How We Can Help
Our small team of advisers understand the welfare and benefits system. We help people identify which benefits may apply to them and support with form filling and applications.
We listen. We take time to understand the situation and with compassion an adviser will support each client through applications and/ or appeals, often identifying additional ways to help that are beyond our specific areas of expertise. And we will support each client for as long as they need our help.
We can often provide simple advice and guidance over the phone, however often our clients need dedicated, 1 to 1 support and we arrange confidential appointments with one of our team at our friendly offices near Seven Dials.
For guidance on what benefits you may be entitled to we recommend this useful Online Benefits Calculator.
Appeals / Tribunals
If a benefit claim is refused or if the outcome isn’t satisfactory then we have specific team members who are experienced in supporting clients with an appeal. We can help with a mandatory reconsideration letter and if this is unsuccessful we can further support with requesting a tribunal.
We help our clients prepare for a tribunal hearing, understanding what to expect on the day and preparing the submission. Occasionally we may be able to offer moral support during a tribunal – not as an advocate but to support in understanding the process and any questions being asked during the tribunal
It is important to keep to any timescales given with the application forms. Please make us aware of any deadlines at first contact.
Which Benefits We Can Help With?
Our advice team primarily help clients with Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) applications and appeals. We can also support on certain benefits relating to caring and disability, these include the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for Children, in addition to the Carer’s Allowance and Attendance Allowance.
Universal Credit has replaced a number of existing means-tested benefits and was rolled out in Brighton & Hove during 2018.
Most queries can be dealt with by our Advisers over the phone or via email, however for those who need help with an application for Universal Credit, we run a Universal Credit drop-in service on a Friday morning which starts at 10am, with the last slot at 12 midday. We highly recommend arriving by 10am as these sessions can be busy. Please note that we cannot guarantee that we can see everyone who attends the drop in.
Universal Credit has been introduced across Brighton & Hove to replace the following benefits;
- Housing Benefit
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income Support
Universal Credit works differently from other benefits – so if you are moving from another benefit it’s important to know the differences. The biggest differences are:
- You can get Universal Credit if you’re unemployed but also if you’re working
- You will usually get a single payment each month, rather than weekly or fortnightly
- Instead of getting a separate housing benefit, your rent will usually be paid directly to you as part of your monthly Universal Credit payment
To help people that need help with understanding or applying for Universal Credit we are currently running some drop-in advice sessions alongside our traditional appointment service. Click here to find out when we are running Universal Credit Drop-In Sessions at our Seven Dials Office.
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) can help you with some of the extra costs if you have a long term ill-health or disability. This benefit has replaced the Disability Living Allowance (DLA). If you already claim DLA then this will continue until your circumstances change or the Department for Work & Pensions asks you to apply for PIP.
DLA for Children is an allowance to assist with the extra costs related to caring for a disabled child under the age of 16.
For those claiming PIP/ DLA you may also be entitled to claim an Attendance Allowance. This is an additional payment to help with the cost of having someone to care for you. Your Carer may also be able to claim a Carer’s Allowance.
Other benefits can be affected when you claim either an Attendance Allowance or Carer’s Allowance. Our team can help you understand all of these benefits and how they work.
What to do next if you need our help?
Please get in touch if you, or someone you know needs our help. We can schedule an appointment with one of our advice team at our friendly offices near Seven Dials – or we may be able to give you the advice you need over the phone. You can contact us using the form below – or if you prefer you can call us on (01273) 549203.
Emails and calls are usually monitored Monday to Friday between 9am – 5pm.