Debt and Benefits Support Covid-19 Response Service Launches in Leeds
Specialist emergency HM Government funding from The Office for Civil Society, part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and in partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund has been approved for Burmantofts Community Projects Charity; The Money Buddies Covid-19 Response Project for six months from October to 31 March 2021.
The aim of the funding is to support the work of Money Buddies and Benefit Buddies at a time when more people are in debt and claiming benefits as a result of COVID-19. The service is free to access and use. Clients can access Money Buddies- Benefit Buddies as often as they need. Jobs are being lost at a high rate and this is likely to accelerate through Autumn, leaving 670,000 households in the UK in poverty according to recent research.
As a result of this funding the Money Buddies -Benefit Buddies team will be supporting clients in a number of ways – including;
Emergency Debt advice and Financial Well-being support and guidance
By providing; legal emergency debt advice, where clients are faced with eviction, home repossession, Bailiff and enforcement action, energy disconnection and court action for non- payment of debts. Advisers will help clients; fill in forms, complete household budgets, complete financial statements for creditors, write letters to creditors, safely report loan sharks and as part of income maximisation support do a benefit entitlement check.
Benefits Support and Guidance
The advisers will support clients with completing ALL Benefit applications, including Universal Credit, Personal Independent Payment forms and Employment Support Allowance applications, managing cases to payment of benefits, liaising with the DWP, attending meetings with work coaches and providing support by attending assessments, appeals and tribunals.
All clients will be offered an Energy advice appointment with our new sister service Money Buddies Energy PLUS, who will go deeper with clients to find out how their homes can be made more energy efficient, save money on Energy and have free energy saving items fitted where possible.
How to Access Money Buddies- Benefit Buddies
Clients can call NOW for an appointment, have telephone, video meetings and home visits as well as receive support by e-mail and via webchat.
Will the Service Continue Past March 2021?
We hope so, which will be dependent on funding.
For more information please contact Lynda Bailey on 0113 2350276