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If you're too disabled to hold down a job & benefits removed what do you do?

(28 Posts)
Keepgoing18 Wed 14-Feb-18 14:31:34

My friends disability benefits have stopped. She's trying to work but not holding onto the jobs. Can't move in with family because they have said they have no room.

My friend feels very low, alone and like a burden on society. Feels distant from everyone. She went to Cab who were kind but couldn't help much and is already on antidepressants. She's starting to feel like things can't ever improve because her health keeps getting worse with the lack of stability and stress. It's 1 step forward 2 back. There's no money for counselling and she's so lonely.

What should I suggest?

ExFury Wed 14-Feb-18 14:35:37

What benefits have been removed? Has she appealed the decisions?

DriggleDraggle Wed 14-Feb-18 14:38:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Keepgoing18 Wed 14-Feb-18 15:00:38

Personal independence payment. Appealed it, turned down again, now waiting for it to go to court. There's a waiting list for this for about 7 months.

She's under thirty five like me, and got extra housing benefit because of PIP. That's gone too. She's been calling about 10 places a day trying to move to cheaper accommodation but nobody will let her move in on housing benefit.

We called Shelter, and two disability rights charities, and there isn't anything they can do.

Snowysky20009 Wed 14-Feb-18 15:23:18

So she's still getting ESA. Housing benefit, council tax? It's just they PIP that's been stopped?

GlitterGlue Wed 14-Feb-18 15:33:56

Has she asked about a discretionary housing payment to cover any shortfall?

GlitterGlue Wed 14-Feb-18 15:35:11

Oh and why is she unable to stay in work? Is it a reason Access to Work could help with?

Dipitydoda Wed 14-Feb-18 15:37:29

Is there any way her family can act as guarantor for cheapercaccomodation this is what FIL does for BIL and opened up more housing possibilities

ThePinkPanter Wed 14-Feb-18 15:40:23

What type of disability? It'll make a big difference to the answer.

Babyroobs Wed 14-Feb-18 15:47:07

If she can't hold down a job then she needs to claim ESA. ESA and PIP are different benefits with different criteria. if she thinks she meets the criteria for PIp and should have been awarded it then she needs to ask for a mandatory reconsideration and take it to appeal if necessary. Hope she manages to get things sorted. It's horrible what the government are doing to the long term sick and disabled.

FancyNewBeesly Wed 14-Feb-18 15:51:18

I had to stop working in 2011 due to disability. I was basically told not to bother even trying to claim DLA / PIP or ESA as I’m the wrong kind of disabled (based on the criteria there’s a lot of truth in this). I became self employed and make an absolute pittance - if I weren’t married I’d be absolutely fucked.

There are some good organisations to help with disability benefit appeals and tribunals - can’t think of the names off the top of my head but have a look on google.

Gilead Wed 14-Feb-18 16:01:29

If she's on ESA she should still be getting housing benefit, prescriptions etc.

Viviennemary Wed 14-Feb-18 16:07:55

Could she get some part-time work that wouldn't be too much to cope with and then she would probably be entitled to tax credits. Or even do something from home. If she is totally unable to work she should be able to claim some kind of disability benefit.

Keepgoing18 Wed 14-Feb-18 17:53:31

She was working part time but it only brings in about £150 a week. Her disabilities mean she has episodes like mild seizures, sometimes is up all night so not sleeping, sometimes this happens at work. Part time work meant there was enough time to recharge energy on days off. She tries working full time so far has worked in a couple of offices and retail placed. Her episodes increase and sleep goes down. Mental health becomes poor after a few weeks so she has melt downs at work.

The night episodes are very exhausting and she is worn out.

Keepgoing18 Wed 14-Feb-18 17:55:07

No tax credits as no children.

Keepgoing18 Wed 14-Feb-18 17:56:24

Not on Esa, she's been working part time for years.

