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Welcome to the website of the Voice of Experience Forum - Working with and for Older People in North Lanarkshire 

The Voice of Experience Forum is an independent recognised charity working throughout North Lanarkshire to ensure that older people’s voices are being heard. 

Voice of Experience Forum work in partnership with a number of organisations such as North Lanarkshire Council, NHS Lanarkshire, The Pension Service, Age Concern Scotland etc to ensure that the views and opinions of older people in North Lanarkshire are being heard.

We have been working within this partnership to develop a strategy for older people living and working in North Lanarkshire called “Living Well in North Lanarkshire – A quality of life strategy 2007-2012”. 

This strategy  will help ensure that older people in North Lanarkshire have a better quality of life, it will also compliment the Scottish government strategy for Scotland “All our futures” – planning for a Scotland with an ageing population which can be accessed on the Scottish Government website

The Voice of Experience Forum are always keen to hear the views and opinions of older people so if you or your organisation would like to meet with the Development Worker this can be arranged at any time. 

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Making Life Easier in North Lanarkshire

Are you struggling to manage everyday activities that you never used to think about?  Or are you worried about someone you live with or care for?  North Lanarkshire Councils Making Life Easier service could be for you.


All of us can find everyday activities like opening jars, getting on and off a chair, hearing the doorbell and struggling to get in and out of a bath or standing in a shower difficult from time to time.  This might be because we are getting older, or because we live with a long term health condition or disability that just makes things more difficult to manage.


Help is at hand! Making Life Easier is an easy to use on line service where you can find help, advice, information and access to simple pieces of equipment and adaptations direct from the councils Integrated Equipment and Adaptation Service without the need for further assessment.  Any equipment solution you are matched to will be delivered free of charge by staff from IEAS.  They will also arrange for any simple adaptation you are matched to.


The service is free and totally confidential.  It is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  Around half of the people who currently use the service do so after 6pm at night.  About 80% of all equipment requests are delivered within 7 working days from IEAS.


There is advice on how to look after your feet and footwear, on how to keep active and healthy to prevent falling, things you can do if you are worried about your memory, and tips on how to manage a whole range of everyday activities more safely and independently.  


We have worked with physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, dieticians, podiatrists as well as organisations like Action on Hearing Loss, RNIB, Strathclyde Fire and Rescue to make sure that there is up to date professional advice on a huge range of topics.  


All you need to do is answer a few questions about you, how you manage and your environment to see if you are matched to any solutions.  This usually takes around 15 minutes.  If you want to get equipment from IEAS then you need to live in North Lanarkshire and register on the service.  This is free too and takes minutes to do.


Making Life Easier is not something North Lanarkshire Council is providing instead of its usual services, but is a new and exciting addition.  We recognise that the earlier people get information, advice and support the more likely they are to be able to keep living at home doing the things they want and need to do.


You can find the service at www.northlanarkshire.gov.uk/makinglifeeasier


If you want more information on the service contact one of our Disability Information Officers on tel: 01698 274418 or 274584
mobile/SMS: 07939 283323
email: MakingLifeEasier@northlan.gov.uk

In this world nothing can

taxforolderpeople

Bereavement can be a difficult and often stressful time.  It’s an emotional rollercoaster, but as anyone who has been through this will also know, there is a staggering amount of paperwork to deal with too. In the circumstances, this can be quite mind boggling.  If you have a solicitor dealing with estate they are likely to make you aware of your obligations to the taxman, and should guide you through painlessly.


 “Tell us Once” is a service that helps people tell government departments just once about a death. Most counties run the service and you can find out about it when you register the death.

Once you register for this service, all government departments will be informed; HMRC, Tax Credits, DWP, DVLA and the passport service to name a few. If the service is unavailable in your area you will need to contact each department separately. When someone dies it is important to determine if too much or too little tax has been paid for the year, and HMRC will send out a form R27 to the person responsible for settling the estate.

 It is important to check that any unused allowances for the year of death, such as married couples or blind person’s allowances are transferred to the survivor. The death of a spouse will often make a difference to how the survivor is taxed. For example they may receive a new pension, start to receive a widow’s pension or find their State pension increased, in addition to the allowances that can be transferred to the surviving spouse.


HMRC may send out a pension coding form, P161W, asking for details of income.  It can be completed as soon as the survivor knows what their new pensions etc. will be and HMRC will use the information to work out how any tax due will be paid, and then issue new tax codes if required.
Please don’t forget savings income.  A person who becomes a taxpayer will have to revoke any election they made (on form R85) to receive gross bank or building society interest.

For example, a woman, who only has the married woman’s state pension of £66.00 a week, has never had to worry about tax and may have notified their bank for interest to be paid gross rather than net of tax. When her husband dies she inherits half of his occupational pension, gets an increased state pension based on his national insurance contributions, and may have more investment income. Suddenly she is a taxpayer. She is not on the HMRC computer system and probably is totally unaware that she will be liable to pay tax. At this very difficult time, when she is at her most vulnerable, she is supposed to know that she needs to complete an R27, inform HMRC of changes in her income, check any information that is sent to her in relation to tax codes and remember to revoke any R85s she has in place.


We find that it normally takes about six months to get everything in order, and we also recommend an end of year check, and review of the following year, to check that all is well.

This article is by Tax Help for Older People (operated by registered charity no 1102276), offering free tax advice to older people on incomes below £17,000 a year. The Helpline number is 0845 601 3321 or geographical 01308 488066

Tax Demands - LIFE BEGINS AT R40??

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LIFE BEGINS AT R40??

Like the more familiar version of the popular saying, it’s an exaggeration! But, if you’re eligible for tax form R40 “Claim for repayment of tax deducted from savings and investments” you could get a handy tax refund to improve your life just a little.  

Tax Demands - a continuing worry

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Tax Demands - a continuing worry
If you pay your tax under Pay as You Earn (PAYE) your involvement with HMRC will normally be minimal. Your employer will make sure that HMRC are aware of your earnings, operate the correct tax code, take the correct tax and inform HMRC of your income and tax taken at the end of the tax year.