‘Fi­nan­cial health check’ avail­able

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS - LEWIS MCKEN­ZIE

Low-in­come fam­i­lies in Scot­land have been urged to seek free fi­nan­cial ad­vice, with around half a mil­lion cases of peo­ple not claim­ing all the sup­port they are en­ti­tled to.

A “fi­nan­cial health check” ser­vice was launched in No­vem­ber, of­fer­ing im­par­tial ad­vice to help peo­ple max­imise their in­come and re­duce costs.

The scheme, backed by £3.3 mil­lion of Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment fund­ing, is be­ing de­liv­ered by the Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Net­work in Scot­land.

Peo­ple are cur­rently able to ac­cess the ser­vice by call­ing a free helpline, with a face-to-face ver­sion to be im­ple­mented.

Aileen Camp­bell, Com­mu­ni­ties Sec­re­tary, said: “The fi­nan­cial health check is an in­valu­able source of sup­port for fam­i­lies on a low in­come and friendly, ex­pe­ri­enced ad­vis­ers are on hand to walk through all op­tions.

“The ser­vice will cover is­sues such as ac­cess to free school meals, ben­e­fit up­take, coun­cil tax re­duc­tion and cheaper deals on en­ergy and other util­i­ties to re­duce house­hold costs.”

Derek Mitchell, CEO of Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Scot­land, said: “We know from re­search large num­bers of Scots are still not claim­ing sup­port they are en­ti­tled to.

“We are pleased to have this op­por­tu­nity to reach those peo­ple who need sup­port the most, par­tic­u­larly at this time of year.”

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