Week Starting 23/05/22
Test and Trace and Consent Forms
Our consent form has been updated as Test and Trace is no longer required. Every client seen face-2-face MUST complete the form and it then needs to be uploaded to Casebook. The new form can be found in:
General Drive – Documents – Registration Forms – Client Consent Form May 2022
#Research and Campaign Issue- Council Tax Rebate Scheme
We want to understand more about the queries and issues clients are bringing to us about the Council Tax Rebate Scheme, especially issues accessing the rebate. This is the £150 payment administered by local authorities that the government has set up to help with rising energy costs. We are looking at cases between 27 Apr 2022 – 31 Jul 2022.
Please can Citizens Advice advisers complete the evidence form and include:
- what issue or query relating to the Council Tax Rebate Scheme the client was seeking advice on
- any relevant information about the client’s circumstances – for example, how they pay their council tax, or what council tax band their property is in
- the impact of the issue on the client.
If you come across a client asking about the rebate please ask the above questions and complete an evidence form
Good News Stories
In the last 2 weeks 3 households have prevented evictions due to our interventions and advice.
One client being helped by us and an adviser at Mendip successfully appealed LCWRA decision and will soon be receiving £8500 in backdated award
One client helped by Luke had a 0 point PIP award changed to Enhanced rate care and mobility and will be receiving £5500 in backdated award
Week Starting 16/05/22
Child Maintenance Arrangements
Get help arranging child maintenance is a new online service which supports separated parents to understand their options around making financial arrangements for their children. It has replaced Child Maintenance Options. The service is available 24/7 and explains customers’ options and includes information about family-based arrangements as well as the Child Maintenance Service (CMS).
Clients who are unable to use the online service can speak to a CMS case worker on 0800 171 2345, 8.00 -16.00 Monday to Friday.
As of last week SSDC Revenues (who we interact with mainly for Council Tax reasons) where running 4-6 months behind, with their workload increasing. It would appear the processing of the Council Tax Rebate has had a direct impact on their other responsibilities. We have mainly seen this in processing of CT Discount applications. There is now no timescale that we can quote to clients when making these applications so please be careful. Clients should be encouraged to pay what they can in the meantime.
Expansion of Restart Scheme
On 9/5 a change was made to the eligibility criteria for Restart. This change will mean that to be eligible for a referral, claimants will no longer have to have spent nine months in the Work Search conditionality group (or regime as they are called). Time spent in other regimes will count towards the nine-month period on UC to make the claimant eligible. This change will allow claimants to be selected for consideration for a referral to the Restart Scheme who have spent at least 9 months on UC, or have spent the last 6 months in any (or a combination) of the Light Touch Out of Work, No Work-Related Requirements, Work Focused Interview or Work Preparation. Participation in the Restart Scheme will continue to be mandatory for all claimants that are referred. Expect to see clients referred with or without agreement!
Cost of Living Updates
– Phone and Broadband Social Tariffs – More companies have launched phone and broadband social tariffs for people on certain benefits. You can find the full list of deals now available on the Ofcom website.
– Council Tax Rebates – SSDC are processing the £150 energy rebates as quickly as they can
– HSF – There are no updates on this
Don’t forget to use the ‘Cost of Living’ and ‘Council Tax Rebate’ tags in Casebook.
Search ‘Cost of Living’ in VA Pro
– Yeovil Resettlement Hub – A weekly hub hosted by at the Gateway by Y4F 10am-12pm every Wednesday. Ukrainian citizens and hosts are welcome. It is primarily to support people with Employment, Benefits. Luke is going down there each Wednesday currently 😊
Don’t forget to use the ‘Ukraine’ tag in Casebook.
Search ‘Ukraine’ in VA Pro