The Action Group stands for choice, opportunity and no barriers.
We believe that having a specialist Advice Service is a vital part of this vision.
- Good advice promotes choice by giving people the information to make informed choices.
- Good advice provides opportunities to access new services, equipment or income.
- Good advice removes barriers like poverty, homelessness, and debt.
Click HERE to read our service promise.
Our 2017-2018 evaluation results can be viewed HERE.
A breakdown of our enquiries for last year can be viewed HERE.
Welfare advice service
Our Welfare Rights Service works across Edinburgh, the Lothians and Falkirk. It is for adults and children with support needs and those they live with. The service provides advice on all welfare benefits and tax credits. It is free, independent and confidential. We can offer home visits and interpreters wherever needed.
- Benefit Checks: We can check that you are getting all the right welfare benefits.
- Claims and Forms: We can help you make new claims and complete benefit forms.
- Scenarios: We can give you the information you need to make informed choices about which benefits are best for you and how changes in your circumstances might affect these benefits (for example, starting work).
- Face-to-Face Assessments: If you have to attend a ‘medical’ assessment as part of a benefit claim we can help you prepare and go along with you.
- Mandatory Reconsiderations: We can help you ask the benefits agency to look at their decision again. We can also help you request new evidence to support your case.
- Appeals: We can represent you at benefit appeals, including gathering evidence and writing a formal submission on your behalf.
- Passported Benefits: We can give you information about any other entitlements you are eligible for e.g. a blue badge.
If you wish to use our welfare rights service please get in touch.
You can call us on 0131 475 2315 (and ask for a member of the advice service).
Black and ethnic minority advice service
BEMAS stands for Black and Ethnic Minority Advice Service. BEMAS offers advice to carers of disabled children from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities living in Edinburgh.
BME carers can face extra barriers to get the help that they need. They might be new to Edinburgh and want help finding out what is out there. They might not know what to expect from the services in the community. They could have a language need that makes getting the right information more difficult. Whatever barriers people face, BEMAS works with families to break these down. The service builds confidence, increases knowledge and improves access to local services. BEMAS offers one-to-one advice and information on a wide range of topics. The service also runs regular Carers Meetings and an annual Family Fun Day.
The service is free, independent and confidential. We can offer home visits and interpreters wherever needed.
We offer advice on:
- Services for carers: From respite to reflexology we will listen to what you need to support you in your caring role and help you to make contact with relevant services.
- Services for your child: We know what services are out there, from play schemes to sleep therapy. This helps us introduce you to local services that are right for your child.
- Benefits: We can find out if you are eligible to claim benefits. If you are we can help you fill in claim forms and challenge decisions.
- Grants and Trusts: Be it a short break or a washing machine we can help you identify and apply for funding for the things you need to support your in your caring role.
- Housing: We can support you with the process of getting a home to meet your family’s needs.
- Social Activities: We can help you find and access local social activities for you and your child.
- Social Work Assessments: We can explain what a social work assessment is for, help you to make contact with social workers and prepare and support you throughout the process.
- Education: We can help you find out about the ‘additional support for learning’ system. We can also come along to support you at appointments like child planning meetings.
If you wish to use our BME advice service please get in touch.
You can call us on 0131 475 2315 (and ask for a member of the BEMAS team).