Welfare Rights helps people to access their full entitlement to Government benefits. We call this income maximisation.
Our Money Matters team provides free and confidential advice, to Health & Social Care Partnership service users and vulnerable people, on entitlement to welfare benefits.
We also provide Appeal Representation to North Ayrshire residents, where possible.
Who can Welfare Rights help?
Health & Social service users and vulnerable people experiencing difficulties with their Benefits, or Tax Credits, but particularly:
- cancer patients
- people out of work
- individuals with long term health conditions
- people facing redundancy
- kinship carers
- single people and families in work but on low incomes
- parents of disabled children
What kind of help?
Our team can:
- make claims for backdated benefits
- start new claims for benefits
- carry out benefit checks
- help with completing complex forms
- provide appeal representation, where possible
- provide Welfare Rights training and information sessions to Health & Social Care Partnership staff, Third Sector and Partner Organisations and community groups.
- give advice on benefit sanctions
Accessing the service
We take referrals from:
- social workers
- health staff
- voluntary agencies.
Welfare Rights staff will arrange a telephone interview. You may be referred to a partner agency, or offered an appointment at a local office. Home visits may be available if you are unable to visit a local office. Contact us for advice, or to make a referral.
Appealing a benefit decision
Available to all North Ayrshire residents. If you disagree with a benefit decision you must ask for a Mandatory Revision within 1 month of the date of the decision. If the decision is not changed you can appeal - within a month of the review decision. When you appeal you must enclose a copy of the Mandatory Revision Decision. Appeals should be in writing, on form SSCS1. Contact Money Matters for advice on appealing a benefit decision.
We can provide representation at your tribunal or refer you to another advice agency if appropriate. We can't guarantee to represent as the Court Service no longer has a local venue for hearings. Very occasionally an appeal cannot be supported because it is contrary to the law and all the facts and evidence eg. your own medical evidence.
Many people have been affected by decisions to 'sanction' their payment of Employment Support Allowance or Job Seekers Allowance. These decisions can be challenged by asking for a Mandatory Review or appealing. For more information, download our Benefit Sanctions leaflet (PDF, 119kb).
Ayrshire Macmillan Benefit Service
Money Matters works in partnership with Macmillan. Referrals can be made by MacMillan nurses. Our team deals with individuals affected by cancer. If your diagnosis is terminal you are entitled to have your application for Personal Independence Payments/Disability Living Allowance, Universal Credit and Employment Support Allowance, fast tracked.
Money Matters can help cancer patients:
- apply for social security benefits and tax credits – to maximise your income
- appeal against benefit decisions
- with fuel costs
- access charitable grants
- with costs such as travel to hospital
- apply for transport concessions such as the Blue Badge
- refer you to address any debt issues you have.