Earlier this month we pointed out that we have now reached the astonishing milestone of being 20 years old.  We asked readers  to tell us how long they have been using the site and what part it has played in their life.

We’re very grateful and touched by your replies.  We’ve reproduced some of them below.

A brilliant service
“I became aware in 2008 when I had a breakdown and was several years later diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder type 2. The excellent spotlights you shine on various disability rights helped me claim ESA and PIP whilst working and PIP still at standard rate since I took early retirement. Well done to all involved delivering such a brilliant service enabling people to know their rights like no other organisation/ business.”

Sound, useful and common sense advice
“In 2005, after a catastrophic accident that left me unable to walk, I was faced with applying for Income Support and DLA. The process looked daunting, overwhelming, confusing, like writing a polished college thesis. I happened upon your site and was amazed that there was sound, useful and common sense advice available to claimants like myself. Through the years, as I navigated the reassessments, the forms, the changes, the anxiety, your Guides, mods, and comments by other claimants helped me get the benefits I have been entitled to -every single time. It's a debt that I cannot ever repay, and my thanks will never be enough to express my gratitude.”

8 years of thankful relief
“I've been a member since 2014 - 8 years of thankful relief from the stress of previously not knowing what I was doing, and struggling with DWP paperwork. I was diagnosed with ME/CFS in 2000, having been ill with it since 1994/5, and struggling financially for so long, not only against the DWP but also the medical establishment who wished patients like me didn't exist, always trying to sweep us under the carpet and ignore us. Benefits and Work, and Holly and Steve, have been my guardian angels in my battles with the DWP, and I can never thank them enough. I wish I had found them years earlier, my life could have been so much better. Thank you both from the bottom of my heart for your dedication and help.”

You do a great job
“I used this site to get on incapacity benefit years ago and for ESA later on after it was changed, you do a great job keep up the good work guys . . .”

Made all the difference
“I managed to apply for esa and pip with your help, it was so overwhelming! Especially after spinal surgery, job loss etc but this site and support made all the difference.  When I needed to do a MR second time round, I was prepared, and won! Thank you for keeping us up to date on all the latest info and guidance.”

I recommend the site to anyone I hear of who is struggling
“Guided me through the transition from IB to ESA, when I was, despite awaiting two major surgeries and very ill, put in the Work Capability category. Appealed and put in support group, where I remained until reached state pension age. By the time I was called to change from DLA to PIP, five years ago, I was well prepared, through reading your guides and the forum, and sailed through the assessment. Awarded ongoing higher rate for both Daily Living and Mobility. I recommend the site to anyone I hear of who is struggling with form filling for benefits. I also renew my membership every year, to support those who find they are in need of your services. Thank you, and long may you continue helping oppressed sick and disabled people win their rights and find justice.”

The gods were smiling on me that day!!
“One minute I was a manager in charge of many staff, salaries, pensions, procurement, buildings etc. and the next I found myself disabled, unwaged and lost in an alien and what seemed to be quite a hostile world of DWP and the benefits system. Without the lifeline of B&W I would have had no idea where to start asking for the help I desperately needed. I can't even remember how I found you - maybe the gods were smiling on me that day!!”

 Eternally grateful for B&W
“The guides were invaluable when it came to applying for DLA and whatever the other one was called back then! They not only showed me where to start but they gave me confidence to say yes, I am entitled to this so I will apply. And thanks to B&W's thorough guides I've been successful at every review since then. The site is far more polished now than it was but I'll still be eternally grateful for B&W in whatever shape or form. Thanks, Team B&W.”

You probably saved my life
“I have been using the site since 2015.  Without your wonderful guides I would have been unable to make the applications for PIP and ESA.  I was in a deep depression at that point and life seemed pretty hopeless.  Finding your site really helped and I am sure without your advice and guides I would have given up.  I've used the site for PIP renewals to so the support is ongoing.  I recommend the site to loads of people via our Buddhist group and the forum I am on for my health conditions.  Absolutely everyone says the same thing....couldn't have done it without you! Thank you, you probably saved my life.”

Invaluable to us all
“I could not be more appreciative of this site I have been a member for the last 6 years,  invaluable to us all for the help in DWP benefits, the great knowledge of the team in helping us through the very stressful procedure of attending face to face medicals and even tribunals cannot be underestimated, I don't know what I would have done without this wonderful help and I will continue being a member for as long as I can. Thank you.”

I have passed this site link on to many people
“This web site is solely responsible for my getting the benefit I am entitled to, I would have been helpless against the ridiculous assumptions made in my report, then later in the report those assumptions turned into facts, without this amazing site. I have passed this site link on to many people in Health and social care, they are all very grateful.”

Expert guidance on disability benefits
“Thank you for all the support that you have given.  I also think it is reassuring to know that you are there for us with expert guidance on disability benefits.  I am one of the older members still on DLA and retain my membership to keep updated on any benefit changes.  I check in every day to read the forum and the news.  I have learned a lot.”

Professional members of Benefits and Work since 2011
“He-special are proud to have been professional members of Benefits and Work since 2011 - or at least that is the first email I have confirming that we are members! Over the years we have helped many families with children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities to successfully claim various benefits, both for the children and the adults. But my personal relationship with B&W goes back further to when someone from the CAB came out to help me fill out the DLA form on behalf of my son. I think it may have been around 15 years ago. I noticed that the guide she was using was originally from B&W. So I looked it up on the internet and joined as a personal member. Congratulations on your first 20 years. And whilst I wish people didn't have to use your excellent guides, I hope that your next 20 years will be just as successful.”

May you continue for many years to come  
“I've been a member for seventeen years, since 2005. I cannot express to you how grateful I am for all the help (disability benefit guides) and moral support you have given me and so many others over the years. Congratulations on this milestone and may you continue for many years to come.”

 Helped me enormously over the years
“Your site has helped me enormously over the years. The last time I had to apply, I got full rate pip for 10 years!!  Thankyou from the bottom of my heart. The money has paid for some help, without which I couldn't have survived.”

Your guides secured my parents AA
“I have  been fighting for my rights with DWP from the get go and with your help from the outset to the time I retired and beyond. I used your guides and advice to get ESAconts, support group rating and latterly Attendance allowance. I have helped others esp. using your guides to restore a disabled mans PIP when it was wrongly stopped (I recorded the HCP interview and proved that the ‘doctor’ lied and behaved inappropriately). Your guides secured my parents AA. So thanks for being there for what seems like half my life and may you continue to press for a better system of benefits assessment and live a happy life.”

Found your site and have never looked back
“Well done for helping countless numbers of people (including me) over the last 20 years! After being retired on ill-health grounds in 2003 I was told to apply for Incapacity Benefit, as it then was. I did, but after a couple of years the title was changed and so were the rules! Filling in those forms was like writing 'War and Peace', with no idea how my statements were going to be judged. I trawled the internet, found your site and have never looked back. The guides were invaluable, as was the forum. Ever since, with many changes in the rules, I've been able to face those 'books' of forms, and gain the award. Latterly, as my illness is progressive, I was refused ESA support, and with your aid, made a successful appeal. The judges even said they would be advising the DWP not to look at my case again as I was within 18 months of retirement age. I am now retired but will continue to support you in helping others. Many, many thanks!”


Write comments...
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Be the first to comment.

We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.