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.