Citizens Advice Northumberland

The service

Project participants will undergo an Income Maximisation Assessment upon entry, comprising:

  • A comprehensive evaluation of the client’s and their family’s financial situation.
  • Accurate benefit calculations and the creation of an income and expenditure budget.
  • Issuance of a detailed confirmation of advice letter outlining provided advice and recommended actions.
  • Sharing assessment outcomes with the client’s keyworker.

Ongoing support may include:

  • Medium-term casework for individuals requiring limited assistance, involving tasks such as benefit application form completion, applying for hardship grants, referrals to the Money Advice Team and Energy Team, and connections to other organisations in Northumberland via Northumberland Frontline.
  • Long-term casework support for complex benefit-related issues, including assistance with mandatory reconsiderations and evidence gathering to challenge Welfare Benefits decisions, drafting Tribunal Submissions, liaising with the Tribunals Service, representing clients at first-tier Tribunal hearings, requesting statements of reasons, addressing errors of law, and filing appeals to the Upper Tier Tribunal. Additionally, support for specific complex welfare benefit queries, such as resolving under/overpayments, is available.

About Citizens Advice Northumberland

Citizens Advice Northumberland provides information and advice services across Northumberland and campaigns for changes in legislation and practices. Every year we assist over 29,000 people and help them deal with over 60,000 different issues.

All participants who enter the Solid Foundations project will be offered an Income Maximisation Assessment carried out by one of our trained and experienced Solid Foundations Welfare Benefits Caseworkers. The initial Income Maximisation Assessment consists of a number of components:

  • A thorough exploration of your and your family’s financial circumstances
  • An accurate benefit calculation to be completed and completion of an income and expenditure budget
  • Following your initial appointment, a confirmation of advice letter will be sent to you, detailing all advice provided and any further recommended actions. The outcome of the assessment will also be shared with you Solid Foundations keyworker.

As a result of your income maximisation assessment, you may require further support to help you correct your benefit entitlement and increase your income. Your caseworker will help you with:

  • Form filling for benefit applications; applying for hardship grants; referrals into our Money Advice Team and Energy Team where appropriate.
  • Referrals to other organisations across Northumberland using Northumberland Frontline who can provide you with additional support that is relevant to your needs.
  • Providing support with drafting mandatory reconsiderations and evidence gathering to challenge Welfare Benefits decisions
  • Drafting Tribunal Submissions
  • Liaising with the Tribunals Service and representing clients at first tier Tribunal hearings
  • Requesting statement of reasons, considering errors of law and appeals to the Upper Tier tribunal
  • Dealing with other specific complex welfare benefit queries such as under/over payments of welfare benefits.

Other partners

Blyth Resource and Initiative Centre

Community Action Northumberland

Cygnus Support

Northern Learning Trust

Northumberland Community & Voluntary Action