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Tenants better off by £762k thanks to award-winning Melville service

Melville service achieves Scottish National Standard for third time.

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Melville Housing Association’s award-winning welfare benefits advice service is celebrating another hugely successful year, during which it helped struggling tenants from across the Lothians, Edinburgh and Lanarkshire access £762,000 and achieved the Scottish National Standard for Information and Advice Providers for a third time.

Over the course of the year, Melville’s two dedicated Welfare Benefits Advisers helped 116 households claim £762,000 of benefits to which they were entitled - an average of over £6,500 for each household, and up from £673,000 the previous financial year.

As well as helping tenants with benefits claims, the Melville team, made up of highly-experienced advisers Jacquie Mather and Andrew Collinge, also supports those appealing incorrect decisions as well as providing digital skills training and money-saving workshops.

Commenting on the success of the service, Melville’s Chief Operating Officer Morag MacDonald said:

“Our welfare benefits advisers are dedicated to helping our tenants and their families receive the benefits they are entitled to.

“We’ve had a lot of feedback throughout the year about the real difference that their help makes, not just to the finances of tenants but also to their health and well-being, particularly in light of recent changes to the welfare system.

“We’re delighted that the Scottish Government continues to recognise this through Scottish National Standard accreditation.”

Also noticeable has been the number of people with disabilities using the service, with more than six out of ten presenting as disabled or suffering from a long-term health condition. There has also been a significant rise in the number of Universal Credit cases, a trend which is expected to continue as the roll-out of the UK Government’s flagship benefit programme continues.

Melville tenants looking for advice or help from Melville’s dedicated Money Advice Service should visit www.melville.org.uk or phone 0131 654 2733 and speak to the housing section.

Help is also available from independent organisations such as Citizens Advice.

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