Leading Wirral advice agency, Citizens Advice Wirral influences government practices to minimise the impact of benefit delays.
Citizens Advice Wirral (formerly Wirral Citizens Advice Bureau) are working to minimise the impacts of benefit delays.
The impact of delays in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) can be devastating for families and individuals, as many are unable to feed themselves, as a result of benefit delays, and are having to reply on foodbanks.
At the Committee on the 4th November 2015 Sue McCarron, Operation Manager at Citizens Advice Wirral is a witness at the Work and Pensions Select Committee Benefit delivery inquiry at the Houses of Parliament. The Committee is chaired by Frank Field, MP.
Sue McCarron said, ‘I am delighted to have been asked by Frank Field MP, to present at the committee. We hope to influence government to make practical changes that will mean fewer people get into debt or have to use foodbanks while they wait for benefit decisions’
Sue went on to say,
‘Practical changes include extending the time to apply for a hardship payment from 21days for individuals to anytime up to the first benefit payment, which can take over 5 weeks to process, can make a big difference to people’s lives. Introducing a freephone number 0800 number, and putting phones back into jobcentres that have a direct line to DWP, Universal Credit and the Council, will also reduce the impact of delays for residents’
Philip Howley, Chair of Citizen’s Advice Wirral, said, ‘Citizens Advice Wirral has a reputation not only of giving excellent free advice to over 17,500 Wirral residents each year, but also influences local and national practices, overcoming issues that leave people in quite dire situations. Sue who has worked for Citizens Advice Wirral for over 10 years, is a great Ambassador for our organistion, and the Community and Voluntary sector in Wirral. I look forward to seeing the solutions the Select Committee make that will mitigate against the effects of errors or delays and recommendations about what the Department for Work and Pensions can do to improve the way it delivers benefit and Universal Credit payments’