Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Turn2us wins major contract to supply Money Advice Service helpline

Money Advice Service press releaseThe Money Advice Service is the UK's free, independence and impartial source of money advice. Turn2us has been awarded a  three-year contract by Money Advice Service to supply it telephone helpline. 

Money Advice Service currently receives an average of 7,000 calls per month. From 1 July 2012, Turn2us will handle these calls using its contact centre in South Wales. A new webchat service will also be developed.

Alison Taylor, the Director of Turn2us said:
“The Money Advice Service is doing some great work and being accessible over the phone with free and independent advice is fantastic. We are very pleased to be one of its frontline providers and look forward to helping thousands of its customers in the coming years.”

Read more about Turn2us and the Money Advice Service

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Cap on total benefits in 2013

The Government is set to introduce a cap on benefits cap which will limit the total amount of benefit that people of working age can receive. The new initative will begin in April 2013.

If you are worried about what the proposed benefit cap might mean for you, our new information sheet explains who will be affected, how will be applied and the support available.

Read out guide to the benefit cap

Friday, 20 April 2012

Ask an expert about welfare benefits


To tie in with our April 2012 Benefits Awareness Month campaign we are inviting our users to send their questions about welfare benefits to our expert panel.

Panel members include representatives from CAB, Advice Derbyshire and the Turn2us welfare benefits team

Your question can be about any aspect of benefits. Whether you just need information or would like to know more about entitlement or how to claim, our expert panel can help.

You will need to submit your question by 24 April. A selection of answers will be published on 27 April. Every question will receive a reply once the session ends.

Send a question to our expert panel

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Turn2us launches Benefits Awareness Month


Turn2us has launched its second annual Benefits Awareness Month.

The nationwide media campaign which runs throughout April, aims to address the stigmas around claiming benefits and encourage people in financial need - espeically those in low income work -to check their entitlement to welfare benefits using the Turn2us Benefits Calculator.

In these tough economic times, with high inflation, rising unemployment and sweeping changes to the benefits system, it is more important than ever that people know how to access financial support if they need it.

You can find out more at www.benefitsawareness.org.uk

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Chancellor announces changes to child benefit


As part of the 2012 Budget, Child Benefit will be withdrawn from higher rate taxpayers if a memeber of the household has an income of more than £50,000. To avoid a "cliff-edge" effect, Child Benefit will be withdrawn at a rate of 1% for every extra £100 earned over £50,000 allowing an additional 750,000 families will keep some or all of their Child Benefit.

A range of other measures affecting those on a low income were also announced:

  • The tax-free personal allowance will rise by £1,100 from April 2013
  • The tax allowances for people aged 65 will be frozen and stopped for anyone turning 65 after 5 April 2013.
  • There will be a new, single tier pension for future pensioners and an automatic review of the State Pension age
  • The national minimum wage will be increased
  • 100 per cent relief on Council Tax will be offered to servicemen and women serving overseas.

You can find out more about these new measures and their potential impact on the Turn2us website

Friday, 9 March 2012

The Welfare Reform Bill is made law


The Welfare Reform Bill has been made law. The bill represents the biggest change to the welfare system for 60 years and includes the introduction of Universal Credit, a new unified benefit which will replace some of the current means tested benefits in 2013.

The Bill outlines provision for:
  • The introduction of Universal Credit
    and the Personal Independence Payment
  • Other arrangements around social security and Tax Credits,
    including r a benefit cap to be applied to the total amount of welfare
    benefits to which someone is entitled.

The Bill came into law on 8 March 2012.

You can find out more information about the bill and its impact from the articles below:

Monday, 27 February 2012

This month's Ask an Expert session looks at the birth of a child


This month's Ask an Expert session focuses on those expecting a child.

It is often hard to predict the impact that the birth or adoption of a new child will have on your life. Turn2us has brought together a panel of experts from Gingerbread and Working Lives to answer your questions about welfare benefits which may ease any financial difficulties as well as offering advice on maternity and paternity rights, flexible working and other rights of potential parents and carers.

We need you to send us your questions on this topic by 28th February. Please include as much detail as possible so a full answer can be provided.

Submit your question to Ask an expert

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Netmums website reveals the financial struggle of UK families


A new survey commissioned by Netmums has revealed that 70% of families are struggling to survive financially.

The online community surveyed more than 2,000 of their members to find out how the UK's current economic situation was hitting family incomes and what impact rising prices was having on them. The survey found that:

- One in five mothers were missing meals so their children could eat.
- A quarter of families were living on credit cards.
- Almost half of families have sold or pawned goods to raise money.
- 16% of parents were being treated for a stress-related illness due to lack of cash.
- Two-thirds of families had less money coming in than this time last year.

If you are struggling to make ends meet, you may be able to find help on the Turn2us website. Use our Benefits Calculator to check your entitlement to welfare benefits and our Grants Search database to find out if you are eligible for help from a charitable fund.

You can read more from this Netmums survey here

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

We are looking for a Welfare Benefits Specialist


Turn2us is recruiting a Welfare Benefits Specialist (Maternity cover) to plan, develop and manage its welfare benefit resources.

