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About aspergers

(38 Posts)
Lime19 Sun 22-Oct-17 16:37:50

Can you please help settle an argument between dh and I.

We have a relative that we think has aspergers. She's in her 30s and displays a lot of the symptoms. However she has not been formally diagnosed.

Dh thinks that if she gets formally diagnosed she will be able to claim all sorts of benefits and not work again! Get her house paid for etc.

Currently she does work (for another relative) but in reality she is probably unemployable due to various reasons. So on paper she has worked for last 15 years. She certainly is capable but has poor social skills that would make getting and keeping a job hard.

I have read various things on mumsnet about how bloody hard it is to get disability benefits for anything!

So what chance does she have if getting enough benefits to survive on.

Or am I right in my thinking, she's gonna fall through the cracks and the government will not help her?

Nikephorus Sun 22-Oct-17 16:40:30

I have a formal diagnosis of Asperger's. I receive no benefits. I pay tax.

Abra1d Sun 22-Oct-17 16:42:36

My Asperger's nephew works for a management consultancy and my Dad who also had it, worked in insurance.

Doubt having ASD will be a benefits ticket unless there's a lot else going on.

YouTheCat Sun 22-Oct-17 16:43:21

I don't know anyone who is an Aspie who gets disability benefits though there may be some who do. I don't think it would be worth the stress of applying if she already has a job.

ComingUpTrumps Sun 22-Oct-17 16:46:09

Hi OP.

I volunteer with Citizens Advice, and have started learning about the benefits system and how it works.

In theory, it seems quite straightforward to claim benefits (fill out a few forms and then you receive benefits). In reality though, and from what I've learned through volunteering, it's a lot more difficult.

If your relative receives a diagnosis for ASD (which can take a lot of time, energy and money to pursue), she may be able to claim PIP (personal independence payments) or ESA (employment and support allowance). However, the process of applying for either of these is very time-consuming and challenging, and may impact negatively on her mental health.

Also, it's worth bearing in mind that the government is moving towards reforming the current benefits system (which has lots of benefits separately contained within it) to Universal Credit, where the idea is to have all of the different benefits in the current system under the same umbrella.

The current problem with Universal Credit is that it's taking quite a long time to roll out, so if your relative receives a diagnosis and qualifies for UC payments, she may have to wait a long time to receive payments.

Aspieparent Sun 22-Oct-17 16:47:40

I have aspergers dh has autism none of us receive any benefits for it. Dh works and I am a sahm.

KadabrasSpoon Sun 22-Oct-17 16:47:42

My brother has autism and can't read / write, limited speech and can't easily go out alone or perform simple tasks. Ask your DH how do I get the free house for him?
There are some benefits that can be claimed depending on lots of factors but even that is a constant battle.
She's better off working if she's able to.

ComingUpTrumps Sun 22-Oct-17 16:48:17

Also, receiving benefits does not necessarily mean that people don't have to work. Benefits payments are normally extremely low, so it's often really difficult to survive on benefits payments alone.

highinthesky Sun 22-Oct-17 16:48:49

I think your DH needs to take a long hard look at himself and stay out of it. He might see this as a solution but in reality it’s none of his business.

SuperSharpShooter Sun 22-Oct-17 16:50:13

You are right. She wont get benefits for aspergers, even if diagnosed. She may get short term benefits fo associated depression/severe anxiety, if she suffers with these and is unable to work.But having worked for 15 years she will be seen as a success story by the health care system. Also, adult diagnosis can take over two years through the NHS.
This has been our experience with my (STBX)H. He has a degree, used to have job, children and a wife. He was practically laughed out of the GP's when we approached them for help. The reality is he cant function in the real world.

CarbyDeadUn Sun 22-Oct-17 16:52:37

DD has Aspergers and gets PIP. It is certainly not enough to live on. I’d quite like a free house too.

purpleangel17 Sun 22-Oct-17 16:52:51

My ex has Aspergers and works.
In theory under the Autism Act 2009 she should be helped to find fulfilling work.
In practice I think it is treated much the same as a mental illness by the welfare system, ie not very well.
But what matters more is whether she wants a diagnosis. If it helps her understand herself better and develop helpful strategies then it could be a good thing for her regardless of benefits.

GrockleBocs Sun 22-Oct-17 16:56:07

she's gonna fall through the cracks and the government will not help her?
It isn't falling through the cracks. Even with diagnosis and a strong advocate there is little help for children or adults.

ArchchancellorsHat Sun 22-Oct-17 16:56:58

I also have aspergers and receive no benefits. Diagnosis would help with employers who are signed up to the guaranteed interview scheme if she can demonstrate basic competence but she still has to get through the interview. But I really wouldn't expect benefits

Ouryve Sun 22-Oct-17 16:57:06

Wow! The free house is a new one.

Two kids with autism and we don't even get a free car. One of them does have a bus pass, though. Small consolation for the likelihood that he will never be able to live independently.

