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Welfare rights / CAB / am I missing something ??

anxiousbirdanxiousbird Member Posts: 116 Courageous
hi all 
So I’ve heard and read a lot about welfare rights officer helping people with their pip / esa applications and appeals. I don’t know how it works and i thought I had to call citizens advice to get the support being spoken about. After long queues, I finally got connected with a local CAB agent and told her I needed help filling in my UC50 form. The lady literally ONLY asked me what medical issues was I suffering with, didn’t even ask me in detail how it affects my daily life etc and said that she’ll send me a letter to attach with my UC50 form. That’s it. So I got her letter and what she’s done is literally only written sort of like a list of keywords under each question that she thought I would score points in. (So for example under something like going out she’s written : anxious, depressed, lack of motivation.. ). Does this seem right? And is this the welfare rights support that people here talk about? If not, where do I access that support from? 
Thanks 

Replies

  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,210 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi there 

    Cab is not welfare rights to find your nearest welfare rights just Google welfare rights and it should take you to a website to find your local one 
  • chiariedschiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 8,018 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @anxiousbird - try here to see if there's a welfare rights office near you: https://advicelocal.uk/
    I hope you find some better help. :)
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,259 Disability Gamechanger
    CAB advice is given by volunteers so you're unlikely to find someone with in depth knowledge of PIP there.

    UC50 is for Universal Credit though, is that what you're applying for now?
  • anxiousbirdanxiousbird Member Posts: 116 Courageous
    Thanks all! I’ve sent an email to one of the places that showed on the link posted by chiarieds 
    @OverlyAnxious I’m currently on PIP MR stage and have recently also received a UC50 form (following a three month sick note) :) 
  • anxiousbirdanxiousbird Member Posts: 116 Courageous
    Hi guys, so an update. I’ve received a reply from the welfare team at my local council and they say that they don’t fill in forms etc but ‘citizen advice can help’!! 
    Am I doing something wrong or is it possible that there’s no welfare rights support available in my area?! 
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,259 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi guys, so an update. I’ve received a reply from the welfare team at my local council and they say that they don’t fill in forms etc but ‘citizen advice can help’!! 
    Am I doing something wrong or is it possible that there’s no welfare rights support available in my area?! 
    There isn't one in my area so that might be the same for you.  I did try a 'disability advice service' instead but they couldn't help either.  Is there anything like that near you?  They should also show up on the link that was posted above.
  • anxiousbirdanxiousbird Member Posts: 116 Courageous
    Hi guys, so an update. I’ve received a reply from the welfare team at my local council and they say that they don’t fill in forms etc but ‘citizen advice can help’!! 
    Am I doing something wrong or is it possible that there’s no welfare rights support available in my area?! 
    There isn't one in my area so that might be the same for you.  I did try a 'disability advice service' instead but they couldn't help either.  Is there anything like that near you?  They should also show up on the link that was posted above.
    Ohh. So where did you get help from then? Or did you just do it all yourself? The only thing the link was showing was that email address for welfare rights and citizens advice. The others were for pensioners or cancer patients. 
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,259 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi guys, so an update. I’ve received a reply from the welfare team at my local council and they say that they don’t fill in forms etc but ‘citizen advice can help’!! 
    Am I doing something wrong or is it possible that there’s no welfare rights support available in my area?! 
    There isn't one in my area so that might be the same for you.  I did try a 'disability advice service' instead but they couldn't help either.  Is there anything like that near you?  They should also show up on the link that was posted above.
    Ohh. So where did you get help from then? Or did you just do it all yourself? The only thing the link was showing was that email address for welfare rights and citizens advice. The others were for pensioners or cancer patients. 
    Had to do it all myself in the end - with a lot of help from this forum for PIP!!  I did ESA myself a few years before but don't have any experience with UC yet.

    When you open the link and put in your post code etc, it should show a map of your area with all of the welfare type services.  Some areas seem to have lots of services, others barely any, it's a post code lottery unfortunately.


  • anxiousbirdanxiousbird Member Posts: 116 Courageous
    Hi guys, so an update. I’ve received a reply from the welfare team at my local council and they say that they don’t fill in forms etc but ‘citizen advice can help’!! 
    Am I doing something wrong or is it possible that there’s no welfare rights support available in my area?! 
    There isn't one in my area so that might be the same for you.  I did try a 'disability advice service' instead but they couldn't help either.  Is there anything like that near you?  They should also show up on the link that was posted above.
    Ohh. So where did you get help from then? Or did you just do it all yourself? The only thing the link was showing was that email address for welfare rights and citizens advice. The others were for pensioners or cancer patients. 
    Had to do it all myself in the end - with a lot of help from this forum for PIP!!  I did ESA myself a few years before but don't have any experience with UC yet.

