The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic has seen the demand for Aspire’s Welfare Benefits Advice Service nearly double, with referrals continuing at the same pace. Despite the huge pressures and challenges we managed to keep the service open throughout the pandemic.

With so much uncertainty around employment, the ever changing complex financial measures introduced by the Treasury and the challenges faced by the welfare benefits system it is no surprise that support and advice was needed.  For some it was important to know which benefits they would be entitled to if their employment ended or if their household income changed.

In addition to this the pressures and challenges on public services meant we had to widen our remit to offer assistance to spinally injured inpatients who needed to claim disability benefits. Pre-Covid they would have been assisted by the Department of Work and Pensions staff providing outreach to the spinal units but this was withdrawn due to the lockdown.

This service is absolutely ‘bob on’. It really is fantastic. You’re always on the end of the phone. When you say you’re going to ring you always ring. You reminded me to do a lot and you seem to have some sort of superpower to answer emails quickly. I don’t know how you both manage it all.

Our team helped people complete their Personal Independence Payment forms, carry out work capability assessments, benefit checks and advice on Universal Credit. Between April 2020 and March 2021 the service received 279 clients referrals and gained over £560k in total for clients. However just as important - if not more - is that we were here to provide a listening ear.

It’s obvious that you go above and beyond to help people like me because you guys encouraged me to appeal even when I was reluctant to. I’m sure it would have been easier and a lot less work just to say ‘ok’ and drop my case. It’s refreshing and reassuring to know there are people who are willing to not only help, but to listen and want to find solutions to problems.

If you need advice from our Welfare Benefits Advice Team please call 020 8420 6711 or email [email protected]

Welfare Benefits Advice

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