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Provided by Mae Stewart, Editor UNISON Retired members Newsletter, Dundee, Perth and Angus.
Please note that this is not definitive information about benefits but will provide a signpost as to where to get up to date information. Please check the sources first. UNISON Scotland can take no responsibility for information that may be outdated or inaccurate. The member's information excerpts this month were taken from the Pensioners Forum Newsletter, and the local Dundee magazine called Retired & Living in Dundee. My apology for any misquotes.

Issue 11 March 2006

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Department of Works & Pensions Website

The Department of Works & pensions has a website that you can access and find out about any pension details you require, without posting a letter or even leaving home.

You go onto the site, where you will be required to give yourself a customer user name and password.

The DWP send you out a code, then you access the website with that specific code, and you can get required information. This code only lasts for 28 days, and you can only access the part of the site that you have given your user name/password for.

A friend of mine has used this website and tells me that she was pleased with [a] the security methods to prevent other folk from accessing information that does not belong to them, and [b] the fact that she did not have to leave the house to get the information she required. In her case it was a pension forecast.

The address of this website is: www.dwp.gov.uk


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Which Magazine on Line - Information

I receive updates from Which magazine, who will send you free information if you register with them through the Internet.

They indicated a site where you can find out the cheapest way to pay your bills by ‘switching'. On this site they explain what switching is, and the best way to operate it.

Site address: www.which.co.uk/switch

You never know, what with rising gas prices [and everything else] you may be paying too much for your fuel consumption.


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Bus User Complaints Tribunal

I wasn't aware there was such a procedure, but the leaflet I received says, if you've complained about a recent journey/service you have received, and are not satisfied with the response then you can call them on: 0131 228 5478

Or visit the website: www.buct-scotland.org.uk

I can only speak for Dundee, but the bus service/personnel in general are very good.

How and ever, it's good to have reference points about our services when you feel you've hit a dead end with the normal channels of complaint.

I always feel when I put information like this out into the public domain I should also say that as pensioners we should also [and I'm sure most of us do] appreciate all the help and assistance we receive from public service personnel, which is generally the case.

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This is a scheme set up by the Scottish Executive whereby those who wish to enter/return to education may gain assistance.

I do know that at the moment if your total income is below a certain amount you may get approx. £100 - £200 to help with your course. This is dependant on what the course is.

For those of you who may be interested you can call Learndirect on:
0800 783 6000

So here's your chance to take up something new, and perhaps get some financial assistance into the bargain.

Mae Stewart

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