New financial benefits helpline
A new helpline ‘Benefits and Covid-19’ has been launched for people living in Wolverhampton who are worried about their Social Security benefit rights and entitlements following the Covid-19 outbreak.
What benefits can you claim?
The helpline offers free and confidential advice and information across a whole range of Social Security Benefits including advice on what benefits you may apply for including Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit.
Impact on existing benefits
You can use the helpline to find out what (if any) impact the current situation may have on your existing benefits. You may be worried because you get Personal Independence Payment, Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit and have forms to complete or a medical to attend. The helpline which is run by the Council’s Welfare Rights Service can be accessed at:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org Call 07966 292321
Monday to Friday 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm.
We are hoping to respond to queries within 24hrs. For more information on Social Security benefits visit our Benefits, Universal Credit & Welfare Reform web pages.
Further useful information
Citizens Advice deliver the Help to Claim Service. Support is now available by phone and webchat only. For more information, see Citizens advice.
The current advice is that is if someone needs face to face help to apply for Universal Credit then they should still visit their Job Centre and get support from Job Centre staff. See attached links from the Money and Pensions Service that may be of help:
- Money advice service.org.uk - Coronavirus and your money
- Money advice service - Coronavirus what it means for you
The Citizens Advice national helpline is still operating. The number to ring is: 03444 111 444. Also, people can still access general information e.g. debt and consumer helpline by visiting citizensadvice.org.uk.
If someone is in crisis, they may contact Citizens Advice by texting their name, together with a brief message to the same number. Someone will then look to get back to them.
If someone has debt issues (e.g. bailiff visits, magistrates court fines, rent or mortgage arrears or council tax arrears) then the number to ring is: 07850 209 529. Alternatively, they can email: email@example.com.
If someone is in need of absolute crisis advice because they:
- have no food or fuel
- are suffering domestic abuse
- have been given a court date in the next 28 days
- are due to be evicted within the next 28 days
- have been directly contacted by bailiffs
- have been unfairly dismissed
- have had their benefits stopped and as a result they have no source of income
From Monday, March 23, 2020, the Worcester Street branch will be open to the public from 10am to 11am only and, to keep safe, they will be allowing in only one or two members at a time.
They are aiming to help their most vulnerable members only - those who do not have a bank account and no other way of accessing cash. They kindly ask all other members to please stay away - and stay safe.
Changes to the Wolverhampton City Credit Union service will be updated via email, Twitter, Facebook and the website. If anyone has a query, they are asked to email the Credit Union at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message via Facebook Messenger. Easily the best way to bank is online and if people are at home, they can learn how to do this with helpful tutorials.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic life is changing for all of us for a while. When lots of things change at once it’s easy for us to feel overwhelmed.
The City of Wolverhampton Council has worked with key city partners to launch a new campaign offering clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time.
For more information, please visit Stay Safe, Be Kind.