    When you open the link and put in your post code etc, it should show a map of your area with all of the welfare type services.  Some areas seem to have lots of services, others barely any, it's a post code lottery unfortunately.


    Yea that’s why I’ve been doing PIP myself as I couldn’t find any support before either! This UC50 is also for ESA I think. It’s a form where I tell about my disabilities and then they’ll call me for an assessment n then decide whether to award LCW or LCWRA 
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,210 Disability Gamechanger
    @anxiousbird yes you are right about the uc50

    It is similar to PIP form and you should treat it pretty much the same 

    Remember though they are looking at it from your ability to work and not daily living like PIP does 
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,259 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi guys, so an update. I’ve received a reply from the welfare team at my local council and they say that they don’t fill in forms etc but ‘citizen advice can help’!! 
    Am I doing something wrong or is it possible that there’s no welfare rights support available in my area?! 
    There isn't one in my area so that might be the same for you.  I did try a 'disability advice service' instead but they couldn't help either.  Is there anything like that near you?  They should also show up on the link that was posted above.
    Ohh. So where did you get help from then? Or did you just do it all yourself? The only thing the link was showing was that email address for welfare rights and citizens advice. The others were for pensioners or cancer patients. 
    Had to do it all myself in the end - with a lot of help from this forum for PIP!!  I did ESA myself a few years before but don't have any experience with UC yet.

    When you open the link and put in your post code etc, it should show a map of your area with all of the welfare type services.  Some areas seem to have lots of services, others barely any, it's a post code lottery unfortunately.


    Yea that’s why I’ve been doing PIP myself as I couldn’t find any support before either! This UC50 is also for ESA I think. It’s a form where I tell about my disabilities and then they’ll call me for an assessment n then decide whether to award LCW or LCWRA 
    That'll be the New-Style ESA if you're eligible for that, I'm still on the old legacy type. 

    The majority of people will get UC with a LCWRA element for long term health conditions so I'd guess that's what you'll be getting but I'm not sure exactly what your background is regarding previous work etc.

    It is difficult without any support, but definitely still possible.  :)
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 1,215 Pioneering
    anxiousbird said: ..This UC50 is also for ESA I think. It’s a form where I tell about my disabilities and then they’ll call me for an assessment n then decide whether to award LCW or LCWRA 
    The form is the same as you would get for ESA (but called UC50 rather than ESA50) but it isn't for ESA unless you also applied for ESA.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,989 Disability Gamechanger
    Hmm. Citizens Advice are not staffed exclusively by volunteers @OverlyAnxious
    . There are many paid staff and you would hope for accurate advice regardless. 

    @anxiousbird who did you approach at CitA? Was it the UC Help To Claim team or CitA themselves? You are within your rights to go back and explain why you're unhappy with the work done and ask for it to be done properly as you would with any service. 
  • anxiousbirdanxiousbird Member Posts: 116 Courageous
    Hmm. Citizens Advice are not staffed exclusively by volunteers @OverlyAnxious
    . There are many paid staff and you would hope for accurate advice regardless. 

    @anxiousbird who did you approach at CitA? Was it the UC Help To Claim team or CitA themselves? You are within your rights to go back and explain why you're unhappy with the work done and ask for it to be done properly as you would with any service. 
    I called the citizen’s advice phone number, waited for over an hour I think and then someone picked up and asked me questions about what help I need etc. They then transferred me to another team which took some more details and told me I’ll get a call back from someone. The next day I had a call back and this was the person who has sent me the keyword type answers. 
    Who should I go back to? Shall I call citizens advice again or shall I reply to the person who has sent me the answers for my form? 
  • anxiousbirdanxiousbird Member Posts: 116 Courageous
    calcotti said:
    anxiousbird said: ..This UC50 is also for ESA I think. It’s a form where I tell about my disabilities and then they’ll call me for an assessment n then decide whether to award LCW or LCWRA 
    The form is the same as you would get for ESA (but called UC50 rather than ESA50) but it isn't for ESA unless you also applied for ESA.
    My form says UC50. Tbh I don’t even know what I’m applying for, I just got the form and I’ve started filling in lol 
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 3,775 Disability Gamechanger
    I needed help with a complex personal benefits issue last year and welfare rights were excellent, all done over the phone due to lockdown but the guy really knew his stuff and gave me a direct number if I needed further advice.
    My past dealings with CAB have in all honesty been mixed.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,210 Disability Gamechanger
    It depends what benefit you are on are you on esa or uc 

    The form is the same for both when referring to work capability 
  • anxiousbirdanxiousbird Member Posts: 116 Courageous
    woodbine said:
    I needed help with a complex personal benefits issue last year and welfare rights were excellent, all done over the phone due to lockdown but the guy really knew his stuff and gave me a direct number if I needed further advice.
    My past dealings with CAB have in all honesty been mixed.
    There seem to be no such support available in my area :( 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,989 Disability Gamechanger
    Who should I go back to? Shall I call citizens advice again or shall I reply to the person who has sent me the answers for my form? 
    You go back to the person you spoke to last and explain why it's not fit for purpose. 

