific client groups, some of which are very vulnerable, including:
* people with mental health problems who are referred to us by community psychiatric nurses
* cancer patients
* prisoners within HMP Winson Green
* deaf people whose first language is British Sign Language.
Citzens Advice Birmingham's work resulted in income gains for our clinets of £7,887,732 in 2016/17. Debts of £1,711,401 were written off and a further £4,116,889 of debt repayments was rescheduled during the year. Overall, our debt team helped people with debts totalling £11,345,612.
Our work with families facing court proceedings for repossession resulted in 85% remaining in their homes.
Can we help you too?
Here are some real-life examples of how we have helped people in a variety of situations:
A client with bone marrow cancer was struggling to cope with their daily needs due to fatigue and physical pain and had been using their savings to pay for rent, council tax and the parking costs for frequent trips to hospital. We helped the client to make successful applications for Attendance Allowance, a Macmillan grant and a Blue Badge Parking Permit. The client said "it had taken a lot of the stress out of things" and the client felt less burdened and no longer worried so much about putting the heating on; client was eating better which was helping with their fatigue. With the Blue Badge Parking Permit, the client was able to see more of their friends as the client could park outside the meeting venues.
One client with one dependent child had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, limited movement in one hand, reduced mobility, and tinnitus, as a result of a horrific physical assault. However a medical assessment found client was fit for work and their entitlement for benefits stopped. We assisted the client to challenge the decision and submitted supporting medical evidence from the client's physiologist and GP. The decision was revised and benefits restored. Client thanked the adviser stating that "without CAB help, I would not have been able to cope as the whole process was very traumatic, confusing and difficult to understand".
One client said "the adviser has been empathetic and has allowed me to understand that my situation is not a complete loss, may be resolved (with joint participation) and has advised me not only about debt solutions but also the ways in which people with my diagnosis (ADHD) whom often struggle in silence, can learn how to better manager their finances, money management without stigma. The adviser has given me the strength to deal with my debt issues and I cannot say thanks enough for the support I have received".