Citizen’s Advice Wakefield District and WDH’s Cash Wise team offer their help with informal benefit reviews
Residents can get an informal free benefits review to ensure they do not miss out on income at events organised by Wakefield Council and partner organisations.
Furlough and the temporary £20 Universal Credit (UC) uplift have ended – but people may be entitled to other benefits.
The council and partner agencies are running an informal benefits roadshow that will visit all parts of the district from next month.
Anyone with queries about their entitlement to benefits is welcome to drop in for an informal chat with the experts who can help while enjoying a warm drink and a sandwich.
And residents can take the opportunity to work with specialists on managing energy costs.
The roadshow will call at the following venues:
Monday, November 8: Westfield Centre, South Elmsall (9am to 3pm).
Tuesday, November 9: Eastmoor Community Project (8.30am to 1.30pm).
Wednesday, November 10: Castleford Heritage Centre (1.30pm to 6.30pm).
Thursday,, November 11: Kinsley and Fitzwilliam Learning & Community Centre (8.30am to 1.30pm).
Friday, November 12: St. Mary’s Centre, Pontefract (1.30pm to 6.30pm).
Monday, November 15: St. George’s, Lupset (1.30pm to 6.30pm).
Tuesday, November 16: The Addy, Knottingley (1.30pm to 6.30pm).
Wednesday, November 17: Airedale Library (8.30am to 1.30pm).
Thursday, November 18: St. James’s, Chapelthorpe (1.30pm to 6.30pm).
Friday, November 19: Havercroft and Ryhill Community Learning Centre (8.30am to 1.30pm).
Monday, November 22: The Chesney Centre, Featherstone (8:30am to 1.30pm).
Anyone who is not currently receiving benefits or has been turned down previously can also receive a free benefits review.
Council staff will be on hand alongside those from Citizen’s Advice Wakefield District and WDH’s Cash Wise team.
They will offer free and impartial benefit advice and can also help with a variety of money, jobs, housing and health issues.
Coun Maureen Cummings, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Poverty and Health, said: “We know many of our residents have had a hard time both financially and in other ways throughout the pandemic.
“People also may now have concerns such as the energy price cap and the end of furlough.
“But we and our partner agencies are here to help and have expert knowledge of benefits and other services that might be available.
“It could be that someone qualifies for a benefit they were unaware even existed or are perhaps not receiving the full amount they should be getting.
“I urge people to come and have a chat over a cuppa and a sandwich with experts who can advise on support relating to benefits and see if there are any other benefits you may be entitled to.
“We want everyone in receipt of benefits, especially those who might be struggling, to come forward for help.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re disabled, a carer, claim a pension or are unemployed – there’s no harm in getting some free, independent help and support.”
Simon Topham, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Wakefield District, said: “In our experience, many people do not get the benefits they are entitled to.
“Either they don’t know they might be entitled or they have not been successful in applying in the past.
“We will review everyone’s own circumstances and if we think residents could get more benefit income we will help them to apply.
“It’s also a good opportunity to have an overall impartial financial health check. Maybe we can help with other things too – like how to manage or reduce debts.”
Pete Beaumont, Financial Inclusion Manager at WDH, said: “Our aim is to help our communities after such a challenging time for so many individuals and families.
“The safety net of the furlough scheme and UC uplift coming to an end, as well as so many other factors, such as increased energy bills, is creating a perfect storm for added pressure on households that need extra help.
“Working in collaboration with Wakefield Council and Citizens Advice, our Cash Wise team is here to support any Wakefield residents that want to have a chat about applying for benefits, energy bills, saving money, employment and many other things during the roadshow.”
To receive a free benefits review, contact Cash Wise on 01977 724651 or visit the website www.getcashwise.co.uk.Citizens Advice Wakefield District can be contacted free on 0800 144 8848 or see www.wakefielddistrictcab.co.uk.Residents can also visit the team in person at one of the Help at the Hub sites – find the closest one at https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/more-money-in-my-pocket/help-at-the-hub.