to claim DLA

(38 Posts)
gasfirebroken Wed 03-Apr-13 17:53:54

I think I am being U, by the way, but I'd be so interested to hear what people think.

I have a complete moral dilemma and I can't make a decision. I get DLA and to say it has been a lifeline over the last few years has been an understatement. I pretty much spend the full amount each year; it has covered a wheelchair (electric and manual), memory foam mattress (which means I can sleep without pain of which I get a lot), a carer at £1000 a year, a stairlift and even a couple of (very cheap) holidays which when I've had depression have honestly saved my life because I'm mostly housebound and see the same four walls day in day out, and have done for 10+ years.

Anyway, I don't want to go into the ins and out of my finances but basically I was on a very low income for many years, but 2 months ago my parents helped me buy a house. My mortgage is low and I've got in a lovely lodger to help pay the bills. Suddenly for the first time in my life I am financially sound. I have savings from before I acquired my disability (worked for 5 years in a good job) worth £10k too which I appreciate is a good cushion that I'm lucky to have. I do have a part time job (work mostly from home) which brings in a small amount too.

With all the horrendous cuts I've seen friend after friend lose money from their benefits, I've read on here how much people are struggling and I suddenly don't feel it's morally right for me to claim DLA anymore. I feel very torn. It's cutting me up and I feel sickened with guilt.

On the one hand, I own my house, have my savings, my very part time income and have my lodger. There is enough money coming in to cover all my basics but not more than that. I shouldn't get DLA.

On the other, although my basics are covered, my disability is very expensive, and I will struggle covering the costs of it long term without DLA. My biggest issue is having had some huge mental health issues in the past I could well find myself suddenly unable to cope with having a lodger, which would be a big loss of income. It's a very real possibilty - my lodger is nice for now but lodgers can be shit, I have experience of that and have been in utterly crap houseshares in the past. Add in depression and PTSD and it's a bad mix. And DLA is going out and being replaced by PIP and I've convinced myself that if I suddenly need to apply in the future I won't be eligible. I'm 100% unable to work more hours; it's impossible. I have tried. My disability isn't going to get better either. So I come down the side of keeping my DLA, but maybe not applying for PIP when it comes into being, or reviewing things then. Or of course there's the option of keeping it and giving it all to charity.

I really feel strongly I should give up my DLA, I feel deeply uncomfortable getting it right now. I do feel a fair, financially stable society should contribute towards an individuals costs which arise from their health but that isn't the society we have right now. I certainly don't want to receiving state money when so many people don't and have a greater need. I also don't want to be seriously struggling financially in a bit because buying, say, a new adapted car has wiped out my savings, I can't cope with getting a lodger in, and I can't get PIP. I have no dcs btw, and no partner, if that makes any difference. Not sure I'm well enough to go out and meet men so no prospect really of having a relationship.

I'd appreciate people's views. I've been reading a lot on here how if you have x amount of savings you shouldn't get any state response full stop so I have an inkling of what is going to be said, and as I've said I think the moral thing to do is to ask not to receive it anymore. I am trying to do the right thing here. Thank you.

PuggyMum Wed 03-Apr-13 18:32:56

OP one of my good friends gets dla and like you is very torn. She has a good job for now but likely as her condition worsens she'll need to reduce hours etc. Her dla allows her the option of taking cabs to work when she's in too much pain to drive.

I also work with a girl who is more or less blind and receives dla. She uses her dla to pay for transport to work as she can't drive.

Dla allows my friends the opportunity to fight their disability and be on a level playing field with society. I do not begrudge either of them, or any genuine claimant which I believe you are also.

As another poster said, these are examples of how this benefit should work in reality.

Please continue claiming. It seems it gives you a lease of life and you can repay any debt you feel you owe society in other ways.

I do not begrudge either

buggerama Wed 03-Apr-13 18:33:40

OP, I am taking the DWP to a tribunal to fight for my ESA. As it stands, I will no longer be paid it from Dec 21st. I am really stressed by it. I have to stand (or sit!) in front of a panel and convince them that I cant work. I feel like an utter scrounger, I am losing sleep over it, I have to appeal or I've just given up. They make it so hard and complicated

I hate the tories, and I hate the DM.

Sorry, this is by the by, but I am saying I hear you, I get what you are saying

Varya Wed 03-Apr-13 18:36:50

It seems to me that you should get your benefits as you do all you can to deal with the financial implications your disability imposes. Claim all you can and never feel guilty or undeserving. Happy that my taxes join the pot to help good souls like you. XX

You do know that our multi-millionaire prime minister claimed DLA for his disabled son?

Keep claiming it. If he claimed it when he didn't need it then you should definitely claim it as you have no idea how things will be financially for you in a year or 2 years.

ScarlettInSpace Wed 03-Apr-13 18:48:23

If you don't need it now but are concerned you may lose it in the future but may struggle to reclaim later, rather than give it up before you have to why not keep claiming While you can but put it straight into your savings?

fuzzysnout Wed 03-Apr-13 18:55:57

DLA is not means tested for a good reason. It is to help with the cost of your disability which are still ongoing. You sound like a lovely person and its great that you are doing so well now, however as you say, the situation e.g. with your lodger could change.
If your disability had gone I would agree that you should stop claiming. As it is, you are entitled to the money. You can't predict the future and as you say it may well be much more difficult (or impossible) to put in a new claim in the future. You are entitled to the money so please don't convince yourself otherwise.

Toasttoppers Wed 03-Apr-13 19:19:22

I bet you would rather not have physical and mental pain op, please don't put yourself down.I see no problem at all in you claiming this. If you have some spare cash and feel a bit guilty why not make make a regular standing order or contribution to a local food bank however small the amount is.

You sound lovely btw

bigbluebus Wed 03-Apr-13 19:20:59

Keep claiming it while you can OP. It is to cover the additional costs of living with a disability. Spend it on making your life more bearable. If you want to give some of it away, then that it your perogative. It is your money to do with as you wish.
Do bear in mind though that if you become ill and unable to work again and need to claim other benefits at that time, then you will lose out if you have more than £6000 in savings.

Ledkr Wed 03-Apr-13 19:26:16

Good luck to you. Ds has renal fsure and has been waiting for a transplant for a year. We are not very optimistically awaiting the decision for his DLA. In the meantime he has just SSp of 80 to love on and has to pay twenty a week towards his rent. All this because he's too ill to work.
If you are entitled to it op then definitely keep it. Having a lodger must mean your not exactly rich.

libertyflip Wed 03-Apr-13 19:36:00

Another one urging you to keep claiming here. It's horrible that you have been made to feel the way you do. Best wishes to you.

MummytoKatie Wed 03-Apr-13 19:45:09

Claim it. If you never need it then when you die you can leave your money to a charity. But for now, because of your disability, you need the security it helps to give you.

Booyhoo Wed 03-Apr-13 19:50:42

OP you are entitled to this and you need it.

also, even if you stopped claiming it, it wouldn't go to someone else. it really wouldn't so claim what you are entitled to until the fuckers take that from you aswell.

Letitsnow9 Wed 03-Apr-13 21:25:08

I would keep it for now, getting it/pip will be harder in the future and if you are likely to have a period when you can't work/have a lodger you will need something to fall back onto. If you use it for your current disability costs it will mean you can save 'your' money for future hard times. Chances are you will be transferred over to the new benefit soon and might loose it anyway. My DLA accumulated for a bit, thank god it did as I found myself needing to pay for treatment not covered by the nhs and that I couldn't of had had I not been on DLA and like you have needed it to buy things like a more suitable wheelchair when my health changed

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