Tag Archives: advice

Citizens Advice Ipswich expects 31st of January to be year’s busiest day for debt advice

The last day of January is expected to be the busiest day of the year for people seeking help with their debts, according to Citizens Advice Ipswich.

Analysis of national data from the past 12 months reveals that on 31 January 2017 Citizens Advice helped 2,800 people, 30 per cent above the daily average.

This means one person sought help from Citizens Advice every 10 seconds.

30 January was the most popular day for seeking advice online, with twice as many page views as average for the rest of the year.

Locally, Citizens Advice Ipswich is expecting around 100 people to seek advice on debt throughout the first month of the year.

Citizens Advice Ipswich provided assistance to people seeking help for a wide variety of debt concerns, including gas and electricity bills, rent and council tax arrears, and credit card debt and loans.

To help people kick off 2018 on a stronger financial footing, Citizens Advice Ipswich is sharing its six top tips to help people get their finances in order for the New Year.

Nicky Willshere, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Ipswich, said:

“There is a surge in demand for our debt advice towards the second half of January.”

“Christmas in particular can take a heavy toll on people already struggling to make their money last and leave them with a debt burden in the New Year. But this needn’t become a crisis – problems can be taken care of if you seek advice early.”

“The New Year is a good time to get on top of your debts, cut your costs or budget better. Citizens Advice can help you review your situation so you can make decisions that improve your financial security.”

Citizens Advice Ipswich’s six top tips to sort out your debts:

1. Work out how much you owe – Make a list of who you owe money to and add up how much you need to pay each month. If you don’t have your most recent statements, contact your creditor to find out what you owe.

2. Prioritise your debts – Your rent or mortgage, energy and council tax are called priority debts as there can be serious consequences if you don’t pay them. These should always be paid first. Separate these and work out how much you owe.

3. Work out how much you can pay – Create a budget by adding up your essential living costs, such as food and housing, and taking away these from your income. Any money you have spare can be put towards your debts. Citizens Advice budgeting tool can help.

4. Paying urgent debts – You may have several priority debts and can’t pay them all. Contact all your creditors to find out if you can negotiate on how much you pay, or when you pay them. Always pay first priority creditors who are taking action against you.

5. Paying non-urgent debts – If you have any money left after paying priority debts, consider getting a free debt-management plan. You’ll make one monthly payment to the plan provider, who will handle paying your creditors. Or contact your creditors and offer them what you can afford to pay.

6. If you can’t pay your debts – If you’ve got little or no money spare to pay your priority debts seek advice from us straight away.

For more information and help, look at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/help-with-debt/

Help is at hand from Ipswich Citizens Advice as Universal Credit roll out continues

Ipswich Citizens Advice is encouraging people to turn to them for help if they have questions about Universal Credit and how it affects them, as new government figures reveal 50 people across Ipswich are now on the benefit and with all single, non-home owning people claiming an out of work benefit being moved on to this benefit, the numbers will grow exponentially.

Since its introduction in Ipswich in November 2015, Ipswich Citizens Advice has helped people with 17 issues relating to Universal Credit. This represents almost a third of claimants.

Most enquiries to Ipswich Citizens Advice are about who is eligible for the benefit and requests for help with the application process. ‘We are keen to help people through this new benefits roadmap and particularly to help them understand the major changes that claiming this benefit will mean for them in terms of payment periods and the necessary budgeting and money management that will be needed to avoid debts building up or threatening tenancies,’ says Nelleke van Helfteren, Deputy Manager at Ipswich Citizens Advice.

Data released by the Department for Work and Pensions on 17 February shows that nearly 200,000 people are now on Universal Credit.

Universal Credit rolls six working-age benefits into one single monthly payment, supporting people who are on a low income or out of work. It is being introduced in stages across the country, in the first instance to single people who are making new  claims. It will eventually be rolled out to couples, families and people who are sick or disabled.

