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The ultimate guide to claiming benefits in the UK

04 Jan 2022 | Author: PaulB

One of the benefits of residing in the UK is that there are a variety of benefits available to those who need it most, provided by the government. Whether you are unemployed or ill, there is the possibility that you are eligible for financial support.

Depending on your personal circumstances, you might be entitled to certain assistance. The benefits system exists to provide practical help and financial support for people who:

  • Are unemployed and looking for work
  • Have a low income
  • Have a disability
  • Are ill
  • Are raising children
  • Are retired
  • Care for someone.

If you are claiming benefits in the UK for the first time, though, you may be in for a bit of a shock. The system can be complicated at the best of times. The system can be slow, you may have to repeat things and supply the same information several times, and you may need to make several separate claims based on your circumstances. The claims process also constantly evolves and changes as government implements changes. However, there is a resource you can tap into to get help with your benefits claims.

The most common benefits that can be claimed

There are more than 15 types of benefits that can be claimed in our country. The ones we help with most commonly at Benefit Answers include Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Employment Support Allowance, and Attendance Allowance.

Let’s take a closer look at these four common benefits that you may be eligible for.

Disability Living Allowance

This benefit, also referred to as DLA, is for children who have additional care or mobility needs due to an illness or disability. To be eligible for this benefit, the child would need to be under the age of 16 and there are other age rules for the mobility aspect of this benefit. DLA does not take any capital or income into account, meaning it is not based on your means.

Personal Independence Allowance

Personal Independence Allowance (PIP) is a benefit for people who are between the age of 16 and the State Retirement Age who need assistance due to a disability or an illness, and have additional care needs. Your income is not considered when claiming for this benefit.

Employment Support Allowance

This benefit, also known as ESA, is for people who are under the State Pension Age who have limited ability to work due to an illness or disability. You are not eligible for this benefit if you receive Statutory Sick Pay. Your income is not taken into account for this benefit, and you will need a note from your doctor advising that you are not well enough to work.

Attendance Allowance

Attendance allowance is intended for people who have reached State Pension and are either physically or mentally disabled. They would need to require assistance or supervision with personal care needs or support to ensure they are safe. This benefit is available to people who live on their own or with others, and is not dependant on whether the assistance required is being given.

How to claim benefits

The benefits available in the UK are generally each handled by different departments and agencies. This makes it confusing as to where you should apply for your benefit. In order to get the support and assistance you require, you will need to apply for your benefit at the right place.

One way to find out how and where to claim your benefits is to visit your local Jobs & Benefits office where you will be assisted with more information. Alternatively, you can make use of a benefits specialist who can help you with your application and ensure all your information is presented in the best possible way to improve your chances of being approved for the benefit.

One of the main things that will be required from you when applying for a benefit is proof of your identity. This is to ensure that benefits are paid out to the right people at the right time. Documents that you can use to help prove your identity include your passport, birth certificate, UK driving licence or Home Office document. A letter from your employer or a contact of your employment is often also accepted as proof of identity. Photocopies of these documents generally aren’t accepted.

What to do if your benefit application has been refused

If your claim has been refused, you have the opportunity to ask for the decision to be looked at again. This is known as a reconsideration and is mandatory. If you are unhappy with the reconsideration, you can then make an appeal.

If you’ve managed to claim a benefit and your application has been refused, it is best to get the help of a specialist who can handle your reconsideration or appeal. You only get one chance to get a reconsideration or appeal right, so it’s important that you involve someone who is experienced in doing this.

More often than not, benefits claimants are refused the help they need because they’ve not clearly communicated their circumstances. A benefits specialist can help you present your case accurately and in the best light to ensure you win your reconsideration or appeal. Including an expert in your reconsideration or appeal means having a real person review your claim and getting advice as to whether your appeal is likely to be successful.

The Benefit Answers difference

The process of claiming benefits in the UK is complex. It involves filling out a lot of paperwork, submitting pieces of information more than once, and figuring out where to apply to. One of the most common concerns we hear from people at Benefit Answers is that they are unsure if they are eligible for benefits, or they are nervous about navigating the system and the benefits they are entitled to. If this situation sounds familiar to you, we can help.

We founded Benefit Answers to ensure that the people who need it most get the assistance and support that they are entitled to. We help with thousands of benefits claims every year and can help give you the highest chance of success. We have the experience and knowledge of the benefits system to help you with your reconsideration or Qappeal so that you win the benefits you need. All our advice and the consultation are free of charge at the point of contact and our experienced benefits specialists are independent and impartial.

Why you need independent, impartial advice

Only 45% of PIP claims are successful and the success rate for DLA to PIP transfers is currently 69%. This is why you need your benefits claims process to be handled with professionalism and efficiency, without complicated jargon and trying to interpret lengthy claim forms. Our success rate for PIP claims is 72%, 92% for DLA to POP transfers, and 92% for Attendance Allowance.

The answers you give when completing claim forms go a long way to the government deciding if you will receive a benefit. So, it is vital to get the form right and worded in the correct way. Our benefits specialists can assist you in getting this right. We know what is relevant, what to ask you, and how best to explain what your circumstances are.

If you need assistance claiming or appealing for DLA, PIP, ESA, or Attendance Allowance benefits, you’ve come to the right place. We have helped with over 2,000 claims just like yours and we have secured more than £1.2 million in benefit payments. Visit our website to get the help you deserve. 

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