Monday, 10 June 2013

Citizens Advice Bureau

Elizabeth Crampton from the Citizens Advice Bureau was our guest on Drivetime this evening, Elizabeth covered the following items;

Do I need wedding insurance? What will wedding insurance cover?
There are various levels of wedding insurance cover available. See Wedding insurance rated for details.
If you have to cancel the wedding for any unavoidable reason, such as an injury to you or your partner, the policy should pay out if you are out of pocket. This is likely to be one of the most useful areas of cover that policies offer.
Should you take out wedding insurance?
Wedding insurance can protect you against a range of unfortunate events and help you make sure you are not out of pocket as a result, but whether it’s worth taking out ultimately depends on the cost of your wedding and how worried you are about things going wrong.
All aspects of the policy will have exclusions and cover limits and there will also be general exclusions, so check your policy documents carefully. See Wedding insurance rated for selected cover limits.
Wedding insurance and loss or damage
Wedding insurance can also cover you for loss or damage to wedding attire, such as the wedding dress, as well as presents, the wedding cake, rings, flowers and gifts for the guests. Cover starts a set period before the wedding and finishes a set period after – from seven days before to 24 hours after for wedding gifts, for example – but this will vary depending on the policy.
Any loss or theft should be reported to the police within 24 hours.
Failure of suppliers
You’ll be relying on wedding services from a range of providers. Wedding insurance can cover any extra costs you incur up to the policy limit if something goes wrong with these services. Wedding insurance also covers you for deposits you can’t recover or the cost of arranging alternatives if suppliers go bust, but you would already be covered by section 75 if you paid by credit card.
It's important to scrutinise wedding insurance policies as some insurers, such as Weddingplan, exclude wedding gift providers.
Another important area covered by wedding insurance is your personal liability for injury to third parties or loss or damage to third party property. You may already be covered for this under your but some wedding insurance policies cover the actions of all wedding guests as well as the couple.
Additional areas of cover that some policies offer are for legal expenses, personal accident and stress counselling.
Check the policy details if you are having the reception on a different day from the ceremony or if you are getting married overseas.

Changes to legal aid
Civil legal aid helps to pay for the costs of getting legal advice if you’re on a low income. However, the government has made large cuts to the civil legal aid budget. This means from 1 April you’ll no longer be able to get civil legal aid for many types of problems that might affect your everyday life. These include:
Welfare benefit appeals
You’ll no longer be able to get legal aid to help you make an appeal against a decision on welfare benefits unless you’re making an appeal to the Upper Tribunal or higher courts.
You’ll no longer be able to get legal aid to help you with your debts unless a creditor is making you bankrupt or taking court action to evict you from your home
You’ll no longer be able to get legal aid to help you with housing problems unless:
    there’s serious disrepair in your home
    you’re homeless
    you’re being evicted from your home
    the council is taking action against you because of anti-social behaviour.
You won’t be able to get legal aid to help you with an employment dispute or go to an employment tribunal unless it’s a discrimination case.
Private family law
You won’t be able to get legal aid to help you with private family law problems unless you're a victim or are at risk of domestic violence or there has been or is a risk of child abuse These include:
    dissolution of civil partnership
    financial disputes
    property disputes
    disputes over children.

Asylum support
If you’re an asylum seeker, you won’t be able to get legal aid to help you with asylum support unless you have applied for both housing and financial support.
Non-asylum immigration
You won’t be able to get legal aid to help you with an immigration application unless you:
    have been detained
    make an application under the domestic violence rules
    make an application because you’re a victim of human trafficking.
You won’t get legal aid to help with education problems unless the child or young adult has Special Educational Needs.
Consumer and general contract law
You won’t get legal aid for any action you want to take for consumer problems or problems you have with general contracts.
Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority cases
You won’t get legal aid to help with the costs of trying to get compensation because you’ve suffered a criminal injury.
Clinical negligence cases
You won’t get legal aid for most clinical negligence problems.
What will you still be able to get legal aid for
You’ll still be able to get legal aid for the following problems:
    care proceedings
    family mediation
    asylum applications
    mental health proceedings
    community care cases
Civil Legal Advice helpline
The Civil Legal Advice national helpline on 0845 345 4345 provides specialist legal advice for people who are eligible for civil legal aid.
The service offers advice in six areas of law:
    welfare benefits appeals.
The helpline only offers advice on problems for which you can still get legal aid.
Legal aid for debt, discrimination and Special Educational Needs problems
If you need to apply for legal aid for a debt, discrimination or Special Educational Needs problem, you must apply through the telephone gateway service run by Civil Legal Advice on 0845 345 4345.
Financial eligibility for civil legal aid
There are also changes to who will qualify for civil legal aid, based on the amount of income and capital you have.
If you receive a passporting benefit, your capital will now be assessed to see if you’re eligible to get civil legal aid. Passporting benefits include:
    Income Support
    income-related Employment and Support Allowance
    income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
    guarantee credit part of Pension Credit
    Universal Credit.
There are also increases in the amount of contributions you’ll have to pay towards the cost of civil legal aid.
Further details can be found at the web site;

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