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Introducing The Benefits Training Co.-Experts in disability benefits, tax credits and other benefits

BenefitsTrainingCo
BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering

The Benefits Training Co. is a social enterprise committed to delivering the highest quality welfare benefits training, consultancy and advice.It runs open and in-house training courses and provides ongoing benefits-related advice to staff working in public, private and community organisations, including many charities.  

All of The Benefit Training Co.'s advisers in the Scope Community have extensive experience with Citizens Advice Bureau and other advice organisations;

David Stickland – Training Director and founder of The Benefits Training Co.

Will Hadwen – Trainer and benefits consultant for CPAG, Working Families & BBC Radio 4

Michael Chambers – Money advice manager and experienced welfare advice trainer

Paul Bradley – Welfare rights adviser and tribunal representative

Maria Solomon – Solicitor, CAB adviser and trainer

Mary Shone, Solicitor, CAB adviser and trainer

The Benefit Training Co. is offering dedicated advice to Scope community members and is available for any benefits-related questions. 

The Benefits Training Co:
Paul Bradley
Michael Chambers
Will Hadwen
Sarah Hayle
Maria Solomon
David Stickland
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Comments

  • Alex
    Alex Scope Posts: 1,305 Pioneering
    edited May 2017
  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    edited July 2017
    @Alex Is this the same post you put on recently? I asked a question of @Maria or @Mary as solicitors what legal action, if any, could be taken against an assessor who wrote something completely fictitious on an assessment report. The worry is there is no legal aid for benefit problems but if this is a legal issue does that not apply?    
  • Alex
    Alex Scope Posts: 1,305 Pioneering
    Hi @Wildlife, I just moved the question to a new thread - as there were three questions in the same discussion and it was getting a bit confusing. It's here:
    https://community.scope.org.uk/discussion/33794/which-law-would-my-assessor-have-contravened

  • wildlife
    wildlife Member Posts: 1,308 Pioneering
    @Alex Thank-you  I think the answer to this question would be of intertest to others who have suffered at the hands of dishonest assessors providing they still have the energy left to fight. Have you seen my post about the frailty grading in Aska benefit Advisor? .
  • frogy
    frogy Member Posts: 21 Connected
    I every one I was awarded standard daily care 55.65 this morning I had a phone call from ESA people saying iwill be getting severe disability premium how much is this and will it effect my housing and council tax benefit I was on low dla filled pip form in January 2017 awarded standard rate daily on 15 june 2017 will I get any premiem from these dates back dated thank you
    Read more at https://community.scope.org.uk/discussion/34313/severe-disability-premiem#J47K0SJshhdZpV4K.99
  • lexy1973
    lexy1973 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Hi I suffer with HNPP, fibromyalgia and other conditions. I applied for PIP in April 2016, it was rejected so I appealed. I received a letter January 2016 from the tribunal and then heard nothing. I emailed them today stating that and then telephoned to follow up and they stated they have sent a letter today and my tribunal is September 2017. Is tat correct that it takes 17months for my appeal from when I first applied? Any advice would be greatly appreciated thank you in advance x
  • foxuk
    foxuk Member Posts: 102 Pioneering
    Hi,
    Around two decades ago I used to fill in DLA claims for other people (and myself).
    There seems to be a lot of publicity about assessors who believe their job is to refuse PIP. How common is this?
    I am in the Cardiff area and would appreciate help with my DLA to PIP transfer. I have had problems in the past as although I qualify for DLA Higher Mobility and Lower Care myself, I am also providing sole Care for my bed bound wife (Higher Rates DLA both Mobility and Care).
    I realise that there are paid for and free services. Having experienced some of the 'free' as a volunteer in the past I realise that recommendation  by someone who knows what is what is essential.
    Any advice welcome.
    Jon
  • Pet
    Pet Member Posts: 16 Listener
    After applying for change in circumstances for taking emergency medication for my seizures last June it got turned down and pip cancelled all together.  I reapplied and going through an assessment etc  I got a tribunal date in January.  I suffer epilepsy, but mainly nocturnal as my day time are under control with medication.  The panel and judge however said epilepsy was not eligible for pip but they would consider another date if I provided a written submission as the evidence I produced was very good it would be in approx 4 - 5 months. 8 months later after many telephone calls I get a date for August and then with one week to go, a letter appears postponing the hearing. I am very upset and at my wits end, surely they can't play with peoples health and minds like this.  
  • calliejosh
    calliejosh Member Posts: 6 Listener
    I was wondering which benefits I would be entitled  to my circumstances have change drastically  myself and my partner have split I only work 9 hours week  due to having a shoulder replacement last year to which is even to much as i am in agony every day when i finish as very restricted to what i can do and earn £90 so that's all I have coming in just now i am terrified of shats going to happen as in getting into a lot of dept untill i can sort something out please help
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering

    @calliejosh - have you not had a reply yet??

