advocacy — Scope | Disability forum
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sheisla Member Posts: 1
I am in desperate need if an advocate for my son regarding his benefits. He has nental health issues and needs help which he refuses to accept. His MH has deteriorated in recent years because if pressure from the work programme to obtain employment which he us unable to do.


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 126 Listener
    hey sheisla,

    there are different types of advocate for different reasons:

    -Independent Mental Health Advocate (Statutory)
    -Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (statutory)
    -Community Advocacy (non-statutory - provided where there is funding)
    -Care Advocacy (statutory - new under the care act)

    You might want to do some research into what advocacy provision there is in your son's local area.  I know POhWER are a big advocacy service, but they only get the contract in some areas.  Googling 'Advocacy [location]' will be a good start. 

    I'm making a few assumptions based on the information you've given here, but... mention that he's under a lot of pressure to find work,but is in poor mental health and doesn't accept that he needs help.  There are two regulations- regulation 29 and regulation 35 - that relate to the Work Capability Assessment which is used to decide whether or not someone is entitled to claim Employment and Support Allowance (commonly as an alternative to jobseekers allowance) {and for regulation 35, to get into the support group of ESA} so they don't have to do work, or work-related activity. 

    The regulations basically say that even if someone doesn't score enough points on the work capability assessment they can still be considered unfit for work when if NOT considering them as such would mean there is a substantial risk to their health (or someone else's).  

    If his mental health has deteriorated in recent years specifically because he's been on the work programme then I'd say that arguing for him to be put into the ESA support group under these regulations (particularly 35) is worth a punt.  

    Even if you can't get advocacy, you might be able to enlist the help of a benefits advisor.  There are sometimes disability-specific benefits advice services who will be particularly au fait with the finer points of ESA legislation and how to best put the case to the DWP.

    Scope has a service directory on their website - 

     I think you have to select 'information' from the service type drop-down to see local advice services.

    Hope this helps.  Let us know how you get on.

    B x 


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