Renfrewshire Council

Five questions for Advice Works

These are the five questions our Advice Works team get asked the most ...with answers from the team to help you.

1. I have a lifetime award of Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Does this mean I won't have to move over to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in future?

If you receive DLA and on 8 April 2013, you were aged 65 or over, you will not be moved on to PIP.

All other DLA claimants will be assessed for PIP even if you have a life time award as the legislation has been changed .

2. I am not happy with the decision that the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) have made on my benefit claim. What can I do?

You can ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration of the benefit decision, either over the telephone or by writing to the DWP.

Don't be put off as many requests are successful. If the decision is not changed after this then you can ask for an appeal by completing a SSCS1 form.

Advice Works can assist you with this and offer advice on what benefits you can claim while you are appealing. Please attend our drop-in or call 0300 300 1238 for an appointment.

We need to know if you have named us as your representative so that we have a file for you and a mandate to act on your behalf so still contact us if you have already put in the appeal.

3. I've been told that I can't claim any benefits while I appeal my Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) refusal decision. Is this correct?

You can claim Jobseekers Allowance immediately when your ESA stops at the same time as asking for a Mandatory Reconsideration.

You may feel you are not fit to work however you can explain the difficulties you have due to illness or disability and ask to speak to the Disability Adviser who should be able to offer assistance with the difficulties you have. They should help to make your Claimant Commitment manageable whilst you appeal.

Once your appeal has been lodged with The Tribunal Service you can claim ESA at a reduced rate or stay on Jobseekers Allowance until the appeal process is completed.

You may be able to make a fresh claim to ESA if you have new condition or a significant deterioration of a previous condition. Ideally any medical certificate you include with your new claim should make this clear.

4. I am working but I have a low income. I am struggling to pay my rent. Can I claim anything?

You can claim Housing Benefit or Local Housing Allowance, depending on who your landlord is and you can also claim Council Tax Reduction.

The income you receive from your wages will be assessed and a calculation will show whether you may be entitled to some financial help. You should also look at whether you meet the qualifying conditions for Tax Credits. Advice Works can complete a benefit check for you - attend our drop-in or call 0300 300 1238 to speak to an adviser. We can also help you negotiate reduced payments to any creditors you have to help free up more money for priority payments like your rent.

5. My elderly mother lives alone and is struggling to look after herself. Is she entitled to any benefits?

Your mum may be entitled to Attendance Allowance if she struggles with personal care tasks, or is at risk by being left alone at home.

Attendance Allowance is not means-tested so it doesn't matter if she has other income or savings.

An award of Attendance Allowance can also increase other entitlements.

We can also give you advice about any benefits for Carers, speak to us first as Carers benefits can reduce other income for the person you look after. Advice Works can assist to complete the forms and carry out a benefit check, please call 0300 300 1238 to arrange an appointment for form-filling.

You will need to phone for the forms first and bring them along, speak to our Business Support for the up to date correct number.

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