Better Advice: Better Lives
Better Advice: Better Lives is a benefits take-up campaign, funded by Welsh Government. It includes the provision of advice ‘surgeries’ within GP and healthcare settings, access to advice on benefits and other issues and to providing help for families with a disabled or chronically ill child or children.
Through the Better Advice: Better Lives project, Ceredigion CAB can help you claim benefits to help with your council tax, housing benefit, and with sickness and disability benefits like Personal Independence Payments (PIP), Attendance Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). We also check Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit entitlement.
We can assess whether clients are in receipt of their full entitlement – sometimes claimants are getting the correct benefits, but not in receipt of the correct rate.
We can also help with benefits if your child has a disability or long-term health need (including mental health and learning difficulties), e.g. Disability Living Allowance (DLA) queries (see below). We can also help with Pension Credit claims, Carers’ Allowance and many other benefits.
We will deal with your issues in a ‘holistic’ way and offer advice on your other problems, such as housing or debt and it is completely free of charge. We can even help you challenge the decisions made on your benefits and advise you on how to go about this.
You can access this advice by contacting our offices and making an appointment, including at our outreach centres, which are based in GP settings. Home visits are available on request to patients following a health practitioner’s referral (appointment only basis).
Why provide advice through health care settings?
GPs have to deal with many clinical problems where the solution is not medical but depends on improving the patients quality of life. GPs often deal with patients who have nowhere else to go for a sympathetic ear to listen to their problems. Healthcare workers cannot be expected to possess knowledge of the very complex system of welfare services.
The initiative benefits the most vulnerable people in our society. Experience has shown that the elderly, people with a disability and those with mental health problems find it difficult to ask for assistance and seek help. Making the services available in a GP surgery has resulted in them being more likely to ask for this help and advice.
Aims of Better Advice: Better Health
The aim of Better Advice: Better Health is to maximise income for those people whose health is likely to be affected by low income.
The Better Advice: Better Health scheme has been a success story for over 10 years in Wales.
Welfare benefit take-up for disabled children’s families
Families with disabled children are more likely to live in poverty because of the higher costs involved in bringing up their child. This can include the loss of income associated with one or both parents (including lone parents, grandparent carers and foster carers) in giving up work, or taking lower-paid or part-time work.
There are approximately 46,500 disabled children in Wales and around 29,000 families with disabled children do not receive their entitlement to Disability Living Allowance (DLA). 62% of families with disabled children, therefore, do not receive a potential £109.50 per week in financial support, which they may be entitled to.
Please contact our CAB offices for an appointment to see a ‘Better Advice: Better Lives’ adviser – and remember, we can advise on any benefit issue, for anyone, of any age.