The Consumer Futures Unit at Citizens Advice Scotland has developed a leaflet for those in receipt of benefits that clarifies what they are due to pay for water and sewerage charges, and includes any exemptions, discounts and reductions they may be due.
Many in receipt of full Council Tax Reduction assume that they also do not pay for water and sewerages, ignore bills and end up in debt. Some local authorities use a scheme called Water Direct to recover debt by deducting payments directly from benefits for historic debt as well as for current charges. This form of debt recovery can cause hardship to those in debt.
The CFU hopes that the leaflet, which will be issued by local authorities and front line agencies, will help those on benefits more clearly understand how much they have to pay. In addition, the leaflet provides money, debt, and benefit advisers with a tool to help those on benefits avoid getting into debt.
The leaflet is available for download and printing below, and can be displayed in Citizens Advice Bureaux and other frontline agencies.
If you, your colleagues or staff would like to learn more about providing advice and support to those on Water Direct, please visit the WiserAdviser website and complete the Water Direct eLearning module.