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Lockdown and Benefits

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In these trying times the benefits system is working in a different way to which we are all used to.

Here is an update from our Community Advice Officers Team who support our clients with benefits advice.

Most of the transition from DLA to PIP has been put on hold for the moment, but the Department of Works and Pensions have advised that they want to complete these as soon as possible so will be re- issuing letters advising that you should make applications or your money will stop.

At the moment ATOS (the contractor who holds the contract for face to face consultations) for both PIP and ESA are not conducting any face to face consultations within their centres or within the client’s home. But we are seeing a massive increase in assessments being conducted over the telephone.

The draw back to this is not only can they not see you, but you won’t have the opportunity to have someone support you and get the facts of your case over. This in turn could lead to your benefit being refused, which will lead to a lengthy process of a mandatory reconsideration and in some cases lodging of an appeal.

If you have an appeal pending these are still going ahead, but again in a completely different way. If you have a representative you must contact them without delay. Most are working from home so may not have access to mail that the court of appeals are sending out. When the date of your appeal arrives it will be conducted via skype or via telephone. Again it is very important that all evidence is sent in advance of your hearing. The hearing will be taped and I would advise that if at all possible clients and their representatives should also do the same. This will alleviate any confusion if you disagree with the decision.

If you have any questions regarding any of the benefits system or need advice please contact one of our team on:

0114 272 2757 in Sheffield

01709 722 420 in Rotherham 

or email info@srsb.org.uk       

 
 
 
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