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 a full chapter and what you might expect in related chapters in the current edition.

1. Big Books excerpts  and training courses

  • Training Courses  A range of course – with or without a mental health slant – and adaptable to your requirements.  In these lockdown times we are also offering these courses online via Teams or Zoom For more details and download our current range of  in house training courses from our Training Page here

2. Updates and benefit rates 

  • April 2020 -2021 – Benefit Rates Chart –  This  chart shows all the benefit rates for April 2020 to April 2021 . 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 – 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 from March 2017.  A handy reference guide to have by your side when filling in forms . The aim is not to parrot these back to PIP on your form, but to keep an eye on “points make prizes” under PIP. It can be a a useful ready reckoner for you to prepare for a session with someone helping you to fill in a PIP 2 form.

But do look first at the box to think about the statement that best describes the limitations for you in managing reliably at the worst point on a typical day . See the Notes part  of the chart for more on this and some other helpful definitions. To download your copy, please click on the title underlined above or just click here  

For more detail on what these mean (especially reliability with examples) , general tips, common issues for different mental health diagnoses, page by page advice as you fill in a PIP2 How Your Disability Affects You form and an example form, then  please see the latest edition of the Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health 

Universal Credit

  • UC Calculation Sheet – April 2020-21 – To download your copy, please click here
  • A simple flowchart of who claims UC and who claims PC or legacy benefits . Please note the SDP Gateway no longer applies after 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?  Note: the SDP Gateway does not apply after 27th January 2021. 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 forms 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 , just click on the underlined title above or click here

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

From the 2012/13 edition. The full chapter, explanations, tips and practical tools and page by page tips to help you make claims for AA and DLA . This is still very relevant for some people such as, those:

  • 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 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. The need for that new book is because of the increasing separation of benefits for people above and below pension age.

Meanwhile the updated chapter in the Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health April 2021 to 2022, will cover the latest developments in PIP, the rather confused story of assessment arrangements during the pandemic and some signs for things getting a little better:

  • the DWP are being pressured to re-think things a little from their Covid experience, pressures from campaigners and changes ahead in Scotland
  • New disability benefits will start to replace all three of the current ones in Scotland. But don’t worry, there will be no need for any reassessment. You will be automatically on to the same rates of the new benefits. For those making new claims or who come up to renewing their claim in the new system you should notice real improvements. Social Security Scotland aim to run the new benefits with: more choices how to claim, interest in take-up, more help from them to do forms, far fewer medicals and to treat people “dignity, fairness and respect” . We will cover Scotland’s progress in full.

DLA example forms :

Although DLA in “working age” claims and DLA renewal forms are no longer issued, these example forms can still help with very similar boxes on AA, reviews of DLA in pension age and and DLA (for children) forms .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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