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

BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 1,757Member, Community advisor Chatterbox
edited October 2016 in Ask a benefits advisor

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:
Will Hadwen
Lee Kempson
Jayne Knights
Mary Shone
Maria Solomon
David Stickland

Replies

  • AlexAlex Posts: 1,170Administrator Scope community team
    edited May 2017
  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,035Member Chatterbox
    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?    
  • AlexAlex Posts: 1,170Administrator Scope community team
    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

  • wildlifewildlife Posts: 1,035Member Chatterbox
    @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? .
  • frogyfrogy Posts: 21Member Listener
    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
  • lexy1973lexy1973 Posts: 2Member 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
  • foxukfoxuk Posts: 70Member Talkative
    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
  • PetPet Posts: 6Member 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.  
  • calliejoshcalliejosh Posts: 6Member 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
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 1,757Member, Community advisor Chatterbox

    @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:
    Will Hadwen
    Lee Kempson
    Jayne Knights
    Mary Shone
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland

  • dianebell1dianebell1 Posts: 2Member 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
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 1,757Member, Community advisor Chatterbox
    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:
    Will Hadwen
    Lee Kempson
    Jayne Knights
    Mary Shone
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland

  • rhinosrhinos Posts: 74Member Whisperer
    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
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 1,757Member, Community advisor Chatterbox
    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:
    Will Hadwen
    Lee Kempson
    Jayne Knights
    Mary Shone
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland

  • macca10macca10 Posts: 9Member 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.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Posts: 1,757Member, Community advisor Chatterbox
    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:
    Will Hadwen
    Lee Kempson
    Jayne Knights
    Mary Shone
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland

  • macca10macca10 Posts: 9Member 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
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Posts: 2,145Member, Community champion Chatterbox
    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
  • macca10macca10 Posts: 9Member Listener
  • kevin2017kevin2017 Posts: 5Member 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
  • foxukfoxuk Posts: 70Member Talkative
    I am at present on Carer's benefit which is deducted pound for pound from Income support and then carer's premium added. I care for my wife who is on Higher rates of DLA for both Care and Mobility. 

    I have just been awarded PIP at Enhanced rates for Care and Mobility myself.

    Would I be better off financially stopping claiming Carer's benefit.

    As I read it I would get £30 odd as a Carer for my wife on the joint claim but we would lose £60 odd in my own disability benefit as one of us has Carer's benefit claimed for us.

    I read the figures on the Government website but the explanation was vague to say the least.

    I know there were cases in the 90s where disabled people won court cases where they both claimed carers benefits for caring for each other but it seems that it would lose us money by doing so.

    We live symbiotically and do provide Care by helping each other to perform tasks that we could not do alone. There is no misrepresentation whatsoever as we help each other 24/7/365. 

    We could attempt to claim Carer's premium for each other but that is a fight that I think we are too old and tired to take on at this time in our lives.

    Over to you,

    Jon
  • VictoriadVictoriad Posts: 42Member Whisperer
    Hello advisors
    I would like to try to backdate claim for NI credits for more than one year.
    Job centre seem to think this is possible if extenuating circumstances but phoning DWP say orherwise!

    The only benefit I receive is Pip at standard rate as got 11 points.
    I don’t qualify for job seekers income based as my husband works 25 hours a week.
    I don’t qualify for job seekers NI contributions based although I have 30years worth of NI contributions from previous full time work record.

    Unfortunately after having a massive mental breakdown after becoming ill during work and then losing my career, I did not claim benefits hence the gap in my NI record,as I was not fit to deal with a claim as I did not have a named person under the mental health regulations at the time because I refused to acknowledge that I was ill due to a lack of insight into my condition.

    The length of NI has now increased to 35 years as I’m a 60 year old woman affected by the change in pension age to 66 years which leaves me short of 5 years on NI contributions.

    I’ve been informed I could pay voluntary NI contributions at a rate of around £700 per year but I don’t have a spare £3500.

    Job centre sympathetic and have suggested that I try to claim home responsibilities NI credit component backdated five years as I was caring for my elderly mother who died two years ago,but my mother refused point blank to sign my claim form for carers allowance.

    Have been told by DWP on phone that I should have claimed for Carers NI credits which did not require my mother’s signature on a different form,but this is the first I’ve ever heard of Carers NI credits form, otherwise I would have applied for this long before now as I could have gone ahead without my mother’s signature.

    I would appreciate your advice please.


  • VictoriadVictoriad Posts: 42Member Whisperer
    I’m now on a Compulsory Treatment Order yet I only get standard rate Pip and financially things are tight.
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