We all know the benefits system can very confusing and stressful. If you’re currently thinking about applying for Employment and Support Allowance, ESA, or Personal Independence Payment, PIP, or if you’re actually in the process of applying or waiting for an assessment, you may be struggling a bit.
If you are, a bit of extra help for you is now available on the web at
There you will find:
•Our essential guides to ESA and PIP, with basic information about the process and your rights, and tips about how to answer questions on the application forms and at the assessment. Plus there are more detailed guides if you want to know more.
•Two signed videos covering the same ground if you prefer to get your information that way.
Most importantly, the site has two ‘self-assessment’ tools, which allow you to try out some of the questions that you may be asked at a face to face assessment. They’ve been designed with people who have been through the test, so we know they are simple and easy to use.
Your answers to those questions will give you an idea of what the result of your assessment might be. You’ll also be able to save or print a list of your most important answers, the ones that will score you points, so that you don’t forget to talk about those issues at the assessment.
The site’s not a substitute for getting help with your application forms from a CAB or Advice Centre, and it’s always best to get a family member, support worker or advocate to accompany you to a face to face assessment.
But you might find it a good place to start, and it can help you prepare better for your assessment and communicate better with the assessor once you’re there. We think it gives you a better chance of getting the right result, and that it might just take a little bit of your worry and uncertainty away.
The website has been produced by seAp, an advocacy organisation working in the South of England, and funded by the Legal Education Foundation and Comic Relief.