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  • FIRST POST
    • Shecar
    • By Shecar 16th Mar 17, 4:30 PM
    • 34Posts
    • 49Thanks
    Shecar
    Benefits & Work Forum
    • #1
    • 16th Mar 17, 4:30 PM
    Benefits & Work Forum 16th Mar 17 at 4:30 PM
    I am new to this site, forgive me if this information has already been posted:
    As a new user I am unable to post the link - this is easily found if you google: Benefits and works

    For people out there struggling to complete PIP forms, as I was a few weeks ago, or indeed, other paperwork generated by the DWP
    These people have created easy to follow guides to help fill in the endless reams of paperwork the DWP is producing.
    Forum users have the facility to ask questions regarding benefits. Questions that are in the main, answered by qualified professionals - with legally correct and up to date advice.
    There is a fee for joining @ £19:95 a year, but from what I have already seen this is money well spent, the PIP Guide in particular is extremely informative.

    Hopefully this will help,

    Sheila
    Very happy early retired Mum, surrounded by the Welsh hills, our dogs, cats, goats and poultry

Page 1
    • nannytone
    • By nannytone 16th Mar 17, 4:35 PM
    • 12,221 Posts
    • 18,144 Thanks
    nannytone
    • #2
    • 16th Mar 17, 4:35 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Mar 17, 4:35 PM
    there are many free agencies that offer the same and better help and advice
    • Shecar
    • By Shecar 16th Mar 17, 4:44 PM
    • 34 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    Shecar
    • #3
    • 16th Mar 17, 4:44 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Mar 17, 4:44 PM
    there are many free agencies that offer the same and better help and advice
    Originally posted by nannytone
    Many thanks for your comment, I appreciate that there are other services out there, CAB etc - but from trawling through a lot of posts, it seems that appointments are not always forthcoming in good time. As to 'better' - there are an awful lot of Professional Members who have subscriptions - so I hope the quality of their advice can be relied upon

    I merely thought, as that site had been particularly helpful for me that it would be worth posting the details - I in no way advocate people paying for information BUT In my case it was the only way to ensure that I got the information I required in the timescale I needed it. So for me, money well spent.

    It might be helpful if you were to publish a list of those free agencies - I for one would have been grateful for a comprehensive list - something I had not been able to find in the time I had available to me. Apologies if this list has already been published, I have not come across it

    Many thanks

    Sheila
    Last edited by Shecar; 16-03-2017 at 4:58 PM.
    Very happy early retired Mum, surrounded by the Welsh hills, our dogs, cats, goats and poultry

    • nannytone
    • By nannytone 16th Mar 17, 5:23 PM
    • 12,221 Posts
    • 18,144 Thanks
    nannytone
    • #4
    • 16th Mar 17, 5:23 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Mar 17, 5:23 PM
    its not only CAB.
    there is DIAL and many councils have welfare rights departments.
    also charity's for specific conditions also offer help and advice.

    when my time comes to transfer to PIP i will contact the RNIB as well as my local welfare rights.

    many people use ALL of their DLA/PIP awards towards the costs of care and aids so the costs of joining such a site is a large outlay that they cannot afford.

    so jusrt pointing out that free help is available if you know where to find it.
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 16th Mar 17, 5:25 PM
    • 1,548 Posts
    • 1,652 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    • #5
    • 16th Mar 17, 5:25 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Mar 17, 5:25 PM
    there are many free agencies that offer the same and better help and advice
    Originally posted by nannytone
    I think it is more nuanced than this.
    The CAB / Law Centres are most helpful for vulnerable clients. For clients with poor mental health, depression, and learning difficulties face to face advice is particularly helpful. Even better if the CAB has a benefit caseworker who can help the client with form filling / appeals (but not all CAB have specialists who can pick up benefit appeals). Funding for advice agencies is increasingly problematic.
    As Shecar says assessing local advice can be difficult, there is always more demand for advice services than resources available (hence CAB's often have long waiting times), and benefit specialists are fewer following the abolition of legal aid for benefit representatives.
    BTW I'm afraid to say that not many councils have accessible Welfare Rights Advisers now. This is from Brighton & Hove's website - "The council's welfare rights team is a small team who primarily train other advisers on welfare benefits."

    The B & W guides are excellent (and written by experienced former Welfare Rights workers), it can be particular useful to have a guide to refer back to. Verbal information may not be so easily retained.
    I think it's not a case of either / or. We are lucky to have free face to face advice and authoritative guides available at a very reasonable cost. (I don't think £20 per year is a large outlay, particularly if it helps towards a successful benefit outcome).
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 16-03-2017 at 5:42 PM.
    • Shecar
    • By Shecar 16th Mar 17, 5:26 PM
    • 34 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    Shecar
    • #6
    • 16th Mar 17, 5:26 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Mar 17, 5:26 PM
    nannytone, thank you for that - I am still waiting for my daughters reply from the F2F last week - if she is successful I will be keeping myself up to date with as many of these institutions as possible, because it's only going to get harder.
    Very happy early retired Mum, surrounded by the Welsh hills, our dogs, cats, goats and poultry

