Voluntary National Insurance Contributions and the State Pension
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.
£600 Energy Bills Support Scheme information
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.
Fundamental Review of Allocations (FRA) Project
The FRA is a Northern Ireland Housing Association (NIHE) project to implement the proposals for change to the housing allocation service.
Postal Strikes and Benefit Communications
Ongoing strike action, in particular postal strikes called by the Communication Workers Union, have brought into focus the question of timely correspondence between benefit claimants and relevant departments.
Cost of Living Support
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
Universal Credit Students and Student Income
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.
Restore Confidence in the Benefit Overpayment Recovery System
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.
Universal Credit Support for childcare costs and changes to the meaning of relevant childcare
The primary purpose of this briefing is to address entitlement to the Universal Credit childcare element, with specific reference to issues relating to recent changes to the definition of ‘relevant’ (i.e. qualifying) childcare. However, the briefing will also address other sources of support with the costs of childcare for low income families, as well as considering how the relative value of the support available might impact better-off calculations for those claimants.
Advice NI Information Briefing Support for Ukrainians
In light of an expected increase in queries in this area and the swiftly developing policy environment, we present a number of links to useful information sources covering the help available to those fleeing the war in Ukraine.
The Risk Review Team
In light of an increase in enquiries in this area from clients, we wanted to draw attention to an aspect of the benefit management system that is not well understood: the work of the Risk Review Team. Part of the reason for the lack of clarity about risk review is the limited information available in the public domain.
Welfare Benefits Handbook of References
This document is a collection of links to relevant online information sources relating to welfare benefits, which should assist you in answering the majority of questions clients will have. It is compiled and updated by the Advice NI Information Officer but the majority of the information is produced by other agencies.
Fuel Poverty Support Guide
This guide provides information on payments and grants available to low-income households, grants available to higher income households, and other useful information and support.
Bereavement Support Payments in Northern Ireland
This information briefing paper covers the basic eligibility, claim information, and social policy issues for Bereavement Support Payments in Northern Ireland.
Advice NI Information Briefing High Street Scheme – Spend Local
As part of its post-Covid recovery plan the NI Executive has decided to introduce a High Street Scheme to boost demand in struggling towns, city centres and local businesses. The scheme is being delivered by the Department for the Economy to address declining footfall and spending.
Universal Credit Payment of the Limited Capability for Work and Work Related Activity Element
This briefing paper explains the Limited Capability for Work and Work Related Activity Element in Universal Credit and covers the relevant period, exemptions, backdating, and change of circumstances.