Advice regarding benefits please

Morning all…

Just wondered if anyone could help… I’m in limbo just now and don’t work (due to taking a year out to care for my son who has disabilities) he’s now thankfully in a good place and was hoping to start looking for work but then this ms train started so now I’m unable to work is there anything we are entitled to I already get tax credits £14 per week we are struggling financially as our tax credits were significantly cut due to all the changes in the system

anything would help us

many thanks

Hi, the following benefits have you looked into?, I know you mention tax credits already.

  • PIP
  • Child tax credit and working tax credits
  • Reduction in council tax
  • Free or reduced NHS prescriptions, dental care etc. Even those who are working may be entitled to a reduction with the NHS Low income scheme.
  • Energy warm home discount - £140 rebate on energy bill per year.
  • Energy - free boiler grant.
  • Watersure scheme - help paying with water bills.
1 Like

I came across this organisation that may assist?

I suggest you try to get some help from the CAB or another welfare rights organisation if there is one near to you. Try the CAB first, if they can’t give you an appointment with a welfare rights advisor they should at least be able to tell you what other organisations exist in your locality to get some assistance.


As Sue has said CAB can be a good start.

For me the CAB were not able to help very much, I had to seek help elsewhere. I was turned down for DLA in 2013 and the CAB didn’t advise me to do a mandatory reconsideration, I didn’t understand about benefits at that point and I had no family member to assist, I was very sick. The DLA decision maker didn’t read my application well enough, so I lost out on 12 months worth of DLA. I applied for PIP a year later and it was awarded.

I was turned down also for ESA the CAB person said she didn’t have time to help me during my appointment but the answer I need is in the CPAG Handbook in the public library. I visited the library read the relevant pages, photocopied it and complained to the DWP. After contesting many times the ESA decision maker admitted to making mistakes and I was given £25 compensation .

Hi Lenney

I agree that the CPAG Guides to Benefits and Tax Credits book is an excellent place to find out what you need to know. I use it myself. But the problem is that it’s a very, very long and detailed guide.

I don’t want to be too sniffy, or be off putting, but it may be more information than many people can handle. I manage it because I had a relevant working background. Having said that, it can be very useful. And if you can’t get help any other way and you either don’t find Sick or disabled people and carers - Citizens Advice or helpful, or of course can’t afford / don’t want to pay the joining fee of £20 for benefits and work then by all means have a go at the CPAG book.

Personally, I use absolutely everything available to me, the benefits and work guides are great, but I also use the CPAG book plus the DWP guidance for their own staff, eg

Just make sure you are using the current edition of whatever you use. The CPAG 2016/17 book is now out. By about October it may already be out of date. And of course if you use an older edition (libraries are rather prone to keeping out of date benefit guides on their shelves) you might find the information is out of date.


Hi Sue

What I meant was that the CAB advised me to look in the CPAG Handbook in the library, that was their answer to my request for help. I was very sick at the time I saw the CAB and it wasn’t the best answer from them in my view. I have family members that would of really struggle to understand the CPAG handbook.

That’s why I added the link above as they are an independent charity from what I understand who have welfare advisers that can advise on benefits.