A fortnight ago, in the last newsletter, we asked readers to complete a brief survey. One of the questions we asked in the survey was:
“Has the Benefits and Work website helped you in any way with a benefit claim or appeal?”
We were all very touched by the responses we received.
We’re sharing a few of them with you, without further comment, except to say thank you to everyone who took part.
Myself and my daughter have both won PIP appeals using your website and guides. I will continue to support you even though I don't have any problems at present.
Yes I went from DLA to PIP last year, knowing I could get the help I needed from you made such a difference and made a huge impact on how I worded things and the amount of detail I put in. Without this site I'd have not known where to start with new and very different PIP system. Thank you!
Yes, my initial PIP decision was negative, but I submitted a mandatory reconsideration with the help of the guides & was successful on both counts. The additional money from the benefit makes a huge difference to me. Without the members only guides I would not have known how to approach the MR so I am very grateful.
Yes - we don’t know where we’d be now with benefits for our disabled son without the guides on claiming PIP or facing a Work Capability Assessment. In both cases it felt like taking a massive exam but all the hard work we put in through the B&W guides was worth it. We can’t thank you enough.
Yes! Got PIP enhanced both components ongoing thanks to your guide! For invisible condition; a miracle!
Massively. Can't overstate how incredible the website is and how much info I have gleaned from it. I have no doubt that you're indirectly saving people's lives.
Oh god yes... Both me and my partner, we would be dead without the help you provided. We both went from nothing to support group ESA and high rate PIP mobility and care [We both are autistic].
Yes. Because of your in depth guides we claimed dla and then transitioned to pip for our daughter. We couldn't have done it without your guides, and because of this we have remained members (and will continue to do so) as a way of saying 'thank you' and supporting such a wonderful website. Thank you xxxxx
Your site is absolutely brilliant. I was as CAB adviser however I regularly suggested to my clients to join Benefits and Work. We lost all our funding for tribunal support. My son aged 27 has been disabled all his life. Without your guides he would not have received the benefits he deserved. Thank you
It has helped me in the past to deal with my brother's claim's for ESA and DLA, I found them to be wonderful and we wouldn't have got to the stage he is now at without your help and advice.
OMG, yes! I don't think my claims would have been successful without carefully following your guides from start to finish. There are so many aspects to my condition that I wouldn't have considered relevant otherwise. Explanations of the wording used in the form were particularly helpful - sometimes the common definition of a word or phrase could not be applied and without this knowledge I would have not responded appropriately to many questions on the form. I've always been appropriately awarded without the need to appeal. I've used your guides ever since my first award renewal.
It helped me, without the information I may have given up, as it turned out the DWP rang me to say they had changed their minds, I was awarded the higher rates on pip for both, I was only dealing with cancer at the time, thank you.
Yes. I have been able to make more informed decisions about what to include in my claims for ESA and PIP because I have gained more of an understanding of what the DWP are "measuring" and how they come to the conclusions that they do. I took one of the decisions about my ESA claim to appeal three years ago and won but going through the experience was awful. I found your website after that and wished I had known of its existence before because I realised all the "errors" I had made in how I answered questions on the forms and at the face to face assessments.
Yes, helped a lot. I support lots of people with both ESA and PIP claims, reconsiderations and tribunals. Your information has been invaluable in overturning negative decisions.
Yes, I had a PIP award which I was not happy with and your guides & webinar were instrumental in giving me the confidence to proceed with a mandatory reconsideration request and subsequently an appeal to an independent tribunal which resulted in the DWP reviewing their previous decision in my favour.
Yes. I have been claiming ESA for 9 years and DLA for about 8 years. I used the guides for my initial claims and for all subsequent reassessments. I love the way the guides take you step by step through the forms and show you exactly where you are legally eligible or not. I wouldn't want to do a form without the guides. I've only had one face to face assessment for ESA and none for DLA. I was awarded indefinite DLA at my first reassessment and have remained in the ESA support group since 2013, without face to face assessments. I'm not sure this would have happened without the guides.
Absolutely and also my daughter’s mr [mandatory reconsideration] for mobility was put to standard but after your webinar on mental health and mobility I was successful in challenging it and mobility is back at advanced.
