ScotWRAS

Our service offers free advice to frontline support and advice staff throughout Scotland by phone and email.

ScotWRAS

Our service offers free advice to frontline support and advice staff throughout Scotland by phone and email.

Welcome to the Scottish Welfare Reform Advisory Service (ScotWRAS), provided by Shelter Scotland.

ScotWRAS can help if you work for a voluntary sector agency, Registered Social Landlord, Citizen Advice Bureaux or the NHS, or if you have a client with a housing problem or underlying money and debt issues.

Contact ScotWRAS by phone on 0344 515 1310 (weekdays 10am - 3pm) or at scotwras@shelter.org.uk

When to contact ScotWRAS

ScotWRAS can provide you with a point of reference to check information or advice that you're unsure about. We can clarify the advice you're going to give and provide alternative options where necessary.

Where the issue is of a technical nature, we can provide specialist advice as well as sample letters quoting relevant legislation to challenge any decision in relation to housing, and money and debt. We also give workers the option of a confirmation of advice email.

As this service is funded to mitigate against the impact of welfare reform, we ask that the client is in receipt of a welfare benefit. We will, however, provide advice where there's an underlying entitlement or the client is awaiting a decision.

We cover the following areas

Housing

  • Homelessness

  • Renting rights

  • Evictions

  • Repossessions

  • Repairs and bad conditions

  • Housing benefit

Money and debt

  • Financial emergencies

  • Creditors and debts

  • Income maximisation

  • Budgeting

A ScotWRAS client's story

A volunteer from the Citizen Advice Bureaux (CAB) was seeking advice for a single mum with six children, living in private rented accommodation.

She was subject to the benefit cap and was struggling to manage the rent. The CAB was assisting her with a discretionary housing payment application, which was pending. She was also looking for other accommodation, as her current private rented property was unaffordable. She had applied to the local authority for housing, but this application had been suspended, as the she had debts relating to arrears and damages from a previous tenancy. The CAB were seeking advice from ScotWRAS on options open to their client, as she wanted to move from her private rented home but couldn't access housing via the general waiting list due to suspension rules.

ScotWRAS supported CAB to provide homelessness advice to their client, and advised CAB that anyone who has a home can also make a homeless application to the local authority if their current accommodation isn't reasonable to occupy due to affordability. The local authority should then investigate whether the applicant's accommodation is indeed unreasonable for them to continue to live in based on its affordability. Homelessness legislation provides that if the decision goes against the client they have the right to request a review.

Thanks to ScotWRAS, housing professionals were supported and better advice was given to their client.

Helpline advisor wearing red top

We’re here for everyone, but only with your support

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