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Welfare Benefits Service Coming to an End

It is with sadness that we announce that our Welfare Benefits Advice service will be coming to an end on March 31st.

We have been contracted by Citizens Advice Cardiff & Vale to deliver this service since October 2014 but due to a reduction in funding from Cardiff Council this contract will not be renewed.

We are no longer taking new referrals and are working hard to complete and close or transfer the cases we currently have open. Our clients have been informed in writing and will be consulted individually on how they wish to proceed.

We have supported well over 2,500 clients in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan who have applied for disability-related benefits, many of whom had been wrongly turned down for payments they desperately needed.

Return on Investment

Amount of benefits claimed by the team from April-December 2015* 

  • £99 – Funding received per client
  • £2,867 – Average amount of benefit payment awarded per client*
  • £29 – Amount gained for every £1 spent

Although we very much regret the potential loss of our highly talented and experienced team, we are deeply concerned about the loss of this service to citizens of Cardiff and the Vale. We have seen a steep rise in the number of cases in recent years and this is set to continue with the ongoing transition to Personal Independent Payments, introduction of Universal Credit and the potential of the devolution of Attendance Allowance.

New cases
This chart shows the number of new cases taken on each year from April to March. The figures for 2015-2016 are for April 2015 to December 2015, with the projected number of cases as a dashed line.

In the last four years, our representatives at tribunals have turned over 82% of decisions on behalf of their clients, many in a matter of minutes such was the flawed decision making in the initial assessment.

In 2014-15 we won 81% of tribunals, compared to a national average of 53% (source – The Telegraph).

We are also proud of our record of home visits, meaning people not able to leave their homes are able to receive the same level of support without causing undue stress or discomfort.

Despite these successes we know there are many others who are turned down and are not aware of the support that is available to them. With the support from our team now coming to an end, we fear that many people will miss out or be intimidated into not making an appeal.

Our Families First project will be unaffected by this change, meaning support will still be available for families who care for a disabled child or children, or young disabled people up to the age of 25.

If you haven’t heard from your Welfare Benefits Advisor or have an urgent query you can call the team on 029 2036 8888 option 2, however your patience is appreciated as each of our advisors has a large number of clients that they need to speak to in the coming days.

* Figure based on one off back payments plus future benefit payments over the 12 months following the positive decision.