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‘Good Samaritan’ from Worthing loses benefits for helping out friend
A good Samaritan said his benefits have been taken away because he allowed a “vulnerable woman” to stay with him.
Frank Rivano, 51, from Worthing, allowed Sandra Chambers to stay with him at his flat in Wordsworth Road after she found herself without anywhere to stay.
Prior to Mrs Chambers arrival, Mr Rivano was in receipt of £71 per week Income Support and received rent contributions from the council worth £400 a month.
But when Mrs Chambersmoved into the property in April, he also successfully applied for Carer’s Allowance – but the rest of his handouts were taken away.
Now he is paid just £59.75 per week and said he can’t survive without the rest of his previous claims.
Mr Rivano said: “It feels like I have been penalised for doing a good thing. I want them to reinstate my benefits and include the carer’s allowance as well. I just wanted to give her shelter, I couldn’t see her on the streets.
“The DWP said we should reapply as a married couple which would allow us to get all the benefits we think we’re entitled to.
“But the situation isn’t going down well with my girlfriend who lives in the next-door flat.
“The DWP are going to put me on the street if I can’t find a resolution. It’s ridiculous.”
Mr Rivano said Mrs Chambers, 42, also had her Disability Living Allowance stopped when he contacted the DWP to apply for Carer’s Allowance.
He said: “She was getting DLA which has also stopped. She can’t cook for herself or walk the streets alone without danger and also has acute pancreatitis.
“Her husband abandoned her and left her in a difficult situation.
She is very vulnerable. There was no option other than for me to help her.”
A spokeswoman from the Department for Work and Pensions said Mr Rivano could appeal the decision.
She said: “We assess a claimant’s entitlement to benefit by taking into account their individual circumstances.
“People who are unhappy about the decision made can provide additional information to enable the decision to be reviewed.
“Claimants also have the right of appeal.”
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