Support for People claiming Universal Credit

UPDATE: February 2018

We have a team of Income Maximisation Caseworkers based across the county; they can help you make a claim for UC. They also check you are getting all the income you are entitled to from other sources, and provide help with budgeting and saving money on bills.

These posts are funded via Stour Valley & Poole Partnership and Westwey Partnership.

Energy Best Deal Extra

Residents of Dorset can now access energy advice through the Energy Best Deal Extra project from four local Citizens Advice offices. Call the Energy Referral Line to find out more or book an appointment 01929 775500.

Advice can include:

  • Helping with consumer issues with energy suppliers
  • Energy comparisons, switching suppliers, tariffs and/or payment methods
  • Energy benefits or schemes (e.g. Warm Home Discount, Priority Services Register)
  • Energy efficiency advice

Surviving Winter

CAiD acts as a conduit for grants to clients in fuel poverty. The funds are collected by the Dorset Community Foundation from pensioners who do not need their Winter Fuel Allowance. Citizens Advice advisers then identify clients who meet the criteria and they receive a grant of £200 via CAiD; in 2014/15 we gave out 62 grants,  in 2015/16 80 grants, and on 2016/17 92 grants. This meant vulnerable people could avoid situations like ‘I even wear my coat indoors to keep warm’.

Energy Best Deal

Funding via national Citizens Advice from Ofgem and the main energy suppliers enables Citizens Advice to provide training sessions to frontline staff and  consumers.  The sessions cover how to save money on fuel bills by negotiating a better tariff or switching suppliers and/or what people can do to improve their home’s energy efficiency.

In 2016/17 these session were delivered by Purbeck Citizens Advice.

Connecting Advice in Dorset

CAiD was the lead for this 2 year project which closed in November 2015. The project was funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund, working in partnership with Shelter (Bournemouth), Dorset Race Equality Council, Ansbury (information, advice and guidance for young people), and our nine local Citizens Advice offices. The project aimed to to improve collaboration between advice agencies across Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole, increase access to advice, and provide support to advice agencies in order to improve their resilience and ability to provide a quality service.