    I can't see one, so just to be on the safe side...

    Two things to do - firstly - get on a benefits calculator (there are free ones on the 'entitled to' and 'Turn 2 us' websites - and also one on the Scope website - and type in all possible scenarios i.e. if you gave up work and claimed ESA, if you increased/reduced your hours etc, so you can get a good picture of your options.

    https://www.entitledto.co.uk/

    https://benefits-calculator.turn2us.org.uk/AboutYou

    Secondly - consider whether PIP may be an option for you. The 'Benefits and Work' website has a PIP self-test which is helpful, and if you are unsure, just stick a claim in - no harm done.

    https://benefitsandwork.co.uk/personal-independence-payment-pip/pip-self-test

    As a side note - if at all possible, I really recommend that you go face to face to a local Money Advice Service, either the CAB or similar, some housing associations have them, and get someone to set your mind at ease about your finances.

    Hope this helps!

    Mary

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • dianebell1
    dianebell1 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Hello, can you tell me if you  get ESA contribution based and in the support group is your NHS pension is taken into account
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    Hi dianebell1,

    If you receive contribution-based ESA and have a gross pension income of more than £85 a week, the amount of benefit payable will be reduced by half of the excess.

    The excess is the difference between £85 and the actual pension income. For example, for a pension income of £100, the excess is £15. The amount of ESA payable is reduced by half of that, which is £7.50.

    If you receive income-related ESA, any pension income you have will be taken into account, regardless of the amount.

    Lee

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • rhinos
    rhinos Member Posts: 63 Connected
    hi  Wiil

    cant navigate to where I ask you  my question

    so forgive it here.

    I went to my PIPs assessment

    armed with my  GP report and

    physiotherapist report

    both say cant walk aided or unaided 20 metres

    The assessor asked me so many trick questions about this.

    I held my owm
    My Gp report says I fall from getting up from chair and bed-postural hypotension.

    I told my assessor I did not want to get out of my wheel chair-as I would fall over

    ( nothing to grab onto)

    I declined her offer to hop on and off the bed  ( not all assessors have a bed  in theroom?)

    as  again my postural hypos

    and  chronic heart disease ( all evidenced base)

    would cause me to fall-get dizzy-nausea and fatigue.

    She had that angry looks and posture-not seen since my  pupil head teacher days

    "  can you use a supermarket?"

    me  "  yes but only if it has a buggy-or scooter"

    etc etc

    It felt like a barristers cross examination
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    Hi rhinos,

    I hope you don't mind me answering this one. I've read your post and I understand your anxiety about the assessor and the questions that were asked of you. You'll need to wait for an outcome and see what happens. It's easy to think negatively about what the decision will be I understand that but you never know. Forgive me, but I can't see that you have asked us a question to answer?

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • macca10
    macca10 Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Hi I am going to a ESA appeal on Monday the 8th January.I had a face to face acessment,the acessor completely lied about every thing I said.I am dreading this appeal.I have had terrible back problems for years and severe IBS,which keeps me in bed most day.I am in the most terrible pain.No questions are ever asked about pain at all.Anyway has being very stressed about this appeal,to make things worse a letter dropped through the letterbox,now asking me to claim PIP,as I can no longer claim DLA.God am I stressed even more now.I totally feel like giving up.help.
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,628 Pioneering
    Hi macca10,

    I am sorry for the late reply, how did the appeal go?
    Unfortunately you will have to apply for PIP as DLA is ending for every working age person and there isn't anything that can be done about that so please make sure you phone them before the deadline and order the claim pack so your DLA will continue until you get a decision on your PIP. If you need practical assistance please make contact with your local CAB or your local Welfare Rights team. Good luck!

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • macca10
    macca10 Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Thank you.I won my appeal with just enough points 15.The Judge decided I had a enough points,not the doctor,who was the worst vile doctor I have ever met in my life.Thanks I will them up Monday to make sure my DLA continues.Would winning the appeal help toward me getting PIP,because I dont think I could go through the same treatment again.Feeling more relaxed now after 10 terrible months.Thanks
  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,216 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi macca

    Well done winning your appeal

    ESA and PIP use different criteria as do DLA and PIP

    It is important to understand the PIP points system, descriptors and criteria A good place to start is the B&W self test

    http://www.mybenefitsandwork.co.uk/pip/indexxx.php

    CR

    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • macca10
    macca10 Member Posts: 9 Listener
  • kevin2017
    kevin2017 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    I am awaiting Tribunal date for my PIP Assessment, I have no one to accompany me to the hearing, is there any organisations which offer being an advocate to support me at the hearing.

    Many thanks

    Kevin

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