The presses are rolling on the new Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health 2013/4. which will be available exclusively via www.mind.org.uk/shop. 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.