Advice NI Consultation Response: Cuts to the Discretionary Support Scheme Draft Equality Impact Assessment
Due to an inadequate budget allocation, creating a Departmental budget shortfall of £111.2m, the Department for Communities has, as part of a range of measures, scaled back funding for the Discretionary Support scheme which provides emergency grants and loans for people on a low income who are in an extreme, exceptional or crisis situation.
Advice NI notes with deep concern that the Department of Communities is faced with unprecedented funding challenges and cuts in 2023-24
Advice NI calls on the Department to ensure that the work and impact of the independent advice network is explicitly included within the DfC Equality Action Plan (in addition to the reference to the ‘Fundamental Refresh’).
This guide summarises the procedures for requesting a discretionary waiver of an overpayment from Debt Management, which is the part of the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) (in Great Britain) and the Department for Communities (DfC) (in Northern Ireland) that manages recovery of benefit overpayments (as well as other benefit debt, such as benefit advances and Social Fund or Discretionary Support loans).
This report which sets out the findings of research conducted by the Advice NI Policy & Information Team. It highlights views, concerns and ideas relating to the ‘Move to Universal Credit’ which will see the managed migration of around 250,000 ‘legacy’ benefit claims in NI to Universal Credit.
Due to the expiry of transitional arrangements related to the introduction of the New State Pension in 2016, we are seeing an increasing number of queries about whether it is worthwhile buying missing National Insurance contributions.
The Framework for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in the Advice Sector was developed and agreed as part of the Northern Ireland Advice Quality Standard (NIAQS) in 2016. This is the latest version of the framework which reflects sector changes and training developments, and support information for advisers.
Our latest Policy and Information Briefing provides an update to the Energy Bills Support Scheme and Alternative Fuels Payment, and answers frequently asked questions about the schemes.
The FRA is a Northern Ireland Housing Association (NIHE) project to implement the proposals for change to the housing allocation service.
Find out about our work in 2021/22.
This briefing provides an updated introduction to the support provided by the government to address the cost of living crisis, sharing as much information as is currently available
This is our next publication in a series of Advice NI Social Policy Briefing Papers focussing on ‘Move to Universal Credit’. The aim of the series is to clarify the issues relating to Northern Ireland and above all to put benefit claimants at the heart of the process.
Given the time of year, we can expect an increase in enquiries from students on a range of issues, including entitlement to benefit. In the following briefing we lay out the rules that apply for students seeking to make a claim for Universal Credit, which is the main low-income benefit for claimants of working age.
This paper contains information to help inform the UN Committee Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Committee’s questions or recommendations as they monitor the UK’s compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
In 2019, the Consumer Council commissioned Advice NI to explore the human side of illegal money lending activity in Northern Ireland (NI). Then, the Consumer Council commissioned Advice NI to carry out a follow up report to assess if Covid-19 has had an impact on illegal lending. We were also asked to consider how Covid-19 has affected our debt services and what impact it has had on our clients.
Advice NI has launched a campaign to lobby for action from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in respect of the overpayment recovery waiver system.