    • Shecar
    • By Shecar 16th Mar 17, 5:30 PM
    • 34 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    Shecar
    • #7
    • 16th Mar 17, 5:30 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Mar 17, 5:30 PM
    The B & W guides are excellent (and written by experienced former Welfare Rights workers), it can be particular useful to have a guide to refer back to. Verbal information may not be so easily retained.
    Originally posted by Alice Holt
    Completely agree with that - it is helpful to have the guides in front of you when completing the form. They also include advice for the F2F and any Reconsideration or Tribunal procedures
    Very happy early retired Mum, surrounded by the Welsh hills, our dogs, cats, goats and poultry

    • nannytone
    • By nannytone 16th Mar 17, 5:34 PM
    • 12,221 Posts
    • 18,144 Thanks
    nannytone
    • #8
    • 16th Mar 17, 5:34 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Mar 17, 5:34 PM
    I think it is more nuanced than this.
    The CAB / Law Centres are most helpful for vulnerable clients. For clients with poor mental health, depression, and learning difficulties face to face advice is particularly helpful. Even better if the CAB has a benefit caseworker who can help with the client with form filling / appeals.
    However assessing advice is difficult, there is always more demand for advice services than resources available (hence CAB's often have long waiting times), and benefit specialists are fewer following the abolition of legal aid for benefit representatives.

    The B & W guides are excellent (and written by experienced former Welfare Rights workers), it can be particular useful to have a guide to refer back to. Verbal information may not be so easily retained.
    Originally posted by Alice Holt
    i agree with what you say, but find it distasteful that any organisation that professes to 'help' the sick and disabled will only do so at a cost.

    once the guide is written it no longer incurs a cost, yet they want to make money from as many vulnerable people as possible.

    if it was a 'donation' that was asked for, it would be different, but to say you can look at the site and see what others have asked but unless you give us money then we don't really care about you and your circumstances.

    especially when all they have to say is available free elsewhere
    • Ames
    • By Ames 16th Mar 17, 5:51 PM
    • 16,483 Posts
    • 28,860 Thanks
    Ames
    • #9
    • 16th Mar 17, 5:51 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Mar 17, 5:51 PM
    The forum and guides may be useful, but the way they scaremonger is disgusting.

    Often they're not even right in their doom laden predictions.

    Of course, the scaremongering just makes people believe they need the guides even more...
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.

    Reading the alphabet in 2017. 21/100
    ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 16th Mar 17, 5:54 PM
    • 1,076 Posts
    • 1,187 Thanks
    NeilCr
    As ever I agree with Alice B and W have really great information.

    Unfortunately, the "pushing" of a site that has very little traffic (great that it is) by folks on here doesn't help it's cause
    • Shecar
    • By Shecar 16th Mar 17, 6:35 PM
    • 34 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    Shecar
    As ever I agree with Alice B and W have really great information.

    Unfortunately, the "pushing" of a site that has very little traffic (great that it is) by folks on here doesn't help it's cause
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    Apologies if you thought or I appeared to be pushing the site, I was merely bringing it to the attention of others that may not have come across it - I hadn't heard of it until I received my daughters migration paperwork and decided to see whether there were any guidance (other than the DWP) online, I immediately found both the B&W site and CAB guidance notes.
    As I said before, I do not wholly agree with payments for information - but in my case it was useful
    Very happy early retired Mum, surrounded by the Welsh hills, our dogs, cats, goats and poultry

    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 16th Mar 17, 6:55 PM
    • 1,076 Posts
    • 1,187 Thanks
    NeilCr
    Apologies if you thought or I appeared to be pushing the site, I was merely bringing it to the attention of others that may not have come across it - I hadn't heard of it until I received my daughters migration paperwork and decided to see whether there were any guidance (other than the DWP) online, I immediately found both the B&W site and CAB guidance notes.
    As I said before, I do not wholly agree with payments for information - but in my case it was useful
    Originally posted by Shecar
    No problem

    I think that a few of us have seen people coming on here and "pushing" B and W before - so may be we are a bit bruised

    Like all sites it helps which is all good. It's forum is great for folks who want an ongoing one to one which somewhere bigger, like here, cannot provide. But it is slow.

    It's information, as Alice says, is really really good. If you can't access face to face support, easily or on a regular basis, then it's invaluable. But, it still somewhat sticks in the craw that they are charging for something of which much is available, free, elsewhere
    • rockingbilly
    • By rockingbilly 16th Mar 17, 6:56 PM
    • 838 Posts
    • 247 Thanks
    rockingbilly
    its not only CAB.
    there is DIAL and many councils have welfare rights departments.
    also charity's for specific conditions also offer help and advice.

    when my time comes to transfer to PIP i will contact the RNIB as well as my local welfare rights.

    many people use ALL of their DLA/PIP awards towards the costs of care and aids so the costs of joining such a site is a large outlay that they cannot afford.

    so jusrt pointing out that free help is available if you know where to find it.
    Originally posted by nannytone
    Additionally it does depend on where you live. Where I live which is a county predominately a rural environment there is little choice. What choice there is heavily subscribed.
    As an example there are three AgeUK offices with only one offering benefit advice of a general nature. Should you require more detailed advice that office must seek it from a larger branch in London some 90 miles away. There is one DIAL which is about 50 miles away in the whole county. CAB is the only one that exists in each of the main towns. Obviously that is massively oversubscribed.
    At the end of the day most in my county have to go it alone.

