Subject Area

This list provides a summary of actual and possible course subjects. Each course is tailored to your learning needs and can incorporate different areas of the benefit system to meet your needs:

  • 2 Day - Overview of the Benefit system (CPD 13 hours) - An opportunity for people with limited prior knowledge of the Benefit system to get a thorough overview of the system. The course will start with the structure and common rules and problems that apply to a lot of the different benefits, before taking the opportunity to look in detail at Jobseeker's Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance. We will look at a summary of the different disability benefits as well as the common means-tested benefits including an overview of Income Support, Housing Benefit and Tax Credits. We will look at the changes that the introduction of Universal Credit is making to the system.

By the end of the course you will understand the structure of the system and how it affects the different benefits, be able to identify possible benefit entitlement to all the different benefits, and understand the impact of the current changes to the different benefits.


  • Personal Independence Payment - Successful claims. (CPD 6.5hrs)- This one day course will look at the abolition of Disability Living Allowance for adults, the introduction of the new Personal Independence Payment, their similarities and differences. We will spend time looking at the new criteria, the new claim form, points system and how it will effect pre-existing DLA recipients.

By the end of the day you will able to identify the basic criteria, who can claim and how to make a claim, understand the differences between old DLA payments and the new Personal Independence Payment, be able to explain why someone might not be able to claim PIP after receiving DLA and why some people are now entitled to PIP. You will also understand the beneficiaries of the new benefit, how the new benefit will award payments, and understand the impact an award of Personal Independence Payment will have on other benefits.


  • Universal Credit - (CPD 6.5hrs)- We will look at the basic criteria, who can claim and when they can claim, the process of a claim, the calculation, the Assessment period, the new 'Claimant Commitment', housing costs, transitional protection, sanctions, how a claim will be administered and the impact of the Benefit Cap.

 By the end of the course you will be able to identify who can make a claim, understand the role of the Assessment period, understand                                possible problem areas and solutions, understand why and when sanctions, penalties and overpayments will be applied, and how to make a claim.

  • Half Day - Sanctions of Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit- This course aims to help you support people who face a benefit sanction. Since 2012 a new system of sanctions was introduced for JSA, IS and ESA. Their amalgamation into UC produced a complicated sanction system for all people of working-age claiming a means-tested benefit i.e Housing Benefit.

This course will look at the triggers for a sanction such as the 'Claimant Commitment'. The time will be spent considering the legal                                                           process of applying a sanction and the reality of targets.  If the decision is wrong we will look at possible solutions (tactics).                                                                                                      Finally we will look at making claims for Hardship Payments and other sources of help for people.

By the end of the course you will be able to decide if the sanction was correctly applied, know how to challenge the decision, know how to claim Hardship Payments and alternative sources of financial help.


  • Half Day - Housing Benefit and Discretionary Housing Payments - From April 2013 changes to how Housing Benefit was calculated started to affect people living in social housing (council and housing association properties). This course will look at how Housing Benefit is now calculated for both types of rented housing and look in detail at the issues raised by the number of available bedrooms. Included in the course will be how we can challenge these decisions. Discretionary Housing Payments aim to help those who find themselves least able to cope with this change. We will spend a significant amount of time looking at how councils in Derbyshire deal with claims for Discretionary Housing Payments.

By the end of the course you will be able to identify who is affected by the legislation and the subsequent changes, understand how to determine if the right decision been made and understand how to make a Discretionary Housing Payment claim.


  • Employment and Support Allowance (two courses) - The first looks at the rules, completing the form and can include the financial differences between the two types of ESA. The second looks at the criteria used in the assessment, can include how to prepare for the appeal. The second course focuses on challenging decisions - appeals how to challenge a refusal from requesting the mandatory revision to preparing and representating at the appeal.


  • After Pension Age– What happens to benefits when someone needs care either in their own home or in a care home. This course looks at the benefits claimed by pensioners prior to needing care in the community and then care in a care home. It then considers the impact of that change on the benefits claimed and income they have to live on.

By the end of the course you will be able to identify the impact on Pension Credit, changes to payment of Attendance Allowance (DLA and PIP) and other disability based benefits, entitlement to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support and who can claim Carer's Allowance when someone moves into a Care home.

  • Dealing With Delays - A one day course to resolve non-payment problems with DWP, HMRC and Local Authorities. The course will cover all the different reasons why payment can't take a long time. Universal Credit is designed to not pay for the first 5.5 after a claim, the only solution is an Advanced Payment. JSA and ESA are not paid for the first 7 days after a claim. But a lot of the time claims are not paid due to administrative problems or mistakes made by the paying authority. This course looks at all the possible reasons and provides ideas to resolve waiting any longer for payment. That includes complaints, Judicial Reviews and local assistance where available.

'The new State Pension' course will explain how the new pension system will work and how national insurance contributions made before April 2016 will be treated in the future.

Booking & Cost Details

The costs for attending one of the courses on the programme is £120.00 per person for a whole day and £65 for a half day course. Please ask for the price for one-off course(s). The costs for both full and half day courses include provision of the venue, drinks and all materials used and provided on the day as well as the course booklet. The full day courses include lunch. If you can provide the venue and lunch then the costs of the course are reduced. Please contact us to discuss the above, as well as a convenient date and course content.

For a place on the training programme I ask you to complete a booking form, this will give you a provisional place on the course. Confirmation of the place will follow once payment has been received. Joining instructions will be issued 1 week prior to the date of the course.

Discounts for multiple bookings are available, please ask. If you book a place and are then are unable to attend or wish to cancel then you will be asked to pay all or part of the costs depending on the date of contact. You will be asked to pay the full costs if the deadline (7 days before the course) has passed. You will be asked to pay 50% of the costs if you contact us regarding your established booking more than 7 days before the course. If you wish to transfer to another date I will try to oblige at no extra cost.

To book a course or make an enquiry, please call me on 01332 384217 or get in touch via the contact form.

"A wealth of information, knowledge examples and anecdotes. Excellent presenter with a lot of energy and enthusiasm for the subject matter”

 Advice worker,  Connexions Sept 2010