Welfare Benefits Advice & Advocacy

We provide an advice and advocacy service for clients with welfare rights issues once they reach the appeal or tribunal stage. We are able to help with all types of benefits including Employment Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Housing Benefit, Local Housing Allowance, Council Tax Reduction, Job Seeker’s Allowance, Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Income Support, Bereavement Benefit and Pension Credits.

We can assist with entitlement appeals (if you claim has been refused or entitlement stopped following a review), overpayment appeals and technical appeals including failure to attend, backdating, living together, capital and income appeals.

We have an AQS quality mark covering our casework in debt and welfare benefits.

As we are a specialist service we are only able to take on cases which have been referred to us by another agency through the NCAN Common Referral System (CRS).

If you require assistance please follow the guide below.

I need help applying for a benefit or I need help requesting a mandatory reconsideration

If you want to know if you qualify for a benefit, need help claiming a benefit or if you need to request a mandatory reconsideration of a decision, please contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau or search the NCAN Advice Directory which gives details of agencies that may be able to help you.

I have appealed and have received my appeal papers

If you have received an appeal bundle we can give you advice regarding the merits of your appeal, support you through the appeal process, prepare your case for Tribunal and represent you at the Tribunal hearing provided your case has legal merit.

If an advice agency helped you with the appeal and they have said that they cannot help you further, then you can ask them to refer you to us through the CRS. If they are not able to refer you in this way then they should be able to signpost you to someone that can, or you can contact an Agency that gives benefits advice via the NCAN Advice Directory and ask that they refer you to us.

I have my Tribunal date

We may be able to represent you at Tribunal if you have received your hearing date. If you have already had advice from an advice agency with an earlier stage of your case, ask them if they can refer you to us.  If you have not then please contact an Agency who can refer you as soon as possible, you can find these through the NCAN Advice Directory.

I have been to Tribunal

If you have been to Tribunal and your hearing has been adjourned or your appeal dismissed, we may be able to represent you at the relisted hearing, or if the appeal has been dismissed we will be able to advise you with regard to your possible right of further appeal to the Upper Tribunal.

You have one month from the date of the Tribunal to request a statement of reasons for a Tribunal decision or to request a set aside on limited procedural grounds, so please seek advice as soon as you can.   

Again please see the NCAN Advice Directory for details of who can refer you to us through the CRS.

We cannot give post Tribunal benefit entitlement advice but, any of the benefit entitlement advice agencies in the NCAN directory can assist you.

I am an advice agency

We are available to take referrals for appeal stage advice, bundle stage, and tribunal representation for all benefits, both at First-tier and Upper Tribunal level.

You will need to refer the client to us via the NCAN Common Referral System.

If your organisation is not already a member and you would like advice about joining please contact Emily Balsdon, the NCAN Coordinator, by emailing ncan@ncls.co.uk. Alternatively you can ask any of the benefit advice giving agencies on the NCAN directory to refer your client to us.   

How to contact us

If you are not sure whether we might be an appropriate service for you, or for your client, you can call us on 01603 496623 or email info@ncls.co.uk  for initial guidance on a referral to the service.

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