Money Advice - We Are Here to Help
Whether you are looking for some general money advice or you are facing a particular finance issue, your Income Service Officer can provide you with assistance.
Do not suffer in silence our Income team are well equipped to help our customers with information and advice on a range of different benefits and support agencies including Universal Credit, Housing Benefit, Money Advice, food parcels, help with fuel debt and many other financial queries.
You may qualify for benefits which could help you to boost your income and manage your spending and your debts better. We can assist with maximising your household income ensuring you are in receipt of all benefits which you are entitled too.
Find out more information below, or contact our Income Team on 01387 321 300.
Scottish Welfare Fund
Dumfries & Galloway Council manage Crisis Grants from the Scottish Welfare Fund to offer a safety net in the event of a disaster or emergency.
A crisis grant may help if:
- you experience a disaster (like a fire or flood)
- you have an emergency (like losing money or having to use all your money visiting a sick relative in hospital)
- you need help with costs that have arisen as a result of emergency or disaster, to keep you and your family safe from harm
The help you could receive depends on the problems you may be facing. You might get money or another form of support such as a voucher, fuel card or furniture.
A Crisis Grant could help if your benefits were stopped or suspended and you didn’t have money for electricity or food.
You can contact the Scottish Welfare Fund team online or call Dumfries & Galloway Council on 0303 333 3007 who will be able to help you with the application process. Alternatively, contact your Income Services Officer who will assist you with your claim.
Are You In Debt With Gas or Electricity?
If you’re in debt with your electricity or gas supplier thanks to cold weather and rising energy costs, Loreburn Housing Association and the British Gas Energy Trust may be able to help.
The British Gas Energy Trust, which incorporates the Scottish Gas Energy Trust, is an independent Charitable Trust that contributes to the relief of poverty, with a particular focus on fuel poverty, helping those who are struggling to pay for their energy consumption get back on their feet and remain debt free in the future.
Jo Weir, Housing Manager (East) said: “A recent case we had was a tenant who was struggling to heat his home adequately, as every time he topped up his meter, £5 was taken to help clear an arrear on his account. A referral was passed to the charity Shelter, who submitted a request for help to the British Gas Energy Trust. An award was made of £1,050, which cleared the arrears balance in full. The tenant was absolutely delighted with this outcome.”
If you are struggling with your energy costs and would like to talk to us, please contact your Income Services Officer or one of our Income team on 01387 321300.
Are You Over 65? You May Be Eligible for Attendance Allowance?
Are you over the age of 65? Do you need extra help to manage your illness or disability? If so, you could be eligible for an Attendance Allowance - and the team at Loreburn Housing Association are on hand to help you with your application.
Jo Petherick, Income Services Officer explained: “The Housing Team have recently been carrying out their annual visits to all of our tenants. During one visit, the tenants advised us that they were struggling to manage financially due to chronic ill health. They told us that they had applied for Attendance Allowance some time ago, but had been turned down.
I arranged to visit to help them complete a new application. Three weeks later, the tenants were delighted to report that they had been granted the higher rate Attendance Allowance of £82.30 per week, with a backdated payment to the date that the application form had been requested.”
Speak to your Income Services Officer if you would like further advice about claiming Attendance Allowance, or contact our Income Team on 01387 321300.
Be Aware of Loan Sharks & Payday Loans!
Money lenders who operate without authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority are termed Loan Sharks.
They generally charge high rates of interest, do not provide any paperwork stating any agreements made, and often take illegal action, such as threatening behaviour, violence or reposession of valuables if debts are not paid.
Trading Standards Scotland can offer immediate and long term support to help you move away from using Loan Sharks.
They can provide a wide range of free services including; Debt Advise, Income Maximisation, Credit Unions, Addiction Councelling, Local Support Groups , and Adult Learning.
If you need any confidential advice, or wish to report a suspected Loan Shark, contact The Scottish Illegal Money Lending Unit on 0800 074 0878.
There are many companies who provide easily available short term loans, however, the interest rates which they charge can be very high.
This can lead to further difficulty when having to pay back the money.
Do not struggle alone, we can provide help and advice!
Other Impartial Money Advice
Our Income Services Officers are more than equipped to guide and assist you with all areas of Money Advice, however there are other agencies who also provide free and impartial monetary advice.