Welfare Benefits

Our Help With Benefits Applications And Problems / Sources Of Information And Help / If You Have Nothing To Live On / Travel / / Advice Centres In South East London / Disclaimer


Applying for benefits is one of the most stressful things with which you can be faced when you have ME. We attempt to ease this process for our members.
  • Our volunteers can help you complete application forms for employment and support allowance (ESA) and personal independence payment (PIP).

  • We subscribe to Benefits & Work, an online organisation that provides excellent guides to filling in benefits application forms. We can email you these guides.

  • We may be able to advise on a variety of matters.

  • We are members of Disability Rights UK and have access to advice from their welfare rights adviser for complex queries.

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Benefits and Work http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/ produce extensive online guides to claiming illness/disability benefits. They also offer a newsletter and forum which are free to non-members.

Action for ME http://www.actionforme.org.uk/ offer a welfare rights advice line for their members.

The ME Association http://www.meassociation.org.uk/ offer guides to PIP and ESA.

Citizens Advice http://www.adviceguide.org.uk provide information and advice online, by phone and in a range of locations.

Benefits calculators help you work out what you're entitled to:

Disability Rights UK https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/ provide a wide variety of information about benefits online.

Civil Legal Advice https://www.gov.uk/civil-legal-advice (0345 345 4 345) offers legal advice to people on benefits or a low income.

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Your local welfare assessment scheme, run by your local council, can help if you are in urgent need following an emergency or unforeseen event. These schemes vary. You may be able to get vouchers to pay for food or clothing or even larger items. You are unlikely to get cash.

You may be eligible for a budgeting loan or budgeting advance if you claim certain benefits. See https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/budgeting-loans-and-budgeting-advances for details of who qualifies and how to apply.

If your benefits have been sanctioned and you have no money to live on, your first port of call is your local jobcentre. See https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/benefit-sanctions-and-what-to-do-about-them

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Oyster: Bus and Tram Discount Photocard

If you are on means-tested benefits you may be eligible for a bus and tram discount card. You pay at half the adult rate on buses and trams, and get 50% off bus and tram passes https://tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments/adult-discounts-and-concessions/bus-and-tram-discount

Disabled Freedom Pass

If you live in London and have an eligible disability (the criteria are hard to meet), you may qualify for a disabled freedom pass that allows free travel by all means in London and free bus travel elsewhere. See https://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/services/freedom-pass/disabled-persons-freedom-pass/eligibility

Disabled Persons' Railcard

If you receive PIP, or DLA at certain rates, or have a disability that makes travelling difficult, you can, at the annual cost of 20 per year, get one-third off rail fares. See http://www.disabledpersons-railcard.co.uk

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If you are on a low income, you may be able to get help with prescription, dental, eye care and other health-related costs through the NHS low income scheme. For details of eligibility and how to apply, see https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/nhs-low-income-scheme

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Citizens Advice Croydon https://www.citizensadvicecroydon.org/ Locations: 48-50 Portland Road, London SE25 4PQ; Bernard Wetherill House, 8 Mint Walk, Croydon CR0 1EA. Advice line: 020 8684 2236

Croydon Council https://www.croydon.gov.uk/advice/benefits/welfare-benefits/project has a benefits advice line on 0800 731 5920. The council also has surgeries at several locations but they are open only to people over 60, Croydon council tenants and children with disabilities.

Greenwich Association of Disabled People http://www.gad.org.uk The Forum @ Greenwich, Trafalgar Road, London SE10 9EQ. Provides advocacy for people with disabilities.

Royal Borough of Greenwich https://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/site/xfp/scripts/xforms_form.php?formID=54 provides a benefits check for residents of Greenwich, or, for complex enquiries, a telephone advice line on 020 8291 6375.

Greenwich Citizens Advice http://greenwichcab.org.uk/ Old Town Hall, Polytechnic Street, Woolwich, London SE18 6PN. Telephone: 0300 3309 096.

One Lambeth Advice https://onelambethadvice.org.uk/ 0800 254 0298. Information and advice provided by the CAB and Lambeth Council.

Brixton Advice Centre https://www.brixtonadvice.org.uk/ 167 Railton Road, London SE24 0LU. For debt, benefit and housing issues. Open Mon-Thurs, 10am-3pm.

Centre 70 https://centre70.org.uk/ Basic advice on benefits and other matters.

Disability Advice Service Lambeth http://www.disabilitylambeth.org.uk 336 Brixton Road, London SW9 7AA. Provides advocacy for people with disabilities.

Citizens Advice Lewisham http://www.advicelewisham.org.uk/lewisham-citizens-advice-bureaux/ Leemore Community Hub, Bonfield Road, London SE13 5EU. For advice or to find out if you need an appointment, phone 0800 231 5453. The same central telephone number (0800 231 5453) applies to the Evelyn 190 Centre, 190 Evelyn Street, London SE8 5DB; to the 170 Community Project, 170 New Cross Road, London SE14 5AA; and to the Lewisham Disability Coalition, 111 Randlesdown Road, London SE6 3HB. The website of Citizens Advice Lewisham gives access to the sites of these three organisations.

Citizens Advice Southwark http://www.citizensadvicesouthwark.org.uk/ 97 Peckham High Street, London SE15 5RS (drop in service: 10am - 1pm. Mon, Wed and Fri); 8 Southwark Park Road, London SE16 3UQ (drop in service: 10am - 1pm. Tues and Thurs.). Telephone advice: 0344 499 4134 (calls charged as 01 and 02 numbers).

Southwark Disablement Association http://www.sdail.org 10 Bradenham Close, London SE17 2QB. Provides information, welfare rights advice, befriending and practical help.

Southwark Wellbeing Hub http://www.together-uk.org/southwark-wellbeing-hub/the-directory/8516/southwark-local-support-team/ Directs vulnerable clients to sources of advice, including welfare rights advice. Offers a drop-in service at a range of locations. Phone 0203 751 9684.

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