‘Natalie’ is a working mum whose working hours change frequently. Find out more about her story below.
Note – Natalie’s real name has been changed to protect her anonymity.
Trigger for support
Natalie’s hours were reduced at the beginning of lockdown. She missed several water bill payments before her water supplier got in touch.
She was put onto a match payment scheme, which helped her reduce her arrears.
About five months into the support, Natalie’s hours then increased, but her income was not enough for her to feel she could afford bills without her water support.
She then received a six-month review check-in from her water supplier. She was asked whether her circumstances had changed. She was honest with them and they told her she was no longer eligible for support.
New support scheme
Natalie explained that she didn’t realise the support would be reviewed after six months, and that she would no longer be able to afford payments if she didn’t have this support.
Her water company were understanding and appreciated her honesty in declaring increased hours. She was put onto a reduced payment plan for 3 months.
“They said we could just add this money back onto your bill of the extra month of support you’re getting, but because you have been honest, we won’t do that”
No support currently, but she is struggling
Her support has now ended, but since then her hours have decreased. She is uncertain whether to go through the process of applying for support again as her hours could increase.
Natalie said the reduced payment plan was helpful, but the water company has now checked in since to see if her circumstances have changed.
She is feeling quite anxious about re-contacting them.