Advocacy service adapting during Covid
ScotsCare client Sarah* had two weeks to complete the form for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) after the recent government transfer to PIP was ending her regular Disability Living Allowance payments. Fortunately, as an existing client Sarah did not need to fill in another ScotsCare application form, speeding up the process.
Sarah has literacy issues and was finding the 40-page form overwhelming, to the point that she said she was not going to complete the form at all. Our Advocate Gearoid suggested that he could talk her through the form over the phone, and together via two meetings they completed it. Gearoid was able to send the document to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) before the deadline.
Advocates would usually attend the crucial subsequent DWP assessments alongside clients, in order to support and advise, but with Covid, the meeting was conducted on a conference call. The meeting went well and Gearoid said Sarah was able to ask him questions as if he was in the room with her.
The DWP decided to awarded Sarah her PIP, meaning she would avoid a loss of £300 per month. The client also now has a taxi card, allowing her to complete bigger shops that proved impossible on foot with her disability.
Sarah has expressed her gratitude for the level of support ScotsCare was able to provide during Covid, and that it has all been safe and allowed her to do it without leaving her home.
Gearoid said: “I was thrilled as it was great to know I managed to provide practical support even though it was remotely. By being on the phone during the assessment it felt like I was there and really part of it.”
*name has been changed to protect identity