Autism Berkshire will be closing its Benefits Service for autistic people and their families at the end of July.
With the focus of the charity’s work now on support services for families of autistic children and young people in the west of Berkshire and autistic adults throughout the county, the trustees have decided that the benefits service is no longer a good fit with these activities and has higher costs per client than our other work.
Autism Berkshire’s chief executive officer Jane Stanford-Beale said: “We know how much the Benefits Service is valued by those that it has helped over the past eight years, and understand that there will be disappointment about its closure.
“However, it represents a small part of our work and providing the best possible support to autistic people and their families through the Berkshire West Autism & ADHD Support Service and the Berkshire Adult Autism Support Service must be our priority.
“I would like to thank the service’s manager, Kevin Jackson, and the other staff who have worked for it over the years, for their efforts to help clients get the benefits they are entitled to, and securing hundreds of thousands of pounds in benefit awards and back payments after appeals.”
There are a number of other organisations across Berkshire that are able to advise people about welfare benefits, help them to complete application forms and make appeals if initial applications are turned down, including several with expertise in helping people who are autistic or have additional needs.
Information about these organisations and how to contact them is available in the section about benefits on this website’s Useful Links page.
Appointments with existing clients will take place as scheduled until the services closes, but it will not be able to take on any new cases.
We will aim to arrange ongoing support for clients from other services where their cases have not been concluded by the end of July.