Advice, Benefits and Money
Dealing with Debt
Citizens Advice Causeway
Citizens Advice is a regional organisation which provides a range of advice and support services including designated advisors for older people.
24 Lodge Road, Coleraine
Tel: 028 7034 4817
For more information go to www.citizensadvice.co.uk
Radius Housing Floating Support Service
Available to private home owners as well as housing executive tenants, the scheme can assist those people aged 55 and over to remain in their own home for longer by providing a low level housing support service. The service can be provided for a period up to six months and is easily accessible by applying directly to Fold. An exit plan will be developed with the service user regarding longer support needs when they are exiting the scheme. Support can include: Befriending. Advising on food preparation. Reminding and non-specialist counselling where this does not conflict with similar services provided as personal care. Assistance with the maintenance of the safety of the dwelling. Assistance with arranging minor repairs to and servicing of domestic equipment and appliances. Assistance in how to engage with individuals, professionals and other bodies with an interest in the welfare of the service user. Assistance in dealing with claims to social security benefits and other official correspondence relevant to sustaining occupancy of the dwelling. Encouraging socialising, day trips, weekly luncheon clubs, coffee mornings and a range of other group activities. There is also a free ‘Housing Solutions’ service provided which can enable those who do not meet the criteria to avail of the service and can offer exsisting clients support to appointments or assistance with shopping for £15 per week.
Tel: 077 3831 3985
For more information go to www.radiushousing.org
Carers Allowance is the main benefit for carers. It is intended to replace the income you might otherwise earn from a job if you were not caring.
Tel: 0800 220 674
For more information go to www.nidirect.gov.uk/
Disabled Facilities Grant
This grant is available from the local council if the service user is disabled and need to make changes to their home, for example installing ramps, or adapting heating or lighting controls. This will not affect any benefits currently received by the applicant.
To claim, contact the local council for an application form.
For more information go to www.nidirect.gov.uk/home-adapdations-and-equipment-disabled-facilities-grants
Sources of Advice
Age NI Advice and Advocacy Services
Age NI provides an advocacy services for people experiencing difficulties negotiating the health and social care system, accessing appropriate levels of community care, dealing with issues relating to residential and nursing care. The charity’s advice and advocacy services also provide direct access to advice, information and practical support on a wide range of issues including welfare benefits, community care, housing and health.
Tel: 080 8808 7575
For more information go to www.ageuk.org.uk/northern-ireland
Benefit Enquiry Line
The benefit enquiry line provides general information and advice on the full range of benefits. It will help you with assessing eligibility for benefits and completion of benefits such as attendance allowance, disability living allowance and carer’s allowance claim forms.
Tel: 0800 220 674
Helpline Tel: 0800 232 1271
For more information go to www.nidirect.gov.uk/benefit-enquiry-line
Bryson Energy Advice Line
As Northern Ireland’s Energy Agency, our goal is to support and motivate energy users to reduce their costs and greenhouse emissions. Over the years Bryson Energy has operated a range of fuel poverty and health related programmes such as grant administration, oil buying clubs, budgeting advice, handyperson, benefit checks and several retrofit programmes. Alongside fuel poverty focused activity Bryson Energy also assists Government meet its energy targets by promoting Energy Advice through both energy efficiency and renewable technologies.
Unit 1, Rivers Edge, 13-15 Ravenhill Road Belfast BT6 8DN
Tel: 0800 142 2865 or 028 9045 5008
For more information go to www.brysonenergy.org
Christians Against Poverty Debt Advice
Christians Against Poverty can help if you are feeling the weight of debt. You may think your situation is impossible, but there is hope. CAP’s friendly team will give you a listening ear in the privacy of your own home and provide a real solution to your debts. They can provide a home visit, work out a realistic budget that prioritises your essential bills and can negotiate affordable payments with each creditor. CAP can help you to set up a debt management plan, walk you through insolvency options and will support you until you are debt free. All CAP’s services are given freely for everyone regardless of age, gender, faith or background.
Causeway – 10 Hillmans Way, Ballycastle Road, Coleraine BT522ED
Tel: 028 703 26161
Freephone: 0800 3280 006
For more information go to www.capuk.org
Improving Benefit Uptake (Social Security)
Improving the uptake of benefits and other Government supports and services by people who are entitled but not claiming is a key priority for the Department for Communities.
Independence at Home
Independence at Home is a charity that exists to support independence at home for people with disability and long term illness. We do this by providing grants to people on the basis of need, regardless of age, gender and ethnicity, religious or cultural background. Applications for Independence at Home grants come from all over the UK. We rely on referrals from health and social care professionals or from workers of voluntary associations, who have direct knowledge of their service users’ circumstances gained from a professional involvement in their care.
Tel: 020 8427 792
For more information go to www.independenceathome.org.uk/
Law Centre NI
Law Centre NI offers free independent legal advice and assistance in the areas of Social Security, Employee Rights, Social Care or Immigration & Asylum eg Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
3rd Floor Middleton Building 10-12 High Street Belfast BT1 2BA
Tel: 020 9024 4401 (Advice line)
For more information go to www.lawcentreni.org
St Vincent de Paul
SVP is an international Christian voluntary membership organisation. There are a wide range of supports we can offer you, from practical help and advice, to a friendly ear all in the strictest of confidence. The Society of St Vincent de Paul currently has eight regional offices and a number of shops. Our focus is on practical approach to dealing with poverty, alleviating its effects on individuals and families through working primarily in person-to-person contact by a unique system of family visitation and seeking to achieve social justice and equality of opportunity for all citizens.
In addition to providing direct assistance to those in need, caring for the homeless, providing social housing, operating holiday homes and other social support activities, the Society promotes community self-sufficiency, enabling people to help themselves. Any assistance offered by the Society is given in a non-judgemental spirit, based on the needs of the individual or family seeking help.
North Office: 196-200 Antrim Road, Belfast BT15 2AJ,
Tel: 028 9035 1561
For more information go to www.svp.ie
Turn 2 Us – Financial Hardship
Turn2us is a national charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially. Turn2us helps people in financial need gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help – online, by phone and face to face through our partner organisations.
The Benefits Calculator takes less than 10 minutes to complete and it will tell you which means-tested benefits you may be entitled to, including tax credits.
The Grants Search can help you look for funds that might be able to give you a grant or other types of help.
We also award our own grants from the Turn2us Elizabeth Finn Fund, the Turn2us Response Fund and the Turn2us Edinburgh Trust.
200 Shepherds Bush Road, Hammersmith, W6 7NL
Tel: 080 8802 2000
Age NI is a partner organisation to help people over 50, access these grants: 0808 808 7575
For more information see: www.turn2us.org.uk