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Helping out DM (long!)(12 Posts)
Before I start, I feel horrendously guilty for posting but I've spent most of the night awake stressing and it can't continue.
My wonderful DM is having some serious financial shit ATM. She has a works pension, a pt job and low rate DLA. Due to starting a job in Oct, her money is completely messed up. She gets barely any pay from her job, they stopped her HB until they saw how much she'd earn and although she handed in her payslip just before Christmas, we are still being fobbed off about the delay as they have a backlog because of Christmas and NY. I have informed them that it's ridiculous to use 4 days of closure as an excuse for 3 week's delay and I'm .we have applied for WTC because she works 16 hrs and is disabled and we have now exhausted any other monies she may be able to receive. She lives on her own in a large private rental and would be devastated to downsize.
Now DM is the most generous person going (too much so and in the past Dsis has used this to her advantage, unfortunately.) DM has helped me out of hole on several occasions and I don't grudge her a penny. I've covered 2 and 1/2 months rent for her but I'm now seriously struggling myself. I put a fair bit of shopping on my DP and my CC for her but this is racking up now and is fast hurtling towards 1k! He is completely understanding about the situation but we are all panicking about how DM is going to pay it back. She's 100% good for it and has asked us to calculate the interest accrued too, but I know it's going to take months to pay it off. She asked again yesterday for me to pay a bill on my CC and I can't say no. DP went pale when he heard how much she is due.
To make things worse, her mental state is rather fragile, she is talking about not wanting to 'be here' any more. she says this occasionally but thank God had never done anything. I can't say no to any more help. I'm very early stage PG after 2 MC and the stress is really getting to me. She won't downsize as she often has my DSis's kids and loves her home so much. I've thought about asking my aunt if she can offer her a loan to tide her over but it's only making her debt worse. I thought about trying to get her a crisis loan but again, it's only dragging the problem on. She is completely under qualified for the job she does and I'm working on persuading her to get another in her field. Due to workplace bullying, which has contributed towards her mental state (with physical manifestations) she lacks confidence in a lifelong career.
WWYD in this situation?
I work in Housing Benefit. If they are dragging their heels, ring up as often as you can (every couple of days) asking them to make it urgent.
You say that you have had crisis loans, have you applied for a hardship payment? That's done through the jobcentre.
Is she getting appropriate medical treatment? does this need changing if she is not able to get the work she needs (I assume you meant over-qualified, not under-qualified)
Have you thought about looking for job adverts yourself for things she could do, and helping her to apply for them?
I know this is hard, but you need to let your Mum know that she needs to get her own credit, if using yours is making you feel ill.
Quite frankly, unless she is in social housing, where the rents are cheap even with the bedroom tax, I would suggest that you have a look at smaller properties together, and make suggestions to her about bunk beds, making a tent on the sitting room floor etc for the grandkids.
Equally, if she really does need that space, then shouldn't whoever's kids are staying be responsible for paying part of her rent?
Thank you for your reply, most helpful advice. She hasn't had a crisis loan but I've considered it, I probably made little sense in the middle of the night. I didn't realise there was something called a hardship payment; I shall look into that. We found out who was next up in the chain in HB and she called them. They said its been far too long and they will push to speed things up. I will get her to call again though.
I've suggested social housing but they've said she's only entitled to a one bed. We tried to look at the fact that in the past she's needed occasional care overnight (from me) but as the DLA is low rate she can't get an extra bedroom for a carer. The only thing that is actually stopping her becoming completely depressed is her lovely house. With HB, WTC, pension and pay she actually could afford it do she doesn't want to chuck it all in right now, I totally agree that it's what she should do too though. My Dsis is in Social Housing and not in a position to pay DM back what she's due her so there's no way she will pay anything towards rent.
She does have a CC but I'm assuming its maxed out as she can't pay the min this mth.I'm def going to help her find a new job, the problem has been that she can only work certain times of the day due to medication/ pain issues. We will look again though. She is fiercely proud and has gone from high up in the ranks to being forced into early retirement (that or medical discharge so no choice really) with the onset of her disabilities. This is where the workplace bullying came in.
I doubt she will qualify for WTC as she's not quite disabled enough. Based on your advice I will look into all you have suggested with her and thank you I felt much less stressed just writing it all down (if disloyal!) and you've made a lot of sense of it for me.
Missed a bit, her health issues are as controlled as they can be apart from one issue that she is neglecting. One which affects her health but not her ability to work. I've nagged till I'm blue in the face as its potentially fatal if she doesn't sort it out. Sadly, this could actually be why she won't.
I really don't want to be harsh as it's lovely that you are offering your mum so much support.
But you really need to take a step back here, god forbid the stress should affect your pregnancy.
As practical advice, do you know her income and outgoings? If not, can you go through them together and help her to put a budget together?
Thanks Jean. In the last couple of hrs we have been given a payment date for next week (hundreds of pounds backdated!) and relief all round.
I totally get what you are saying about my pregnancy, I've been worried about it too. DM it transpires has asked a wealthy family member to help to ease pressure on me, thank goodness they said of course. She doesn't like to advertise her money worries which is why i help so much. The issue is that I know she is trying so hard to improve her situation. I know all her income and outgoings and the trouble was that the latter was much more than the former. She has always worked so hard and now that she has disabilities she, in her words, feels like she is cap in hand. I know she's proud and I've worked hard on getting her to see that she is only taking out of the pot what she has put in.She's too young by a few yrs for state pension yet but if we can get WTC she will be fine until then. My income is sporadic and I help when I can, but the next few months are tight.
Thank you for your insight.
Oh that's great news, I hope the payment comes through on time.
I hope everything goes well with the pregnancy and I'm sure your mum knows how lucky she is to have such a caring and supportive daughter.
Thanks Jean, she does often say it and she's actually really good to me too. When she does have money she's always treating us. Good team work, I reckon.
Hopefully next time you can persuade her to keep the treat money in the bank for a rainy day.
Definitely! She wanted to take me on holiday last time she had some but eventually agreed to a nice dinner out and a new dress instead. It's lovely that she wants to treat but 50 quid instead of 500 is plenty. We have such a laugh it doesn't really matter anyway. She's still great fun although there's a lot of rough times ATM.
What an uplifting thread. May you and your dear mum have many fun times ahead.
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