Advocacy support curbs disability poverty risk

The Advocacy Project have been involved in a pilot that shows the benefit of independent advocacy support during social security assessments.

The Welfare Advocacy Support  Project has shown the value of expert advocacy support for disabled people and people with long term conditions during assessments for Personal Independence Payment and Work Capability Assessments.

The Advocacy Project has been attending disability benefit assessments alongside over 220 people with mental health problems, learning disabilities or neurological conditions. The advocate supports people to understand the process, and to properly communicate the impact of their health issues or disability on their lives.

Many people who received support through the project had previously had poor experiences of assessments which had raised their levels of stress and anxiety about what lay ahead.

Afghanistan veteran John [not his real name] told the evaluation about the difference between his experience this time, and previous assessments when he had walked out, angered by what he felt was intrusive questioning:

“I would have lost the head if the advocate hadn’t been there, I expected to, to be honest. Him being there helped calm me down, he was watching me for the signs, and every time I started to get wound up, he’d butt in, just to break things up.”

If you want more information then you can look at the following reports commissioned by The ALLIANCE:

Evaluation Report

Summary Report