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Universal Credit continues to hit the headlines, highlighting the many issues being faced by working families throughout the UK applying for support under this scheme.
With a change in circumstances incurring a minimum of five weeks wait for benefits to be processed and many recipients coping with reduced payment totals, thousands of families are facing hardship, falling into rent arrears and finding the need to use food banks.
But, occupational charities across the country may have money available to help people in these very circumstances.
NewstrAid is an occupational charity for people who work or have worked in the retailing, wholesaling, distribution and circulation of newspapers and magazines.
Sinead Flood, Welfare manager for NewstrAid said: “We are seeing a few cases come in where people are facing hardship as a result of the new Universal credit system but we know there must be hundreds of people out there in the same position who would be eligible for our help.
Newstraid offers help to people who work or have worked within the news trade but there are many similar occupational charities out there who help people from other industries in exactly the same position.”
She added: “Not only do we offer one off crisis grants, we can also consider awarding long term help to those whose situation is unlikely to improve and will be dependent on state benefits for the foreseeable future, including carers and people with long term disability.
As well as financial assistance, our range of welfare services include a state benefit advisory service, Anxiety Support, and a personal home visiting service.”
She concluded: “I don’t think many people realise occupational charities like NewstrAid exist and if they do they are worried that seeking help will affect their entitlement to state benefits.
However this is absolutely not the case as grants from charities like ours are totally disregarded for means tested benefit assessments.
It’s just a pity that frontline workers such as benefits advisors don’t know to refer people to us.”
Most trades and professions have their own occupational benevolent funds – it is simply a case of looking at your personal work history and finding the relevant fund. Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial hardship to gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services. Their website can help direct you to a relevant fund, visit www.turn2us.org.uk for further information.
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