Goldmandra Sun 22-Oct-17 16:57:15

My DD has AS and receives Personal Independence Payment (PIP). This is because she needs support to manage everyday things like meal planning, shopping, etc.

If your relative can live independently without daily support, she is unlikely to qualify for PIP.

If she does needs 35+ hours a week of support and this is provided by someone who isn't working themselves (or earns very little) they may be entitled to claim Carer's Allowance.

She's unlikely to convince an assessor that she cannot do any sort of work so I don't think she would qualify for any other benefits.

justlikearose Sun 22-Oct-17 16:59:54

I have autism and I claim PIP and ESA, and I have a council flat. I'm in the support group of ESA so I'm not required to look for work, and I get the maximum amount of PIP due to my difficulties. My PIP has been awarded for 10 years and ESA for 3 years. I get housing benefit which covers all my rent, and council tax reduction which covers 85% of my council tax bill. I can manage on the amount I get, as the PIP means I get premiums in my ESA. I get about £320 a week in PIP and ESA which is OK since rent and most of my council tax is paid, and I have a free bus pass so no travel costs (can't drive for medical reasons).

I've been getting the benefits for years - even before I was diagnosed as autistic, because my autism has resulted in severe mental health issues and I have problems coping with everyday life. I had a huge amount of interventions through specialists and consultants, who wrote reports which I included with my applications. So it's not really the diagnosis that meant I got awarded the benefits, but a good record of my difficulties, and a lot of effort in filling out the forms. Your relative's chances of getting the benefits will depend a lot on her being able to get supporting evidence from professionals for her difficulties.

Lime19 Sun 22-Oct-17 17:22:20

Thanks all. I think it's what I was thinking then. I'm not sure what we can really do to help with her. Sadly on paper, she has lived independently for 10 years, held a job for 15 BUT she has no friends, no boyfriend. She's terribly lonely. Her flat is a mess (I mean hoarder level with regular infestations). She pushes people away all the time. Including me. In real life, she is not coping.

lookingbeyond40 Sun 22-Oct-17 17:25:04

This is a terrible attitude towards a person who is potentially on the spectrum.

Why on earth shouldn’t she work and I’m not sure why you are discussing it?

It’s atitudes like this that make sure that ONLY 14% of adults on the spectrum work. Working isn’t just about getting money, perhaps for her it involves a lot more, such as self fulfilment, a sense of belonging, a purpose.

RangeTesKopeks Sun 22-Oct-17 17:27:55

She pushes people away all the time. Including me. In real life, she is not coping.

Could you gently suggest that she makes a GP appointment for herself? Could you offer perhaps to go with her to the appointment?

Iamagreyhoundhearmeroar Sun 22-Oct-17 17:31:12

She's terribly lonely. shock. Why doesn't your halfwitted husband do something about that, instead of assuming it would be alleviated by not having to be self supporting and independent?
God, he sounds like a complete numbskull. God love you.

Lovemusic33 Sun 22-Oct-17 17:31:39

It's pretty hard to claim any beniffits for a disability that isn't physical, the new PIP system is geared up for physical disabilities (and even then it's bloody hard to claim). Most people with Aspergers are capable of work and do work although it's proven that it's harder to find work with ASD.

My dd has Aspergers and has plans to go to uni and become a English teacher.

I agree with what others have said that you shouldn't really be discussing it as really it's none of your business. Beniffits are based on indiviadul cases not on a diagnosis.

Ttbb Sun 22-Oct-17 17:36:00

But a lot if people with aspergers have really successful careers? Besides, she has a job so why would she need benefits?

TheABC Sun 22-Oct-17 17:43:44

I am profoundly deaf and do not receive disability benefits - a fact I am very relieved about, given the way claiments are being bullied about ESA and the utter shambles that is the Universal Credit. If she is happy, supported and in secure employment, I would leave well alone.

Goldmandra Sun 22-Oct-17 17:46:02

So she may not be successfully managing day to day self care tasks but has still been living alone. The problem is that, in order to claim PIP, she would have to sign a form detailing what care and support she needs. It can be a humiliating experience and she may not be willing to do that.

To claim ESA she would have to undergo a work capability assessment and it can be very hard to show that you are incapable of any sort of work.

It will be difficult for anyone to support her if she doesn't want them to do it. If she's an adult who is capable of making her own decisions and understanding the consequences she is entitled to continue living how she is without anyone interfering.

If she has AS, she is likely to have problems with executive function as well as social communication. That means the process of sorting out any sort of mess feels too big to face. She may want to sort out her living space but be unable to manage the task because she can't break it down into manageable chunks. Could you offer to help with one small thing and gradually build on it?

She also may have a fear of change and a fear of losing things so it could be that she doesn't want to sort out the mess in her home.

Does she tell you she's lonely or is that your assumption? Could it be that she finds social interaction hard work and can't cope with more than she has to do at work?

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