Monthly Archives: June 2013

Available now…

Big book cover 2013 (small2)After much anxious pacing we are pleased to announce the birth/publication of The Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health 2013/4 on 25th June at Mind.

The little purple and blue bundle of joy weighs in at 2lbs 1 oz. and is available from the shop at Mind for 18.49 plus p&p.

The sheer scale of both the rewrites this year and the sad loss of the book’s guiding hand and founding author, Judy Stenger has meant this announcement  is a tad later than we had planned! Our apologies then and thanks for your kind patience.
New this year are complete Big Book treatments of Personal Independence Payment (including page by page guidance/example forms to help you with the new forms) and Universal Credit (with a handy clulation sheet and building blocks to Universal Credit entitlement).
Every chapter has been touched by the winds of welfare reform; ESA, for example has been updated with the latest January 2013 descriptors,  ESA 50 forms and new sancctions regime.
Another new chapter summarises all the cuts and changes to help you see the welfare reform woods for the trees.
We look forward to your feedback on the book to help us improve for next year. While we aim to offer a friendly, informal, practical toolkit for the non-specialist, we hope that even experienced advisers will find interesting bedtime reading.
You can get a flavour of the changes, new content and sample pages from   excerpts from Big Book of Mental Health 2013-4. You can see a summary of what’s occurring and our current range of courses in the  flyer.
Of course once you’ve read the book you may want to see it live. If you can find a venue and up to 16 people and a spot of lunch we have training courses and we can travel. Just contact us for details of costs and to adapt courses to your needs.

Presses Roll

Big book cover 2013 (small2)

The presses are  rolling on the new Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health 2013/4. which will be available exclusively via Cover price is £18.49 plus p&p.

The precise publication date will be confirmed when the first batch is on Mind’s shelves, but the challenge is on to have it out for solstice! You can register for an e-mail notification from Mind.

It’s been a substantial rewrite this year as you can see from the back cover . There are new chapters on: welfare reform overview, Personal Independence Payment and Universal Credit, but no chapter has been untouched by the winds of welfare reform change blowing through the benefits system. You can see some sample pages here

The PIP chapter includes page by page example PIP2  “How Your Disability Affects You” questionnaire, with a facing page containing the full descriptors, DWP Guidance, Big Book comment and likely difficulties for that PIP Activity.

Universal Credit has a step by step guide to the sums and a calculation sheet alongside full coverage of this “simpler” benefit (it isn’t!) which will slowly replace means tested benefits and tax credits.

Other big changes apply to Housing Benefit (“the bedroom tax”) the Social Fund (goodbye discretionary fund) and Council Tax Benefit (a new postcode lottery undermines aims of  Universal Credit)and Employment and Support Allowance (with modified descriptors and ESA 50) .

A new Welfare Reform chapter though will help you step back and see the welfare reform woods before getting up close and personal with the trees.

The book has grown to 316 pages, but to make room for the new we have had to cut down on coverage of DLA, even though this will still be useful for some. However the full version of the DLA and AA chapter (with example forms and difficulties) will be available as a free download from this site.

We are sorry that the sheer scale of changes and the impact of the sad loss of Judy Stenger means that we are a bit later out than we’d like,  but we still hope you will find it useful in these changing times.

We’d love to hear from you about what you think and ways we can improve for next year.

Next post will confirm shortly that it is on sale.