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To shamelessly try to milk the system?

(28 Posts)
CloudyBayDrainageSystem Thu 03-Oct-13 22:18:10

Well, its actually not for me...

My brother is dying. (Gulp. Not often you type that). Stage 4 emphysema, on oxygen, unable to walk more than a couple of minutes. This combined with severe asthma, Crohn's disease, and a host of severe allergies. You get the drift.

He finally gave up work a few weeks ago (self employed builder) and has qualified for DLA, but he (and me and the whole family) is completely new to this...

Is there anyone who can help identify what he can claim? His house is in negative equity (£120k interest-only mortgage), he's applied for housing benefit. He's also applied for a new boiler (last one broke about 8 months ago). I think he has also applied for help with council tax.

Is that it, or is there other stuff? He can drive still so doesn't need a carer yet (he will do at some stage). The benefits office don't seem to help him - but I suspect he's so embarrassed to be there that he probably hasn't asked the right questions.

He's 50, currently pays a small amount of maintenance for 16 yo daughter (he will get a lot of grief if he stops paying) and he lives on his own in 2 bed house.

Any advice? I - and the extended family - will of course fill all the gaps to make sure he is ok, but he's a proud man and would like to not lean on us if he can help it. But we have no idea how the benefits system works and what support he can get... I am hoping someone on here might be able to guide us...

CocacolaMum Thu 03-Oct-13 22:22:45

I am sorry to hear this, I am not sure what help you could ask for but have you tried approaching or even citizens advice?

Hopefully someone here will know more

NoisyDay Thu 03-Oct-13 22:28:20

I have no experience with this,but bumping for sorry about your brother,I hope you can get something sorted for him.

kangarooshoes Thu 03-Oct-13 22:36:47

A social worker should be able to help you, but good luck finding one. Macmillian, Marie Curie, the local hospice, CAB etc should be able to help.

I'm sorry you're going through this, and how wonderful your brother has a sister willing to ensure he gets the help he needs and deserves. This is why we have a welfare state, it's not milking the system.

gandalfcat Thu 03-Oct-13 22:37:22

i'm so sorry to hear your family is facing this - I think macmillan nurses have people who can help you negotiate the system. best wishes to you all.

D0G Thu 03-Oct-13 22:40:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gallicgirl Thu 03-Oct-13 22:43:45

Employment support allowance.
He can't get housing benefit because he owns his home but he can get help with council tax. If anyone has to move in to care for him at some point, they could be disregarded so he continues to get council tax discount.
Hopefully his dla is fast tracked.
I can't think of anything else at this point.

pizzachickenhotforyou Thu 03-Oct-13 22:44:42

if he drives, i think he can get some help with the cost of the car. I think possibly a travel card too. sorry you're going though this.

kangarooshoes Thu 03-Oct-13 22:45:30

I was sure Macmillan don't just do cancer.

but, it appears they do. Sad. The local hospice will know who can help, if you give them a ring?

D0G Thu 03-Oct-13 22:47:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Donkeyok Thu 03-Oct-13 22:49:41

Im sorry to hear this. I hope you get the advice you need.

AmberLeaf Thu 03-Oct-13 22:52:39

If he has a terminal illness his application for DLA will be fast tracked.

CloudyBayDrainageSystem Thu 03-Oct-13 23:00:14

Ah shit. Not sure i can deal with talking to hospices yet. No, that's probably a step too far at the moment. Even writing it down was hard enough, certainly couldn't discuss it with anyone.

Hadn't thought of social worker help. How do you get a social worker? Via GP? Will ask DB if he's asked GP.

His main fear is that he will lose house and then be in a bedsit or b&b which means his DD won't be able to visit...which I imagine is a potential scenario if he can't cover mortgage (I can help easily, if it came to that, but he usually refuses).

His DLA is already through, thank god. After all the scare stories in the press we thought it would be a nightmare, but they actually stopped him from completing the tests because they said they had enough evidence and it would not be healthy for him to continue. Then they fast tracked it. Small mercies.

kangarooshoes Thu 03-Oct-13 23:03:38

Hospices are not just for "the end", you know. But I know what you mean...

There should be a social worker through the hospital team looking after him. Is he an outpatient?

His GP should be able to write to social services to make a referral.

Sindarella Thu 03-Oct-13 23:08:43

If he cant get about without his car he might get something towards tax or fuel.
If hes registered disabled he should get a winter fuel allowance.
Housing will pay the interest on his mortgage, but i'm not sure about the second bedroom he has with the bedroom tax thing. Even though its not called bedroom tax, hb will only pay for what you need ie one bedroom one living room etc.
Council tax benefit stopped in April, its now down to the local council, i know we no longer have it where i live.
Hopefully someone can tell you more

Souredstones Thu 03-Oct-13 23:09:40

Contact social services for a community care assessment and to discuss self directed support for his care needs

Canthisonebeused Thu 03-Oct-13 23:12:02

You could contact adult social services without a GP referral. However you may also get quicker responce if you call the local hospice to refer. My mum died a long time ago and all the help and advice we received was via the hospice also. They will probably do a home visits.

