Claiming Benefits – Top Tips


When this two-page leaflet first appeared as a blog by MEA Welfare Rights Adviser Ann Innes, it received such a warm welcome that we’ve now made it available as a free download.


“The best guidance I’ve seen on applying for disability benefits with M.E. Thank you ⁦@MEAssociation.”

If you’re faced with the daunting task of completing an application for Employment and Support Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Universal Credit – pause a while and read these top tips from Ann Innes, Welfare Adviser to the ME Association.

It could make all the difference to the quality of your submission!

Topics discussed in this leaflet, include:

  • Explain variability.
  • Explain the extent of any fatigue.
  • For PIP explain why aids or assistance would not help.
  • Remember to use the word, ‘But’!
  • Ask for permission to record your medical assessment.
  • Get ‘relevant’ medical evidence.
  • Things that may count legally, but you won’t be asked about.

For more detail to help you fill out those important forms, please refer to the guides to Personal Independence Payment and ESA/Universal Credit. We also have a Guide to Reconsiderations and Appeals.

If you prefer you can download the leaflet here without registering via the website shop.

Telephone Helpline

The ME Association telephone helpline – ME Connect – is available every day of the year, during the hours of 10am-12noon, 2pm-4pm and 7pm-9pm. Please phone: 0344 576 5326 if you have any questions or would simply like to talk to someone who is there to listen.

Please note this leaflet is a download. You can read it on-screen and save to your computer, phone or other device and can attach it to any email you might need to send. But you will need access to a printer if you wish it printed.


0344 576 5326

Available every day of the week between these times: 10am - 12noon, 2pm - 4pm and 7pm - 9pm.

Calls cost the same as other standard landline numbers (starting 01 or 02). If you have a call package for your landline or mobile phone then calls will normally come out of your inclusive minutes.