Recently, we suggested that if you are are finding it impossible to contact the DWP by telephone you should consider asking your MP for help.

It’s clear from your responses that some MPs’ offices provide really excellent support, even if others are utterly uninterested.

It made us wonder if there are other sources of help out there that might not have occurred to lots of people.

So, we’re asking you to tell us about anybody that has made a real difference to your benefits claim or appeal and what it was they did that made a difference.

This might be an organisation, such as a health specific charity or it might be an individual, such as a housing worker.  Maybe it was an online resource? 

Whatever it was, if you think it might be of value to other readers, please let us know in the comments below.

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    Tofunmi · 11 months ago
    At Law for Life (Advicenow), we are proud to offer a variety of free online resource guides and tools to help anyone dealing with benefit problems. We receive positive feedback for how clear, easy to understand, and easy to use our resources are. Visit our website at https://www.advicenow.org.uk/help-deal-benefit-problems.
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    Lynn · 11 months ago
    My local council Welfare Rights Officers have always been knowledgeable, supportive and efficient at helping me, even when their jobs have been under threat of cuts.
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    Susan Irvin · 1 years ago
    I was helped by Richmond Aid a disability building
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    Tish · 1 years ago
    Macmillan informed me I'd been on wrong benefit for almost 5 yes. I was too scared to ask DWP to back date the arrears, they scare the living daylights out of me.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Andrew · 1 years ago
      @Tish Hi a welfare rights officer can help you with this but it will be a battle, be ready
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    jacqui Butterworth · 1 years ago
    Kirlees Social Services in huddersfield helped me but it was 30yrs ago
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Gerard Reilly · 1 years ago
    Without the help of the Citizens advice bureau l would never have received P.I.P
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    hotstitch · 1 years ago
    Hi I was helped by an advice worker employed by a local organization for people with my health condition. The group got funding and used it to employ the adviser. She was a former benefit adviser. She did two MRs for me both successful. I WD say join everything both national and local for people with yr health condition/ related conditions. The group also pointed me to a hospital specialist to get diagnosed (after ten years of utter hell) and a specialist in London for an opinion on the prognosis of my illness. All of this would have been absolutely impossible with just the GP. Many groups will accept your membership without a diagnosis yet as they know how difficult it is to get one. They often have advice lines and regular magazines and meet ups which are very beneficial to combat isolation. Good luck.
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    David · 1 years ago
    Following a long and protracted process over nearly three years (2009-2012), involving both Lower tier and Upper tier Tribunal hearings, my wife and I finally managed to get our entitlement to ESA established, although with future reviews of Work Capability to come. We were still surviving on a very low income however.

    A lady at a benefits advice service said to try approaching Age UK, as I was in my fifties then. I did so, and they were wonderful. They made a home visit, told us both we qualified for PIP and filled out my wife's application form. The lady also reviewed my letter to the upper tribunal, and asked if she should fill out my PIP forms, which I declined, as she had already spent an hour with us, and I could look at how she had filled my wife's form to guide me.

    It was interesting to note that my wife's claim, counter-signed by the lady from Age UK, was awarded in six weeks, whilst my own claim, which I did myself, took 7 months to be processed, but I was finally awarded PIP at the lower level, which was fine for my situation.
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    Kay · 1 years ago
    Thurrock Centre for Independent Living is a charity based in The Beehive, Grays, Essex; which has helped vulnerable, disabled and elderly clients complete their various application forms albeit DLA, PIP or AA. They provide advice, support and assistance regarding MR and appeals too. 
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    Kerrie · 1 years ago
    Autistic Nottingham, I have an advocate who has helped me with different things including my ESA review in 2021 which was very stressful due to the assessment company constantly making mistakes and causing me to have panic attacks, I had asked for a female HCP, they kept booking appointments with males and would then have to cancel and reschedule, plus trying to use a 4 year old form, eventually a complaint was made and they allowed me to write a new ESA50 which my advocate helped with, she also wrote me a supporting letter even though at the time she wasn't very well herself. This triggered the assessment company to ask my GP for further information, I then had a paper based assessment and was moved from WRAG to SG.