AnandaTimeIn Thu 03-Oct-13 23:12:22

So sorry you are going through this.

Don't live in UK so cannot really help. Where I am you go through your GP for social workers and other help in this situation. They can fast track. But you really have to keep on it. Chasing them up and endless on hold phone calls, etc. Cos due to beaurocracy (sp?!), demand, lack of funds etc. it can all get snowed under.

All the best.

cindersinsuburbia Thu 03-Oct-13 23:12:47

My grandad has stage 4 copd for over 18 months now and is on oxygen - he's very much ok for now but is in a similar place to your brother.

He gets attendance allowance and that's it. He's over 80 and I'm not sure if he would be entitled to DLA he probably would I imagine. I also get carers allowance for him

Otherwise honestly not much else happens he's on pro - active care and has a district nurse visit every week. He also had carers paid for by SS but that's because he had no savings.

Sorry if it sounds crude but it's a very different type of 'dying' to say terminal cancer and possibly could last years - so I think funding and hospices and the like are treated differently

Souredstones Thu 03-Oct-13 23:13:24

Quickest way to get social services help is to call them directly whilst you're with your brother so he can answer any immediate questions and give his consent for you to speak on his behalf.

Ring direct, don't go through a third party

Sindarella Thu 03-Oct-13 23:13:36

Oh and VAT, on things he needs to help him due to his illness, or repairs. You'll need to double check on what exactly falls into those categories though.

Blue badge too.

amistillsexy Thu 03-Oct-13 23:14:20

Did he take out any sort of insurance when he took out the mortgage/ it's worth checking with the bank, as often we take out these policies at the time without even thinking about what they contain.
Hopefully he'll have had some good advice at the time, and have a life assurance/insurance policy that might pay off the mortgage.

flowers for you and your family

slapandpickle Thu 03-Oct-13 23:14:55

I'm so sorry.

There are special rules for people who are terminally ill. There's a form called DS1500 he may have been issued by doctors - he can use this to claim the high rate of dla/pip care with a v fast turnaround (already done?) as well as potentially gain exemption from ESA medical assessments. You must be very very unwell to get one of these though. If you can talk to his doc or copd nurse with his permission they will tell you if it is appropriate just now.

New claims for dla haven't been accepted since June (April in some areas) is he just living on this or is it another benefit?

dla or new version introduced in June, PIP, is non means tested and paid alongside sickness benefits such as ESA.

he can claim means tested ESA (New incapacity) if his income is low (below about £130 pw) or nil and savings below 16k- as he has been self employed he won't be entitled to the non means tested benefit. google ESA New claims number if hw isn't getting it, its best to get claim started by phone.

if he can get a med cert from GP backdated 3 months he can claim 3 months back payment of ESA or up to the date he stopped work whichever is later. after 13 weeks on ESA he will be able to claim support for mortgage interest with form MI12 - pays about 3.6% max, exact rate is on website. he should also get disability premiums (extra money on esa) if he lives alone, triggered from the dla depending what rate care he gets. an appropriate rate would sound like high mobility and low/mid care, high care if he is v unwell. low is for care a few times in day, mid for all day care or frequent night care, high for both day/night care or terminal illness (special rules)

you go through your county council adult social care team for help around the home etc so do check their website, he will be entitled to an assessment of his needs and Occ Therapist help with aids and adaptations at home eg stairlift, grab rails if needed, adjustable chair. he should also have automatic entitlement to blue badge and free car tax if dla high mobility is in payment. through county council / dvla respectively. even if he can't continue to drive he can have a badge for someone to drive him.

the max CSA he will be expected to pay while getting ESA will be 5 pounds a week.

if he is in Brighton or east Sussex I can provide useful phone numbers / organisations.

sorry for long confusing post if you have specific question I will answer there is an awful lot of help out there and not publicised.

ijustwanttobeme Thu 03-Oct-13 23:15:17

He should claim employment support allowance as he is unable to work due to illness. This is claimed via the DWP ( job centre)

He can claim council tax reduction ( benefit) fr

ijustwanttobeme Thu 03-Oct-13 23:20:34

Cont: from the council - he should already be getting 25% discount if he is the only adult in the property.

He may be able to claim mortgage interest relief ( after a qualifying period, I believe). This is claimed via the DWP too.

Bedroom tax doesn't come into it as he is not renting his property.

Does he have much in the way of savings/ capital- ignoring house itself ( disregarded as is his main residence)

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