Help available for People Claiming ESA or PIP

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.

You can also go straight to our websites for the individual benefits at and

7 Replies

Thanks! My forms went off in November ! Holding my breath ! If honesty doesn't work then I give up!


I took the 'honesty is the best policy' approach too, allanah, and it worked for me... Lots of people advised me to exaggerate or pretend that my worst day was my average day, but I wasn't comfortable doing that: I feel ridiculously guilty about my illness anyway, and I didn't want the added guilt of pretending anything at all. So I opted instead to describe how things are for me in great detail, including all the variations. I included almost all the medical letters and test results I have, even though they say slightly different things, and thought I would just leave them to make their own decision. I'm really glad it paid off. Good luck with your application too. :)


Thanks, some good useful info there, bookmarked, as I'm unsure when my reassessment for ESA is going to happen.

Its meant to be Feb, but there's confusion over whether they are restarting reassessment or not. Some reports say they are, some say only partially, some say not.

So, who knows, wait n see i guess.

Already got my DLA renewed for 2 years

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A great and useful idea, I thank the NRAS for a practical guide to claiming. I worked in the benefits system for many years and know that a lot of potential claimants are put off simply by the seemingly complex application process. So a guide that helps is great. Also please remember that knowledge is power and the better informed you are the more confident you will be in talking about your needs. That is so empowering and also remember it is not a charity but a right. And please keep copies of all the correspondence as things do get lost, its a sad fact that replacing stuff lost in the post can be time consuming and delay a claim.

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Thank you for your comments. This is a guide we are keen to let people know about but can't take the credit on this one - just asked to signpost it to everyone but NRAS didn't have input into it. However, having taken a look it is clear, not full of jargon and easy to follow so we gave it the thumbs up.


thanks for those links. They are great assessment tools to give an idea of what they might be looking for.

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Thank you for the link. I was talking only yesterday with a friend about the dreaded time when she will have to convert from DLA to PIP. This is just what we need. 😀


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