Debt Awareness Week – what you need to know
It is no secret that the pandemic has impacted on the lives of so many, sweeping many people into poverty and others into even deeper poverty than they were previously. In November 2020, a Poverty in Wales 2020 report revealed that poverty levels varied based greatly on characteristic, with tenants in the social housing sector being amongst the highest.
There are many initiatives in Wales that can be accessed to support those struggling with debt, it is simply knowing where to find them. Not to worry, we have collated as much information as we can about the various support out there in line with debt awareness week.
Self – isolation Support Scheme
The self-isolation support scheme is for those on low income, who cannot work from home and must self-isolate. It is also for parents and carers on low incomes with children who are self-isolating.
Payments will be taxed, but they are exempt from National Insurance contributions. It should not affect any benefits you get.
Find out more here: https://gov.wales/self-isolation-support-scheme
Discretionary Assistance Fund - DAF
DAF provides two types of payments that you don’t have to pay back. These include an Emergency Assistance Fund (EAP) which is a grant to help pay for essential costs, such as food, gas, electricity, clothing or emergency travel. And a IAP which is a grant to help you or someone you care for live independently in their home or a property that you or they are moving into.
Find out more here: https://gov.wales/discretionary-assistance-fund-daf
And here: https://sheltercymru.org.uk/get-advice/paying-for-housing/housing-benefit-and-council-tax-reduction/discretionary-housing-payments/
Council Tax Reduction Scheme
Council Tax is charged on all homes. The bill takes into account an individual or a household’s circumstances.
You usually have to pay Council Tax if you are 18 or over and own or rent a home. A Council Tax bill is normally based on 2 adults living in a property, however in some circumstances you could have your bill reduced. You may be eligible to receive a reduction or discount for more than one reason.
Find out more here: https://gov.wales/council-tax-discounts-and-reduction
Help to buy food and milk – The Healthy Start Scheme
If you are pregnant or have children under the age of 4 you can get free vouchers or payments every 4 weeks to spend on:
Fresh, frozen or tinned fruit and vegetables
Infant formula milk
Fresh, dried, and tinned pulses
You can also get free Healthy Start vitamins
Find out more here: https://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/
Citizens Advice Wales have a debt and money service that can be accessed for free and is aimed to give you clear and concise information to help you find a solution.
Find out more here: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/