Discretionary housing payment sounds good for the immediate situation.

buckletree Wed 14-Feb-18 18:17:47

I had to stop working due to disabilities six years ago. I now get PIP at the enhanced rate and I'm in the support group for ESA. It is really hard work keeping up with the benefits due to constant changes and assessments. But you have to do it if that becomes your source of income. There's often good advice on a FB group called Fightback and I also use a website called Benefits and Work. My last PIP award was for 10 years thanks to building up enough evidence to convince them how severe my disabilities are.

She needs to get advice with her PIP appeal, most appeals are successful but you need a good adviser and evidence. If she is under a consultant, she should try to start getting more frequent appointments and records of her difficulties. It really makes all the difference when it comes to an appeal, to show that it's not just your own subjective opinion of your difficulties and have it all backed up by a professional.

She might be able to get tax credits even without having children, if she's entitled to the disabled person's element and is working 16+ hours. I know you're entitled to the disabled person's element if you are getting PIP - not sure if they will award it if she has recently had her PIP removed.

Schroedingerscatagain Wed 14-Feb-18 18:36:53

I was retired 14 years ago In my 30’s due to ill health and permanent disability

No benefits at all, as with others can’t easily get pip as wrong type of health conditions, can’t claim esa etc as husband works

To top it off, child benefits usually paid to mum removed as dh earns over the threshold

I get no help whatsoever, have to pay for dentist, optician prescriptions etc, in the last month we’ve even had our coeliac prescriptions x3 removed

My dh has mh problems asd anxiety etc but keeps working bless him, it’s a good job he’s not financially abusive or I would be utterly screwed

ExFury Wed 14-Feb-18 18:49:25

Has she double checked the tax credits situation? It's not actually only for people with children. Single people on a very low income qualify as well.

Is she in a universal credit area?

Also has she looked into ESA and permitted work? In some circumstances people who can only work short ours (maximum 16 hours a week) and who earn less than £120 a week can claim ESA as well.

ExFury Wed 14-Feb-18 18:53:09

can’t claim esa etc as husband works

Just in case it's relevant to anyone - if you have NI contributions and can claim contributions based ESA and you qualify for the support group then the income of a partner or spouse does NOT affect your claim and your credits don't run out after 1 year. A lot of the time DWP are very lax on telling people this.

In the Work Related Activity Group a contributions run out after 365 days and you switch to income based which means a partners income comes into play.

TwoBlueFish Wed 14-Feb-18 19:06:19

She could try applying for ESA, you are allowed to do permitted work and earn up to £120 per week.

I hope she is asking for a mandatory reconsideration for her PIP and then take it to tribunal if necessary.

She can fill out a low income form to get help with prescriptions.

DaviesMum Wed 14-Feb-18 19:07:28

You don't go to "court" to dispute a DWP decision, you go to a tribunal. What's happened, by the sounds of it, is that a mandatory reconsideration upheld a decision. Some CAB are good with this, some are absolutely crap.

What she needs to do is secure the services of a suitable rep or welfare rights officer who will make sure her income is maximised, appropriate evidence is sought, and the process is properly explained to her so she knows what she is facing.

ExFury Wed 14-Feb-18 19:14:23

You don't go to "court" to dispute a DWP decision, you go to a tribunal.

It is HM Courts & Tribunals Service who deal with tribunals so going to 'court' is an understandable turn of phrase for someone just going through the process for the first time. Especially with a judge and panel in charge.

Keepgoing18 Wed 14-Feb-18 20:03:46

She does understand what she is facing. The court or tribunal or
whatever has not happened yet.

There is a chance the decision could be overturned but six or seven months is a long time to have little income and no way of paying rent. Apart from the practicalities the stress of it all is rough and doesn't help the mental health side of things one bit.

Thankfully prescriptions are not an issue because of the nature of her health she has a certificate for free prescriptions. So that's one thing that's fine.

Keepgoing18 Wed 14-Feb-18 20:04:11

Where can you find a welfare rights officer?

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