0800 222 9123

Our 3 simple steps

BenefitsWise is a highly specialised advisory and support service here to help and support you. We only focus on welfare benefits and everybody at BenefitsWise is experienced in guiding applicants and their families through the complex and difficult welfare benefits system.

Step 1

Get in touch

Call our Support Centre free from a landline on 0800 222 9123. We’ll ask you to tell us your story and what challenges you are facing. At the end of our call we’ll be able to tell you if we can help you.

Step 2

Home visit

If we can help you, our Support Centre will arrange for a BenefitsWise Consultant to visit you in your own home at a time to suit you. Our consultant will spend as much time as is needed with you to collect all the information for your application and make sure all the forms are filled in properly.

Step 3

Maximum entitlement

After our home visit we make sure that the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) receives all of the forms and information that they need and we make sure that you are applying for everything that you are entitled to. Our objective is to ensure that you receive all the benefits and premiums you are entitled to. The final stage is when you receive actual payment of your award.

The benefits and circumstances we specialise in

Whilst we have expert knowledge of all non-means tested and means tested welfare benefits our primary focus is on the following benefits. Click on each to learn more.

Mobility

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Disability Living Allowance

Children

Disability Living Allowance provides help towards the extra costs of bringing up a disabled child. It is a non means tested benefit and is paid on top of almost any other income or benefit that you already receive. Disability Living Allowance is divided into 2 components:

  • A mobility component payable from the age of 3 years for help with walking difficulties. There are two rates of payment for this component: higher rate and lower rate. BenefitsWise will identify which rate is the correct one for you.
  • A care component for children needing extra personal care, supervision or watching over because of a disability. There are 3 rates for this component and we will identify for you which is the correct one for you and your child.

Your child can be awarded either the care component or the mobility component separately or both components together at the same time. Your child has to have been ill for at least three months prior to any application.

Adults

Before Personal Independence Payment was introduced in 2013 disabled adults under 65 could claim Disability Living Allowance. If you still get Disability Living Allowance as an adult and were 64 or under on 8 April 2013 you will receive a letter some time soon from DWP telling you that you need to be reassessed for Personal Independence Payment. If you were aged 65 or over on this date you are not affected and your Disability Living Allowance will continues as normal. Disability Living Allowance for adults has the same mobility and care components as it does for children.

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Attendance Allowance

Attendance Allowance is a tax free benefit for people aged 65 or over, who are physically or mentally disabled and need help with personal care or supervision to remain safe.

You do not actually have to be getting any help to qualify for the award as it is the help that you are deemed to need that is assessed. You can get Attendance Allowance even if you live alone – you do not need to have a carer. Attendance Allowance is non-means tested benefit (your financial situation is not relevant) and acts as a passport for other types of help/benefits.

Attendance Allowance is not affected by the introduction of the Personal Independence Payment which is replacing Disability Living Allowance for people aged 16-64. To qualify for Attendance Allowance you must have been ill or needed help for at least 6 months prior to your application.

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Carer's Allowance

Carer’s Allowance is a means tested benefit for people who regularly spend at least 35 hours a week caring for a severely disabled person who is in receipt of Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance middle rate component or the Personal Independence Payment care component.

You can apply for Carer’s Allowance even if you have not worked in the past and you are not prevented from applying for Carer’s Allowance if you are disabled yourself and also need care.

If you are entitled to Carer’s Allowance a carer premium can also be included. This is a taxable benefit and counts as income for Class 1 NI contributions and therefore helps qualify for additional state pension.

If you are awarded Carer’s Allowance the person you care for cannot qualify for the Severe Disability Premium. Because of this it is not always advantageous to claim Carer’s Allowance even if eligible and it needs careful thought. The rules get extremely complicated when we look at this and we will explain to you at your home visit what the best outcome for you should be. You can claim Carer’s Allowance and have other earnings so long as those earnings are below a threshold which is currently £110 per week.

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Employment and Support Allowance

Employment and Support Allowance is a benefit paid to people whose ability to work is limited by ill health or disability. Your eligibility for the benefit is tested under a work capability assessment.

Employment and Support Allowance has two elements:

  • ‘Employment and Support Allowance NI contribution related’ is linked to your national insurance contribution record. Some awards are limited to 12 months.
  • ‘Employment and Support Allowance income related’ is the means tested element of Employment and Support Allowance. This can be paid on its own or as a top up to the ‘Employment and Support Allowance NI contribution related’ element.

Employment and Support Allowance income related awards can help with mortgage interest payments and some housing costs. Employment and Support Allowance income related is a means tested benefit so your income and savings need to be assessed when deciding whether you are eligible to apply. We will do that for you.

