Feeling The Benefit?

benefits at a glanceAre you in the dark about benefits? Sally Sheehy sheds some light on the subject

Health and wellbeing co-ordinator, Sally Sheehy, has been working at the Thalidomide Trust for over 10 months, now, and has met beneficiaries from all over the country. Meeting you all has been a great experience for Sally and she’s learnt a lot.

“It’s been great talking with so many of you,” she says. “I’ve been overwhelmed by the hospitality, patience and feedback I’ve had from everyone – thank you!

I’ve felt very privileged that so many of you have shared your life stories with me. I’ve got to know about all sorts of issues, both good and bad, that I hope will help both the Trust and me, personally, support you appropriately both now and in the future.

There’s one subject, above all others, that crops up time and time again and causes endless headaches and frustrations; it’s the dreaded “B word” and I don’t mean Brexit! The other ‘B’ that’s full of mysteries and complexities for many beneficiaries is, Benefits!”

Sally shares her advice on benefits

Sally says, “I don’t think any of us can begin to pretend that we understand everything to do with benefits. It’s immensely difficult and time consuming to navigate and understand, and a real struggle, to wade through all the associated paperwork and bumf!

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) doesn’t advertise its “wares“, and there seems to be a staggering amount of people who could really do with help, but are unaware of their eligibility and entitlement.

The best advice I can give people would be to fill out a benefits calculator as a starting point. A number of websites offer this facility,  and I suggest choosing a secure link such as the Government’s Benefits Calculator.

If you don’t have access to a computer, or choose not to use one, local benefits advice teams can also help; Citizens Advice, Age UK, and welfare rights teams attached to Local Authorities, are a few services to consider.

Good luck with researching the benefits you’re entitled to and don’t hesitate to contact us on 01480 474074 or email if you have any questions. Any feedback that you think might help us, and other beneficiaries, will also be most welcome.

In the meantime, take a look at my ‘at a glance guide to benefits'.