South Ayrshire Council's Benefits Services team will be available for an extra 12 hours every week from the end of the month, ensuring local residents have the best possible access to benefits advice and support.
From Monday 30 March, Benefits Services staff will be available for public and telephone enquiries from 8.45am-4.45pm Monday to Thursday and 8.45am-4pm on Fridays.
The changes – which begin as the implementation of further welfare reforms, including the introduction of Universal Credit, moves forward – will greatly increase the benefits advice and support available to people and communities across South Ayrshire.
They mean staff will be available each weekday (excluding public holidays) to meet the growing demand from those applying for benefits, changing their benefits or seeking advice on benefits.
Councillor Robin Reid, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Performance, said: "Demand for Benefits Services has increased significantly since the introduction of welfare reforms a couple of years ago and we've been working hard to provide the best possible service to our residents.
"The changes to our opening hours – combined with revisions to our back office processing of benefits claims – will mean our dedicated benefits staff will be available on the frontline every minute of every working day.
"That's a positive step forward and one which I'm sure will make a big difference for our communities."
From Monday 30 March, benefits enquiries can be made from 8.45am-4.45pm Monday to Thursday and 8.45am-4pm by calling 0300 123 0900 or by dropping into the Council's Customer Service Centres in Ayr, Girvan and Troon.