    I was 'lucky' that the local jobcentre stepped in to help. I did manage to get an appointment with a Welfare Rights office but they could not offer an appointment before the form had to be returned. Another that I contacted many miles away forgot to get back to me with an appointment.
    • Shecar
    • By Shecar 16th Mar 17, 7:08 PM
    • 34 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    Shecar
    It's information, as Alice says, is really really good. If you can't access face to face support, easily or on a regular basis, then it's invaluable. But, it still somewhat sticks in the craw that they are charging for something of which much is available, free, elsewhere
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    But, I suppose it's the fact that you can get replies on a daily basis - which, unfortunately, you may not get elsewhere
    Very happy early retired Mum, surrounded by the Welsh hills, our dogs, cats, goats and poultry

    • septemberblues
    • By septemberblues 16th Mar 17, 7:21 PM
    • 825 Posts
    • 3,456 Thanks
    septemberblues
    The B&W site and resources are amazing, and to get the best possible results for PIP and ESA I think £19.95 is a bargain. Using their guides I got into the Support Group for ESA and my daughter has used them again to fill in my PIP form for me. Where I live there are no free resources, CAB are impossible to get an appointment with and there's nothing else available.

    Why would you not use them? In a Facebook page I'm on for chronic illness they were moaning about a woman offering form filling in for£80.......people are desperate and B&W are offering a service that's needed.......for a very cheap price........And could potentially help you to get the money you are entitled to!
    KEEP CALM AND keep taking the tablets
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 16th Mar 17, 7:22 PM
    • 1,076 Posts
    • 1,187 Thanks
    NeilCr
    But, I suppose it's the fact that you can get replies on a daily basis - which, unfortunately, you may not get elsewhere
    Originally posted by Shecar
    But do you

    Last time I looked the person wasn't on till Monday - and that was a Saturday.

    As I say I think it works really well for some people (not much traffic though)

    But, from experience, an ongoing email/web chat is nowhere near as good as a face to face
    • Shecar
    • By Shecar 16th Mar 17, 7:26 PM
    • 34 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    Shecar
    But do you

    Last time I looked the person wasn't on till Monday - and that was a Saturday.

    As I say I think it works really well for some people (not much traffic though)

    But, from experience, an ongoing email/web chat is nowhere near as good as a face to face
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    I wondered at that - but this weekend the 'advisors' were online - despite the wall saying Mon - Fri etc etc - As I am fairly new to the site, I really cannot say that this is normal practice
    Very happy early retired Mum, surrounded by the Welsh hills, our dogs, cats, goats and poultry

    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 16th Mar 17, 7:29 PM
    • 1,076 Posts
    • 1,187 Thanks
    NeilCr
    I can only go on what it says on the forum

    Latest

    http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/forum?view=topic&catid=10&id=113432
    Last edited by NeilCr; 16-03-2017 at 7:32 PM.
    • rockingbilly
    • By rockingbilly 16th Mar 17, 7:46 PM
    • 838 Posts
    • 247 Thanks
    rockingbilly

    But, from experience, an ongoing email/web chat is nowhere near as good as a face to face
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    ...that is if there are face to face resources available or you are unable to travel or maybe, like me, don't go in for talking to strangers in any real depth about personal problems.
    • nannytone
    • By nannytone 17th Mar 17, 4:15 PM
    • 12,221 Posts
    • 18,144 Thanks
    nannytone
    Additionally it does depend on where you live. Where I live which is a county predominately a rural environment there is little choice. What choice there is heavily subscribed.
    As an example there are three AgeUK offices with only one offering benefit advice of a general nature. Should you require more detailed advice that office must seek it from a larger branch in London some 90 miles away. There is one DIAL which is about 50 miles away in the whole county. CAB is the only one that exists in each of the main towns. Obviously that is massively oversubscribed.
    At the end of the day most in my county have to go it alone.

    I was 'lucky' that the local jobcentre stepped in to help. I did manage to get an appointment with a Welfare Rights office but they could not offer an appointment before the form had to be returned. Another that I contacted many miles away forgot to get back to me with an appointment.
    Originally posted by rockingbilly
    i live rurally too, but there is a miraculous new invention called the telephone.

    hen my PIP form arrives, i will post it to the RNIB. they will phone me and we will complete the forms.
    they then send them off.

    so expert advice/help at no cost and without someone physically being present

    many organisations offer this service
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