• Date awarded: February 2020
  • Awarded value: £100,000
  • Fund: General Fund
  • Location: Fife-wide

Local advice provider, Citizens Advice and Right Fife (CARF), are offering Financial Health Checks and Advice to our NHS Fife staff that may help maximise their income.

The service is initially targeting those staff employed up to and including Band 5 NHS Fife staff. The service started on the 1st October 2021 and is for 2 yrs.

The overall aim is to ensure that NHS Fife staff have access to all financial supports and benefits to which they are entitled. Enabling staff to access financial supports and benefits will contribute to both the physical and mental wellbeing of staff. Improving the health and wellbeing of staff will contribute to reducing absenteeism and sickness rates and to improving the health and wellbeing of the organisation and the local communities in which NHS Fife staff live.

Very often people, particularly those who are in work but on low incomes, are not aware of benefits and other financial entitlements available to them. Those who can least afford to do so fail to maximise their potential income. Income maximisation requires specialist advice and support and time to ensure that all of the various benefits and other financial entitlements are claimed by those entitled to receive them.

The reasons people do not claim their benefit entitlements are varied, but lack of knowledge and awareness about benefits and how to claim them are among the main ones. Even when awareness is raised, many people remain confused and put off by the complexity of the claim forms, meaning that they often fail to complete or return them. The implementation of recent welfare reform changes has had an impact on this area of work, with eligibility criteria, level of benefit and the ways in which payment is made all changing.

This project will enable NHS Fife staff to access quality advice and information to enable them to maximise their income.