Government plans to change Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

On May 14, 2012, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • Half a million people could be affected by the plans of Government to change the DLA benefit over to a new structured Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
  • The new system is due to replace the disability benefit later this year. Currently people receive disability living allowance for help and assistance in moving around and it is based on capability not sickness.

The Government has information to hand that suggests that DLA claims have risen at a rate that does not relate to statistics in other areas of daily life monitored closely by government offices.

  • A 30% rise in recent years has been calculated for DLA claimants.
  • The annual cost of benefits in UK is soon to reach £13 billion!

One problem has been continuity of DLA payments without re-assessment, if people were previously awarded DLA; they usually were never questioned or re-assessed again. Some DLA benefit may no longer be justified under the new Personal Independence Payment or PIP system and this could involve a possible half a million people currently claiming DLA or Disability Living Allowance in the UK.

Living with personal debt problems whilst on Disability Living Allowance or DLA can be a struggle in itself and here at Lewis Alexander Financial Management we understand the problems faced.

People usually struggle with cash loans and catalogue debts and unsecured credit agreements with high rate lenders when in personal debt on DLA.

This type of lender will prey on the vulnerable in society and this can end up in people utilising most of the DLA they receive to repay credit and interest.

If you are making multiple payments to credit and loan companies each month and are struggling on benefits such as DLA or Incapacity, you may wish to consider getting advice or help from a financial management company.

Once you study who your money is being paid out to each month, along with a consultant or debt advisor that can assist, you may be able to find a way to reduce your payments and make the money you get stretch further for living costs and daily life.

This should certainly be considered if you find that your DLA payments will not be as much, if at all, once the new Personal Independence Payment or PIP gets introduced.

Speak with a trained personal finance consultant and obtain further advice and help to clear personal debt problems whilst on DLA or benefits.

  • Lines are open 24 hours and your call is usually free from a UK land line, mobile call costs may vary.
Find us on Google+
  • The last 2 weeks have been most ironic for news regarding PPI Claims in the UK.

First off, the BBC called upon a fee charging debt management and insolvency company director to offer advice on the breakfast show about how to claim back your PPI (Payment Protection Insurance) for free.

The personal debt management and insolvency company director was not heard rushing to recommend the free to client debt charities that can help with self debt management plans such as the CCCS (Consumer Credit Counselling Service) or the National Debtline etc.

The BBC are regularly reporting on the problems within the personal debt management sector.

The fee charging side of the debt management industry who mostly are and do remain compliant get a tough ride from the news and it is rare to see an independent compliant industry member given the opportunity to publicly share views regarding compliant fee charging operations.

Why did the BBC simply not decide to have an IFA (Independent Financial Advisor) who has no commercial fee charging connection or gain from the personal debt / insolvency industry offer advice on how to claim back PPI for free?

What the BBC seem to have done is recruit a number of local professionals “up north” who make guest bookings easy for the news channel and gives them industry content for the business news, better research would ensure the correct message reached the correct people with what we believe should be a balanced message.

A comparable analogy for what the BBC did with the PPI industry last week as referred to above could be viewed as asking an active Political Dictator to advise another currently democratic electorate on policies that should be undertaken and implemented for the benefit of that currently democratic state.

The BBC did not come over as balanced in reporting about the good PPI companies if mentioned at all, no defamation is meant as this is written by a fully paid BBC TV License (2012) holder!

Martin Lewis from Money Saving Expert has teamed up with the consumer action / review group Which to offer free advice on how to claim back PPI for free, or doing it yourself.

We have been led to believe without confirmation that money saving expert run by Martin Lewis operates by receiving a commission for a link or click through for savings and offers as referral payments for sales generated by the money saving expert site.

  • Does the link up with Which not get Martin Lewis extra revenue at the end of each day?
  • Is this now a bandwagon that all are jumping on for whatever gain is possible?
  • Who can be trusted as 100% transparent?
  • Why is he not mentioning this on Watchdog when commenting on other financial organisations?
  • It would be leading by example if Martin put his “how the site is funded” info at the top of his site with transparency and equality regarding prominent compliance.

As with anything in life, you can either pay for a service or decide to do it yourself.

Let’s consider some choices in daily life that we face on the above decision making basis;

  • Car Servicing – Do it yourself or get it done by a mechanic?
  • Breakdown Cover – Use the RAC / AA or call a mate to collect you?
  • Health Care – BUPA v National Health Service (NHS)
  • Dentist – Dental insurance plan, visit a dentist or pull your own teeth out?
  • Washing – Do it yourself or visit a Cleaner or Dry Cleaner Service?
  • Job recruitment – Find a job yourself or use a recruitment agency?

