Due to high demand for help with benefits applications from our expert adviser Kevin Jackson and to better reflect the costs of providing the Benefits Service, we are making some changes to what help is available free of charge and which benefit advice and support services require payment of fees.
We will continue to provide free help to autistic people and their families making initial applications for benefits including Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment & Support Allowance (ESA), Carer’s Allowance and Universal Credit, and to existing clients if mandatory reconsiderations of applications or appeals to tribunals are required.
Free daytime appointments are available at our office in Reading and in Slough – please note that appointments in Slough are only available to residents of the borough, due to funding rules.
However, people who make an initial application themselves and only contact us for help with a mandatory reconsideration or an appeal to a tribunal will have to pay a fee of £40 for an advice appointment at our office in Reading.
Kevin Jackson said: “I would urge anyone considering applying for benefits to contact me for help when they are starting to prepare to make an application.
“If they book an appointment with me, then we can discuss their situation in detail and the needs of anyone that they support. We can then make sure that when application forms are submitted, they contain as much relevant information and supporting evidence as possible for the initial assessment by the Department for Work & Pensions.
“This means that the chances of an application being approved at the first stage will be better and reduce the chance of needing mandatory reconsiderations or appeals to tribunals.”
Charges of £40 also apply for a number of other services Kevin offers, such as evening appointments at our office in Reading and representation at assessment hearings and appeals.
Advice about benefit claims involving people with conditions related to autism – severe dyslexia, dyspraxia, OCD and ADHD – is also available, for a fee of £60 per appointment.
Click here for full details of our Benefits Service, dates when advice appointments are available and fees that apply for particular services.
To book an appointment with Kevin Jackson or if you have any questions about the Benefits Service, contact the Autism Berkshire office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01189 594 594.