A 13 week assessment period applies to all new Employment and Support Allowance applicants during which time you are paid a basic allowance the amount of which depends on your age. During this 13 week period you will undergo a work capability assessment to see if you are entitled to Employment and Support Allowance. The benefit is only awarded if you are assessed as having a limited capability for work. If you satisfy this criteria then you will be allocated to one of the following two groupings:

  • Work related group – this applies where it has been found that you are not assessed as having limited capability to work and you are assisted by the Jobcentre to return to work. If you are placed in this group then your Employment and Support Allowance contribution related payment will cease after 365 days but the Employment and Support Allowance income related payment will continue; or
  • Support group – this applies where the assessment confirms that you have limited capability to work. The practical effect is that receipt of your Employment and Support Allowance contribution related payment  will not stop after 365 days.
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Personal Independence Payment

Personal Independence Payment is a new benefit for people aged 16-64 who have a physical or mental disability and need help participating in everyday life or find it difficult to get around. It replaces Disability Living Allowance for people aged 16 or over.

People who already get Disability Living Allowance will be notified by DWP that they need to reapply for Personal Independence Payment and stop claiming Disability Living Allowance. Experience shows us that this can lead to a very stressful time for people and their families. However, if you had reached the age of 65 by 8 April 2013 you can keep and renew your Disability Living Allowance and you won’t need to claim Personal Independence Payment instead.

PIP is a tax free and non-means tested benefit so it doesn’t matter what your income or other financial position is nor do you have to have a record of national insurance contributions. Personal Independence Payment is almost always paid in full in addition to other welfare benefits or tax credits.

Similar to Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment has two components:

  • A daily living component which is for help participating in everyday life.
  • A mobility component which is for help getting around.

You can be paid either the daily living component or the mobility component separately or both together. Just as with Disability Living Allowance, you need to have had issues for at least three months prior to any application.

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Premiums

There are a number of Premiums that can attach to the following welfare benefits:

  • Income related Employment Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Income based Job Seekers Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit

It’s really important that you apply for the correct Premium to be applied. The rules around the Premiums are extremely complicated to understand and it’s very easy for people to get confused as to what they are entitled to. At BenefitsWise we understand how each Premium interacts with each benefit and can identify what Premiums you are entitled to. Premiums make a really big difference to what you receive and it’s really important to get right.

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Pension Credit

Most people know this benefit by the name State Pension Credit. It is a means tested benefit for people who have reached a qualifying age (currently 60 but rising to 66 by October 2020). There are two parts to Pension Credit:

  • Guaranteed Credit – if your income is below a certain level then this benefit makes up the difference.
  • Savings Credit – this is paid to you if you or your partner are aged 65 or over. This benefit is intended to help those who have small private pensions and made provisions for their retirement.
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Housing Benefit

Housing Benefit is what we call a ‘passported’ benefit for those people who receive income-based Employment Support Allowance, Income based Job Seekers Allowance, Pension Credit or Income Support. If you get any of these benefits then you should also receive Housing Benefit. In some circumstances we can help you apply to your local council for help with your rent if you live in rented accommodation. The Council will assess your entitlement based on your income and your savings.

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Council Tax Benefit

Council Tax Benefit is a ‘passported’ benefit just like Housing Benefit and the same rules for entitlement apply.

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Our clients

    • Disability Living Allowance
    • Employment and Support Allowance
    • Housing Benefit
    • Council Tax Benefit

    Phoenix approached BenefitsWise in 2013. Diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and living on his own, Phoenix was already in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance. Convinced that he wasn’t on the correct rates, he had applied several times on his own for higher rate Disability Living Allowance mobility and care allowances but was repeatedly declined. Having taken the time to fully understand Phoenix’s case, BenefitsWise concluded that the DWP’s decision to decline was wrong.

    Click on the video to see Phoenix’s story and how we helped and supported him to secure the correct level of benefits and finally be awarded Motability, enabling him to drive a specially adapted car and retain his much needed independence.

    Phoenix expects to receive his Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payment transfer letter soon and has asked us to work with him again when it arrives.

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    • Disability Living Allowance
    • Personal Independence Payment

    Dawn medically retired from the prison service in 2012 due to ill health and contacted BenefitsWise in 2013 after experiencing real difficulty in applying for the welfare benefits that she was entitled to.

    Click on the video to see how we helped and supported Dawn in overcoming the difficulties she was facing to secure a successful application for full-rate Disability Living Allowance mobility and care.

    In 2015 Dawn received her letter from DWP transferring her from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payment. Like most people who are receiving the transfer letters it was daunting and stressful for Dawn so she got back in touch with us to help and support her again.

    As a result of our help and support, Dawn was successful in her transfer from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payment, meaning that she kept her car, which is so important to her independence and quality of life.

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    • Disability Living Allowance
    • Employment and Support Allowance

    Ann contacted BenefitsWise in 2014 and asked for our help and support.

    Following an accidental fall at work Ann lost her job, lost her income and had mobility issues. Like lots of our clients and their families, Ann found it really difficult to understand what all the forms meant and also which welfare benefits she was actually entitled to.

    With our help Ann was successfully awarded Disability Living Allowance mobility and care components and contribution based Employment and Support Allowance.

    Click on the video to see Ann’s story.

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BenefitsWise Limited, 122 Feering Hill, Feering, Colchester, Essex, CO5 9PY