Without doubt. Steve Donnison is a lifesaver. I found a paper he wrote on welfare rights when he was based in Bristol which helped me immensely with my claim decades ago. When my degenerative condition deteriorated and I needed more financial and social support, and I was in the depths of despair and feeling very alone, I searched for him again online and found B&W. I cannot describe the joy. I still have that paper. B&W has seen me through the toughest of times. And I have been able to help and refer others as a result.
this site has definitely helped not only with making my own successful claim but making a claim on behalf of my autistic son - the information on making a claim based on mental health was really good
So many ways with claims - from taking the terror out of the process to explaining what the questions actually mean to helping us feel that we aren't just a waste of space and that we are entitled to claim and hopefully receive financial help.
YES YES YES YES YES! I am NOT exaggerating to say your ESA guides may well have saved my life. Particularly the first time when my IB was converted to ESA. I WAS TERRIFIED! I was suicidal as it was at the time and that process came close to pushing me over the edge. Thankfully a friend of mine told me about you and I was able to use your guides to fill in the damned DWP form, and feel somewhat empowered that I was filling it in in a way that would work for me.
I have used information provided by Benefits & Work to help me with multiple ESA claims (on behalf of other people that I've helped on an amateur basis). I found your guidance on the points system, and how to use the 'It varies' option to explain complex and variable cases, particularly helpful.
The website has been great, I have used it many times over the last 8-10 years. Its has been invaluable, especially when I used the 'at risk' clause for one of my mandatory reconsiderations. I was also able to pass the information about this clause to numerous other people who knew nothing about it.
Yes able to go from no points for pip to full points both criteria following mandatory Consideration.
Told me not to give up. Very important. Up to date information.
Yes - I was awarded pip at the higher care rate straight away. Well done! Also, the dla guide for children helped me claim and a result came back within two weeks - five weeks from phone call to decision and no telephone assessment - fab!
Absolutely. I doubt my last (second) PIP claim would have been so successful without it. My first ever claim (before I joined B&W) I received nothing and was too stressed out/overwhelmed by it all to appeal. It took me 3yrs to feel brave enough to try again and I received enhanced for both components without needing to appeal or do an MR.
Psychologically, it helps to know that you are fighting on our behalf, and that I am not the only victim of the DWP. Simply knowing that 75% of PIP appeals are won, gave me the impetus to appeal.
Yes my husband and i have had to go to tribunal for our last 2 claims each and i used benefits and work for all 4 successful claims!
Yes, 8 years ago I needed to appeal ESA from Working group to support group. Your guides were invaluable. My transfer from DLA to PIP, 3 years ago was a smooth transition, thanks to your guides. I had not considered that because I could walk only with pain, and not every day, that I could be considered unable to do this. Was awarded enhanced for both components, for indefinite period. Thank you.
Yes it helped me with my tribunal appeal. I used the CAB prior as I didn’t know about the site but your advice was perfect for my appeal which went from standard for both to enhanced for both.
Yes it helped me immensely with my PIP claim and the subsequent appeal which never did proceed when the DWP awarded me enhanced for both mobility and daily living. I presented them with a mound of facts aided by you.
yes, i was recommended your site by my WRAG advisor to try and get moved into the support group. your guides opened my eyes to just how wrongly i had been answering the questions (its like they purposely don't ask simple questions so that we cant give them the correct information to score points). I have asked for advice on the forum a couple of times and always been given an answer - thank you to Gordan. also before joining your site i felt so alone in my misery and terror at the benefits form and assessments as awful as it is to read some of the stories on the forum, i feel much less alone and much less pathetic.
I had no idea how to fill in a claim form when I had to stop work in 2002. I didn't know how or what to claim and the stress of applying made my RA worse. I only managed to get the benefits I needed, fully, once I discovered Benefits & Work. It's still a very stressful process, but your guidance has ensured I fill in the forms properly. Thank you for that.
Yes, I successfully claimed for me and I've supported three friends to claim (including helping one through mandatory reconsideration after the health 'professional' said she'd filled in most of the form in her car before entering their home!)
Yes, many times. I have helped at least 10 people either win their awards and also appeals. Also for myself as a claimant.
Yes, and I have also passed on information from the newsletter and looked up topics in the forums for other people suffering from the same chronic illness as me. I always recommend that they join B&W, and I know at least four who have done so.