EDP CA WEEKLY BRIEFING 21 JUNE 2021
- Lisa Hales, superviser from Purbeck is leaving this week. She has been supporting volunteers over a number of years and she will be missed by many. We wish her well for the future.
- Welcome to Vivienne, Roger and Priscilla who are just starting their training to become Adviceline Assessors.
- As Lockdown eases, the DWP are increasing their reviews of Universal Credit cases that they think may be fraudulent. If a client misses two appointments or their Work Coach is suspicious about anything then their case will be referred to a review team. Please remind clients to keep checking their journals and update as necessary and to attend any appointments or they risk their benefit being stopped.
- HEALTH – Kooth helps young people aged 11 – 18 in Dorset with free, safe, and anonymous wellbeing support and advice The service is accessible from any internet enabled device and is available every day. The services Kooth offer include free counselling sessions, self-help materials and a mood journal.
- BENEFITS – The DWP has issued new guidance on eligibility for points under the personal independence payment (PIP) washing and bathing descriptors where a claimant has to remove a hearing aid or cochlear implant while washing. The Guidance follows an Upper Tribunal decision that claimants could not wash or bathe safely after removing hearing aids as they wouldn’t be able to hear a standard fire alarm. ADM Memo 9/21 is available from gov.uk
EDP COMMUNICATIONS UPDATE
- We are featured in the Stour and Avon magazine with an article on scams. See https://stouravonmagazine.co.uk/issues/latest-issue/ page 10
This is a free monthly opportunity for us to communicate messages in the form of a Q&A. If you have any suggestions for the next article – please let Sian know.
- Training for June is a new course on Docebo Research and Campaigns: Making Research and campaigns work in your local office. This is something that everyone needs to know about.
Please let Mandi know when you have done this [email protected]
and don’t forget to cover R&C in your casenotes even if it does not appear relevant, as it shows that you have considered it.
- Inclusivity and Diversity Training – free training open to all. You will discover through a series of discussions how you can improve your relationships with people by understanding how you relate to those people and what makes you react in different ways depending on people you meet. Wed 14 July 2-5pm. Sign up at
- Please check that consents are updated when dealing with existing clients.
RESEARCH AND CAMPAIGNS
- Many thanks for your Evidence Forms. Currently we’re particularly interested in any cases that relate to problems people have with Universal Credit which lead to them needing to use a Food Bank. For example, benefits not enough to cover needs, delays in payment, high level of deductions, rent not covered by UC housing costs element.
- When you write an evidence form, it’s helpful if you can identify exactly what the injustice was, be it a regulation that seems unfair or a bad service.
Now that we are (almost) coming out of lockdown it appears that DWP are stepping up their reviews on clients that they think are fraudulent. Two no shows or anything the Work Coach thinks is suspicious is being sent to a ‘review’ team. Thanks to Liz from the FFP energy project for spotting this – she reported 2 clients having their accounts closed in one day last week. Please remind your clients to keep up with their journals and appointments.
SCAMS AWARENESS – The national Scams Awareness campaign takes place from the 14th-27th June. The aim is to create awareness of scams and to give people the confidence to recognise a scam and report it. Here’s a link to more info on the CA website https://bit.ly/3576cye Locally, we are sharing messages on social media – twitter and facebook @CitAdviceEDP (please follow and share our posts) and will be issuing a press release to the local press. We are also displaying posters in key areas.
- If you are able to, please add the following to your email signature:
I’m staying ahead of scams. Are you? Be #ScamAware. Stop, report, talk. Visit citizensadvice.org.uk/sa21/ to find out more.