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Professional Members

We support both claimants and professionals.  These are just some of the organisations who have subscribed to Benefits and Work:

  • Royal College of Nursing
  • Spinal Injuries Association
  • Chesterfield Law Centre
  • Stephenson’s Solicitors
  • Birmingham Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Manchester City Council Sensory Provision Team

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Courses

 Introduction to Employment and Support Allowance
“I enjoyed the course and will find it useful to incorporate in my everyday job. It has given me new tools to help clients.” Denise Jones, Beacon Employment.
“Very enjoyable course. Will make advising clients on ESA much easier.” Graham, East Bristol Advice Service.
“An extremely worthwhile and enjoyable day led with informed skill and extreme competence.” Mike, Mendip Advocacy.

This one day course provides a clear overview of Employment and Support Allowance. No previous benefits knowledge is required and the training is suitable both for advice workers and for support workers who do not give benefits advice but do need a good awareness of the possible effects of ESA on their clients. By the end of the day, participants will understand:

  • the basic qualifying conditions for ESA
  • what will happen to claimants during the assessment and main phases of ESA
  • the medical tests used to assign claimants to the work-related activity group and the support group and the possible exemptions and exceptional circumstances
  • the purpose of the work-focused health-related assessment
  • claimant’s responsibilities in relation to work-focused interviews
  • the sanctions regime
  • appeal rights under ESA
  • what will happen to existing incapacity benefits claimants

Claiming Employment and Support Allowance on mental health and learning difficulties grounds
This one day course is aimed at allowing support workers to confidently provide effective practical support with the steps involved in claiming ESA on mental health and learning difficulties grounds. No previous benefits knowledge is required. By the end of the day participants will:

  • Understand all the activities and descriptors relating to qualifying for the limited capability for work and support groups on mental health and learning difficulties grounds;
  • Understand who may be exempt from the tests and how to present evidence about exemptions and exceptional circumstances;
  • Understand how to present evidence relating to the support group;
  • Be able how to fill in the ESA50 questionnaire effectively, in detail and with confidence.
  • Know how to provide valuable supporting evidence.
  • Know how to support clients asked to attend a medical examination.

Making the best possible disability living allowance and attendance allowance claims
"Excellent, informative and very practical training." Fleur Birks, National Autistic Society.
". . . would recommend to any colleagues who require training/knowledge of benefits. [Trainer] An encyclopaedia of benefits (DLA) knowledge!" Harminder Sangha, Sandwell Advocacy.
"Excellent day. Many hints and tips on filling in DLA and AA forms." Jackie Smith, Torfaen Opportunity Group.

This one day course is intended to leave you feeling confident and genuinely enthusiastic about helping your clients claim these valuable benefits. No previous knowledge of disability living allowance or attendance allowance is required. By the end of the day you will have learnt how to:

  • identify clients who may be eligible for disability living allowance or attendance allowance on mental or physical health grounds;
  • help complete the claim packs, including online, interactive claim packs;
  • help clients get supporting medical and non-medical evidence;
  • help clients prepare for a medical visit;
  • help clients access professional support in relation to their claim.

Claiming disability living allowance and attendance allowance on mental health and dual diagnosis grounds
"Very comprehensive. Very Informative . . . Invaluable." Una Ball, CDAT, Swansea.
"Steve's sense of humour makes an often very dry subject enjoyable . . . keeps you on your toes - and awake!" Liz Angus, Missing Link

Based on the very popular 'Best possible Disability Living Allowance claims' course above, but dealing solely with the particular problems faced by clients with mental health conditions - some of whom may also abuse drugs or alcohol. No previous knowledge of disability living allowance or attendance allowance is required. By the end of the day you will have learnt how to:

  • identify clients who may be eligible for disability living allowance or attendance allowance on mental health or dual diagnosis grounds;
  • help complete the claim packs, including online, interactive claim packs;
  • help clients get supporting medical and non-medical evidence;
  • help clients prepare for a medical visit;
  • help clients access professional support in relation to their claim.

Disability living allowance and attendance allowance appeal tribunals
"Excellent. One of the most useful courses I have been on. I feel much more confident about taking clients through appeals." Jane Stanfield, Carers Gloucestershire.
"Excellent tutor, knows the subject and keeps it very interesting." Stuart Hales, Kennet CAB.
"Excellent course, very useful and informative" Tahira Rafiq, East Bristol Advice Centre.

Whether you wish simply to help clients have a better understanding of the process they are enduring or you intend to accompany clients to oral hearings and help them give evidence, this one-day course will give you the knowledge and confidence to make a real difference to the outcome.

The day is suitable for anyone with basic knowledge of disability living allowance or attendance allowance (feel free to contact us if you're uncertain if this course is right for you) and is particularly aimed not just at advice workers but also at support staff, such as housing workers, social workers and advocates. By the end of the day participants will know:

  • how to ensure the tribunal do not treat you as an experienced representative if you are not one
  • how to complete an appeal form
  • how to get supporting evidence, including buying medical evidence
  • how to get help from solicitors, law centres and advice agencies
  • how to understand the appeal papers
  • whether and how to do a written submission
  • how to help your client prepare for the appeal hearing
  • how to help your client give accurate evidence on the day
  • how to give evidence to the tribunal yourself
  • how to deal with difficult tribunal members