IMPORTANT Links

We receive many emails for benefits advice and as we're all volunteers are finding it difficult to keep up.  Please view our links before deciding if you need to email us. Similarly, for those in Edinburgh, our Tuesday drop-ins are becoming VERY busy and you may save yourself a long wait if you check the site to see if the info you need is here.

We use our Facebook page to pass on day-to-day info, relevant media pieces, campaigning news etc. If you would like to get involved in ECAP - or in a similar group elsewhere - we actively encourage you to contact us!

BENEFITS ADVICE

Benefits & Work's full list of free to mobile phone DWP 0800 numbers (updated 2013)

Attendance Allowance  non-means tested benefit for over 65's

Turn2us Benefits Calculator  Check what you should be getting

Turn2us  Website to help find the benefits you can claim

Age UK  Guides to benefits

DirectGOV Guides to benefits

CPAG's guide to benefits for disabled children and their carers

Citizens Advice  Guide to Benefits

Disability Rights  Benefit Factsheets

CPAG  Guide to Tax Credits

HM Revenues & Customs Information on income tax, tax credits and child benefit

JSA Hardship Payment guidelines

Guide to JSA (2010 but still worth reading)

 

BEDROOM TAX

Updated Exemptions to the Bedroom Tax (updated 2013)

Age Related Exemption

DWP Guidelines for Local Authority Staff

 

ESA, PIP, Atos, Maximus, Capita, the WCA

Disability Rights UK ESA overview

Qualifying for ESA; The Points System  (15 points needed to qualify)

 

Descriptors for ESA Support Group

 

TEST TO SEE IF QUALIFY FOR ESA

A CLAIMANTS' GUIDE TO ESA AND ATOS

RETHINK'S GUIDE TO ATOS ASSESSMENTS (FOR PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES)

DWP GUIDANCE ON WORK CAPABILITY ASSESSMENTS FOR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS (ie ATOS!)

BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL'S GUIDE TO COMPLETING ESA FORMS

ADVICE FOR SERVICE VETERANS FACING ATOS

INFO + TEMPLATE LETTER ON APPEALING ATOS DECISIONS  (BUT SEE THE GUIDE TO THE NEW PROCEDURE BELOW)

C.A.B. GUIDE TO MAKING A COMPLAINT ABOUT ATOS 

USEFUL GUIDE TO FILLING IN ESA50 FORMS

 

SANCTIONS

CPAG's GUIDE TO ESA AND SANCTIONS

DWP GUIDANCE ON JSA SANCTIONS FROM 22/10/2012

FOOD SOLIDARITY Food parcels for sanctioned claimants in Edinburgh: via ECAP, Tues 12-3 at ACE, also free food info 

JOB SEEKER SANCTION ADVICE SERVICE  Disgruntled ex- DWP employess offering advice on JSA sanctions

TURN2US GUIDE TO JOBSEEKER'S  ALLOWANCE (JSA) SANCTIONS  

 

APPEALS

CITIZENS ADVICE GUIDANCE TO THE ESA APPEALS PROCEDURE                          

BACKDATED ESA AFTER RECONSIDERATION IF YOU APPEAL

DISABILITY RIGHTS GUIDE TO RECONSIDERATION AND APPEALS

CPAG's GUIDE TO THE NEW RULES AND PROCEDURES FOR APPEALING DECISIONS 

CPAG's APPEAL TOOLKIT

DWP DECISION MAKERS' GUIDE

FORM TO APPEAL  A DWP BENEFITS DECISION

LEAFLET:  HOW TO APPEAL A DWP BENEFITS DECISION

 

UNIVERSAL CREDIT

Guide to Universal Credit

CPAG Guide to Universal Credit

DWP Planned Universal Credit Regulations (2015)

Work Related Requirements for the Employed

 

Personal Independence Payment

CPAG's GUIDE TO  PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE PAYMENT

GOVERNMENT SITE TO CHECK HOW P.I.P AFFECTS YOU

PIP INFORMATION An advisor guide to Personal Independence Payment regulations and case law

 

Workfare & Universal Jobmatch

DWP GUIDE TO BACK TO WORK SCHEMES (THEY MEAN WORKFARE)

