An Advocacy Charity who launched an app on Jan 16th to “support the UK’s most vulnerable people as they apply for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP)” has received 80,000 visits from more than 60,000 unique users in just eight months.
seAp launched the app, which was funded by the Legal Education Foundation and Comic Relief on January 16th and say they have helped one in every seventeen people register a claim for PIP and one in every fourteen people in preparing for ESA assessment.
The app is web based, free, anonymous and independent and helps people prepare for their medical assessments by going over the questions they are likely to be asked.
seAp say that feedback from users “has shown that advocacy increased their confidence to speak up at their medical assessment and to represent the impact of their disability more accurately.”
CEO Marie Casey advised that “c—app” was launched in response to a growing need to get the right decision, first time” and said that she was “extremely pleased that the results from the first 8 months’ show that c-app has benefited over 90% of visitors who have left with more information about the process.”
She also explained that “people with the strongest cases often find it extremely difficult to describe their needs and are very anxious about applying.”
The ESA Assessment assesses whether people who are unable to work due to illness or disability are eligible for financial aid.
The app provides video tutorials, a guide to the assessment process and how it is scored, tips for filling out the form and answering questions, and details the applicants’ rights, and how to understand the outcome of the process.
The app also provides similar information and practice questions to applicants for a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) which is a new benefit for people aged 16 to 64 to help them pay for the extra costs they incur as a result of long term ill health or a disability.
Finally there is an assessment checklist; the site does not pass any of the data submitted by site-visitors on to third parties.
seAp is an independent charity that provides free independent and confidential advocacy services. The company name stands for Support, Empower, Advocate, Promote, and the charity’s vision is to make sure that the most vulnerable in society are able to make their voices heard.
The purpose of advocacy is to help them to explore their choices and options, access information and services, defend and promote their rights and responsibilities and express their views and concerns, says the company’s website.
seAp also provide advocacy training courses and offer the City & Guilds accredited Qualification in Independent Advocacy, as well as non-accredited courses.
The company has offices across the South of England.