Macmillan Welfare Rights Service Central Bedfordshire

About the Macmillan Welfare Rights Service Central Bedfordshire

The Macmillan Welfare Rights Service is a free, confidential and impartial welfare benefits advice service, delivered in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council, Bedford Borough Council and the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust. It is fully funded by Macmillan Cancer Support.

The Macmillan Welfare Rights Service has been delivering a successful advice service to people with a cancer diagnosis and their carers who live in Central Bedfordshire and Bedford Borough, since 2007.

To date, the service has successfully assisted over 8362 cancer patients with face to face, telephone and email advice, achieving £30.4 million in benefit and grant awards.

How the service can help

The service currently has 4 full-time advisers, 1 part-time adviser and 2 part-time support workers who deliver advice through home visits and advice sessions at local hospitals and hospices.

Home visits and advice sessions are provided at the North West Anglia Foundation NHS Trust, the Primrose Unit at Bedford NHS Trust, and the Luton & Dunstable University NHS Trust.

The team advises on all benefits and entitlements including disability benefits such as:

  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Carer's Allowance
  • means-tested allowances such as the local housing allowance, Council Tax support and Pension Credit.

The team also assists with challenging decisions from mandatory reconsideration to appeal.

In 2018-2019 the service assisted with a range of benefits issues including:

  • challenging poor decision-making
  • delays in processing disability benefit claims
  • failure to award disability premiums
  • mandatory reconsiderations and appeals where a decision appears to be incorrect

The service also assists with applying for grants from Macmillan or through an occupational fund and can assist with claiming help with health costs such as travel to hospital. It also advises on accessing services or equipment such as aids or adaptations or social service assessments and can refer or signpost to local services.