Closed for bank holiday – reopening on 21st July

We are now closed for the Glasgow Fair bank holiday and we will resume our services at 9am on Tuesday 21st July 2020. Our office will remain closed to the public as before, however our staff will continue to deliver services remotely.

Update on disability benefits face to face assessments

The DWP announced on 6th July 2020:

• Face-to-face assessments to remain suspended, but kept under review

• Some review and reassessment activity to gradually resume from July 2020 for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

• People are encouraged not to delay making claims as all benefits remain open and telephone and paper based assessments are in place where appropriate.

This temporary suspension, initially brought in for three months to protect people from unnecessary risk of coronavirus at the outset of the pandemic, will remain in place following a consideration of the latest public health guidance. date

Government’s Furlough Scheme extended until end of October 2020 but June 10th deadline for new furlough arrangements

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will now remain open until the end of October 2020 and furloughed workers across the UK can continue to receive 80% of their current salary, up to £2,500 per month. However, June 10th is the deadline for any new furlough arrangements to begin as workers must have completed three weeks on the scheme by June 30th. From 1 July 2020, businesses will be given the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back part time.  Individual firms will decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work on their return, so that they can decide on the best approach for them – and will be responsible for paying their wages while in work.  From August 2020, the level of government grant provided through the job retention scheme will be slowly tapered to reflect that people will be returning to work. That means that for June and July the government will continue to pay 80% of people’s salaries.  In the following months, businesses will be asked to contribute a share, but crucially individuals will continue to receive that 80% of salary covering the time they are unable to work.  For more information see www.Gov.UK or the Money Saving Expert website https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2020/04/employed-help-coronavirus-furlough

Scottish Government to invest £19.2 million to support 83,000 Scottish Carers

As part of the next emergency coronavirus legislation, the Scottish Government is proposing an additional £19.2 million investment in Carer’s Allowance Supplement. This is in recognition of the additional pressure carers are under as a result of the ongoing pandemic. If approved by parliament, around 83,000 eligible Scottish carers will get an extra £230.10 through a special one-off Coronavirus Carer’s Allowance Supplement in June. As with the current supplement, they will not need to do anything to get this extra payment as it will be paid automatically to people in receipt of Carer’s Allowance. This would mean that carers receive an additional £690.30 this year on top of their Carer’s Allowance and any other income.

Funding success for Shettleston Community Growing Project (SCGP)

Shettleston’s award winning Growing Project has been awarded over £118K by the National Lottery Community Fund, to allow it continue its work for another three years.  The award will allow it to continue to: help local people grow food for their families, get children involved through the Smelly Welly Club after-school and holiday programme, run a volunteer programme, work with local schools  and deliver special events for the whole community.  Exciting new work the Project will be getting involved in will be helping to establish a community pantry in the local area that will give people access to low cost food, including fresh fruit and vegetables.  Shettleston Housing Association was instrumental in getting SCGP off the ground in the first place and has continued to support it as a valuable community asset.  Next year will be the SCGP’s 10th anniversary so the Lottery funding is a great boost in the run up to its big year. 

At the moment, of necessity, many of the SCGP’s activities are suspended due to the Coronavirus lockdown.  In the meantime they are continuing to keep the site in good shape and growing their crops so that things can be picked up quickly when allowed to do so. If you would like to get in touch with the Growing Project, contact Jane McBride on 763 2821.

https://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/news/press-releases/2020-04-28/7-3-million-of-national-lottery-cash-bolster-incredible-efforts-of-scottish-community-projects

Benefit Update: changes to ESA and PIP claims due to Covid 19

From 17 March 2020 until 17 June 2020 there will be no face-to-face assessments for ESA (Employment Support Allowance) or PIP (Personal Independence Payment). The assessment provider should contact claimants to explain what will happen next and the assessment will either be paper based, or carried out over the phone.

Until 24 June 2020 no reviews will be carried out for ESA or PIP.  So, if your condition deteriorates and you are in the Work Related Activity Group and think you should be in the Support Group (ESA claimants) or you think you are entitled to a higher rate (PIP claimants), it is very important that you request a review to ensure you receive the maximum arrears when the situation returns to normal.

When you claim ESA you will be entitled from the first day of sickness i.e. there are no waiting days.  You will be treated as having Limited Capability for Work (LCW) and will not have to submit fit notes or undergo a Work Capability Assessment (WCA).  

If your PIP is due to expire in the next 3 months you will continue to be paid at your current rate for a period up to another 6 months. For further information or assistance, contact our welfare benefits team on 0141 763 0511

Glasgow North East voluntary group provides support

If you are unable to get out and about as you may be shielding or vulnerable, a voluntary group called ‘Covid-19 Support Glasgow North East’ may be able to help you with things like:

  • Grocery deliveries
  • Medication collection and delivery
  • Dog walking
  • a friendly supportive chat
  • help using online tools

The team of volunteers is available 9am – 9pm, seven days a week, and can be reached as follows:

Phone: 0141 474 6617 (9am-9pm)
Email: COVID19GlasgowHelp@gmail.com
Twitter: @GlasNESupport

National helpline for those at greatest risk of Covid-19 with no other support

A helpline has opened for those at high risk of coronavirus who don’t have existing support or internet access.

If you’re 70+, pregnant, a disabled person, receive the flu jab for medical reasons, or access mental health services, you can call:

📞 0800 111 4000 (9am – 5pm)

Coronavirus – Helpline for those without support

A helpline has opened for those at high risk of #coronavirus who don’t have existing support or internet access.If you’re 70+, pregnant, a disabled person, receive the flu jab for medical reasons, or access mental health services, you can call:📞 0800 111 4000 (9am – 5pm)

Posted by The Scottish Government on Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Citizens Advice Scotland still offering advice and support

You can still access CAS services and advice online via their website, and you can also call their new helpline number for support over the phone. In particular, if you are worried about not working and paying the bills, you can access information on their website here: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/debt-and-money/if-you-cant-pay-your-bills-because-of-coronavirus/

DWP advises new claimants ‘don’t call us – we’ll call you’

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is experiencing extremely busy phone lines – please do not call them about your claim, they will call you if needed. Make your claim and any updates to your claim online via your journal, and the DWP will call you as soon as they can if they need to verify your application. The number they call from may appear as 0800, or private/withheld, but to satisfy yourself that the call is genuine, DWP staff will:

– contact the customer via their Universal Credit Journal advising that DWP will be calling soon

– provide the customer with the last three digits of their unique Universal Credit account code/number

– provide the customer with the last three digits/letters of their postcode.

Please avoid calling DWP and use your online journal instead where possible, as they are trying to free up capacity to be able to call claimants.

More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/…/don-t-call-us-we-ll-call-you