Claim Service for Universal Credit
Iain's blog from 19 April 2019.
I wonder if you happened to read the recent story in the press concerning a tragic event befalling an unfortunate would-be poacher in Kruger National Park? It seems that the chap decided to poach a rhinoceros, there apparently being a thriving illicit market for powdered rhino horn. Unluckily for him, and luckily for the rhinoceros, a passing elephant intervened and promptly stomped all over him. A pride of lions then decided to consume said poacher and, displaying a regrettable lack of table manners, proceeded to do so, leaving only one or two presumably unpalatable bits behind, along with a pair of trousers. The Director of the park later said, with commendable understatement, that the man’s actions in entering the park on foot illegally were “unwise”.
Speaking of foolish actions, I have mentioned on several occasions that the introduction of Universal Credit, to which many readers will be entitled, was also most unwise, with one of the major problems being the near-impossibility of claiming unless you were computer-literate. Five or six weeks without food also presented issues. The consequences have been pretty disastrous and, as always, Caithness CAB have been attempting to sort out countless problems for hundreds of people – many of whom are in employment, but on low wages - and who have been left virtually penniless and in debt as a result. We have always assisted claimants, but at long last we now have the resources to really address the problem.
Citizens Advice Scotland has launched a new service called “Help to Claim” which aims to support Scots who are making their initial application for Universal Credit and CCAB will be delivering the package in Caithness. The support will be tailored to the individual claimant and will be available face-to-face, over the phone and online through webchat and advice content. It will include assistance with the online application form and help with providing evidence such as childcare costs. It is of course free and available to everyone. So how do you access it?
You can phone: 0800 023 2581 (Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm) to arrange an appointment; you can use Webchat: www.cas.org.uk/helptoclaim (Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm) or, as always, simply contact CCAB in Wick on (01955) 605989 or Thurso on (01847) 894243, or call in and see us.
Derek Mitchell, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Scotland, said:
“The CAB network in Scotland is all about delivering solutions for people who need them. Since the roll out began, one of the most common issues has concerned people having problems with the Universal Credit system.
Our advisers have seen first-hand what can happen when people struggle to make a claim and their payments are delayed. We are already providing support to people on Universal Credit, but this new service allows us to target that support specifically to those who need help at the application stage”
And more good news – we have recently recruited two excellent and highly qualified new staff members – Rosalind Sweeney and Elaine McGee – along with many dedicated and skilled new volunteers, so whatever you need help with, please get in touch – from having a new addition to the family to retirement time, and for everything in, between remember that CCAB is the charity for your community. Our new website will also be up and running soon as well.
And now I am going for a wander in the hills near Golspie. As far as I know there are few major predators there?