Mental health charities have warned that it will be more difficult to get direct debt advice if the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) plans to resume debt advice services.
The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, a charity founded by Martin Lewis, says that people with mental health issues and other complex needs will be particularly affected by the reduction of face-to-face debt advice. I’m warning you.
Charities are urging MaPS to protect funds for face-to-face debt advice so that vulnerable people do not miss this important lifeline.
A charity study investigated the impact of the ongoing resumption of debt advisory services in the UK, supervised by Money and Pensions Service (MaPS).
Studies show that the new procurement process will make debt advice available to people across the country, thanks to an increase in overall annual funding, and make the sector more stable with longer contracts with debt advice providers. Suggests.
Some of the new changes will help debt advisors better serve clients with complex needs. For example, there is a new provision to train some advisors on how to better support clients with mental health problems.
However, Money and Mental Health warns that the restart process is almost certain to significantly reduce face-to-face debt advice. This is due to MaPS’s decision to allocate 55% of its debt advice funds to national debt advice providers. These organizations are better equipped to provide remote advice, such as online automated advice, rather than face-to-face support.
The new contract for a domestic provider does not include the channel that the debt advice provider uses to provide support and the amount of money that must be allocated for face-to-face support. This means that national debt advice providers do not need to protect face-to-face support.
These changes could give more people access to debt advice, but for many, this could be an automated online service. Money and Mental Health warns that these changes will come at the expense of debtors with complex needs.
Charities have written to the government to share these concerns and urged MaPS to suspend the restart process to protect the availability of face-to-face advice.
Martin Lewis, Chair and Founder of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, said: As a result, they will make calls based on their user base, but all that is needed is top-level adjustments to ensure that the proper balance of different types of advice is met across the UK. is. By choosing this method of operation, MaPS effectively disclaims responsibility and runs the risk of collapse in providing face-to-face advice to those in need.
“MaPS is doing a difficult job and there is no easy choice here, but pausing this restart process, publishing evidence to back up these changes, and setting a minimum allocation of funds. I think it’s best. I have to go to face-to-face debt advice. When so many people are experiencing debt and pain, it’s vulnerable people who need access to face-to-face assistance. Is essential to ensure that you don’t miss it. “
Helen Undy, Chief Executive Officer of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, said: Some people may have a hard time leaving home and will only have access to support online or by phone.
“But for others, being able to talk face-to-face with advisors is important in helping them engage in debt support and avoid really serious financial difficulties. Supports the expansion of online and phone-based advice, but this should never sacrifice face-to-face services that some of the most vulnerable people trust.
“We are really worried that people with serious mental health and financial problems will be lost from the changes MaPS is making to their debt advice services and many will not be able to get help. We encourage MaPS to rethink this process and take steps to ensure that debtors receive the support they need through the channels that work for them. It can be the difference between vulnerable people getting a significant financial lifeline or suffering from serious financial difficulties. ”
Warning that face-to-face debt support may be reduced
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