The benefits system saw a few changes during the pandemic, one being the reduction in the number of reassessments due to the DWP’s inability to conduct face to face meetings. Some awards were extended by 12 months, but with review forms still being sent out, this did cause some confusion.
Tribunals and PIP assessments were conducted via phone and still are in most cases.
Assessments were suspended for ESA, Capability to Work Questionnaires meaning some people have been waiting over a year for an assessment.
Throughout all this, the Welfare Rights team at Disability Direct have continued to support people both locally and nationally.
During 2021 the team represented 28 people at tribunal, winning 26 of those cases. This generated over £61,000 in back payments to disabled people.
499 benefits forms have been completed and 2284 benefits related enquiries were answered.
Disability Direct have a 89% success rate on benefit form fills which generate an annual income for disabled people of £1.2 million pounds.
The Welfare Rights service is the charity’s longest running project and will be 30 years old next year.
Rob Barfield, Welfare Rights Officer says
“We are extremely proud of our work and the number of people we have supported, many of which would not have received their benefit without our help”.
If you need help or advice with disability benefits, please contact the team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01332 299449 Mon to Thurs.