    She's still helping me now with other issues, no doubt she'll try and help me with my PIP review next year.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Michael · 1 years ago
    I was helped by a Conservative MP. He was great. He and his team helped me so much. The tricks and lies and injustice I had received from the DWP Benefits was soul destroying. It is too much to write here. However, Beverly and Holderness, MP. Mr. Graham Stuart, stood up for me; fast, concise, direct, graciously and helped me in my benefit payments (again so many different categories).
    I have always and will always vote Labour - however, Graham, is a genuine gentleman and I would have voted for his party, if only most Tories where like him! They should take a leaf out of Graham's Book and learn from him! Genuine, Gentleman, Caring, Honourable and British Thoughtfulness and Understanding with Positive Helpful Action!. A GREAT MAN to me!  Irrelevant of Politics! THANKYOU GRAHAM TO YOU AND YOUR TEAM! Michael.
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    Karen Hasted · 1 years ago
    I recently received PIP after using advice from you and I had help from my Housing Association. It's a large association based in the Midlands & London. 
    They have a team of people who they call the 'Tenancy Sustainment Team' who help tenants with money management including applying for benefits. 
    I was allocated 1 worker, who helped me throughout the entire process including phoning the DWP. It was all done via phone & email, though in non-covid times she could have come out to see me. 
    It made such a difference to me & I suspect, my claim.
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    HELEN FISHER · 1 years ago

    I have been working as a Welfare rights officer for Liverpool Community Advice for the past 11 years. I particularly specialised in families affected by autism, D/deaf and visually impaired people..

    Just before Christmas we closed down and we all were made redundant. These vulnerable people would have nobody to help them, so I set up a Community Interest Company, called SIGNS OF A RAINBOW, so I can continue to fight for the people of Merseyside against the DWP











  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Susanne · 1 years ago
    A local charity called Families in Focus helped me many years ago. I had tried unsuccessfully to claim DLA for my disabled daughter. They were very patient and informative. Unfortunately they were not allowed to come into the room for the appeal tribunal but I felt prepared and ultimately successful. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Ann · 1 years ago
    Torridge Voluntary Services helped when a diagnosis of Mixed Dementia was added to my disabilities
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    Martin Pendrey · 1 years ago
    Tim Vasey the manager and founder of the Scarborough disability action group (Scarborough DAG) has helped thousands of people with advice form filling and representing at tribunals over the last 30 plus years (including me with pip and ESA tribunals and won both)
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    Imran · 1 years ago
    When it came to the time of my Pip appeal. My care coordinator wrote a very good letter for me. And in addition to that I received invaluable help from a welfare benefits advisor at mind in Croydon. They represented me at the appeal as well. Which incidently took place on the phone because of lockdown.
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    Kirsty · 1 years ago
    With government encouragement everyone to work from home even advise centres are impossible to get appointments with and advice is what you can obtain from the internet just a total waste of time. Need legal aid brought back and solicitors to give advice and take action for justice 
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    Jennifer Insell · 1 years ago
    I was rejected by DWP as the guy from Capita lied about me. I was awarded 2 points only so turned down immediately. 
    I appealed courtesy of going to see the Citizens Advice Bureau the lady there named Gay was amazing.  My case eventually went to a court hearing by where a Judge, a Doctor and a Councillor after having seen my medical records awarded me both enhanced parts of PIP with 29 points. How these advisors can get away with the way they do these cases. It is extremely distressing, but the CAB were terrific and I'm most grateful to them .
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    Gilly · 1 years ago
    Benefits advisor from MacMillan Cancer Support did my mandatory reconsideration after my PIP claim was unsuccessful ( awarded 2 points for wearing hearing aids only). My Face to Face assessment was extremely poor, dishonest and incomplete. I complained direct to the Assessors employer ( Capita) and as a result I was reassessed from scratch ( another face to face assessment). I have a rare progressive neurological condition as a result of cancer treatment ( extensive radiotherapy and chemotherapy)  39 years ago. This has manifested as a visible upper body disability which also impacts my mobility. 
     I was awarded higher rate care and mobility ( ongoing). 
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