SECURING YOUR RIGHTS ON WORKFARE

MANDATORY WORK ACTIVITY PROVIDER GUIDANCE

MANDATORY  WORK ACTIVITY JCP ADVISOR  PROCEDURAL GUIDANCE - LATEST VERSION 

WORK PROGRAMME PROVIDER MANDATION GUIDANCE

GUIDE TO  DWP MANDATING JSA CLAIMANTS TO CREATE A PROFILE AND PUBLIC CV IN UNIVERSAL JOBMATCH

YOUR RIGHTS UNDER UNIVERSAL JOBMATCH

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS ON WORKFARE SCHEMES

UNIVERSAL JOBMATCH (MARCH 2013) - YOUR RIGHTS - See page 16, Section 51

Work Programme Survival Guide from SUWN

 

Information on Debt

Govan Law Centre

Consumer Action Group Debt Section

Consumer Action Group Sheriff Officers Please register for The Consumer Action Group Forum as you can share information with others in the same situation.

Accountant in Bankruptcy Can be useful for info but watch what you say as they are a government organisation.

Bank Account Arrestments Letter 

Appealing Against Bankruptcy Info on appealing against bankruptcy and other useful info.

Advice Scotland This Glasgow blog has useful info on debt.

Debt for Parking Fines This section of CAB has useful info on your rights if faced with debt for parking fines, including when sheriff officers can be deployed. 

UK Insolvency Helpline (24 hours) 0845 612 2626

National Debtline 0808 808 4000 (freephone) Mon-Fri 9am to 9pm Sat 9:30 to 1pm

Debt Advice in Scotland 

National Debtline Guide  to Bankruptcy & Sequestration in Scotland.

Enforcing a Debt The law on enforcing a debt against you.

 

Legal advice

BIRMINGHAM PEOPLES CENTRE Free advice on employment rights for people who live or work in Birmingham

DWP Service Standards (includes how to compain)

DISABILITY LAW SERVICE

EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW  Free legal advice on Debt, Employment,  Landlord and Tenant  disputes

EQUALITY & HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION Advice and help

FINANCIAL OMBUDSMAN SERVICE  Advice and help with your financial dispute

HOW TO DEAL WITH A BENFIT FRAUD INTERVIEW - England and Wales ONLY

INDEPENDENT CASE EXAMINER Jobcentre and Child Support Agency complaints

LOW PAY UNIT Information and advice on the rights of low paid workers

SCOTTISH LEGAL AID BOARD Advice on getting legal aid

SCOTTISH PUBLIC SERVICES OMBUDSMAN public sector complaints

Pdf of DWP POLICY ON FINANCIAL REDRESS FOR INJUSTICE RESULTING  FROM MALADMINISTRATION

DETAILS OF THE 2012 WELFARE ACT

SHELTER'S GUIDE TO WINNING BACK LETTING AGENTS' FEES

CITIZENS ADVICE GUIDE TO POLICE POWERS IN SCOTLAND

USEFUL SOURCE OF INFO ON  EMPLOYMENT LAW INCLUDING VOLUNTEERING

 

Landlord Problems

Living Rent Edinburgh (formerly Edinburgh Private Tenants Action Group) Helps renters & campaigns for better rent system

 

General Advice

ADVICENOW'S GUIDE TO BEING INTERVIEWED UNDER CAUTION BY DWP

EDINBURGH HOUSING ADVICE PARTNERSHIP Advice and help for home owners, council, HA and private sector tenants

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION RESPONSE ON CLAIMANT'S RIGHT TO RECORD DWP INTERVIEWS

GINGERBREAD  advice and support for single parents

GLASGOW SOLIDARITY NETWORK  Support and solidarity for people facing problems with debt, bad landlords and benefits

Money Saving Expert PDF ON MENTAL HEALTH AND DEBT  Informative site including this very useful section 

NATIONAL DEBTLINE Scotland 

NORWICH CLAIMANTS UNION

ONE PARENT FAMILIES SCOTLAND

SALFORD UNEMPLOYED AND COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTRE

SCOTTISH DEBT ADVICE Debt advice and help 

SCOTTISH REFUGEE COUNCIHelp and advice for refugees and asylum seekers

SCOTTISH WELFARE SUPPORT AND ADVICE NETWORK  Free inpartial and confidential advice

SHELTER SCOTLAND Advice and help on housing and homelessness

STEPCHANGE debt advice charity

Disability Information Scoltand Advice on general disability issues + can refer you to specialist organisation

WEST GLASGOW AGAINST POVERTY (WestGAP) Free, independent and confidential advice service covering welfare rights

Fuel Poverty Action  Group taking action against rip-off energy bills with useful help & advice

 

Educational

CiVIL SERVICE STAFF CODE OF CONDUCT (may be useful at DWP!)

