Notes and queries from our stall outside Dundee Buroo – 15 August

gull

What happens to help with the Bedroom Tax when you move onto Universal Credit? That was a new question and we had to look up the answer, but we are pleased to report that Shelter Scotland makes it clear that, just as with Housing Benefit, you can apply for help from the council via a Discretionary Housing Payment. We hope the man who asked the question will now get his full benefit again.

John’s situation is more difficult. He told us that he had missed his Work Capability Assessment after the date had been rearranged, and had then had his ESA claim closed down. We helped him arrange an appointment with Dundee North Law Centre, and after he gave me back my phone I asked him the details so we could write them down for him, but he had already forgotten them and we had to ring back; proof both of his need for ESA and the difficulties of someone in his situation actually managing to get through the process of qualifying for it.

There was little we could do to help Callum, but his predicament demonstrates yet again how disconnected the system is from anything that might genuinely help people improve their job prospects. He is starting a college course, and because he has changed direction too many times he isn’t eligible for a bursary. But because the course provides full time training he isn’t eligible for any buroo money either.

An additional unreachable problem was provided by the seagull who chose to place itself high up on the building above us with its rear end protruding over the edge…

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