Benefit & Advice Services should have remained as post pandemic

All agencies to remain available throughout pandemic and not reduce opening hours or create delays due to staff reductions as part of furlough scheme. These services allow workers to work from home.

Why the contribution is important

This would provide more confidence knowing you can make enquiries and receive relevant advice without having to rely on general on-line advice which seldom provides all the answers needed relating to your personal circumstances. Nobody facing unemployment during this time should have to wait prolonged periods of time before receiving outcomes and/or financial support when no other financial income is received. Rent payments To housing associations and local councils should have been frozen for at least 1st month until other benefits were awarded and/or received. It would have lessened stress of having to apply for rebates/reductions etc as well as Knowing correct benefit & then having to apply for unemployment benefit, as well as allowances for council tax and even arranging appts with lenders regarding mortgages due to no relief/benefit being available until after 39weeks. The difficulties exist when discussing mortgage repayment etc as there is no date or certainty when employment will commence again nor when finances are expected to improve/increase. Unemployment should NOT have been an option to employers they should have had to demonstrate a justified & fair selection process before being awarded financial support as part of the furlough scheme. Otherwise people should have been granted a fast track scheme so they didn’t have periods of no income during this time. With so many staff on furlough there should have been no shortages to operate voluntary services, food banks or community support etc. There was enough support to prevent staff shortages in shops still operating and services such as collections of refuse and garden waste could have continued in the community. With helplines /advice continuing to full capacity would also assist with updates/changes in circumstances required to be reported to prevent any benefit over payments made etc . Less funding to furlough scheme and more to new benefit claims or awards of tax rebates made to those unemployed would have been fairer to everyone concerned. Other living costs such as electricity should also have been subsidised due to the profits these companies are already in receipt of. Instead of receiving grants/funding when these have not been awarded to customers directly. Any reductions and/or amendments made regarding charges/costs would be added to accounts and create debts that was then due payable at a later date.

by Keira69 on May 10, 2020 at 10:30PM

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