What is needed for an advice appointment?
The exact documents needed will depend on the type of advice the young person is trying to access but generally whichever Key Issue the advice falls under, evidence from the below list will be useful.
Why are documents important?
Having the right documents enables an adviser to put together the full picture of the situation the young person is experiencing. Documents also provide details that organisations such as the DWP, banks, creditors and employers need.
Documents your client may need
- School ID cards
- Trades cards (e.g. CSCS cards)
- Bank cards
- Bank statements
- Address history
- Letter from employer
- School/College/University acceptance letter/statement of enrollment
- Benefit decision letter detailing identity confirmation
- Letters from creditors
- Letters from HMCTS or other official government headed letters
- National Insurance number (This can be found on benefit award letters, payslips, P45, P60’s)
- Doctors letters, fit notes, medical information
Using documents well
If a young person needs to keep their copy of a letter or document, you can scan or photograph it with a camera phone to make a copy. The young person can also do this if they have a smartphone device.
This can make it much easier to share information and documents with other agencies.
Tips for finding important documents
Young People may not have documents with them or know how to get hold of them.
There are tips you can try to get some of these documents:
- Are the documents held by someone else? Documents might be held by: someone in the family network, current or previous addresses, employers, schools or support agencies may have original documents in safekeeping or scans on file.
- Recent ex-employers may hold past payslips which include NI number
- Letter from employer: You can support the client to get a letter from their employer by writing to the employer yourself or writing a template for the client to complete. For the content, you can help make a list of what needs to be covered in the letter. Make sure to include who they need to address the letter to.
Not having the relevant paperwork does not mean that the client cannot start addressing their debts. A free credit report can provide them with their accounts. A Citizens Advice adviser will request a full credit report if the issue is around debt.
See more myth busting on our PDF here
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