Benefits Assessment Support
Benefits Assessment Support helps adults experiencing mental health difficulties, living in the London boroughs of Bromley, Lewisham or Greenwich, to prepare for and attend benefits assessments.
“It helped me a lot. He [the volunteer] put me at ease as I don’t like going to places like that [benefits appeal] and the distances, not knowing what to expect. He looked after me, by just knowing what to expect. He talked me through it before we even started. Without the volunteer I would have lost my benefits…”
Challenges of Benefits Assessments
Many people find attending benefits assessments alone difficult, with increased anxiety, on top of existing mental health and physical conditions.
It can be difficult to find someone to go to assessments with you for support. This can make it difficult to explain the full impact of mental health problems on you to assessors.
In many cases, people are not awarded benefits they need for everyday living, and often need to go through a lengthy process of appeal, whilst experiencing financial hardship and deteriorating health.
You don’t need to go through your benefits assessment alone.
How We Can Help You
Benefits Assessment Support provides trained volunteers, who understand what the benefits assessment process can be like (and have sometimes been through it themselves), who can:
- meet with you prior to your benefits assessment to get a full understanding of how your mental health needs affect your life
- attend your assessment with you, helping you give the assessor the full, accurate picture of your health
- meet with you within a month of the assessment to help you understand the next steps.
The support of a volunteer could increase the chances of benefits being awarded first time around, avoiding a lengthy appeal process.
Contact and Referrals
Individuals who would like to access this service must be referred by a professional. If you are not currently working with a professional, contact any of the following, depending upon where you live:
Professionals can refer people to this service downloading, completing and returning a referral form.