Merger of Local Charities Leads to Relaunch of Disability Benefits Advice Service

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Disability Wessex, a service operated by Diverse Abilities Plus which provides advice, support and information to those with disabilities, is growing. As a result Disability Wessex is now able to offer its expert, professional disability benefits advice service to even more disabled people, their families and to carers and parents of disabled children. It is hoped that in excess of 1,000 local people will make use of the service within the next twelve months when requiring assistance with disability benefit applications and deputyship applications.

Nikki Haswell from Disability Wessex

Our service has a ten year track record of high rates of success in securing benefits to which our clients are eligible, due to our in-depth knowledge of both disabilities and the social security law behind the benefits system.

Disability Wessex, a service operated by Diverse Abilities Plus which provides advice, support and information to those with disabilities, is growing. As a result Disability Wessex is now able to offer its expert, professional disability benefits advice service to even more disabled people, their families and to carers and parents of disabled children. It is hoped that in excess of 1,000 local people will make use of the service within the next twelve months when requiring assistance with disability benefit applications and deputyship applications.

For many people, the benefits system can be similar to that of a maze. The length of a 30 page form to apply for Disability Living Allowance can appear daunting, and this can be worse for people who have a health condition that causes them pain and fatigue, a mental health condition or a child with challenging behaviour. Changes likely to be implemented in the future, such as to modify the application for disability living allowance to make it a medical assessment, further complicate the process.

Disability Wessex has a small, but growing, team of expert advisors who have in-depth knowledge of disability and of the benefits system and can help with applications for disability living allowance, attendance allowance, carers allowance and employment and support allowance. They also can advise on submission appeals and hearings.

Nikki Haswell, who manages Disability Wessex, said: “Our service has a ten year track record of high rates of success in securing benefits to which our clients are eligible, due to our in-depth knowledge of both disabilities and the social security law behind the benefits system. We provide a hassle-free service and can assist by writing letters, making phone calls and working with the authorities on your behalf, as well as help collect evidence and sort out problems, mistakes and mix ups.”

The Disability Wessex team also offers help to parents of children, spouses and other people caring for an individual adult who does not have the mental capacity to make decisions about managing their own finances or make major decisions about their welfare.

For further information about Disability Wessex, call 0300 3305514.

Disability Wessex is part of Diverse Abilities Plus, which is the only local charity which provides a lifetime of support to children and adults with varying physical and/or learning disabilities. Established for over 55 years, the charity provides a range of assistance, support and education services for young people aged two to 19, adults and families.

For more information or to contact Diverse Abilities Plus please visit http://www.diverseabilitiesplus.org.uk or call 01202 718266.

Editors Notes
Diverse Abilities Plus is a charity that has been supporting children and adults with Cerebral Palsy and associated disabilities working in the County of Dorset, England for 50 years. The charity provides a range of assistance, support and education services for young people aged two to 19, adults and families. Services include:

  •     Langside School – independent, non maintained specialist day school for children and young people from the age of two to 19 years who have PMLD (profound and multiple learning disabilities). It’s one of only 19 similar SEN (special education needs) schools in the UK.
  •     Smithers – provides overnight and day short breaks. Short breaks help families manage the challenges of providing full time care for their child. A visit can be during the day or a ‘sleep over’ allowing the child to make and meet friends and relax and enjoy themselves.
  •     Shapes – provides home support (domiciliary care) for children and young people aged between two and 18 with individually tailored programs.
  •     Project My Time – provides child-led holiday activities that give young people with disabilities the same leisure and fun opportunities that their peers enjoy.
  •     Barnabas – a well equipped day setting for adults. Adults can learn new skills and enjoy a wide range of experiences.
  •     Supported living – this service is for people who live in their own home but may need up to 24/7 support.
  •     Disability Wessex - offers assistance with disability benefits for people with disabilities or chronic and acute health conditions and their families or carers, as well as the parents of disabled children.
  •     Play Opportunities - supports families with disabled children to have a chance to get out and enjoy themselves with other families in similar situations.
  •     Awesome Days and Awesome Nights – A youth group, set up and run by young people of all abilities, aged between 13 - 19 years.
  •     Face 2 Face – a free and confidential network of trained volunteer befrienders, who support parents to make positive adjustments to the news that their child has a disability or additional need. Every Face2Face befriender is a parent whose own child has a disability. They know what it's like to cope with a new diagnosis and can offer support parent to parent.

The charity was founded in 1955 by Mrs Phyllis Edwards who formed a group of parent’s intent on providing better opportunities for their children with physical and learning disabilities.

Visit Diverse Abilities Plus Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/diverseabilitiesplus and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/GoldChallengeDA

For more information
Contact: Zoe Hiljemark, PR Account Director / Jenny Pearce, Senior PR Account Executive
E-mail: zoe(at)marketing-matters(dot)co(dot)uk / jenny(at)marketing-matters(dot)co(dot)uk
Tel: +44 (0) 1202 777111 / +44 (0) 7770 924439
Address: Marketing Matters, Unit C, Acorn Business Park, Ling Road, Poole, Dorset, UK, BH12 4NZ

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