Northern Ireland’s largest advice charity Advice NI is encouraging people to avoid getting into costly debt over the Christmas period.
Leading advice charity; Advice NI Head of Policy, Kevin Higgins and Professor Eileen Evason CBE is urgently calling on the NI Executive to extend Welfare Mitigations to alleviate further hardship in NI.
Employees who are paid early at Christmas may be affected by a flaw in the Universal Credit (UC) system whereby claimants may be treated as receiving two monthly wages in one assessment period, resulting in a dramatically reduced or even nil Universal Credit award.
More than 150,000 food boxes have been delivered to those most in need since the Department for Communities launched its COVID-19 Food Parcel Service in April.
In light of public health concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, Northern Ireland’s president of Tribunals and The Appeals Service (TAS) have suspended all in-person oral tribunal hearings until further notice.
It has been estimated that approximately 200,000 local workers in NI are on the Government's job retention (furlough) scheme, which covers 80% of wages up to £2,500 a month.
Almost 100,000 people with underlying diseases or health conditions received a ‘shielding’ letter advising that the safest course of action was to stay at home and avoid all face-to-face contact for at least twelve weeks.
Despite the Government announcement on Friday about a different Job Support Scheme to follow the current furlough scheme, we in Advice NI remain concerned that thousands of employees across Northern Ireland could see their jobs under threat and so face the daunting prospect of claiming UC.
Over ½ million issues dealt with in last year by the Independent Advice Network. Social Security issues continue to dominate workload as a spike in employment and redundancy related enquiries set to grow Advice NI produces new guidance paper on redundancy.
Advice NI Urges Businesses and Individuals to Seek Free Debt Advice