Checklist for new Guests

Non Financial Actions

1. Register the family with a GP

2. Register with a dentist (if you can find one)

3. Apply for a National Insurance Number for the adults and for anyone else over age 16

4.  Get a UK phone number (free vodafone sim)

5.  Adults and any children over age 14 register to vote (this will begin to establish a credit file) best to wait until you have a National Insurance Number

6.  Get Tesco clubcard, Nectar, Boots etc – lower prices as well as vouchers

7.  Open a bank account (needed for Universal Credit)

8.  Register with schools

9.  Apply for BRPs if necessary and collect BRPs

10.  Apply for Ukrainian passports at the consulate in Edinburgh if any don’t have one

11.  Get NEC cards for all kids and any adults under age 22 – needed for free bus travel and for library.  In D&G you get these from the library.

12.  Possibly need TV licence if in self contained accommodation

13.  Identify any local venues that give discount or free admission

14.  Ask local charity shops for free clothing and toys

15.  Explain to mum about free period products

16.  Explain about food banks

17.  Appeal on local FaceBook groups for anything specific they need (I got bikes, outdoor toys, games and a couple of items of furniture).

18.  Arrange for school bus if required

19.  Arrange ESOL classes and advertise locally for volunteers to join them in conversation

20.  Make a CV for anyone who may be looking for work.

21.  Ask school about free (donated) used school uniforms.

22.  It is essential to apply for free school meals for all eligible children – other benefits depend on this.  For example, even if a child is entitled to free school meals because of their age, you must still apply for free school meals for them as that will establish entitlement to school clothing grant and Scottish Child Payment Bridging Payment.  You need a UC statement before applying for free school meals.

One off payments

1.  Council should pay £200 per person within one week of arrival.  You need to notify the council of their arrival for this to happen. in D&G

2.  £50 per person from the Red Cross (must be claimed within 14 days of arrival).  Ours was received in the form of codes sent by email and text.  Withdrawal of cash can only be made at an ATM capable of cardless transactions.  We used the one at the Co-op.  Call 0808 196 3651

3.  Scottish Child Bridging Payment will be paid as a one-off in October of £130 for each child who is over 6 but under 16.

4.  Best start grant – payments for new births, starting nursery and starting school, see here for details

5.  School Clothing Grant £120 per child of primary school age and £150 per child of secondary school age.  Need to be getting free school meals to qualify.

6.   £324 Cost of Living Payment will be paid automatically to those on Universal Credit some time in the Autumn (date not yet announced).

Ongoing payments

1.  Child benefit £21.80 per week for first child and £14.45 pw for subsequent children.  If over age 16 they need to be in full time education.  Paid every 4 weeks (note: not monthly).  Will be backdated to date of arrival in UK.  Better to claim this after you get a National Insurance Number. 

2.  Universal Credit (income from UK or Ukraine may reduce these amounts – see 2a below).  This cannot be backdated and only begins from the date of the claim.  The first payment is due 5 weeks after the initial claim.  All rates are monthly (note: not 4 weeks).  Single adult under 25 £265.31, over 25 £334.91.  Couple both under 25 £416.45, with at least one over 25 £525.72.  First child if born before 6 Apr 2017 £290, if born after £244.58.  Second and subsequent children £244.58 each.  No payment for 3rd or subsequent children if they were born after 6 Apr 2017.

2a. Universal Credit Work Allowance – As they do not claim for housing costs, each parent has a monthly work allowance of £573.  This is not paid to them, it is the amount that they are allowed to earn before there is any reduction in Universal Credit.  Anything that they earn above this amount reduces their Universal Credit payment by 55%. So, for example, if a parent earns £773 in a month, 773 – 573 = £200.  55% of £200 is £110 so their Universal Credit payment will be reduced by £110 each month.

3.  Scottish Child Payments – now it is £20 per week for each child under age 6.  From 14 Nov it will be £25 per week for each child under age 16. 

For a dentist – , in Dumfries ring the hospital on 01387 246246 – in Castle Douglas, try Dentalbees.  They are the only ones taking on NHS patients.  The dentist is from Lithuania and speaks Russian.

Mabie Farm Park near Dumfries and the Creetown Rock and Gem museum both give free admission to Ukrainians.  Mountain warehouse in Dumfries gave me a discount when I asked nicely.

The Multicultural Association in Dumfries run language courses and other stuff from their large charity shop in the old Debenhams building in Dumfries.  Ukrainians can also shop there for free once they are registered.

There are several ladies in Dalry who give informal language lessons and have conversations with Ukrainians.  There are probably people near you who would like to do similar. If you get in touch with the nearest co-ordinator to you, they will likely be able to help. See for the list of co-ordinators

My guest Anna has created a group for local Ukrainian families.  Let me know if you would like Anna to get in touch with your family (families in Stewartry only)

If your family would like bikes, contact Danny at Wheels of Fleet 07579 965712, he has provided a number of free bikes for Ukrainians.

About the author: Jay Rubinstein