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Wed 30 July, 2014

General Advice

North Ayrshire Citizens Advice Service and our associated Citizens Advice Bureaux provide a generalist advice service throughout North Ayrshire. We operate an open door policy, no appointment necessary, at all the locations where services are provided in North Ayrshire.

Using the Citizens Advice service's unique information system we can give you free, confidential, impartial and independent advice and information on a wide range of subjects.

All North Ayrshire Citizens Advice Bureaux provides free advice in the following areas:

Help with benefits and welfare rights

Welfare Benefits

If you are unsure about your entitlement to benefits, visit a North Ayrshire Citizens Advice Bureau, we can advise you. We can help with unemployment benefits and income support, housing benefits, the social fund, tax credits, disability benefit and incapacity benefit and jobseekers' allowance.

We also offer a form-filling service to help you claim benefits which you may be entitled to.

Find out more about our Benefits and Welfare Rights service.

Consumer rights and advice on goods and services

Consumer affairs

If you are unsure about your consumer rights, at NACAS we can advise you and help you to decide what to do next.

We can also give you practical help by negotiating with shops and traders, help you to write letters, phone or fax companies on your behalf, help you with forms and help you with small claims procedures.

Find out more about our Consumer Advice and Rights service.

Help with debt and financial matters

Debt and financial matters

We can advise you on all aspects of debt and the course of action open to you. Advisers can help you to create a budget, decide on an appropriate strategy to deal with your debts, prepare court paperwork and assist in negotiating repayments. We can also help with emergencies such as threatened disconnections or action by bailiffs.

Before seeking debt advice you may find this useful - what to bring with you.

Find out more about our Money Advice and Debt Management service.

Advice and guidance on education

Education

Working your way through the maze of education choices in Scotland can be difficult.

We have advice and information about education for all stages of your life: from pre-school to adult education. There is also advice on financial and other support for learning.

  • Help with school costs
  • The Hardship Fund
  • Help with training and qualifications for people leaving the Armed Forces and veterans
  • Complaints againts pre-school organisations, primary schools and secondary schools
  • Education Grants and Loans
  • Education costs
  • Exclusion from education
Your employment rights

Employment problems

We provide advice and practical help on employment rights and statutory rights, including the national minimum wage and holiday pay, advice about benefits or tax credits you are entitled to when in work, and advice on race and sex discrimination at work.

We can give you practical help by helping you make a claim for unpaid wages, checking redundancy payments are correct, advising on changes to terms and conditions, advising on your employee's individual rights and identifying possible claims for unfair dismissal.

If necessary we can help take a claim to an employment tribunal and represent you free of charge. If your problem is complex we can arrange an appointment with a specialist employment adviser.

Find out more about our Employment Advice and Employment Tribunals Representation service.

Advice on families and relationships

Family and Relationships

We can advise you on all aspects regarding the family, including: separation and divorce, maintenance and child support, parents' rights and responsibilities, birth and adoption, change of name, what to do when someone dies.

If necessary we can refer you to a counsellor, a mediator or a family lawyer.

Advice on financial products and services

Financial Products and Services

Our specially trained advisers can assist you with many financial products and services issues, including:

  • Complaints against financial advisers, brokers and intermediaries.
  • Complaints with insurance (buildings and contents).
  • Pensions, savings and investments.
  • Obtaining credit reference file.
Advice on health and NHS complaints

Health and NHS complaints

Problems about health care range from knowing what you are entitled to from the NHS to how to complain if the service is poor.

We provide advice and information about your rights to health care, the NHS complaints procedure, how much health care costs and we direct you to other specialist agencies who can provide you with help and more detailed information.

  • Help with health costs
  • NHS patients' rights
  • NHS complaints
  • Healthcare for people injured in the Armed Forces and veterans
  • NHS charges for people from abroad
  • Going abroad for dental care
Help with your housing problems

Housing

We can advise you on all aspects of housing including: rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, tenancies, housing benefit, rent problems, including establishing 'fair rents', advice on eviction and problems with neighbours.

Find out more about our Housing Advice service.

Advice on immigration

Immigration

We can give basic advice on many aspects of immigration such as:

  • Visitor Visas
  • Fiancee or Spouse Visas
  • Student Visas
  • Work Permits
  • Immigration status
  • Welfare Benefits
  • Asylum Seekers
  • Refugees
Advice on legal issues

Legal Issues

We can give basic advice on many aspects of legal problems such as:

  • Advise you on your entitlement to, and how to access, Legal Aid
  • Give advice and guidance about going to court
  • Identify if you need a Solicitor and help you find the most appropriate one for your case
  • Harassment by the police
Help with tax problems including council

Tax

Advice on tax problems, including:

  • income tax
  • tax credits
  • inheritance tax
  • council tax
Help with travel, transport and holidays

Travel, Transport and Holidays

Advice on travel, transport and holidays, including:

  • Young people - travel and transport
  • Public transport
  • Transport options for disabled people
  • Driving licences
  • Problems with holidays
  • Health advice for travellers
  • Travel abroad
Help utilities and communications

Utilities and Communications

We can help with common problems that arise in relation to phone services (land lines and mobiles), television services and licensing, the internet and postal services. We also provide information about the media and how you can use the law to protect your information and privacy.

We can also advise on problems that may arise when obtaining and paying for gas or electricity supplies and how to save money on your energy bills and what extra help might be available.

What we can help with:

  • Problems with gas and electricity bills
  • Fuel costs and saving money
  • Switching gas and electricity suppliers
  • Problems with postal services
  • Television licences
  • Using the law to protect your information
  • Guide on your rights to access information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002
  • Mobile phone contracts
  • Mobile phone bills
  • Complaints about mobile phones
  • Complaints about telephone services
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Useful links

Our Offices:
Arran CAB
Ormidale Sports Centre
Shore Road
Brodick
Isle of Arran
KA27 8DL
Tel: 01770 302 710
Irvine CAB
22A Eglinton Street
Irvine
KA12 8AS
Tel: 01294 278 051
Kilbirnie CAB
43 Main Street
Kilbirnie
KA25 7BX
Tel: 01505 682 830
Largs CAB
32-34 Boyd Street
Largs
KA30 8LE
Tel: 01475 673 586
Saltcoats CAB
87 Dockhead Street
Saltcoats
KA21 5ED
Tel: 01294 467 848

© NACAS. All rights reserved. NACAS is recognised as a charity by the Inland Revenue (Scotland), Number SC028222. The North Ayrshire Citizens Advice Service is a Company Limited by Guarantee Number 188819. Registered Office: 87 Dockhead Street, Saltcoats, KA21 5ED