At the beginning of the year, Frenkel Topping Group were delighted to launch our new set of company values, devised after consultation with colleagues across the Group, from every business and level of seniority.  We seek to embody these values (Think Differently, Act With Integrity, Show Resilience, Make It Easy, Give It Heart and Respect) and provide services to our clients that lean into them.

A shining example of this is the service our Welfare Benefits team provides, specifically positioned to support Personal Injury, Clinical Negligence and Court of Protection clients.

The team is part of Frenkel Topping Limited (FTL), and has been a key component of our service offering for over 10 years.  Led by Lauren Walsh, Welfare Benefits Manager, the team specialises in dealing with the same vulnerable client cohort that FTL deals with; individuals who have sustained injury, or have long term health conditions or disabilities.  These clients are referred to us via litigation solicitors and Deputies and we believe that an important part of our work with solicitors is to educate and inform, and provide meaningful support when they have clients in need of our services.

By default, individuals with injuries or disabilities have less opportunity for full time working and so ensuring their income is maximised, whilst also protecting the damages they are awarded, is vital.  Untangling the benefits system can be overwhelming no matter what an individual’s personal circumstances are, and Lauren’s team meets the challenge of being benefits experts that can deal with disability-related injuries but also have knowledge about how injury and negligence compensation and investments should be treated.  They work with a blend of clients across the spectrum of their litigation journey, so they may be dealing with individuals whose claim has settled, or those who’ve received an interim payment.

This work can take many forms; such as benefits applications, reviews, appeals, and Mandatory Reconsiderations.  The system is a frequently evolving one and the Welfare Benefits team monitor updates so that when a client has been signposted to them by a lawyer, they can be across the process.

One of the key focal points in recent months has been on the ramping up of managed migration: the process by which the DWP is moving legacy claimants onto Universal Credit. The language around this migration can be confusing and the DWP’s ambition to move 400,000 claimants onto Universal Credit by the end of this year is lofty.  The team is therefore providing support to individuals to help them navigate through the managed migration process and to ensure they receive the appropriate rate of benefit under Universal Credit.

We are also aware of an additional cohort of individuals under Deputyship whom we have been advised by the DWP should not be in the managed migration process as the DWP’s system is not sufficiently set up to manage third parties.  Although the team will continue to remain alert to changes on behalf of this cohort, Lauren’s team has already found examples of clients in this position who’ve received their managed migration letter.  If you are a Deputy with a client in this position, it is strongly advised that you seek further advice about whether the client should be moved or they should be challenging this.

Recent statistics highlight the urgent need for the Welfare Benefits team’s support; last year, the DWP estimated that 12 million individuals are living in absolute poverty in the UK and Universal Credit has been cited as an influence on this.  Around 20% of these households include someone with a disability.  We know that due to the circumstances many of our clients find themselves in, they are at increased risk of being one of this tragic statistic.  This year alone, Lauren’s team has identified £782,017 in gains for clients,* an average of over £200k a month.  This can be a lifeline to those individuals and create real changes in circumstances.

Lauren’s focus will always be on ensuring that her team keeps meeting their purpose of providing outstanding advice and support for these vulnerable individuals and that the damages their lawyer secures for them are NOT used for day to day living expenses.  Working in tandem with our Consultancy team, the Welfare Benefits team together will make sure clients are achieving the best possible financial outcomes, and that compensation awards are maximised so that both income streams allow clients to live the best quality of life they can.  It is the embodiment of our Give It Heart value.

Lauren will also be forming part of our panel of speakers at our forthcoming Deputy Day on 9th May and will be providing valuable insight about how her team can support Deputies.

If you are not attending Deputy Day or would like some more in-depth advice on behalf of a client, you can get in touch with us via .  We are also able to provide bespoke in-house training for your team on Welfare Benefits advice.

*Accurate to 5th April 2024.