- 6 updates
The Chief Executive of Dumfries and Galloway Citizens Advice Service, Sue Irving, has been speaking to ITV Border about why there is a growing demand for their services:
A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions said the welfare reforms were designed to simplify the benefits system and make it easier for people to get back into work where possible.
The "Bedroom Tax" is designed to bring the social housing sector in line with the private system.
The Government believes it is unfair that some people are living in homes that are too big for them whilst other families are having to live in overcrowded properties.
It says there is currently a long waiting list for social housing.
The Citizens Advice Service in Dumfries and Galloway is now hoping to extend its opening hours to evenings and Saturdays at its four bureaux in Dumfries, Stranraer, Castle Douglas and Annan.
It says 63% of those affected by the welfare changes are in work and find it difficult to get to the offices between 9am and 5pm.
Dumfries and Galloway Council has given £215,000 to the Service to fund six extra staff.
One will be a volunteer development post, and that person will try to find more volunteers to boost the 70 that currently help the service.
The Citizens Advice Service in Dumfries and Galloway says it has seen a sharp rise in the number of people needing its help.
It believes it is due to people's fears about the welfare reforms being introduced by the government.
The Service says those changes have already "thrown thousands of vulnerable people into poverty" and it is struggling to cope with the increase in demand for its advice.
There is particular concern about the so-called "Bedroom Tax" which will come into force in April.
People in social rented housing, who are of working age, will lose an average of £14 peer week if they have a bedroom that is not being used.
The Citizens Advice Service in Dumfries and Galloway is looking to recruit more staff and volunteers to help cope with what they call a 'growing welfare crisis.'
The service say they have been under growing pressure from increasing workloads, due to the amount of people who are now living in poverty.