Autism Berkshire - Update Article Image

Coronavirus: Benefits Service still here to help online and by phone

Our Benefits Service advisers Kevin Jackson and Carrie Steers are still available to help autistic people and their families with applications and appeals during the coronavirus shutdown.

As they cannot meet clients face-to-face at our office in Reading or at Shelter’s office in Slough for the time being, they are offering advice by phone and email, or via video link on Microsoft Teams or Zoom.

As usual, they are able to help with applications for DLA (Disability Living Allowance) for children aged up to 15 and with Universal Credit, Employment & Support Allowance and PIP (Personal Independence Payment) for young people and adults aged 16+.

If you are a carer for an autistic person and have been laid off from work or had your hours cut during the shutdown, you may be eligible to apply for Carer’s Allowance. Contact Kevin and Carrie for advice about whether you qualify for this allowance.

Please note that benefit applications are likely to take longer than usual to process, due to high demand for help from the Department for Work and Pensions at the moment.

The DWP has told us that all face-to-face appointments for benefits assessments and appeals have been suspended for at least three months.

However, officials will still be making decisions on benefits applications and mandatory reconsiderations, so if you are notified about a decision and want advice about whether to appeal, get in touch with our advisers as soon as possible.

Anyone who has a current benefit award that is due to run out shortly will have it extended for another six months without the need for a reassessment. They will be notified by the DWP about what will happen after that.

Click here for more information about the Autism Berkshire Benefits Service.

To contact Kevin Jackson and Carrie Steers, email or call 01189 594 594 (option 2) and leave a voicemail message. Make sure to give us your contact details – preferably both a phone number and an email address – and they will get in touch.

  • Initial advice for autistic people and their families in Berkshire about making benefit applications is free of charge, but we have to charge for ongoing support to help cover the costs of running the Benefits Service.
  • Advice and ongoing support about benefit claims for Berkshire residents with conditions that often co-occur with autism – severe dyslexia, dyspraxia, OCD and ADHD – and for autistic people or those with co-occurring conditions from counties adjacent to Berkshire is also available, but please note that we have to charge for all support in these cases.
  • Details of our fee structure are available via the link above