We are looking for someone with an extensive experience of giving advice and writing and creating online resources in this area. The role will involve managing a range of projects and resources as well as providing expert advice on welfare benefits and the welfare benefits system.

The role would suit a self-motivated and passionate individual who is committed to make a difference to the lives of people in financial need.

If you feel that you meet these criteria, please send your CV and a supporting statement outlining your skills and why you would like to work for Turn2us to recruitment@turn2us.org.uk.

The deadline for applications is 5.00pm on Friday 24th February 2012.

Interviews will take place at our Hammersmith Head Office on Thursday 1st March 2012.

Download the job description and person specification


Please note: Due to the volume of applications we receive, we will not be able to respond to unsuccessful applications.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

New film reveals the reality of living in fuel poverty


Figures released by the Government show some 5.5 million homes in the UK may struggle with energy bills this winter. As the weather gets colder, more people than ever will be facing the prospect of running up unmanageable bills in an effort to keep their homes warm.

But what does it mean to be living in fuel poverty in human terms? Turn2us invited four women to describe their experiences of living in fuel poverty in a hard hitting new film on the subject. The stories reveal the bleak reality of struggling to survive when high energy bills are a constant worry.

You can view our fuel poverty film at www.youtube.com/turn2us

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Elizabeth Finn Care wants you to Wrap Up Against Poverty


Wrap Up Against Poverty is an online auction of clothing donated by top celebrities and designers to raise money for the charity Elizabeth Finn Care, of which Turn2us is part.

Elizabeth Finn Care knows people can struggle to afford the items of winter clothing they need to stay warm and healthy during the colder months. They provide direct support through grants to those in financial need and over half the people they help had to go without new clothes before they approached the charity. By bidding for the fabulous pieces available, you can not only boost your style credentials but also help people in financial need survive the winter months.

Bidders can go for the classic look of Sienna Miller’s Doma fleece coat, or follow in Dame Helen Mirren’s footsteps by opting for her striking Alberta Ferretti coat. Kimberley Walsh’s plush Louis Vuitton scarf will be up for grabs too, as will a beautiful Alexander McQueen suit from Fern Britton, and stylish winter coats from comedy heroes Mathew Horne and Ruth Jones.

To add to the spectacular celebrity list, exclusive designer items including a golden Martina Spetlova shift dress have been donated alongside items from high street stores such as Ted Baker and Topshop.

The auction is now live on eBay and is running until 26th February. To place your bid, please visit the Wrap Up Against Poverty Auction on Ebay

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Ask our experts about housing costs


If you're aged between 25 and 34 and rent from a private landlord, do you understand how Housing Benefit changes from January 2012 might affect you? Maybe you would you like to know more about benefits that help with rent or mortgage interest payments?

This month our expert panel will focus on coping with housing costs for those in financial need. The panel will include representatives from Threshold Housing Advice and Shelter's information and training team.

If you want to know more about covering your housing costs or what changes may come up in the future, send your question to us by 30 January 2012.

A selection of our expert's answers will be published on the Turn2us website on 1 February 2012 but every question submitted will receive a reply once the session ends.

Submit a question to our expert panel

Friday, 20 January 2012

The Officer's Association is our charity of the month


Each month, Turn2us throws the spotlight on the work of one of the benevolence charities listed on our grants search database. This month, it is the turn of the The Officers' Association (OA).

The Officers’ Association (OA) is dedicated to supporting officers of the Armed Forces, ex-officers and their dependants. It provides employment advice and job-finding services for ex-officers at all stages of their working lives, not just when they are leaving the Services.

They will help any man or woman who has held the Queen’s Commission, whatever their age or length of service,and can also provide general advice, financial and welfare support.

The following services are offered to ex-officers:

Individual counselling: The OA Career Consultant (who will have experience of both the Armed Forces and commercial world) will tailor their advice to individual needs.

Networking: The OA has a unique network of contacts in a wide range of employment fields.

Employment symposiums: Held approximately once every three months, OA registrants are invited to attend to hear the experience of other officers, to meet head hunters and to hear about opportunities in a variety of sectors.

Pick of the Week. The OA provides access to its own website, which is updated on a daily basis, advertising jobs particularly suited to officers’ skills.

You can find out more about the work of the Officers' Association on the Turn2us website or by visiting them online at www.officersassociation.org.uk.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Big six energy companies receive 4 million complaints


A new investigation by Which? has indicated that last year the 'big six' energy companies received some 4 million complaints from their customers. The 'big six' are British Gas, EDF Energy, Eon, Npower, SSE and Scottish Power.

According to the Which? report, 40% of consumers have had a problem with a gas or electricity company in the last two years - a huge number for an industry where very little should go wrong with the product itself. In addition to this tens of thousands of these complaints were still unresolved after eight weeks.

The most common problems people reported were billing and meter problems. This included mistakes on bills, inaccurate meter readings and missing bills. All of these factors might potentially lead to falling into payment arrears and make it harder for people to budget to avoid falling into fuel poverty.

You can read a Which? guide to dealing with energy suppliers here.