Everyone at Ipswich Disabled Advice Bureau is well and we hope that you are too.
Ipswich Disabled Advice Bureau is closed to visitors and for face-to-face appointments for getting advice, or completing forms owing to the coronavirus . All of our volunteers and the majority of our staff are in compulsory social isolation for 12 weeks, because of disability, chronic health conditions or age affecting either themselves or their families – so they will not be in the office again until the end of June 2020 at the earliest.
However, all the staff can still work by phone from home. Therefore, if you need advice or help, please phone us on 01473 217313 and put a message on the answerphone. Leave your name, telephone number and a brief message, for example, ‘I need help with my PIP form’, and we will get back to you. Please be patient as only one person is able to come in to take the messages off the answerphone, so it may take a couple of days to get back to you.
You can also send us an email from this website.
Some people are finding it difficult to work out how we can help to complete a form over the phone, but we can explain how we will be doing this when we speak to you.
Many deadlines for the return of benefit forms have been automatically extended so there is no need to panic.
All assessments are being postponed, and for people already in receipt of the benefit, but it is being reviewed, the payments will continue at the same rate until it is safe to hold assessments.
Tribunal hearings are still going ahead but also by phone, although some people have been notified of a change of date or time.
Stay safe and keep well.
The Ipswich Disabled Advice Bureau is a local, independent charity, which celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2018, founded in 1973 as a small drop-in centre, that became a registered charity in 1981 and a not-for-profit company in 1996. We work to support people with any form of disability, their carers, families and others in related fields, who live in Ipswich and the surrounding area, including Kesgrave, the Shotley peninsular and westwards to Hadleigh and Stoke-by-Nayland. We currently employ one full time and eight part time staff, supported by twelve volunteers. We are a user-led organisation, meaning that over 50 percent of our Trustees, staff and volunteers have a disability themselves.
We provide free and confidential advice, information, advocacy at our town centre office, outreach services – currently one in Brantham and one in partnership with VoiceAbility and based at their offices, with a further outreach in Hadleigh – and a home visiting service for people who cannot get to our office or outreaches. Formal, and informal, partnerships with other organisations underpin most of our activities.
In an average month we deal with over 800 enquiries and 230 cases. The support includes, but is not limited to:
- discussing welfare benefit entitlement including tax credits, housing benefit and council tax benefit
- Assistance with completing claim forms, from Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) to those for Blue Badges, including forms that now have to be completed online
- Employment issues including advice for disabled jobseekers
- Special educational needs with screening and advice for adults with dyslexia
- Provide representation for appeals
- A wheelchair hire service
- A debt and money management service that is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
To support the work of the Ipswich DAB you can become a member. Subscription is £5 per year for individuals and £10 per year for organisations and companies.