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

  1. Excerpts to give a flavour of the Big Books and details of training courses
  2. Periodic updates to the Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health 2018-20 to keep your copy up to date through to April 2020
  3. Other general updates
  4. Free useful resources around key benefits
  5. Some older chapter that  we can no longer fit into the Big Book – but which may still be relevant to some readers. These will also give a free insight into the Big Books approach to more current benefits.

1. Big books and training Courses

  • Training Courses  A range of course – with or without a mental health slant, and adaptable to your requirements. For more details see the Training page here
  • excerpts from Your Big Book of Benefits 2014-5: sample pages from the first edition of this new more general, less mental health biased variation of the Big Book.  For more details see Your Big Book of Benefits page here . Remaining copies are available from CHC  here , on a buy one, get one free basis.


2. UpDATES TO THE Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health 2018 – 2020

Until April 2020, periodic updates will appear under this section aimed to keep your copy of the Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health 2018-20 up to date. These will include news and replacement pages, which you can print off and either collect in the back or stick over the relevant pages within the book, as you prefer:

  • April 2019 Benefit Rates Chart – to begin at the ending 🙂 This replaces the chart in the back of the book with the new rates for April 2019- 20 – click here
  • Full 2019-20 Uprater Pack- Replacements for all the pages with rates and sums throughout  the book – amended for April 2019-20 benefit rates – will appear here shortly


3. OTHER Updates

  • The £12 billion additional cuts and other changes:  An updated version of our summary of the £12 billion new cuts  announced in the Summer Budget and Autumn Statement of 2015 after the last election. Subsequent promises to announce “no new cuts” that were made in  2016 and repeated by the new post-referendum administration  do not amount to canceling any of the cuts already announced but still to land in peoples lives. There is a limit to “compassionate conservatism” or the “shared society”. All aimed at  “balancing the books on the backs of the working poor and disabled”  These tables also updates on longer standing cuts led changes – such as the rollout of PIP and the transition to Full Service UC.


4. Resources for particular benefits:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP): Updated  points and definitions chart: With the need to update to show changes from March 2017, we have added the updated definitions on the back of the handy single sided table of the PIP activities, descriptors and points.  The new chart works for PIP claims made both before and after 17.03.2017, with the amendments highlighted separately. Useful to work out the likely points you are aiming for when filling in a PIP2 How Your Disability Affects You form or when challenging a PIP decision. But remember to score at the level of help you could do with to manage an activity reliably, at the worst point on a typical day – see notes on Reliability and Variability. See also the PIP chapter in the  Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health for page by page advice against an example PIP2 form, tips, common difficulties, official guidance, more on reliability.
  • Universal Credit
    • JUST UPDATED 🙂 – UC Calculation Sheet – April 2019-20 – available here
    • A general flowchart of when a change leads to a switch to UC  here
    • Table of examples of changes in circumstances that lead to a need to claim UC – here
    • Survival a claim for UC : Top Tips – here 

5. Chapters from earlier editions

As time marches on, the Book has grown. Simplification may be one of the Government’s aims but for the next few years you may be on a mix of “old” and “new” benefits, so the Book has to cover two systems at once.

This has meant some difficult decisions about what to leave in and what to take out. So below,  we post some of  the chapters that have had to go . These might still be relevant for some claims,  but that we couldn’t squeeze in to our bursting bindings. These excerpts also give you a  fuller flavour of the general friendly practical Big Book.

Incapacity Benefit  – still relevant to some claimants awaiting the still unfinished migration to ESA.

Employment and Support Allowance – before the test changed in March 2011.  The old descriptors, ESA50s, guidance, supporting evidence and arguments for pre-March 2011 ESA assessments.

  •  Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance  from the 2012/13 edition – the full chapter and page by page tips on completing the forms. Only the rates and administration arrangements have changed.  There is some coverage of AA and DLA in the current Big Book, linking  to similar PIP pages. However, you may prefer this complete AA and DLA chapter all in one place. The full chapter  will return in an updated form, as part of a forthcoming  Big Book of Benefits and Money for Older People 2019-20 along with AA focused sample forms like the ones below and AA and DLA case law.



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