Touchpoint Benefits Advice Service
Supporting disabled people in Barnet to access the benefits they are entitled to.
Service Update July 2022
Due to overwhelming demand for support from our Touchpoint Services over the past few months, we’ve made the difficult decision to close to new referrals for a short time. We will not be accepting new referrals for both Peer Support and Benefits Advice Service from 19th July 2022. Both services will be reopening to new referrals from 1st September 2022.
In doing this, our aim is to reach those who are currently waiting for a service more quickly, as well as reduce the waiting time for those who want to access us in the future. As such, any referrals we have received before 19th July will remain on our waiting lists and we will contact them as soon as possible when space becomes available.
As always, if you are experiencing a crisis during this time, please check out our list of emergency contacts.
In the meantime, we thank you for your support and patience, and if you have any concerns regarding a referral, please do not hesitate to contact us via telephone 0203 475 1305 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Touchpoint Team
Who is this service for?
Touchpoint Benefits Advice Service could be the right service for you if:
- You feel yourself to be disabled because of a physical or sensory impairment, mental health issues, deafness, learning disabilities, neurodivergence and/or long-term conditions, and
- You live, study or work in the borough of Barnet, and
- You are finding it hard to access or understand the benefits you are entitled to.
If you’re not sure what type of support you need, please feel free to get in touch and we’ll be very happy to discuss this with you.
How do we help?
The many different types of benefits, criteria, points systems and payment rates can be overwhelming and difficult to understand.
We offer FREE practical advice and support to disabled people around all aspects of benefits. The aim of our service is to:
- Provide you with information about the benefits system and application process.
- Help you to understand which benefits you may be able to claim.
- Work with you to apply for benefits you are entitled to.
- Complete benefit application forms with you.
- Applying for Mandatory Reconsiderations.
Which benefits do we help with?
We can help with the following benefits:
- Attendance Allowance (AA)
- Benefit calculations and Eligibility Checks
- Blue Badge
- Carers allowance
- Carers credit
- Child Benefits
- Council Tax exemption (for Severely Mentally Impaired SMI or disabled persons exemptions)
- Council Tax reduction
- Disabled persons rail card
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
- Freedom Pass
- Free prescriptions
- Job seekers allowance
- Mandatory Reconsiderations
- Pension credit
- Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- Universal Credit (UC)
If you need help with another benefit, or if you are not sure which benefit you need, please contact us. We may still be able to help you or find someone who can.
What we don’t provide
Please note, we do not currently provide support for appeals.
We are not a medical, clinical or emergency service. Please see our crisis and urgent support advice page.
What to expect from our service
We are a small charity with limited resources so our waiting times fluctuate according to demand. Please feel free to contact us if you would like an update on where you are on our waiting list.
Initial assessment booking
You will be contacted by a member of the team to book in your initial assessment and understand any reasonable adjustments you need. We will send you relevant consent forms, which you must return to us prior to your initial assessment appointment.
If you have any concerns or questions about using our services you can use the assessment booking time to discuss these.
Initial assessment appointment
This is where our Benefits Adviser will get to know you a bit better and understand what your benefits needs are. Together we will agree what support or advice you may need for your benefits.
This is a friendly chat with you on the phone (or alternative) which could take up to one hour. Please bring any relevant current benefits information with you to this appointment. We will also carry out a standard risk assessment, which we is necessary for all people using our services.
Important: Please note, if we have not received your completed consent forms this initial assessment appointment will be unable to go ahead. This could affect your benefit applications if there are deadlines.
Dedicated Benefits Adviser
Once we have completed the initial assessment appointment we will arrange with you a further appointment to carry out the necessary advice and support on a one-to one basis.
How can you access the service?
As above, the service is closed to new referrals from 19th July to 1st September 2022.
Touchpoint during Covid-19 pandemic
What has changed?
We’re currently only providing face-to-face appointments in specific cases. However, we’ve found that we can still effectively provide our service via phone, video-call, WhatsApp, text messaging and email for the time being.