A tenant in Glasgow has been awarded a five-figure sum in backdated benefits after housing advisers looked into his case.

The GHA tenant found out he was due £14,000 when an advisor was helping with universal credit.

The man from the west of Glasgow had his claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) refused but after the advisor helped him appeal, which he won and was due £7000 in back payments over 18 months.

Glasgow Times:

His Employment Support Allowance was also increased, to include a Severe Disability Payment, and was backdated, giving him another £7,000.

READ MORE: Glasgow area has highest poverty in Scotland

The tenant is one of more than 3000 that Wheatley Group said their advisers have helped in the last seven weeks since lockdown.

There has been a massive increase in people claiming universal credit as people have lost their jobs or had hours slashed with businesses closed in the effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Wheatley, which GHA is part of, has 22 benefit advisers helping tenants who need assistance with claims.

While working from home they have dealt with 3250 cases of Universal Credit in the last seven weeks.

The team has used technology like facetime calls with customers and conference calls with DWP benefits staff to progress claims and get people the cash they are entitled to.

Translators have also been used for customers whose first language is not English.

One tenant Angela, From Knightswood in Glasgow, needed help when her husband had to move into a care home.

She said: “Without my advisor Donna, I wouldn’t have known what to do.

“She messaged me on WhatsApp, explained everything I was entitled to, helped me fill in the forms – all while she was working from home.

“You feel alone when you don’t know how to deal with things, but Donna was really there for me.

“She was brilliant. I’m totally grateful.”

Another GHA tenant, from Townhead, said: “My advisor David was extremely helpful.

“I didn’t expect to find myself in this situation, but he always gave me really good advice.

He was really fighting my corner. “It’s a great service and a real lifeline to a lot of people.”

Hundreds of customers have also been put in touch with local councils, social work teams, charities and other community groups, which can support them.

Olga Clayton, Wheatley’s Group Director of Housing and Care, said: “We’re doing all we can to support our most vulnerable customers during these very difficult times.

“Our advisors are fully equipped to work from home to support customers, particularly with Universal Credit claims.

“We’ve seen an increase in the number of customers needing our support – many of whom have never claimed benefits before.”