We can go on listing many silly and relevant arguments for the above question of doing something yourself or paying for a service.

Usually when you employ the services or enlist a professional to undertake work for you, it is with peace of mind that the service will be a bona fide one.

Affordability, time and personal choice along with ability are the four main factors that dictate the mental decision process of enlisting paid for help or going along the DIY route in life!

When consumer groups talk about people not being aware about PPI companies charging fees we can quite understand this, however, there are bona fide PPi companies out there. Also out there are the bad ones that are exploiting the industry.

  • As with anything, the consumer must beware.

Then we have to consider the vulnerable consumer, who unfortunately due to a number of reasons actually can make what we call a “rod for their own back”

Most vulnerable consumers will wish to hear that what they actually want or think is right for them, is actually available to them!

  • This is where the problem starts.
  • A compliant and bona fide company will try to explain with conviction that the service or product (when considering the financial services industry) the vulnerable consumer is applying for is not actually the best solution for them.
  • A non-compliant company would try and sell the consumer something as close as possible to what they enquired for originally whilst still matching the vulnerable consumer to a service or product they purport to be able to deliver or supply.

The news reported that banks may win some consumer bonus points as they are writing directly to the consumer to offer PPI claim repayments where they internally evidence the client may be due a refund.

Why then, did the banks previously spend millions of £’s legally trying to win a Judicial Review to stop the requirement for Payment Protection Insurance refunds where applicable?

We appreciate the commerciality of the decision made by Banks but when taking into account the recent and current global economic problems, will it ever become policy or law for big business to incorporate a moral obligation into their business models?

Introducer and offer / savings styled websites such as Money Saving Expert, tell you to go direct to the people that miss-sold the PPI to you originally then legally tried to avoid having to repay it to you and are now offering you to deal directly to claim it back!

Are the bona fide PPI companies and debt management providers merely being reduced to the “Meat in the Sandwich” of the authoritative and media driven “big feast”?

Let’s accept the truth, if the banks did not make the error of miss-selling PPI originally and the credit companies did not overload people with unaffordable loans and credit facilities, the debt management companies and PPI companies would have nothing to do!

  • Chicken or egg scenario?

If you are suffering from any personal debt problems and feel that you would benefit from the assistance of a fee charging professional bona fide and time served established debt consolidation company then contact our;

Lewis Alexander debt helpline today in absolute confidence using 0800 018 6868.

  • Lines are open 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.
  • Your call is usually free from a UK land line.
  • Mobile call costs to our debt helpline may vary.
  • Please check before calling with your service provider.
Find us on Google+

Over One Million to Face Increased Mortgage Repayments

On May 1, 2012, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • Are you one of the million plus people in the UK facing increased mortgage repayments?

  • Do you think you will struggle to make ends meet with increased mortgage repayments?

News in the domestic financial mortgage industry reports that over one million UK homeowners are set to face increased mortgage repayments from today onwards.

Banks have been putting the reason for rate increases down to the general state of the economy and the fact that in a weak economy this is more of a requirement for them!

NatWest, The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Halifax are just a few of the mortgage lenders that intend to increase rates, these increases are expected to be no more than 0.5%, some being lower!

Other banks intending to follow suit are Clydesdale, The Co-Op Bank and Yorkshire Bank.

Even though the Bank of England has kept base rates at a low, it seems that the banks have made the decision to impact a great number of existing customers.

  • This 0.5% rise is expected to increase the average monthly mortgage repayment by approximately £55 on a mortgage of around £200,000.

Responsible lending is being policed by the financial authorities and moving mortgage provider may become difficult for those who have fallen into mortgage arrears or possibly have negative equity in the property they own.

  • If you are struggling with mortgage arrears and other forms of personal debt, these financial  problems need dealing with urgently as they don’t go away without a decent sized lottery win!

Personal debt consolidation companies can help you to clear mortgage arrears and restructure your personal unsecured credit accounts so that the mortgage can be prioritised as it should be and other creditors can get a share of what you have spare!

There are a number of debt consolidation options that can assist people in need of financial help due to mortgage arrears.

  • If you think you would benefit from tailored financial help then please call our personal financial helpline today, it’s free from a land line and our lines are open 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.
  • Call 0800 018 6868
  • Mobile call costs may vary!
Find us on Google+
Find us on Google+