Autism Berkshire Benefits Service

Our Benefits Service is still available to offer advice about eligibility for benefits and help to complete application forms during the coronavirus pandemic, including online workshops and one-to-one appointments by video link – see below for details of online workshops and how to contact our advisers.

Autism Berkshire’s Benefits Advice Service is available to autistic people and their families 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.

They can help autistic adults and the parents and carers of autistic children on an individual basis and through our Understanding your Rights workshops (see below).

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.

Initial 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).*

Face-to-face appointments are currently suspended, with advice available by video link or on the phone

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

Understanding Your Benefits Rights workshops

Please note that during the coronavirus outbreak, these workshops will take place online and run from 10.30am to 12.30pm on Mondays – please register for free places using the links below.

These look at applying for benefits, including DLA and PIP, and related issues, such as employment support available to autistic adults

Please note that these workshops are for Berkshire residents only – we regret that we are not able to offer advice people living in adjacent counties at these sessions, due to funding rules.

Forthcoming DLA workshops: For parents and carers of autistic children aged up to 15.

  • May 24, 2021

Visit the website to register.

The other workshops are intended for autistic young people (aged 16+) and adults – including students attending university or college in Berkshire – and their parents and carers, looking at Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Universal Credit and Employment & Support Allowance (ESA), how to complete the application forms and what supporting evidence to include when making a claim. They also look at the appeals process, what employment advice and support is available and disabled people’s rights in the workplace.

Forthcoming 16+ benefits workshops:

  • April 12, 2021: Applying for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
  • May 10, 2021: Applying for Universal Credit and Employment & Support Allowance (ESA).

Visit the website to register.

For more information about the Benefits Service and to book an appointment, call on 01189 594 594 (option 2) or email benefits@autismberkshire.org.uk 

Who to contact

Contact Name
Kevin Jackson or Carrie Steers
Contact Position
Benefits advisers
Telephone
01189 594 594 (option 2)
E-mail
benefits@autismberkshire.org.uk
Website
Autism Berkshire

Where to go

Name
Autism Berkshire
Address
40, Caversham Road
Reading
Berkshire
Postcode
RG1 7EB

Other Details

Availability

Age Ranges
Referral required
No

Local Offer

Contact Name
Kevin Jackson
Contact Telephone
01189 594 594 (option 2)
Contact Email
benefits@autismberkshire.org.uk
SEN Provision Type
Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Local Offer Age Bands
0 to 1
1 to 4
5 to 7
7 to 11
12 to 14
15 to 16
16 to 18
19 plus

General Provider

How are referrals/applications made to your service? (include details of who can refer/apply and referral and application process)

Self-referral or referral by professionals supporting clients

What is your service standard for responding to referrals/accessing services? (include timescales for responding to referrals and accessing services)

We aim to respond to enquiries within 24 hours

Who provides / funds your service?
Voluntary/CharitableLocal Authority
Inspection outcomes/quality awards

Reading Voluntary Action Safe+Sound award

Slough CVS Slough Quality Protects platinum award

How will I know my child will be safe using this service?

All staff are DBS checked

West Berkshire Council do not promote or endorse any of the services listed in this Directory. For more information on this please read our disclaimer.

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