WATCHING A4e

DIARY OF A BENEFIT SCROUNGER Share information on welfare cuts 

INDUS DELTA News, views and gossip from job programme providers

THE VOID

 

Other Activist Groups

AUTONOMOUS CENTRE OF EDINBURGH home to ECAP and other groups resisting injustice

BATH AGAINST CUTS

BIRMINGHAM CLAIMANTS UNION

BOYCOTT WORKFARE

BRIGHTON & HOVE WOMEN AGAINST THE CUTS

DEFEND THE RIGHT TO PROTEST

DUNDEE AGAINST AUSTERITY  Campaign to unite low paid workers and claimants

FALSE ECONOMY  Action map to find your local campaign against government cuts

HASTINGS SOLIDARITY

IPSWICH UNEMPLOYED ACTION  Fighting for the rights of the Unemployed

LEEDS WELFARE FIGHTBACK Against benefit sanctions, benefit cuts and misery of work

LEICESTERSHIRE SOLIDARITY GROUP

LOCHABER COMMON WEAL  Direct action and helping claimants with benefit sanctions

LONDON  COALITION AGAINST POVERTY 

NORTH EDINBURGH AGAINST THE CUTS Defending Edinburgh public services

SCOTTISH UNEMPLOYED WORKERS NETWORK  Advice and information

SOLIDARITY FEDERATION UK section of the International Workers Association (IWA)

TEESIDE SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT

THE CRUTCH COLLECTIVE Glasgow campaign group

WEST LOTHIAN AGAINST THE BEDROOM TAX

FOCUS E15 MOTHERS  Newham Mothers fight for housing in London

WELSH CLAIMANTS' UNION Advice and support for benefit claimants

 

International Links

AUCKLAND ACTION AGAINST POVERTY Direct action, advocacy and education group mobilising against neo-liberal agenda on jobs, welfare and poverty

ONTARIO COALITION AGAINST POVERTY  Direct-action anti-poverty organization based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We mount campaigns against regressive government policies as they affect poor and working people

SYDNEY SOLIDARITY NETWORK Activists in Australia fighting bad landlords and employers

Australian Unemployed Workers' Union Protecting the unemployed and the welfare state in Oz from attacks

SEATTLE SOLIDARITY NETWORK  First hand account of organizing and fighting poverty in Seattle

ENCOURAGING NEWS FROM SPAIN Spanish housing activists at work

Netherlands Doorbraak In Dutch, anti-workfare group doing similar work to boycott workfare in Holland

Skya Greece Greek activists fighting workfare & poverty in Greece.

LABOUR NET TV covering precarious work and welfare struggles around the world

3COSAS /  IWGB cleaner's strike in London, fighting for a living wage outside of offical Union structures

ONGOING HARTZ REFORMS FORCE GERMAN UNEMPLOYED TO WORK IN FAKE SUPERMARKETS

In Germany – a country that is often held up as one of the more Social Democratic states – at least to its own people – reforms dating back to around 2001 implemented by Chancellor Schroder’s Red / Green Alliance brought about very similar attacks to worker’s rights that we are now facing in UK. Known as the Hartz reforms these:

  • Forced claimants to take €1 an hour jobs topped up by their benefits with penalties for not taking the offer of such work.
  • Forced claimants to take work that had nothing to do with what they were qualified to do.
  • Increased the rise of Mini – jobs previously used by pensioners to top up their earnings, generalising this through out the economy. Creating a climate of precarious labour with far fewer rights over contracts. 

GERMAN UNEMPLOYED FIGHT BACK Short films in german

 

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Find us

EDINBURGH COALITION AGAINST POVERTY is based at the Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh (ACE), an open campaign space & infoshop providing resources and solidarity. Resources available include free computer/internet access, cheap copying, free leaflets, books, pamphlets and mags for sale, and a library. Every Tuesday from 12 to 3pm support and solidarity is available for benefits, debt hassles, housing and other problems. Please contact us at Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty c/o ACE, 17 West Montgomery Place, Edinburgh EH7 5HA, 0131 557 6242 or ecap@lists.riseup.net. We invite you to join our solidarity phone tree and get involved. ACE is also open at other times for particular events (but the support and solidarity sessions are only on Tuesday).