Help and advice needed!!!

Hi...I am new to this forum but was hoping someone might be able to offer some help and advice.....

I am a disabled person with a so-called "hidden disability"....I claimed benefits at the start of my chronic illness 19 years ago but improved and was advised (wrongly, it now seems) to hand all my benefit books back in and get a job....

This I duly did and have been fortunate enough to be employed pretty much since then.....however, over the last five months my health has deteriorated again and I have been off sick from work (on my GP's and Consultant's advice). My employer has been very supportive and I've been lucky enough to be paid my full wage since then...however, this is due to stop and I am going onto half pay in two weeks.....

I'm single and live alone with quite a large (to me) mortgage....because I do not claim any benefits and haven't for a very long time....I have no other income.....I have tried to get advice about benefits from the benefits agency/DWP....they were, I thought quite unhelpful and not a lot of woman I spoke to did say I could submit a claim for Incapacity benefit when I drop to half pay...but neglected to mention that this has now been phased out....I understand the rules for the replacement benefit are much stricter.....on half pay I will only be able to pay my mortgage and council tax...i won't be able to pay any other bills, never mind eat.....I don't have any debt to speak of but with utility bills rising/credit crunch and the fact that I have to attend the hospital (12 miles away and £3 to park each time) frequently and also have to pay for my prescriptions (I have a 'season ticket' at £11 per month and my 9 medications are all extremely essential and life-saving) I really need some income from somewhere/benefits/help in some way......

I have tried to garner help from various sources but there seems to be very little help for someone in my position.....I feel like I'm going round in circles and being fobbed off by everyone....I did contact the local D.I.A.L but was told there was a waiting list for an appointment and they were not taking any new referrals.....

So my question is this...any advice, tips, places I could go for help?? All the worry about this is making me feel worse than I already do and obviously impeding my recovery....I'm nearly at the end of my tether and really don't want depression or anxiety to be added to my (long) list of health problems....

Many thanks and here's hoping....



  • I don't suppose you have a payment protection plan on your mortgage do you? If so, now's the time to put in a claim.

    It would probably be worth your while filling in a claim form for the new employment assistance benefit (sorry, can't remember what its correct name is) and you would probably also be eligible for some kind of housing benefit and council tax benefit once you drop to half pay. I know that the housing benefit doesn't become available to you as a homeowner until some time after you went sick, but it would be worthing looking into.

    If you have a long term condition that affects your mobility and leaves you with care needs (even if you're having to care for yourself) then it would be worth claiming DLA - if you look at the top of this page, there's a thread started by a DLA/AA decision maker. He may be able to point you in the right direction regarding DLA.

    Very sorry to hear that your health has gone downhill again. I hope that things will improve and that you'll be able to return to work before too long.

    Have you contacted CAB with regard to finding out what help is available to you? I know their ability varies depending upon which area you live in, but I have to say I've always found my local one to be very helpful.

    Oh, and your local Job Centre should have a disability employment advisor who should be able to advise you as well. Unfortunately, my experience of my local one was less that positive - but the one in your area might be slightly less use than a chocolate fireguard.

    Sorry I can't be more help at the moment - if I think of anything else, I'll get back to you.
  • allydowdallydowd Forumite
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    j-lo1972uk wrote: »

    I have tried to garner help from various sources but there seems to be very little help for someone in my position.....I feel like I'm going round in circles and being fobbed off by everyone....I did contact the local D.I.A.L but was told there was a waiting list for an appointment and they were not taking any new referrals.....:

    (1) Go to Entitledto and find out what you can claim.

    (2) Contact your local CAB for help in claiming.

    (3) Find an organisation to support you relevant to your disability. For example, if you have a mental health problem try MIND.
    Debt-free day: 8th May 2015
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  • sharon59sharon59 Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    I am sorry you have these worries when your not well either.I am not an expert but would say phone up straight away for a claims pack for DLA as it sounds like you might be eligible -they can only say no so worth a try.
    As suggested by previous poster go and speak to the disibility advisor at job centre.Yes they are clamping down BUT you take 9 diff pills a day visit hospital regularly and Gp has signed you off sick after 19 yrs of working- the new regs are targeting the people fiddling the system -you definatly dont seem to fall into that catergory so hold your head up and apply and it really sounds like you will get your doctors support.
    :j this money saving is such fun:T
  • sorry to hear things are so tough. Sounds llke you need to get those forms filled in but as you are unfamiliar with the system I would absolutly avoid doing it by yourself, you need independant (ie not from the benefits agency) advice. If DIAL where no use there are others you could try,
    What area do you live in?
    In my area I got help from a charity future prospects who help get people back to employment and where I used to live the carers resource centre helped (even though I wasn't the carer!). If you contact your GP, local CVS (or try DIAL again) they should be able to suggest something like the carers centre.
    As allydowd says, condition specific charities may have a benefits advisor either on the books or they should be able to point you in the right direction.
    good luck
  • Thanks to all of you that offered advice and suggestions....I am going to start an offensive on the local benefits agency, citizens advice and social work department to try and get some help with claiming what I am entitled to.....Thanks again and will keep you posted!xx
  • I had 2 years off work after major surgery and like you had 6 months full pay and then went down to half pay. The problem I found was that my half pay was slightly too much for me to be entitled to any means tested benefits, I would have been much better off financially by resigning and claiming benefits but chose to stick it out and get into debt.

    Now I am back at work and on full pay I get tax credits, free prescriptions and free hospital travel, none of which I got while I was off sick and actually needed them. This country's benefit system is just stupid, it encourages people to give up a job when they become sick and then it is harder to get them back to work once they are better.

    It is worth claiming DLA as this is a needs tested benefit as opposed to a means tested benefit, but pretty much everything else is going to depend on how much you get paid.
    I've given up trying to get my signature to work with the new rules, if nobody knows what the rules are what hope do we have?
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