Where can I find advice or support?
We always advise people to contact the nearest Citizen's Advice for advice and support, or any queries you have.
You may have money, benefit, housing or employment problems, and they can advise you whether you are facing a crisis, or just considering your options.
CAB are in the process of rolling out Adviceline (a national phone service), which even if not active where you live will give you options for recorded information to help you. Contact 03444 111 444.
CAB also offer online guides for completing forms:
UK M.E. & Chronic Illness Benefits Advice Group
This is an incredible resource: a group you can join on Facebook where people with a lot of experience and expertise give their time to help others with ME to get the benefits they are due.
Staying in Work
By law you can expect an employer to make reasonable adjustments to enable you to continue working. More information here.
We have also identified the following providers of support locally, who may be helpful to you (simply click on the one you want to head to their own website):
Richmond AID provides a Benefits Advice Service designed to help disabled people and people with long-term or terminal conditions with getting their benefit entitlements. The Benefits Service is a free service for people receiving or applying for disability benefits in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. This project is funded by Richmond upon Thames Council and enables us to assist people with benefit reviews so that people receive all the benefits they are entitled to and help with form filling. We can meet people face to face, arrange for telephone consultations or carry out home visits.
AgeUK (Surrey) is an independent local charity providing services across the whole of the county to help people aged 50+ make the most of their life.
The following websites (click on them below to be taken to them) offer either online or downloadable guides for assisting you in completing forms for benefits:
StepChange offer advice on where to go to get emergency help on money or food and for hardship payments
Action for ME produces a range of factsheets about the benefits available, including information on applying and, if necessary, appealing. You can find links to these on their website.
The Advocacy People (previously SeAp), an independent charity that provides free and confidential advocacy services, provide these online guides.
Fight Back 4 Justice are a non Profit Community Interest Group offering expert welfare benefit advice, help with advocacy & forms for PIP/ESA/DLA. They also have a Facebook page (its member feedback-lawyer is sometimes inundated with appeals).
The DWP has a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Toolkit, which provides information to individuals and organisations that support PIP and DLA claimants.
The DWP has a Universal Credit Toolkit, which contains information about Universal Credit and the changes it brings.