New Benefits Support Service

A woman receiving advice and support

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new Benefits Assessment Support Service in Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich boroughs. This support will be available from mid-October 2019.

Access to benefits can be vital for some people experiencing mental health difficulties, providing money for everyday essentials such as food, clothes, everyday travel, housing and utilities.

For many people living with mental health problems, the welfare benefits assessment process can be intimidating. A significant number of people may not have family or friends who can attend assessments with them. The process can often lead to deterioration of their mental health.

This new service will support claimants who have mental health problems to have the knowledge and confidence when attending an assessment, to fully explain the difficulties they experience in their daily lives. This will help an accurate record to be made at that time, with the intention that this will lead to more accurate decisions and fewer resources spent in challenging those decisions.

The service will train Peer Support Volunteers (PSVs) to support people to prepare for and attend Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit assessments. We have recruited a Volunteer Co-ordinator who will train PSVs.

Welfare benefits are often a lifeline for people experiencing mental health problems. This service will help fair decisions to be made at the earliest point in the benefits assessment process.

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