Glasgow City Council helps homeless people claim over £500,000 in benefits
Homeless people have been helped by Glasgow City Council to apply for more than £500,000 in benefits.
The council announced that within the last year, its specialist staff have been deployed in Glasgow’s homeless units and on the streets, to help people apply for Universal Credit (UC) and other benefits.
Since September 2018, financial inclusion support staff based in city homeless projects have helped 83 people apply for benefits totalling almost £515,000 a year.
A roving street worker with a tablet computer has also helped a further 81 rough sleepers in Glasgow apply for UC online.
The role was funded by the city council and based within the Simon Community’s Street Team.
The council’s financial inclusion initiatives aim to help people improve their lives by ensuring they receive their full benefit entitlement and to limit the impact of the introduction of UC which must be applied for online.
Official forms of identification such as a driving licence or passport are also required to apply for UC, yet many homeless people with complex needs and chaotic lifestyles do not have them. Staff also assisted people to obtain these documents and pay for their applications.
Allan Gow, councillor and Glasgow’s city treasurer, said: “People with complex needs and chaotic lifestyles can face barriers to accessing benefits. The introduction of Universal Credit, which has to be applied for and managed online, has further complicated matters. Vulnerable homeless people may not have the IT skills needed to apply for Universal Credit or have access to a computer and can find the process complex.”