Diverse Abilities Provide Benefits Advice to the Dorset Community

Diverse Abilities Provide Benefits Advice to the Dorset Community

The Advice Team, part of Diverse Abilities, the only Dorset-based charity that supports children and adults with physical and learning disabilities in the county, is offering assistance with Personal Independent Payment (PIP) claims for adults with a disability and those that have a long-term illness.

The charity’s team are concerned that many people in Dorset are still not aware that the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) benefit has replaced Disability Living Allowance, and that they may qualify for this benefit if they are unable, or less able, to look after themselves and do daily tasks like washing, dressing and cooking and managing money. Nikki Haswell, advice manager, said: “Even if you can do these tasks, but slowly and with difficulty or you cannot do it reliably and safely, you may still qualify.”

If the criteria are met, you can receive PIP benefit regardless of income or savings as it is not means-tested. If you meet the criteria you can be in work, earning, and still claim, but must be over 16 and under 65. For over 65s, that are long-term sick or disabled, Attendance Allowance can be claimed. If under 16, Disability Living Allowance can be claimed.

Nikki added: “If you think you meet the criteria, the Diverse Abilities Advice Team (aka Disability Wessex) are here to help. We can provide assistance with completing applications for PIP, Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance, and Employment and Support Allowance too. We also help with requests for reconsideration and appeals, if you have made an application and been refused or awarded a lower rate than you think you should have been.

“The Advice Team aim to ensure that everyone who is genuinely entitled to any disability or ill-health benefit receives their full benefits entitlement and that the bureaucracy and burden of form-filling does not prevent anyone from getting what they deserve.”

John, a client of the Advice Team, has already benefited from this service. He required help completing his form as he was unable to focus for long enough to complete the document on his own and was unable to explain all of his mental health conditions. Without the help of the advisor, John would not have explained exactly how his condition affects his daily life and this would have made a difference to whether he received a Personal Independent Payment. John commented: “I would have not been able to complete the form correctly without Disability Wessex, and am therefore extremely grateful for the support and assistance they provided.”

For further information call the team on 0300 330 5514, weekdays 9am – 1.30pm, and they will be very happy to help and discuss potential entitlement or to make an appointment.

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