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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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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?

DeadWomanWalking Wed 03-Apr-13 18:41:01

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.

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

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

gasfirebroken Wed 03-Apr-13 18:28:23

Wow, you have no idea how much your responses mean to me. I was absolutely convinced that every response would say 'it's not morally right to claim it'. I am actually astonished.

Thank you. I really, really hate the government for what it is putting people through but that people are generous enough to be responding to me like this when everyone is affected by cuts is really moving.

crashdoll Wed 03-Apr-13 18:28:18

mrsscoob Wind your neck in!

MMMarmite Wed 03-Apr-13 18:28:03

Well it's up to you. I think you're feeling the effects of the government and daily mail's successful demonisation of disabled people. Unfortunately the 'scroungers' rhetoric makes honest people ashamed to accept help.

Just as we have free healthcare for all, DLA is intended for all people with severe disabilities. It's original purpose was “a financial contribution towards the generality of extra costs experienced by severely disabled people as a direct result of their disabilities”; clearly you still have those large extra costs compared with healthy peers. If the NHS provided free wheelchairs and free carers, would you turn them down? DLA is essentially the same thing, just giving you the money to choose your wheelchair instead. You have a severe disability to deal with, you should be able to receive help for mobility devices without waiting until you are on the breadline.

So I don't think you should feel guilty for claiming, I think it's David Cameron who should be ashamed of the additional stress and stigma his rhetoric is putting on disabled people.

Nonetheless, it's up to you, if you don't feel like claiming you don't have to. There's also the issue that your financial situation might well worsen in the future. Perhaps for now, if you strongly feel that others less well off than you need the money more, you could claim the money and pass it on to a charity for disabled people or a food bank? But it would be totally reasonable to just keep it.

lunar1 Wed 03-Apr-13 18:25:54

I think you should continue to claim, my first husbands disability was unpredictable (severe diabetes and had lost a leg, kidney transplant etc) he could go for weeks where he could work then weeks/months where he couldn't. he put the money aside for a rainy day. It meant I was able to buy an electric bed and other things when things took a turn for the worst, and it allowed me to keep him at home till the end.

If you are eligible to claim then put the money aside, you never know what's around the corner.

gasfirebroken Wed 03-Apr-13 18:25:24

Laurie that's the thing I keep coming back to; even if I'm ok now I simply have no idea what things will be like in 5, 10 years time and if I'm going to lose my DLA in 18 months it makes sense to keep getting it for now. I certainly have no confidence that if I ended up in a bad place and ran my savings down I'd end up with any benefits at all given what my friends have been through. Things could become dire very quickly and I'd bitterly resent having given up money which could help make life bearable. To be honest I'm scared of what might happen in 10 years time if I had no income from lodgers, poorer health, not being deemed ill enough to get state support, no partner as I age - I think my future could be very bleak. It slightly terrifies me (I should stress I have a lot of good things in my life at present though including a good family and nice hobbies, so life is definitely worth living at present)

thereonthestair Wed 03-Apr-13 18:25:22

For heavens sake don't give it up. You didn't chose to be disabled, nor to have the additional costs of your disability, you have needed a carer. It's there because you are disabled, and this current we're all in it together crap is going to make more and more people who are entitled to a non means tested benefit give it up. It won't stop people choosing to minimise their tax, as morally people seem to see that as different. If you are entitled to it keep it. I would bet you actually spend more than dla on the additional costs of your disability as it is especially once you factor in your loss of earnings. (I claim dla for my son and have no qualms about it at all despite the fact I am wealthy. I spend every penny and then some on ds's disability. My son needs it, just as you do.). I am so cross that society has got genuine claimants believing that there are "undeserving" poor.

buggerama Wed 03-Apr-13 18:24:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Babyroobs Wed 03-Apr-13 18:22:10

Can you give it to charity or something, but keep claimimg the money in case you need it at some point in the future.

WishIdbeenatigermum Wed 03-Apr-13 18:22:03

Claim it. I for one am happy that my taxes, in a minute way,
support you. If its really stressing you out can you 'repay' some of what the DLA allows you to do with your time and expertise? Find a helpline where you can do the odd evening from home, or be a volunteer befriender for the elderly or reader?

gasfirebroken Wed 03-Apr-13 18:21:38

Branleuse - definitely. Ten times over. I'd like to be married, I'd like to have children, I'd like to have a career. I'd sell my soul for those things.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 03-Apr-13 18:21:08

You meet the criteria and I urge you to continue to claim - simply because it could be very hard to RE apply and you have no idea what the financial costs of your disability will be in the future.

gasfirebroken Wed 03-Apr-13 18:20:59

Thistle I think that's a good idea, perhaps at the end of each financial year whatever I haven't spent I could give to charity (preferably one helping people who have been affected by these bastard cuts). I already volunteer for one measly hour a week.

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