Claiming benefits can be complicated and confusing. You may have to deal with several different Government departments, with different rules for each benefit. Some benefits are claimed by a telephone interview, and some are claimed by writing an application, either online or on a paper form. If you have difficulty speaking or writing in English, you should be able to ask for help, either from the relevant benefit department or from an independent advice agency (see below). The following agencies provide free information about benefits and other sources of support. This section covers the following categories;
-Government benefit departments
Government benefit departments
Benefit information leaflets are often available in languages other than English, including: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Gujarati, Punjabi, Somali, Urdu, Welsh. You should ask if these are available.
This website provides information on all state benefits, eligibility, and how to claim with links to relevant departments. Links to relevant state bodies including the DWP, HMRC, and Local Authorities are provided below.
Services: oversees Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, Local Housing Allowance.
Use www.direct.gov.uk and search for ‘local councils’ to find the website for your local authority or council
Benefits Enquiry Line
Services: Telephone helpline for advice and information about benefits available to disabled people and carers. The helpline also offers help with claim form completion for some benefits. This number is free to call from a landline.
Telephone: 0800 88 22 00
Textphone: 0800 24 33 55 (for hearing or speech difficulties)
Citizens Advice Bureau - Advice Guide
Services: Independent information on all state benefits, and help to resolve problems with benefits. For information about your local Citizens Advice Bureau, use the ‘Find your local bureau’ section.
Many cities have independent Advice Centres that can provide similar information and help. Your local authority or council should have contact details for all local advice centres, including CAB and Age Concern. The website below also has details of local advice centres.