Tuesday, 02 March 2021

Citizen's Advice

AS the cold weather closes in, the combined effects of the pandemic and financial problems threaten to drive us into a pit of despondency.

But if lack of money is your problem, take heart because there could be a way to take control of the situation: you might be entitled to receive benefits and Citizens Advice can help you all the way.

If you are unemployed, have a low income, an illness or disability, or are caring for somebody, you could get Universal Credit. This also applies to the self-employed.

The amount you might get depends on your individual circumstances. Always do a benefits check before starting an application. Don’t forget that if you need help with paying council tax you need to apply to South Oxfordshire District Council.

Even if you are not a UK citizen you might be able to get some benefits and if you already receive benefits, you could get more due to covid-19. All the information is on the Citizens Advice website, www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Also have a look at the government website www.gov.uk, where benefits rules are signposted on the home page. There are some reliable online benefit calculators such as benefits-calculator.turn2us.org.uk

In order to apply for benefits, you will need to assemble all the relevant information such as your bank or building society accounts, payslips, savings and proof of identity.

Citizens Advice has a dedicated “Help to claim” team to get you started on claiming benefits. Call 0800 144 8444 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm).

Darius Halpern

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