Access to Benefits Advice

Advocacy Support to Access to Benefits and Debt Advice

We have been successful in securing funds from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and City of York Council to deliver a project supporting people to access debt and benefits advice. The project will run until December 2019.

Who: criteria for clients accessing this service are:

  1. 18+ and living in York
  2. an additional need such as mental ill-health, learning disabilities, physical and sensory impairments, communication difficulties, autism and other needs that present barriers to accessing benefits and debt advice
  3. welfare benefit or finance related issue, leading to risk of debt and or poverty

 What: We will provide advocacy to support clients to access a range of advice services around benefits and debt, to make decisions and put advice into action. We will not provide specialist benefits and debt advice, but aim to reduce or prevent poverty and debt by supporting clients to access advice. This is a small project, at any one time our capacity will allow us to work with around 5 to 8 people.

 

We will: We won’t:
Go to benefits meetings, assessments and appeals with clients Give financial or welfare benefits advice
Support clients to access advice Provide befriending, counselling or open-ended support
Support clients to make informed choices  

Complete benefits forms for clients

Help clients have their say and communicate their needs

How: an advocate and a team of volunteers specially trained in advocacy skills will work one-to-one with people throughout processes relating to applying, reapplying or appealing a benefits decisions, putting in place a debt management plan etc. Throughout our support we will promote our client’s self-advocacy skills and knowledge of their rights, further reducing their risk of being in poverty in the future.

When:  we are open for referrals for this project, which runs from December 2017 for 12 months. To refer someone for this support please contact York Advocacy Hub on 01904 414357, or email office@yorkadvocacy.org.uk