Welfare rights advice volunteer advisors at BUCFP

The drop-in sessions are run by volunteers, and is therefore not a statutory service, and so we hope that you understand if the service is not running as there would be a valid reason for this.

The Welfare Rights volunteer team provides a drop-in advice service on all aspects of social security & welfare, including

  • One-to-one support to complete applications
  • Contacting DWP & the local authority
  • Lodging mandatory reconsiderations & appeals Support with the Tribunals service

Drop-in times are :

10am-1pm & 2-4pm Tuesday to Thursday

2-4pm on Fridays

Our Welfare Rights Advice Morning Drop-in service starts at 10:30am. Please arrive at 10am to write your name down on the list and to avoid disappointment, we operate on a first-come-first-served basis and are only able to see three people per session. 

There is a dedicated service for ESA & PIP applications & forms and these need to be booked in advance as this takes an entire session – call 01273 676 171, leave a message and we’ll get back to you.

Social security is your right and the system can be confusing, so we encourage all claimants to get qualified advice on receiving what you’re owed.

Confidential Advice Line 01273 676171 (answerphone – please leave a message)

Please call centre reception for more info on 01273 601211.

 

Some basic Welfare Rights advice; 

Universal Credit in Brighton and Hove
If you live in Brighton and Hove and make a new claim for any of the following;
Child Tax Credit.
Housing Benefit.
Income Support.
income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
Working Tax Credit.
You will likely have to claim Universal Credit instead.
Universal Credit is applied for, and managed online. An application for Universal Credit can be made here;
https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit
BUCFP have created a guide to assist in making a claim for Universal Credit, it can be downloaded here; uc claim info sheet Feb 2018 update
See also;
http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/council-tax-and-benefits/housing-benefit-council-tax-reduction-and-discretionary-help-2

And; https://benefitmythbuster.net/

Work Capability Assessment
If you are not fit for work, you can hand in sick notes to the job centre. After 28 days they should send you a UC50 form (this is the equivalent of the ESA50 form for claiming ESA). After filling in the form, you will usually be called in for a face to face medical assessment. Points are scored against descriptors. The following website gives a good outline of these descriptors;
https://wcainfo.net/
See also;
http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/council-tax-and-benefits/housing-benefit-council-tax-reduction-and-discretionary-help-2
Subject Access Request
Dr Surgeries are required on request to provide you with a copy of your medical records, up to the maximum admin fee of £10. This can provide invaluable support when undertaking a Work Capability Assessment.

PIP, Personal Independence Payment
If you have a long term disability or illness, you may be able to claim PIP. This is paid in addition to other benefits. As with ESA and UC, points are scored against descriptors for PIP. The following website gives a good outline of these descriptors;
https://pipinfo.net/
See also;
http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/council-tax-and-benefits/housing-benefit-council-tax-reduction-and-discretionary-help-2
Subject Access Request
Dr Surgeries are required on request to provide you with a copy of your medical records, up to the maximum admin fee of £10. This can provide invaluable support when making a claim for PIP.

Coming to BUCFP for advice
If you are planning to come to the centre for advice, please see our drop in times and note times of arrival. We recommend bringing all relevant letters and paperwork to the issue you want to discuss.