Changes to benefits
The UK Government is changing the benefits system to try to make it simpler, to reduce dependency on benefits and encourage more people to find work. This is known as welfare reform.
A number of changes have been made since the government started to introduce the reforms in from April 2013. However more recently the further changes have been introduced in the following areas.
- Housing Benefit Changes – under occupancy restrictions also known as the "bedroom tax"
- Council Tax Reduction Scheme
- Scottish Welfare Fund, Crisis and community care grants
There will be other changes through new Scottish flexibilities to Universal Credit and other benefit streams details of which are about to be announced.
These changes are not only happening in Argyll and Bute – they are affecting the whole country. There is help and advice available and Argyll and Bute Council can assist you in a number of ways. Find out more about the changes and where you can get help on the following web pages.
These benefit changes have been set by the UK Government's Department for Work and Pensions, and some of the dates are still subject to change.Latest news suggests that Universal Credit may not affect people in Argyll and Bute until 2016. We'll let you know when these changes are confirmed.
To find out how the changes will affect you:
- Department of Work and Pensions (for general information)
- HMRC (for Working Tax Credit) - 0345 300 3900
- Citizens Advice Scotland – 01546 605550
- Child Poverty Action Group
To find out about getting back into work
- Jobcentre Plus - 0800 1690 190
- Employability Team
- Argyll and Bute Council’s community learning teams
- The Big Plus (campaign to promote adult literacy and numeracy) 0800 917 8000
For help with childcare issues:
- Child Benefit Office - 0300 200 3100
- Scottish Family Information Service
- One Parent Families Scotland - 0808 801 0323 (Freephone)
- Homestart Majik 01369 702418
- Homestart Lorn 01631 566749
- Argyll and Bute Council Social Work 01546 605517
For help with housing issues:
- Housing services (out of hours) - 0800 587 7285
- Housing services – Lochgilphead 01546 604763
- Housing services – Oban 01631 567926
- Housing services – Campbeltown 01586 559054
- Housing services – Dunoon 01369 708680
- Housing services – Helensburgh 01436 658806
- Housing services – Rothesay 01700 501332
- Housing and Council Tax benefits – 01546 605512
- Shelter Scotland 0808 800 4444
- Argyll and Bute Women’s Aid 0870 241 3548
- Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline 0800 027 1234
For help with budgeting or debt: