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Make sure you get all the benefits to which you are entitled

View profile for Jon Rees
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In a spinal cord injury claim, where liability is denied and we cannot secure an interim payment quickly, it is frustrating if we cannot do more to help our clients on a practical level.

True enough many of our clients are helped by the team in the hospital where they are treated so that they can access the benefits they are entitled to, and indeed need, as a result of their injury. Yet, on their return home, many find that things don’t always go smoothly – there may be delays, it’s all very bureaucratic and often there’s a complete lack of awareness.

Such an injury brings changes not only for the injured party but also for their family and friends – it can impact on their ability to work – and often evolves in such a way that their need for and entitlement to benefits can be overlooked.

We have partnered with the team at Oxfordshire Welfare Rights to bridge the apparent gap in the system where accessing benefits is concerned. Their expertise in assisting people who, though not claiming, may be entitled to benefits – benefits that can make a huge practical difference to them and their family – is being very well received by our clients and their families.

Of course, it may well be that their situation cannot be improved upon, but just as often a review of their situation reveals that progress might be achieved using a different approach. Often, just undertaking the review helps everyone involved gain a better understanding of how the benefits system operates and can be helpful to clients and their families.

We help people from all over the country and the Oxfordshire Welfare Rights team are able to work with us on all those cases. The scheme is also one we make more widely available, not just to those we are helping with spinal injury compensation claims.

Seven out of ten people who suffer a spinal cord injury do not have grounds to make a compensation claim and yet their need for this sort of service is possibly even greater than those who do have a claim. We want to help.