Help for people with ME/CFS in and around Stockport

Help Claiming Benefits

With the introduction of the ESA (Employment & Support Allowance) in 2008 to replace Incapacity

Benefit and Income Support claims, more people with ME are now having to undergo a ‘Work Capability

Assessment’ and complete a (ESA 50) Limited Capability for Work Questionnaire.

As reported by Brian O’Mullane - a member of our excellent ME aware Stockport Welfare Rights Team –

an increasing number of genuinely ill people with variable illnesses like ME are being turned down at first

attempt, but then winning at appeal.

Whilst successive governments are trying to prevent ‘scroungers’ unfairly getting benefits it is clear that the

new system is not working properly and our national ME charities are fighting this at government level.

So how do you complete benefit forms to ‘win’ first time?

It is strongly recommended that you get ‘ME aware’ advice before starting to fill in the forms.

We now have copies of The ME Association’s up-to-date and very helpful Guides to filling in the ESA 50 (Employment & Support Allowance),

DLA (Disability Living Allowance), IB50 (Incapacity Benefit) form and also information on Reviews and Appeals.

An excellentproactive, independent charity providing benefits advice and guidance on form filing and appeals. Annual membership is available but lots of useful information is free of charge and Stockport ME Group have professional membership so we can give you access to any guides etc. that you need.


Welfare Rights Teams or Citizens Advice Bureaus can provide comprehensive advice on all your benefit entitlements. Some provide help filling in forms/attending appeal tribunal. (Do ask if they have ME experience!)


Greater Manchester Law Centre

They can help with a range of issues and do a lot of work with welfare benefits.

Phone: 0161 769 2244


Welfare Rights - Stockport

Benefits Advice Line: 0161 474 3091 (9am-1pm, Mon-Fri) to talk to Welfare Rights Officers.

For Appeals: 0161 474 3093

Home Visits: 0161 218 1300

Welfare Rights - High Peak

Benefits advice Line: 0845 120 2985

Welfare Rights - Manchester

Helpline: 0161 234 5678 (9am-4pm, Mon-Fri)

Some advisers based in GP surgeries, who should be ME aware. Note; home visits are very rare.

Welfare Rights - Oldham

Contact Citizens Advice Bureau: 0161 620 9317 (Welfare Rights closed down).

Advice and help filling in forms and appeals.

Home visits – Links Adult Support Team: 0161 770 1515. Help filling in forms and advice.

Welfare Rights - Tameside

Helpline: 0800 074 9985 (9.30-12.30pm, Mon, Weds, Thurs)

Two Officers can help filling in DLA forms and support appeals (but no support available for filling in ESA,

ICB forms)

Welfare Rights – Trafford

Benefits Advice Line: 0161 912 2735 (9.30-12.30pm, Mon-Thurs)

Advice on claiming benefits and support for appeals.


Stockport 0844 826 9800 (2-7pm, Mon-Thurs & 2-4pm Fri)

High Peak 01298 214 550

Macclesfield 01625 426 303

Manchester 0845 122 1112

Oldham 0844 847 2638

Tameside 0161 330 2156 / 331 2949

Trafford 0844 499 4103 (10am-4pm, Mon-Fri)


0161 480 7248 (9.30am-4pm, Mon-Fri)

Information, advice, benefits form filling and support for people with physical and sensory disability.

BENEFITS ENQUIRY LINE (Department for Work and Pensions)

0800 882 200 (8.30am-6.30pm, Mon-Fri, 9am-1pm Sat)

0800 441 144 Advice on completing forms. They may not be ME aware!


Call 01302 310 123 for details of your nearest branch.



Please contact SMEG’s Information Line 0845 519 4116, if you find any other useful phone numbers.

Ann Innes - Welfare Right Specialist

Ann can provide one to one support and advice for
people struggling with any manner of welfare issues.

Ann worked as Welfare Rights adviser for

Stockport M.E. Group for over a year and, having had the illness herself, is fully M.E. aware.

She charges £20 an hour plus costs.

You can email Ann at or
telephone 07535 270985 for further information.