Advice

How we can help

If you live in West Dunbartonshire then wherever you are, whatever the problem, we are here to help.

West Dunbartonshire Citizens Advice Bureau provides free information and advice on a wide range of subjects. Our team of skilled and trained Advisers recognise that one problem is often linked to another so, rather than simply focusing in on one single problem, we will look at the bigger picture. By doing this we will attempt to identify and even prevent other potential problems which can stop them escalating into anything more serious.

Our volunteers and staff won’t tell you what to do – that is your choice – but we will explain your options and possible consequence you can expect if you choose a particular course of action. We want to help you take control of your situation and to get the best outcome for you.

We provide independent advice on a wide range of subjects:

  • Benefits – questions about entitlements, support with applications, appeals against unfair decisions, benefit checks;
  • Debt advice – maximise your income, improve your financial situation, negotiating with your creditors;
  • Employment problems – questions about your terms and conditions of employment, disciplinary and grievance procedures, redundancy, dismissal;
  • Consumer issues – we can advise and assist on everything from a complaint about a broken kettle to problems with gas and electricity suppliers, mobile phones, fitted kitchens, bathrooms, etc;
  • Relationship problems – issues relating to splitting up, bereavement, disputes around access and custody issues regarding children;
  • Housing – problems with public sector and private sector landlords, problems with neighbours, environmental issues, threatened or actual homelessness


We offer a drop-in service and appointments but for anyone whose circumstances prevent them coming into the Bureau we can arrange a home visit.

 

Useful information to help us advise you

We want to give you the right advice and information as soon as possible. To help us do this, it’s useful to have information about your problem to hand when you contact us for help. What we’ll need to see or know depends on the issue but here are some examples of the kinds of things we may ask you for:

Debt and money problems

  • Proof of income: pay slips/benefit/tax credit details
  • A recent bank statement (for each account)
  • Details of all those that you owe money to (creditors)
  • Copies of any correspondence you have received
  • Copies of any Court papers (if relevant)
  • Details of household expenditure/bills (food, utilities, rent/mortgage etc.)

 Housing problems

  • If you rent your home: tenancy agreement/letters from your landlord
  • If you own your home: mortgage details and title deeds

 Work problems

  • Employment contract
  • Details of any disciplinary/grievance/dismissal issues
  • Any recent letters from employers
  • Staff handbook
  • Copies of employment tribunal applications (if relevant)

 Consumer problems

  • Full details of the goods or services causing the problem
  • Copies of any contracts or credit agreements
  • Any recent letters in connection with the problem
  • Proof of purchase

 Welfare Benefits issues

  • Decision letters that you are not happy with or wish to challenge – this is essential
  • All letters from Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • Medical information (GP/specialists details, list of medications)
  • Details of any savings
  • Tenancy Agreement/Mortgage details
  • Proof of income: pay slips/benefit/tax credit details

Welfare Benefits check

If you would like us to check that you are receiving the benefits and tax credits to which you are entitled, please bring the following information for everyone living in your home.

  • Dates of birth
  • Employment status (employed or self-employed)
  • Number of hours worked
  • Gross income from employment for last tax year – April 6 to April5 (A P60 form will provide this or if self-employed, last year’s accounts)
  • Gross income for this year – A payslip is preferred. Estimate if self-employed
  • If you are receiving benefits at present, please bring all the benefit award letters
  • Child care costs - Please bring something to show that the carer is fully approved along with how much you pay them.
  • Tenancy agreement or current mortgage repayment
  • Council tax bill

Help us to continue our work

Each Citizens Advice Bureau in Scotland is a registered charity and raises its own funds, please contact us to find out how you can make a donation. Alternatively you can make a donation to Citizens Advice Scotland to help us support bureaux to give quality advice, deliver vital services like the Citizens Advice Consumer Service and carry out campaigning and influencing work so that those in power change things for the better.