Money/Benefits

Introduction – Money Advice

At some stage in your life you may find yourselves worrying about money.  This may be because you have lost your job, or you have had to take time off work due to illness or you may have had to give up work to care for a loved one.

No matter what the reason, if you find yourself worried about getting into debt or not having enough to money to meet your debts, such as:

  • Rent
  • Council Tax
  • Mortgage
  • Credit Card Bills
  • Phone Bills
  • Gas & Electricity
  • Loans or Hire Purchase Repayment

Whatever the debt, it is important that you do not worry or ignore these debts.  Don’t wait for the letters and phone calls from people you own money to (your creditors), to come through the letter box, contact them, explain why you are having problems.

Many creditors are usually happy to help, as it not only ensure the creditor that they will be paid, but will also assist you in the future should you need proof to show that you made attempts with your creditors should legal action be taken against you by a creditor who you have spoken to and made an arrangement with.

If you do decide to ignore your debts bear in mind you run the risk of:

  • losing your home if you do not pay rent or mortgage arrears.
  • your gas/electricity could be cut off
  • your bank account or wages can be arrested, or sheriff officers can seize some of your possessions if you don’t pay council tax arrears
  • You could run the risk of your creditors applying to the court to make you bankrupt.

There are several agencies and organisations who will provide you with practical help and advice, help you manage your finances, contact your creditors and or act on your behalf, such as:

Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB).  Provide free, confidential, independent and impartial advice.  To find your local CAB, you can either look under ‘C’ in your local telephone book or click the following link www.cas.org.uk

National Debtline. The National Debtline can give free information to people with debt problems.  To contact them you can either telephone 0808 808 4000 or click the following link www.nationaldebtline.co.uk/scotland.aspUTH

Introduction – Benefits Advice

It is not possible within this introductory section to list all the different types of benefits that you may be entitled to, such as:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Family Tax Credit
  • Council Tax Rebate
  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Carers Allowance
  • Winter Fuel Payment
  • Attendance Allowance

It is advisable that you seek advice and the assistance of a welfare rights adviser, citizens advice or carers centre who will be able to undertake a benefit health check to make sure you are receiving your entitlement.  In addition, as many of the application forms for benefits are lengthy and complex it is worth seeking assistance to make sure that you have provided sufficient information to allow full consideration of your application.

Seeking benefits advice and completing lengthy applications can be a daunting experience for anyone, which is why we recommend and suggest the above or if you are able, you can visit the following web sites to help you decide who to contact in the first instance.

http://www.welfarerights.net/index.asp

http://www.carerscentre.com/home.php

http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/scotland.htm

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/directgov.shtml

www.cas.org.uk