The Hear Us Welfare Surgery Project was set up in 2012 in response to a growing need for extra support to help the most vulnerable of our service users to claim the benefits they are entitled.
The client groups we are funded to support are: People living within the London Borough of Croydon and who have a mental illness
The majority of our clients would struggle to access mainstream support and many face additional barriers in addition to having to navigate an already complex and often baffling welfare system.
We have helped over a 1200 people with a severe mental illness, many need additional support such as help to read their letters or complete forms, due to problems with reading and writing. Others face further problems such as dealing with drug and alcohol abuse, which mean they may face more hurdles, including the prejudices and judgements of others, which make claiming benefits problematic.
Helping people to secure their benefit entitlements enables them to feel more in control of their lives and take part in their communities and can relieve some of the burden of poverty and/or debt that so often leads to a downwards spiral of both mental and physical health. We provide a holistic service, signposting people to other resources in the borough, including Health and Well-being opportunities, Voluntary work and Education and counselling and Talking Therapies.
Two part time staff David & Cheryalin manage our Welfare Surgery Project. We can receive referrals from Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs), GP surgeries, Job centres, Care Homes and Residential Hostels and other voluntary organisations. We also accept self-referrals.
We can help in you make claims for and maintain the following benefits:
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) money if you cannot work because of illness or disability
Personal Independence Payment (PIP) replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
Universal Credit (UC) is replacing 6 other benefits with a single monthly payment