On this page you can find a variety of free downloads offering:

  • Excerpts to give you a flavour of the current  Big Books and details of training courses
  • Periodic updates to the Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health and Benefit Rates Charts
  • Other free useful resources to help with  key benefits
  • Some older chapters that  we can no longer fit into the Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health  – but which may still be relevant to some readers. These will also give you a free taster of what a full Big Book chapter looks like and so what you can expect in the current edition.

1. Big Books excerpts  and training courses

  • Excerpts from the Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health 2021-22 edition:   Please click here to see sample pages from the new 2021-2022 edition. For more details of the contents, how to get your copy, please see the Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health page here.  After years of holding the price, lockdown weight gain and rising paper prices, mean that there is a small price increase to £28 this time.
  • Online edition –  As an alternative to a printed copy,  you can access a .pdf flip book that reproduces the copy of the printed edition of the Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health 2021-23 to view on screen. You can find out more and take out a subscription (for £24 a year) at the page here.  The text of the online version will be updated in April 2022 to incorporate all the changes in the free April 2022-23 Updater Pack (see below).
  • Training Courses  A range of course – with or without a mental health slant – and adaptable to your requirements.  Please click here to see our current range, but do contact us to discuss requirements, whether we can come to you – in any of the UK nations – or for an online presentation via Teams or Zoom. For more details about how we offer training and costs, please go to our current Training Page here

2. Updates and benefit rates 

  • April 2022-2023 – Benefit Rates Chart –  This  chart shows all the benefit rates for April 2022 to April 2023 . To download your copy, please click here
  • April 2022-23 Benefits Uprating Pack – For the Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health April 2021-23 edition .  A free two-part April 2022 Update pack gives you, in:
    • Part 1: updating pages (eg tables, example sums and calculation sheets) for  the April 2022 benefit rates is now available here
    • Part 2 – follows shortly – to catch up on other changes , largely updating information as the DWP returns on the return to “business as usual” (e.g re-assessments and work conditions) and the restarting of switchovers to newer benefits restart. A link will be added here:
  • These will bring your copy of your Big Book of Benefits April 2021-23, up to date to go beyond April 2022. You can print these Update Packs off and then either keep it with your book , make changes with a pen or paste over the replacement pages over the old ones one wet afternoon :-).  The contents of the pack will also be fully integrated into the text of our  Online edition (see above)

3. Resources for particular benefits:

Personal Independence Payment (PIP): Updated  points and definitions chart: 

The latest chart of PIP descriptors after changes made – and some unmade again – from March 2017.  It’s a  handy reference guide to have by your side when filling in “PIP2 How Your Disability Affects You forms” , but remember it’s not about parrot these back to PIP on your form, but to remind of the hooks to hang a description in you own words of the difficulties you face.; to remember that  “points make prizes” . It can also be a useful ready reckoner to tick off descriptors that seem to ring bells for you ahead of a form filling session. 

Check the guidance on the other side and think about how someone else can help you manage reliably at the worst point on a typical day. To download your copy, please click here  

For more information on relating difficulties to the PIP points see general tips, common issues for different mental health diagnoses and  page by page advice as you fill in the  form,  then  please see the latest edition of the Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health. You can see an example of our page by page guidance on the forms by clicking here.

Universal Credit

  • UC Calculation Sheet – April 2022-23 – To download your copy, please click here
  • A simple flowchart of who claims UC and who claims PC or legacy benefits . Amended to take account of the end of the SDP Gateway from 27th January 2021. To download your copy, please click here
  • More detailed changes of circumstances table: When do you have to switch to UC? and When do you have a choice? .Amended for the end of the SDP Gateway. To download your copy, please click here
  • Surviving a claim for UC: Top Tips – To download your copy, please click here.

4. Chapters from previous editions

As time marches on, the Book has grown.  The idea of welfare reform  might be to eventually make things simpler, but for some years old systems and new systems will co-exist. So we have had to make hard decisions of taking some stuff out of the stretching bindings 🙂 .

But information about the older benefits for sickness and disability can be off historic interest, give a taster of the big Books approach and can still be be very relevant for some claims.

Sickness Route Benefits from the Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health  2010 – 11 

Covering covering, form filling, supporting evidence and appeals for:

  • Incapacity Benefit and SDA  – this may still be relevant to anyone  still awaiting the switchover to ESA or should you have any if you may have any unresolved issues or appeals in relation to the old benefits.
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – pre-2011  –   The old section on ESA  with descriptors, ESA50s, guidance, supporting evidence and appeals arguments  for the pre- March 2011 version of ESA.  Less directly relevant now, as very few people still have issues hanging over from way back then. However,  it may still be of historical interest, from the days when ESA promised a kinder gentler New Deal, and was less ferocious than it became. See the current edition of the Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health  for ESA in its current form and differences in how Universal Credit deals with the same Work Capability Assessment.

To download your free copy of the old chapter,  please click here

Attendance Allowance (AA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

From the Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health 2012/13. The full chapter with  explanations, tips and practical tools and page by page tips to help you make claims for AA and DLA  is available by clicking here. This may be useful if you are either:

  • making a first disability claim for Attendance Allowance after pension age; or
  • seeking/facing reviews of an existing award of DLA (for adults) that you took with you into pension age; or
  • facing very similar boxes on a form when making a new a new claim for DLA (for children)

We still include a reduced amount of useful AA and DLA information in the current editions of the Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health , but we also signpost readers here, to get the full Big Book of Benefits treatment of AA and DLA.

Time has moved on,  so  the rates are well out of date. However, the rules and eligibility criteria for Attendance Allowance – and the closely linked DLA – do remain largely the same as back then. As do all the tips, suggestions and sample forms.

We will be updating and re-instating this chapter in the forthcoming Big Book of Benefits, Money and Older People 2022-24, where it will be more directly relevant to those over pension age .

There is some coverage and useful crossover tips for AA and DLA forms still within the current Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health April 2021 to 2023, but it is less comprehensive to allow space for the full treatment of PIP , its trials and tribulations and new friendlier disability payments emerging in Scotland

DLA example forms :

Although DLA adult forms are no longer issued in working age, these example forms can still help with the very similar boxes on AA, review forms for DLA in pension age and claims for  DLA (for children) .The main differences for AA and DLA (for children) forms are that:

  • AA forms will not have questions around getting around out of doors  as sadly there are no extra Mobility amounts in AA. But any mobility difficulties indoors or when engaging with social activities / hobbies can be very relevant; and
  • Child DLA forms will have an additional question related to child development issues and a reminder of “compared to a child of a similar age without a disability” . But remember that additional needs or extra degree of difficulty purely related to the disability,  count regardless.

You can find these example forms by clicking on:

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