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 – We are finalising best format for our first go at an online version and we will post where you can access it and the cost very shortly.
- 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 2021-2022 – Benefit Rates Chart – This chart shows all the benefit rates for April 2021 to April 2022 . To download your copy, please click here
- April 2019-20 Benefits Uprating Pack – For the Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health April 2018-20 edition . A replacements for all the pages with benefit rates and sums in the book to amend the equivalent pages or print and paste over on a wet afternoon 🙂 to bring that book up to April 2019 -2020 rates. To download your copy, please click here
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.
- UC Calculation Sheet – April 2021-22 – 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 2010 – 11 edition
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 2012/13 edition. 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.
- 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 information in the current editions of the Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health , but also signpost readers here to get the full Big Book of Benefits treatment of AA and DLA.
Time has moved on, in that 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, 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 2022, 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: