Even though furlough has been extended until the end of September 2021 to further protect jobs, the unpredictable nature of coronavirus and potential for new variants, means the future remains very uncertain.
So if you’re worried that you’ll be made unemployed when furlough ends, what can you do to prepare, and protect yourself from unmanageable financial problems? Initially, it’s important to know the options that might be available should you need assistance.
This includes guidance on paying off your debts, but also the various forms of state support you could receive. Universal Credit is very well known, but there are other benefits and help that you may not have considered.
PACE, or Partnership Action for Continuing Employment, helps people who have been made redundant or who are facing redundancy. There are PACE teams operating throughout Scotland, so wherever you live you’ll have local access to help, including:
PACE support is free, and you can access guidance on your rights and statutory entitlements in relation to redundancy, as well as interview preparation, money management, and the state benefits that might be available to you.
These are just a few of the grants and financial support available to people in Scotland:
Various formal debt solutions also exist in Scotland, which can help if you’re made unemployed when furlough ends and are worried about debt.
This is a flexible debt programme that could be appropriate if your debts exceed £5,000. DAS enables you to repay your debts in full, but over a longer time period - this is important as it means you don’t have to declare full insolvency. The Debt Arrangement Scheme relies on having a regular income, but if you’re made unemployed when furlough ends and are able to find another job, DAS could be a suitable option for you.
A Scottish Trust Deed involves paying a proportion of the debts you owe, usually over a period of four years. Depending on your circumstances you may be able to write off up to 90% of your debts, which can include council tax arrears and rent arrears.
Sequestration is the Scottish term for bankruptcy and involves handing over your assets to a Trustee, who sells them at auction in partial repayment for creditors. If you believe you won’t be able to repay any of your debts, sequestration can offer a fresh financial start.
Scotland Debt Solutions can provide further information and advice if you’re worried that you’ll be made unemployed when furlough ends. We’re insolvency specialists and have been helping Scottish residents to escape debt since 1989. Please get in touch with one of the team to arrange a free, same-day consultation - we work from offices around Scotland.
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What emergency help is available for people in Scotland while Universal Credit is stopped due to an investigation or dispute? Read more about debt solutions:
Our Scottish based team can help advise you on your debt problems.