No Idea About Benefits

We are having huge amounts of stress at the moment and neither of us have a clue about benefits having never claimed any before.

My OH has been off work for 7/8 months with a spine injury for which he has had surgery for now and is awaiting his final X-Ray in a few weeks. He has the symptoms remaining though from the injury leg weakness, numbness, tingling, unsteadiness, and his arms are affected the same way as well. Also extreme tiredness.

This Friday he will get his last pay from work and then they're stopping his pay as he's been paid since.

I don't work at the moment due to anxiety problems for which I'm on medication.

Like everyone we have rent and bills to pay and after this week will have no money coming in at all. I try and do bits online but nothing that could pay rent and bills.

What benefits could he get and would it be enough to pay rent and everything? The council tax is due this week as well as other bills and rent has just gone out as well.

Any help would be really good thanks as we're so stressed right now.


  • rogerblack
    rogerblack Posts: 9,446 Forumite
    edited 18 May 2015 at 12:56PM
    Firstly, what benefits are you on?
    Have you considered applying for PIP if you are not already getting DLA?
    A PIP award could in principle be made in a couple of weeks, if you return the form in a couple of days.

    Secondly - he could apply for ESA. (Employment and support allowance).
    In principle, it seems possible that he'd be entitled to it - he needs a note from his doctor saying he can't do at least some work, and then would automatically be paid at least up until an assessment in 13 weeks or so. After that, he would be put in one or the other group depending on severity, or found fit for work.
    In principle, both housing benefit, and council tax support can be claimed on the basis of no income - you need to contact your local council for both of these.

    PIP average new claims are claimed to have an average time to decision of one week under newly released statistics - once the claimant has returned the form.
  • Katie81
    Katie81 Posts: 4 Newbie
    Thank you very much for your reply.

    I am claiming no benefits and neither is he, we never have before which is why we have no clue about it and as time is running out the stress is building even more.

    Could we both apply for PIP? And if I claimed any benefits could I still carry on doing bits of work online, not making much at all but it keeps me busy.

    He has an assessment at the hospital through work soon for them to see if he is fit to return to his job and if not which he thinks will be the case he's hoping they can find him something else to do there.

    I am on medication and currently having CBT as well.
  • pmlindyloo
    pmlindyloo Posts: 13,050 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Personal Independence Payment is not means tested (you could be a millionaire and claim it).

    But it is based on care/mobility needs. You need to have a look at the descriptors

    and see if you think you are eligible. You can both, in theory, claim for PIP.

    If your husband will be receiving no pay from his work then he can apply for Employment support Allowance. As he has been working then he will probably be entitled to contribution based ESA (based on his NI contributions) This is not means tested. You can be added to his claim and he will get an income based 'top up' for you. However, income based means based on income and savings. If you have savings over £16000 then you will not be eligible for the 'top up'.

    If you are eligible for income based ESA then this will give you automatic entitlement to housing benefit and council tax support.

    You can put your details into the calculator on to see your entitlements.

    If you 'earn' any money from your on line work then this has to be declared as income and will be deducted from your ESA. What kind of work are you doing?

    If you husband gets work at his present employment then his claim for ESA might end.

    If you get income based ESA then, as I said, you can receive housing benefit and council tax reduction.

    If you could afford the rent on your accommodation when you began your tenancy and you have not claimed HB during the last 52 weeks then you will have all your rent paid for 13 weeks. After that you would have the maximum housing allowance for your circumstances and if your rent is higher than this you would have to pay the 'top up'.

    So, apply for ESA (google for how to do this) Your husband will need a fit note from his doctor.
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