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Welfare Rights & Money Advice

We are keen to help our community with money matters, see below the services we offer.

Contact us on 0141 422 1112 to make an appointment.


Welfare Rights

Our Welfare Rights Team are on hand provide support to tenants who require advice on benefits. We provide confidential, free and impartial advice on:

  • Benefit Checks/Income Maximisation
  • Sanctions
  • Appeals and Representation
  • Welfare Reform

Advice for All benefits including:

We are approved Food Bank voucher distributers for the Trussell Trust.

Our Money Advice Service offers free confidential, impartial and independent debt advice to owner occupiers, private landlord tenants and housing association tenants.

We can:

  • Review your finances
  • Prioritise your debts
  • Complete a financial statement (including details of your income & expenditure)
  • Give you advice on what options are suitable for you and provide you with necessary information to help you make a decision.
  • Contact your creditors and negotiate with them on your behalf and help you every step of the way.

Our Money Advice Team provides a professional, comprehensive service, and have links with many other support services in the area. Our Money Adviser is Debt Arrangement Scheme (DAS) approved and FCA registered.

Fraudsters, often pretending to be government officials offering a government grant, use their victim’s identity to make a bogus claim for Universal Credit and an online request for an Advance Payment. The fraudsters then keep or demand a substantial amount of the Advance for themselves.

The victim often only becomes aware of what has really happened when their legacy benefits stop and they find they are now a Universal Credit claimant with a large Advance to repay which they did not receive.

An estimated 42,000 people may have fallen victim to the scam – and an estimated 1 in 10 Advance Payments are bogus.

So What Should Victim’s Do?

Victims who had no idea that they were being scammed need to:

1.   Report the incident to the Police via the Action Fraud number 0300 123 2040.

2.   Explain the circumstances of the fraud and whether they received any of the Advance Payment themselves or were forced to transfer money to the fraudster. (They should only be asked to pay back what they actually received of the Advance Payment – although it could be difficult to prove they received less if they paid cash to the fraudster.)

3.   Get advice about whether they are now worse off on UC. They may be able to request a return to the legacy benefit system.

4.   Even if they are not worse off financially on UC, we believe that if someone was scammed and was not aware that a claim for UC was being made in their name, then they could still request that the DWP allow them back onto the legacy benefit system.  Their argument would be that under Section 1 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 there is no entitlement to a benefit without a claim.   Where the ‘claim’ for UC was made without the knowledge or authority of the claimant we believe you can argue that it cannot be a valid claim. This means that there was no legal foundation for stopping the ‘claimant’s’ legacy benefits, and they should therefore be restored.

Contact us on 0141 422 1112 for more information


 

If you had to claim UC between September 2018 and 16th January 2019 because of a change in your circumstances, and were considerably worse off as a result, it may be because you were receiving a Severe Disability Premium (SDP) (currently £65.85 per week) on your legacy benefits, which does not exist under UC.

Since 16th January 2019 the ‘Severe Disability Premium (SDP) Gateway Condition’ has prevented those with a Severe Disability Premium in their Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Income Support (IS), Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) or Housing Benefit from having to claim Universal Credit (UC). This means that they can retain their higher level of income on the legacy benefits system (there is no SDP in UC).

But many claimants lost their SDP by moving onto UC before this ‘Gateway Condition’ was introduced and are worse off on UC than when they were on legacy benefits.

The government had proposed compensation for these claimants, but failed to introduce this at the time when the SDP Gateway was introduced in January 2019.

New UC Regulations have now been laid which, amongst other things, allow for ‘Transitional SDP Payments’.

For those entitled, there will be both a lump sum back payment to compensate them for the loss since making their claim for UC, plus an extra amount included in their UC award for each subsequent month they continue to meet the qualifying rules. There are set monthly amounts of either £120, £285 or £405, depending on the circumstances.

Who will be entitled?

Transitional SDP payments will be for those who:

  • Have already moved onto UC through ‘natural migration’, and
  • Lost out financially due to the loss of the Severe Disability Premium in an award of Income-Related ESA, Income-Based JSA or Income Support which ended within one month of the UC claim starting (note this list does NOT include Housing Benefit), and
  • Have had a continuous entitlement to UC and are on UC when the DWP review their claim – ie it cannot be paid for UC awards which have terminated before this date because the claimant ceased to meet conditions of entitlement, and
  • Have not become or ceased to be a couple since moving onto UC, and
  • Have had a continuous award of and are still entitled to the disability benefit which would have made them eligible for the SDP (ie. the daily living component of PIP, middle or high care component of DLA, Armed Forces Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance or Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance), and
  • Their carer has not started to receive Carer’s Allowance or a Carer Element in their own UC for looking after them.

Important! – The Regulations state that unless the claimant meets certain criteria on the date their case ‘comes to the attention of’ the DWP they will receive no compensation – not even for the period during which they did meet those criteria!

Appointments are available with Welfare Rights and Money Advice at any of our 3 offices and other community outlets.  home visits and interpreters are available on request.

If you would like further information or assistance to apply for this compensation, please contact us today.

96% of reactive repairs carried out in the last year completed right first time

Based on Annual Return on the Charter (ARC) 2017/18