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Money Advice

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Why raise the issue of money? 

  • Money Advice is for patients/ carers of all ages regardless of their working status.
  • Ill health can trigger a range of worries and concern about money including the effect on wages, entitlement to benefits, and worries about paying every day bills.
  • By asking a simple question and providing patients/ carers with assistance on where to get help and how to access it, practice staff can do a lot to prevent further unnecessary worry and anxiety.
  • Patients/ carers can access information about all aspects of financial concerns e.g. debt management, managing money, high electricity/ gas bills and the prospect of reduced rate tariffs, concerns

How to raise the issue of money 

  • Practice Staff should use their own judgement about when and where to raise the issue of financial difficulty during a consultation
  • The earlier the issue is raised the quicker help and support can be provided.
  • Diagnosis and/or recurrent consultations and annual reviews for an LTC offer important opportunities for money worries to be raised
  • Patients / Carers may already be making practice staff aware of their financial worries and concerns.

Suggestions to start the conversation:

  • Would you like information on a service that can help you with any money worries/concerns that you might be having?
  • Will you need any help with money issues/concerns (e.g. debts, benefit claims or paying every day bills) as a result of your health condition?
  • Do you have any money worries?

How to respond:

  • Individual financial situations can be complex whether these involve debt, welfare benefits and/or other issues.
  • It is important that healthcare professionals are clear that they do not need to go in ‘too deep’ and fix problems for patients.
  • Where patients do have issues, the role of staff is to:
    • reassure that support is available
    • gain consent for referral
    • refer to the service

Sanctions and Appeals

  • Due to the changes to the Welfare State many patients find themselves being sanctioned.
  • This might simply be because they have been unable to meet the claimant commitment because they have been unwell.
  • It is important to encourage patients to appeal the sanction because if an appeal is not made the second sanction will be longer than the first.
  • The DWP can sanction for up to three years.
  • When someone is sanctioned this leaves them with no access to money.
  • In this urgent situation patients can access the Scottish Welfare Fund
  • It offers access to:
    • Crisis Grants
      • Help people who are in crisis because of a disaster or an emergency
        • A disaster is something like a fire or a flood. 
        • An emergency can be when they have lost money or it was stolen. 
      • Award decisions will be made within 2 working days and there are a variety of methods available to support grant awards
    • Community Care Grants
      • Help people who may have to go into care unless they get some support to stay at home. Or, if they are leaving any form of care and need help to set-up their own home
      • It can also help families facing exceptional pressures, with one-off items, like a cooker or a washing machine.
      • Applications for Community Care Grants will be processed within 15 working days.
      • Awards may be given for goods, services or by direct bank transfer

The Citizens Advice Bureau has published a very useful guide to surviving sanctions please click here to access the guide..

Food Banks

  • The Trussell Trust provides the largest network of food banks across the United Kingdom.
  • To find out the nearest food bank and to hold food bank vouchers please go to
  • Please do remember when giving a patient a voucher for the foodbank to also refer them to money advice so that we support them not to continually have to live in a crisis situation.
  • The money advice service can undertake a benefits check, support with debt management and budgeting skills.
Referral to Services
For information about local services please access Health and Wellbeing Directory.

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