Money Matters

A Welfare and Benefits blog by Chris Saxon

Statistics from the DWP show that an estimated £15billion in benefits goes unclaimed each year...

This clearly shows there is a huge number of people who don’t realise they could be entitled to benefits, or who aren’t claiming their full entitlement (Click to view source).

A common myth I come across when speaking to people is that you have to be completely out of work to be entitled to benefits and this isn’t true. Universal Credit has tons of faults but it has made it possible for more people in part time or low paid work to receive extra help. Many people also don’t want the hassle and headache of making and managing a claim as they worry it could involve complicated legal arguments back and forth with the DWP. It all too often does involve that but having an adviser to deal with that sort of thing if it does arise takes a lot of the stress out of the process.

I come across a lot of people who attempt to claim a disability benefit like PIP and after having an assessment they receive 0 points across the board and think it’s a waste of time to appeal that decision as they are so far off of meeting the necessary amount of points.

It’s seemingly standard practice for the DWP to give someone zeroes across the board and just from my own experience, the overwhelming majority of people I’ve helped appeal scored nothing on the first attempt. 70% of claimants who appeal are successful and this number has been steadily climbing each year. (Click to view source).

Even if someone has been denied a disability benefit in the past it may well be worth trying again. There are tribunal statistics (fairly outdated ones mind you) which show that just having representation at the tribunal stage can boost the chances of success by around 20% depending on region (Click to view source).

Click to view 3 examples of people I’ve helped who were not receiving their full entitlement.

People may also benefit from advice if they are expecting a change of circumstances in the near future such as a partner moving in or starting a new job and would like to know how this will impact their benefits.

A common worry is that a change will mean having to switch over from their current benefits to Universal Credit, this can in many cases leave claimants worse off than before. Speaking to an adviser can help you know whether you would better off on legacy benefits or Universal Credit, and how to potentially avoid having to claiming Universal Credit and maximising income where possible.

Click to view an example.

Of course there are some people who may be better off switching to Universal Credit and may wish to do so without having to be forced to, speaking to an adviser can help determine whether this is the case.

Click to view an example.