As new Universal Credit figures are released, Ipswich Citizens Advice is sharing its five key things you need to know about Universal Credit:

  1. Universal Credit is a new benefit for people in and out of work, which will eventually merge six benefits into one: Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Income Support, Working Tax Credits, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit. Currently you can still apply for ESA separately from Universal Credit.
  2. Universal Credit does not include Council Tax Support – you will still need to apply for this locally.
  3. You apply for Universal Credit via a single application; you’re usually expected to do this online, but you can apply over the phone or in person if you need to.
  4. Universal Credit payments are made on a monthly basis, rather than weekly or fortnightly like previous benefit.
  5. You can ask for an advance payment of Universal Credit to help you get by while you’re waiting for your first payment. This is called a ‘short term advance’.

Nicky Willshere, Manager at Ipswich Citizens Advice said:

“Many people will need help getting to grips with Universal Credit. Since it was introduced in Ipswich there has been a gradual increase in the number of people turning to us for help with their Universal Credit claim. We are very pleased that we now have an income maximisation worker who is assisting our clients with money management and budgeting to support them through this changing landscape.

“Simplifying welfare and making every hour of work pay are good principles. We know that without the right help and support people across Ipswich may struggle with Universal Credit and how to manage their money on the new benefit. The Jobcentre has an important role to play in making it clear that help is available and that it effectively signposts to where people can get the support they need.”

Benefits is one of the most common type of enquiry people turn to Citizens Advice for help with and Ipswich Citizens Advice helped people with 2796 benefit queries in the last year.

In the last 12 months local Citizens Advice across England and Wales have helped people with over 150 Universal Credit issues every week.

For more information contact us on 0300 330 1151 or see our website citizensadvice.org.uk

Vacancy ~ Generalist Advice Session Supervisor

Citizens Advice Ipswich is a dynamic and busy town centre advice agency serving a diverse urban and rural community. We are seeking to appoint to the following post:

Contract: Permanent

Salary: £17,332.61 pro rata

Hours: 22.5 per week (3 days a week (Monday, Tuesday plus 1 other)
(Job share considered)

Closing Date: 20th November 2015

Interview Date: Friday 27th November 2015

Citizens Advice Ipswich is looking for a dynamic individual with recent experience of Advice Session Supervision. The post holder will need to be trained to Citizens Advice generalist adviser level and will assist in the running of our Generalist Advice Office, including case checking and the supervision of our volunteer assessors and advisers. The post will require the effective and efficient management of the generalist advice service to clients in accordance with the Citizens Advice Membership and Standards Agreement. They will provide technical, practical and motivational support to the advice and reception team and therefore need to be committed to the CAB values and aims, well organised, confident and enjoy working in a busy team environment.

The post holder will also be expected to cover out-reach sessions delivered in various locations across the Ipswich District.

For application forms please contact: Jan Parcell – Senior Administrator (Tel: 01473 298634 or via the contact page on this site)

For informal discussion please contact: Nelleke van Helfteren, Deputy Manager (Tel: 01473 219772)

Address: 19 Tower Street, Ipswich, IP1 3BE

Press Release ~ Citizens Advice Ipswich goes (South) West to extend its advice help in Ipswich

Citizens Advice Ipswich is pleased to announce a weekly advice outreach service for the South West of Ipswich – on Hawthorn Drive.

As well as our base at Tower Street and our telephone service on 0300 330 1151 we will now be available out in the community each week. You can drop in any Thursday morning from 9:30am till 12.30pm at Hawthorn Drive Surgery where our advisers will be waiting to help.

‘Recent research into how doctors use their time with patients, showed that 19% of consulting time was spent on non-health issues. Locating our service in a doctors’ surgery is one way of supporting our health colleagues improve the health and well-being of the people of Ipswich,’ said Nicky Willshere, Manager of Citizens Advice Ipswich. ‘We are really pleased to have been invited by Hawthorn Drive Surgery to work with them to give the advice and help that people need locally. Some people call us the 4th emergency service – and we look forward to proving our worth to the people of Chantry, Pinewood and Stoke Park.’

We are a registered charity and provide free, confidential and impartial advice on issues affecting people’s lives.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what your situation is, Citizens Advice Ipswich can help you work out your problems:

  • Benefits
  • Housing
  • Work
  • Relationships
  • Consumer
  • Debt and Money
  • Pension issues
  • Law and Rights

When: Thursday 9.30am – 12.30pm

Where: Hawthorn Drive Surgery, Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, IP2 0QQ
Next to the Lloyds Pharmacy