Extra support for those in hardship
Midlothian Council has agreed to resume the Welfare Reform Members Group. This group will provide support for those in hardship by providing advice on matters such as foodbanks, the Scottish Welfare Fund, Welfare Rights, Credit Unions and budgeting.
The introduction of Universal Credit has resulted in significant changes across a range of state benefits. These changes have impacted negatively on many Midlothian households.
Issues have included:
- Delays in payment to claimants
- Financial Hardship to households, with extra demand on the Scottish Welfare Fund and Discretionary Housing Payments
- Increased rent arrears
- Impact on temporary accommodation for homeless households
- Additional administrative burdens to the Council
Support for those in hardship
Cllr Stephen Curran, Cabinet Member for Customer and Housing services said:
"Universal Credit has been introduced in stages to different groups of claimants over the past four years, with about 610,000 people now receiving it. Almost a quarter of all claimants have had to wait more than six weeks to receive their first payment in full because of errors and problems evidencing claims. The reforming of the Welfare Reform Members Group since the local elections will monitor the actions of the Council and the Midlothian Financial Inclusion Network (MFIN) partnership in order to better support those in hardship."