Many people have heard of Citizens Advice Bassetlaw, but aren’t fully aware of how many ways they can help.
They are hearing from people contacting them about the huge impact Covid is having on their lives – employment and redundancy issues, impacting on their finances, family relationships and mental health. They have increased the number of advisors answering their phones to help meet the increased demand.
Here is an example of how they recently helped a local family.
For the purpose of this article all real names have been changed to protect identity.
Jessica was referred to the Macmillan benefits team after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. Jessica lives with her two young children and her husband and understandably was overwhelmed and upset with her diagnosis. Added to this, she was really worried about what would happen if she passed away and how the family would cope financially.
The team supported Jessica and identified ways they could help. They established she could claim a benefit called Personal Independence Payment and a blue badge straight away. A team member visited Jessica to complete the applications with her, in the comfort of her own home. They also provided information for the worst-case scenario to reassure her that her husband would be able to claim (Universal Credit and Bereavement Support Payment) should she lose her battle with cancer.
Jessica wasn’t aware of what benefits she may be entitled to or how to claim them, with Citizens Advice Bassetlaw’s help they were promptly awarded. The team also put the family’s mind at rest as they now know what financial support they could receive if their circumstances change.
This is just one example of the ways in which they help many people, they’re here for everyone.
Their friendly team of trained staff and volunteers provide free, confidential, impartial and independent local advice and support on a range of issues including:
- Welfare Benefits: They can check entitlement for many benefits which includes Universal Credit, health related benefits, such as Personal Independence Payment and Employment and Support Allowance, plus help with benefit appeals.
- Employment: Such as queries around the furlough scheme, redundancy, problems at work. And much more. They also have specialist in-house teams that can provide additional support:
- Money Advice Team: Christmas is just around the corner, do you have concerns about paying bills and keeping your head above water? The sooner you tackle it the better. They don’t judge. Contact 01909 498890.
- Energy bills: Problems with your energy supplier or prepayment meter? Worried about whether to ‘heat or eat’? Contact the Energy Advice Team on 01909 498892.
- Macmillan Benefits Team: Have you or your family / friend recently had a cancer diagnosis? For advice and support contact 01909 498889.
- Consumer issues: Problems with your telephone or internet supplier, or the victim of a scam? Contact 0808 223 1133.
If you would like to learn new skills through volunteering and would like to join their friendly team check their website for details as to how to apply. They are currently recruiting telephone advisers, receptionists / admin and digital media support.
Local advice line: 01909 498894 – if this line is busy, please leave your name and telephone contact number on the answerphone.
National advice line: 03444 111 444.
Online advice: www.citizensadvice.org.uk.
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