Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health 2016/17

Candles2016 - book mock up 2 have been burned at several ends smile emoticon in readying the Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health 2016/17 for the printers.

Presses are rolling and we hope that the first copies will be available within a week. You can pre-order at our main distributors CPAG .

Big changes this year – so  if you only update now and then, this is certainly one you need:

  • the first wave from the extra £12 billion cuts are hitting people from this April, with most of the rest next April. Full details in the relevant chapters and in the welfare reform chapter
  •  the switchover from DLA to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) started last October and runs until March 2018, so we are upping the help in our PIP chapter to help people through the switchover and to make an appeal if needs be, with new PIP caselaw sections.
  • Universal Credit is now beginning to reach out beyond jobseekers. Area by area – from May 2016 to June 2018 – all new claims for means tested benefits and tax credits will start to be for UC instead. For those already on what the DWP now call “legacy benefits”, it will become much easier to switch over to UC early and without protection. A once ambitious welfare reform – “to make work pay and protect the vulnerable” – has now degenerated more into a cuts led exercise that “balances the budget on the backs of the working poor and the disabled” . It seems UC’s founding father has had enough. Fully updated for this April’s “in work” cuts, the yawning disability gaps and next April’s “two child policy” and surplus earnings changes
  • ESA carries on as new kids on the block – US based health multinational Maximus – rescue the crashed assessment process. But the issues with the tests – when you get one – remain and advisers are seeing demand for help with ESA decisions pick up too. Your practical toolkit is fully updated with resources to help now and when Work Related Activity Component is dropped for new claims next April. .

But every chapter has been revised and updated – changes to Housing Benefit, Pension Credit, and tax credits are important as well and no chapter has been left untouched 🙂

But as well as all that big picture cuts gloom, we hope this year’s Book will help its readers shine a little light too. You can still make a very real difference to how the changes will affect you or the people you support and work with – whether to protect from the cuts or still claim those missing millions. You can make that real difference to gain or protect the benefits that make the difference between “living and merely existing”

The Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health 2016/17 is available from Child Poverty Action Group  bookshop and through all good bookshops.

You can pre-order from CPAG either:

  • by telephone, please ring: 020 7837 7979
  • by e-mail to:
  • by post :  download and complete the order form available here

Once it is available on their shelves – in the next week or so you can order online:

  •  by popping it into your basket at the CPAG webshop here

You can find out more about Big Books and linked training – including back by popular demand the very course that led to the book – on this website .

Readers of Your Big Book of Benefits 2014/15 – which was a joint project with Your Benefits are Changing – will find this years book is the nearest thing to an update. The two books share many aspects and the same familiar, practical, friendly approach . We hope though, to explore with Community Housing Cymru the potential for a future update of that particular variation. .

As ever we dedicate this 16th edition to the still much missed and loved author of the first 12, Judy Stenger. Her warmth, wit and wisdom still permeate the book through all its changes. And also to all those going through these changes with anxiety, despair , hope, humour and enduring courage. We hope in our own small way, that we too can make a difference.

 To find out more please see under the Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health page on this website – click here.

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