Benefits and how to claim

We have created Factsheets (see list on the right) to give you an overview of the different benefits available for claimants with a disability or their families or carers, and we also explain how to make a claim.

We have also created Factsheets explaining the benefits available to children and young people, older people and the benefits available to working age people – Universal Credit (UC), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP). There is also a Factsheet available to download about Carers Allowance – this is called ‘Help for Carers’. 

To find out more about benefits from the DWP Click here

NEW information about Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Since the introduction of Universal Credit (UC) you will need to make a telephone claim for ESA by using the phone lines set up for UC, even if you are claiming a contribution-based benefit.  They call this ‘new style ESA’.

Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

If you’re not eligible to claim UC in your area, then new style ESA won’t apply to you. You would follow the usual route to claim ESA – see our Factsheet on how to make a claim or follow the guidance here:

Telephone: 0800 055 6688
Textphone: 0800 023 4888

Sending in your Fit Note

There is a new way of sending a fit note from your doctor to the DWP if you can take a photo with your mobile phone.  Have a look at the guidance in the document to the right, called ‘DWP Digital send your fit note service’.

Extra information about Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

The DWP have given us some additional information about the renewals process for PIP that you may want to be aware of.  With Disability Living Allowance (DLA), you might have got used to receiving a renewal form about 6 months prior to your award ending, which you had to send back 3 months in advance.  With PIP, your award will be reviewed quite a bit earlier, perhaps about two-thirds of the way through the award period, or a year before your award ends.   It is the equivalent of the DLA renewal and is designed to check whether you are on the right rate of benefit so that your award can potentially continue for another fixed period.

If you are told you have a 3 year award, a reasonable person might expect to get the money for 3 years, even if you choose not to renew.  These new rules mean that your money will NOT continue until the end of your original award; it will stop if you do not follow any steps you are asked to take at the time of review.   You may be asked to complete a short form or you may be asked to attend an assessment again.

Government to review PIP awards

PIP and British Sign Language

British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service

To use this you must go to the video relay service

The service is accessed via the relevant link and enables BSL users to make BSL interpreted video calls via their tablet, smartphone, computer or laptop.

Users are connected to a professional interpreter by video link, who relays what they are saying to a member of DWP staff.

You can use this Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

What you’ll be asked for

When you make a call to the Video Relay Service to claim PIP, it would be useful to have ready the following information. It will speed up the call and make it easier for you. Don’t worry if you don’t know all this information when you call. You can still claim PIP.

  • your National Insurance number and date of birth
  • your full address including postcode
  • the full address, postcode and phone number of your GP surgery
  • the full work address, postcode and phone number of any other health or social care professionals that support you
  • your nationality or immigration status
  • details of time spent abroad, if you have been abroad for more than 4 weeks at a time over the last 3 years
  • your usual account details.

Someone else can call on your behalf, but you’ll need to be with them when they call. You can also write asking for a form to send the above information by post (this can delay the decision on your claim).  Write to:

Personal Independence Payment New Claims, Post Handling Site B, Wolverhampton WV99 1AH

BSL advice and support for claiming PIP

The Department for Work and Pensions has developed a series of short videos about PIP.

The videos provide a clear and simple overview of the PIP claim process, so that people understand what to expect at each key stage and what they need to do when making a claim.

There are five videos covering the key stages in the claim process – from pre-claim to receiving the decision letter.  Each video can be watched as a standalone film or in sequence. So, whether someone is thinking about claiming PIP and wants to know more or they have already started their PIP claim and want to understand the actions they need to take, the videos can provide them with the right information they need at the right time.

Audio, subtitles and a BSL translation are available on all five videos, to ensure accessibility.

The videos are published on YouTube at

These are videos provided by DWP that explain the PIP Assessment Criteria:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6



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