Autism Berkshire’s Benefits Advice Service is available to help autistic adults and young people and the parents and carers of autistic children in the county, whether or not they are members of Autism Berkshire.
Our benefits service manager Kevin Jackson and caseworker Carrie Steers have many years of experience helping people with benefit applications.
Please note that we strongly advise people to contact us when they start to prepare to make a benefit application, so that our team can ensure the forms contain as much relevant information as possible for the initial assessment by the Department for Work and Pensions.
Support is also available to people with conditions related to autism, including severe dyslexia, dyspraxia, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), subject to payment of a fee.
Our advisers can help people to understand eligibility and assist with completing application and reassessment forms for the following benefits:
- Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children aged up to 15
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for over-16s
- Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)
- Universal Credit
- Carer’s Allowance
They are also able to assist with appeals against decisions made under the Department for Work and Pensions benefits assessment process, including mandatory reconsiderations, and to represent people at benefit assessment hearings and appeal tribunals, subject to payment of a fee and travel expenses.
We strongly recommend attendance at one of our free Understanding Your Rights workshops. Places at these workshops can be booked below.
Appointments with one of our advisers to complete a benefits application form (DLA, PIP, ESA, UC, Carer’s Allowance) are free of charge for Berkshire residents who are autistic or who are applying on behalf of an autistic person.
Paid-for appointments are also available in the evening at our Reading office (subject to availability).
The following charges (per appointment or hearing) apply:
- Ongoing support appointments: £50 – this includes support at Jobcentre Plus meetings, benefits assessments, mandatory reconsideration requests and tribunal hearings. Please note that we also require our advisers’ travel expenses to be paid when they represent clients in person at assessments and at appeal hearings.
- Advice appointments if clients make an initial application by themselves, then contact us for help with mandatory reconsiderations or appeals to a tribunal: £50
- Advice/ongoing support appointments about benefit claims for people with severe dyslexia, dyspraxia, OCD and ADHD: £80
- Advice/ongoing support appointments for people who live in neighbouring counties: £80
For more information about the Benefits Service and to book an appointment, call on 01189 594 594 (option 2) or email firstname.lastname@example.org