Application Assistance

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Do you need help with making an application for social welfare benefits?

We are here to help you secure proper benefit entitlement at the earliest stage possible and avoid the unnecessary hurdle of appealing.

The first step in obtaining social welfare benefit is by completing an application, which can be online, over the phone or on a paper application form. Our expert solicitors have vast experience in advising individuals on their rights and entitlements, and we are proficient in completing application forms correctly at first instance. A badly completed form can often result in nil entitlement and may lead to a lengthy appeal process which can take months to resolve.

Working Tax Credit

You could get Working Tax Credit if either of the following apply: – you’re aged from 16 to 24 and have a child or a qualifying disability – you’re 25 or over, with or without children. To be entitled you must (1) work a certain number of hours a week, (2) get paid for the work you do (or expect to) and (3) have an income below a certain level.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit for people of working-age who are on a low income. It replaces six existing means-tested benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

Universal Credit is intended to be simpler than the current system of benefits and tax credits. Universal Credit is paid on a monthly basis. Entitlement is worked out by comparing your basic financial needs that the government says you need to live on with your financial resources. Universal Credit is being introduced gradually. Whether you can claim depends on where you live and your personal circumstances. If you don’t live in a qualifying area, or you are not eligible to claim Universal Credit, you may be able to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance or other means-tested benefits. You don’t need to do anything if you are already claiming existing benefits. You will be told by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) when you have to claim Universal Credit. Unfortunately, history tells us that migration from one benefit to another leads to problems, should these problems arise our experts are on hand to provide assistance.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) helps with some extra costs caused by long-term ill-health or a disability if you’re aged 16 to 64. PIP is usually paid every 4 weeks. It is tax-free, and you can get it whether you’re in or out of work and irrespective of your income levels. It’s made up of 2 components (parts); Daily living and Mobility. Whether you get one or both of these depends on how your condition affects you. 

Our team are specialists in all aspects of PIP, from form filling to advocacy at Tribunal hearings. We are currently assisting many claimants challenging their decisions and have a fantastic success rate – please see our testimonials to get an indication of the successes we have had.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) 

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a tax-free benefit for disabled people who need help with mobility or care costs. DLA is a tax-free benefit for disabled children and adults to help with extra costs you may have because you are disabled. It is not based on your disability, but the needs arising from it. For example, if you require someone to help look after you.

Attendance Allowance (AA) 

You may be able to claim Attendance Allowance if your ability to keep safe or look after your own personal care is affected by a physical or mental illness or disability, and you are over 65. Attendance Allowance has 2 weekly rates, and the rate you get depends on the help you need. Claiming Attendance Allowance will not reduce any other income you receive, and it is tax-free. If you are awarded it, you may become entitled to other benefits, such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction, or an increase in these benefits. As we get older, many of us require a little extra help to look after ourselves, especially if we have a long-term illness or disability. We will show you how to increase your chances of making a successful claim for Attendance Allowance.
 

Carers Allowance

The main welfare benefit for carers is called Carer’s Allowance. Carer’s Allowance is extra money to help you look after someone with substantial caring needs. You don’t have to be related to or live with the person you care for to claim Carer’s Allowance. You will also get National Insurance credits each week towards your pension if you’re under pension age. Furthermore, you may also be eligible to claim Income Support as a carer.

Employment Support Allowance (ESA)

If you are ill or disabled, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) offers you financial support if you are unable to work or personalised help so that you can work if you’re able to. You can apply for ESA if you’re employed, self-employed or unemployed. You might be transferred to ESA if you’ve been claiming other benefits like Income Support or Incapacity Benefit. You must have a Work Capability Assessment while your ESA claim is being assessed. This is to see to what extent your illness or disability affects your ability to work. You will then be placed in one of two groups if you’re entitled to ESA (1) work-related activity group, where you will have regular interviews with an adviser or (2) support group, where you don’t have interviews.

Income Support

Income Support ensures people have enough to live on. It is only available for certain groups of people who do not get Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance and are not in full time employment. The actual amount you get depends on your circumstances. Income support is a means-tested benefit, which means entitlement is based on your income, savings and other capital. These will be looked at to see if you qualify. Income Support can be paid on its own if you have no other income, or can top up other benefits or part-time earnings to the basic amount the law says you need to live on. You do not have to have paid national insurance contributions to qualify for Income Support.

Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA)

You can apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) to help you while you look for work. There are the different types of JSA: Contribution-based JSA If you’ve been working and paying Class 1 National Insurance Contributions for most of the past two full tax years, you may be able to claim contribution-based JSA. You can only claim for six months, but if you’re still looking for work, you may be able to claim income-based JSA after that. Income-based JSA The majority of JSA claims are for income-based JSA. Income-based JSA is a means-tested benefit which means entitlement is based on your household income, savings and other capital, which will be looked at to see if you qualify.

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction

You could get Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction to help you pay your rent and your council tax liability if you’re on a low income. Housing Benefit can pay for part or all of your rent. How much you get depends on your income and circumstances. You can apply for either benefit whether you’re unemployed or working.

Childcare Benefits

You get a range of benefits if you’re responsible for a child under 16 (or under 20 if they stay in approved education or training). You could get Child Benefit for each child you’re responsible for if they’re under 16 or under 20 and in approved education or training; you don’t need to be working to claim Child Benefit. Only one person can get Child Benefit for a child. There is an income cap which withdraws your entitlement to child benefit if you exceed this. Child tax credit You could get Child Tax Credit for each child you’re responsible for if they’re: – under 16 – under 20 and in approved education or training You don’t need to be working to claim Child Tax Credit. You get money for each child that qualifies, and Child Tax Credit won’t affect your Child Benefit. Childcare cost Childcare costs are incorporated into your entitlement to tax credits. You may be able to get help from the government to pay for childcare like childminders and nurseries. You must use ‘approved childcare’ to qualify for help. You will receive extra tax credits to help with your childcare costs if you’re eligible. When calculating your childcare costs, you can only include costs you pay yourself.

Next steps

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