    Would you be willing to reveal your general geographical area? I may be able to locate services for you. No worries if you're not comfortable doing that. 
  • anxiousbirdanxiousbird Member Posts: 116 Courageous
    Who should I go back to? Shall I call citizens advice again or shall I reply to the person who has sent me the answers for my form? 
    You go back to the person you spoke to last and explain why it's not fit for purpose. 

    Would you be willing to reveal your general geographical area? I may be able to locate services for you. No worries if you're not comfortable doing that. 
    Okay I’ll send her an email now. And I’m in Durham city. 
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 3,775 Disability Gamechanger
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • anxiousbirdanxiousbird Member Posts: 116 Courageous
    woodbine said:
    Thanks woodbine but that’s the same place I contacted and they told me to go to citizen’s advice as they don’t offer help with such things. :( 
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 3,775 Disability Gamechanger
    from their website;

    We can help with questions and problems on a wide range of social security benefit and tax credit issues. We offer services to the public, and to advisers and other organisations.
    How can we help?
    If you need advice on a benefit issue, we can:
    •Give you information on what benefits you might be entitled to and how to claim them.
    •Check that you are getting the right amount of benefit.
    •Advise you on what will happen if your circumstances change.
    Acting on your behalf
    If you've recently had a benefit claim turned down and are appealing against this, we can act on your behalf and provide representation.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • anxiousbirdanxiousbird Member Posts: 116 Courageous
    woodbine said:
    from their website;

    We can help with questions and problems on a wide range of social security benefit and tax credit issues. We offer services to the public, and to advisers and other organisations.
    How can we help?
    If you need advice on a benefit issue, we can:
    •Give you information on what benefits you might be entitled to and how to claim them.
    •Check that you are getting the right amount of benefit.
    •Advise you on what will happen if your circumstances change.
    Acting on your behalf
    If you've recently had a benefit claim turned down and are appealing against this, we can act on your behalf and provide representation.
    Seems like they’ll only step in once the application has been refused and I’m appealing 🤷🏻‍♀️
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,989 Disability Gamechanger
    Durham WRS are excellent but, like all services, decisions get made on where resources are best used. It looks like CitA do form filling and MRs whilst the WRS do appeals. So, at this stage 2 choices:

    1 - do your own UC50.
    2 - back to CitA and push for something better.

    You seem articulate enough to do your own. Lots of people think WR advisers have access to some magical legal language or knowledge that will enable them to better complete forms. That’s simply untrue. A UC50 is much the same as an ESA50. View each question as including the words “repeatedly and in a work context” and provide one or two real world examples of incidents which have occurred related to each descriptor and away you go. 
  • anxiousbirdanxiousbird Member Posts: 116 Courageous
    Durham WRS are excellent but, like all services, decisions get made on where resources are best used. It looks like CitA do form filling and MRs whilst the WRS do appeals. So, at this stage 2 choices:

    1 - do your own UC50.
    2 - back to CitA and push for something better.

    You seem articulate enough to do your own. Lots of people think WR advisers have access to some magical legal language or knowledge that will enable them to better complete forms. That’s simply untrue. A UC50 is much the same as an ESA50. View each question as including the words “repeatedly and in a work context” and provide one or two real world examples of incidents which have occurred related to each descriptor and away you go. 
    I have been filling in my own PIP forms but after being rejected twice I thought I’d better get some help. I’ve recently been feeling so extremely fatigued all the time, apparently they think I have got some autoimmune disorder as recent tests indicate. Sometimes I just feel like recording my whole day and sending it to DWP as evidence. I really don’t know where I’m going wrong. I’ve been very critical of my evidence since you pointed out on my other post. Everything seems to be fine, real life examples, support letters, letters from carers, medical reports, letters from mental health team, even some pages from my session notes from therapy. Yet they think I’m completely fine! Ah well.. I hope the Durham welfare team  does help if it comes to the appeal stage. 
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