The government’s plans for shaking up welfare reform are making many people anxious.
At Ridley & Hall Solicitors we believe that people who need help should be able to get personalised support and help during their lives if they are facing difficult times. The need for tailored welfare benefits advice has never been greater. Changes to welfare reform have started to hit individuals and families with low income and in June and October 2013 we will see some more reforms.
With funding cuts hitting the public and voluntary sector as well as big changes to Legal Aid, it is harder to seek out advice and help. Welfare rights advisers keep up to date. They seek to challenge unfair policy and get you the best outcome possible so that you can move forward with your life and support others who may be relying on you for care.
Are you claiming DLA?
You may have heard about the changes to Disability Living Allowance (DLA). For claimants aged 16 or over there is a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from June 2013. PIP is not means-tested and if you have disabilities, you may qualify. At present, DLA will remain for children under 16.
People over 16 already on DLA are expected to be assessed to transfer to PIP by the end of 2016.
Are you caring for a child with a disability?
Many grandparent or kinship carers are not aware that they may be able to claim DLA in respect of the child they are caring for.
For example: Does the child have a Statement of Educational Needs? If you are caring for a child with difficult behaviour, which could be an autistic spectrum disorder or attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) you should seek our advice? However, if it does not fit these categories, contact us for advice anyway.
It is vital that you have specialist advice as to whether you are receiving the right benefits for them and for you as a carer.
Are you approaching state retirement age?
Are you satisfied that you are getting the correct benefits and support? Welfare reform will bring some changes to benefits for older people in spite of government assurances that they will be protected. It is important to seek advice as to whether you or your partner could qualify for pension credit before October 2013. It is believed that around a third of pensioner households entitled to pension credit are not claiming it. Take up is low, especially amongst those that own their own home.
Other areas we can help with are:
- Housing benefit and the impact of ‘bedroom tax’ decisions
- Appeals in relation to employment and support allowance, attendance allowance and the benefits already mentioned above
- Overpayment appeals and recovery
- Complaints against the DWP for maladministration
- Tax credits decisions and disputes
Our experienced welfare benefits adviser, Sangeeta Enright, would be happy to discuss your needs with you and offer advice with transparent details of fixed fees for different types of assistance. She specialises in disability benefits and has had training on autistic spectrum disorders. She has a record of success with her appeals and actively assists with negotiation and obtaining evidence. Sangeeta listens with empathy and gives pragmatic advice on your options.
We have a strong and dynamic Community Care team and we care about the issues that you are facing. Our team can help you in a variety of ways. As well as individualised, practical welfare benefits advice, we also provide the following:
- Assessment of social care needs
- Care/support plans
- Direct payments for care
- Kinship and adoption support
- Fostering/SGO/residence order allowances
- Adaptations to the home
- Funding for social care
- Judicial review
- Court of Protection
Please note: We can no longer offer advice and assistance funded by Legal Aid for welfare benefits.