Confused about financial assessments - 1st time asking for help — Scope | Disability forum
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Confused about financial assessments - 1st time asking for help

Melange Community member Posts: 1 Listener
Hello everyone,

I'm confused about the financial assessments or checks that the DWP make to decide eligibility for benefits in general, but specifically Universal Credit.
I receive PIP at enhanced rates. Only just started receiving payments a year ago. Was too incapacitated for about 6 years to apply for PIP once my Disability Allowance and Incapacity Benefits were phased out, so I missed out on all those years of benefit. It kills me, but it couldn't be helped, I was just too unwell and had no one to advocate or help me.

I've never had any other benefits, so I don't know the system or process at all. I don't know what I'm entitled to or qualify for. But my financial situation has gotten so bad that I will not be able to pay for my private rent to Optivo, (or anything else!) in a couple of months as I have run out of money from having no income or benefits at all for so many years. I am single with no children or family members. I really have been completely on my own and isolated from the world for a long long time.

My concern is, that due to so many years of severe ill health as well as medical traumas etc, I have been completely incapable of managing my finances or admin. So I have no idea about the ISA's, pension or investments that I paid into long ago when I used to work. I am still not able to make phone calls due to panic attacks, so can't call Citizens Advice etc for guidance.. It's taken me many months to build up the courage to even write this post since I finally found Scope.. so I am desperately hoping that someone here can help me or at least guide me to where I can get help with unpicking this mess before I become homeless. Already Ovo my electric company is threatening me with baliffs. I have never missed a single payment or not paid a bill in my life before this last year. I am terrified about what is going to happen to me.

I think if I knew what the financial checks/assessments covered, as in what they expect from me as evidence and what they are looking for, I would be more comfortable in going through the application process. I can't cope with making a mistake and having the backlash or be accused of lying or hiding savings etc, so that's why I keep holding off as I just don't know how to answer the questions on the form. I wouldn't even know where to begin to find the information.

I had an adult social services assessment about 5/6 years ago and the report recommended daily PA/carer help for multiple hours. I had another assessment last year and had the same report. Both times no one has followed up with me. But I can't chase them myself and I also haven't been able to complete their financial assessment forms for the same reason as the UC forms. I have been stuck housebound fending for myself for so long and time has now run out.

Apologies for the long post, just hoping someone out there could shine some light on all this.

Thank you for reading.


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 49,770 Disability Gamechanger
    UC is a means tested benefit. Therefore any money you have in savings whether that's in an ISA, anyh bank account or money at home will be counted as savings. If you have less than £6,000 then this is ignored. For pensions then if it's in a pension pot because you're under state pension age then it's ignored for all means tested benefits.

    If you have savings of more than £6,000 then there's a £4.35/month deduction for every £250 or part there of over that amount. There will be no entitlement to any means tested benefits if you have more than £16,000.

    If you have less than £6,000 then you will not need to provide any bank statements.

    If you do claim UC then you should make sure you report your health condition. You will need to send fit notes (previously known as sick notes) within 7 days of reporting your health condition and then continue to send them without any gaps until a decision is made on your work capability assessment. There's some information here.

    Once you report your health condition then you should be referred (usually around day 29) for a work capability assesment. Once the referral is made you will receive the UC50 form in the post to fill in and return with all your supporting evidence.

    If found to have LCWRA you will then be entitled to an extra £390.06/month from the 4th month of your claim.

    If you're privately renting then you'll be entitled to the 1 bedroom rate of LHA. You can see the rates here.
    If you're renting from social housing then you'll be entitled to full housing element, assuming you do not have any spare bedrooms.

    Once your claim is submitted your first payment will be 1 month and 6 days later. You will then be paid on the same date each month. The only downside with UC is that you're classed as a job seeker until a decision is made on your work capability assessment. It's a work coaches discretion to either turn off or reduce work commiments, some do and others don't.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 7,562 Scope online community team
    Hello and welcome @Melange and well done for reaching out, it can be really hard to take that step, so thank you for explaining how things are going for you. I'm sorry to hear how worried your feeling, and I hope we can help support you. 

    I can see Poppy has replied regarding benefits, so something which might help with worries over bills and finances is Scope's Disability Energy Support service, who can help advise you on managing your bills.

    I'd also encourage you to get in touch with Shelter, who have information on dealing with harassment or eviction.

    It must be very frustrating having no advocacy support, especially for following up with social services. Can I ask when that last contact was? And are you able to get everything you need like essential food and medication at the moment?

    The NHS has a list of advocacy support services who might be able to help here.

    It might also be worth speaking to your GP about a referral for more support, particularly around your wellbeing and mental health. You are also entitled to self-refer without speaking to a GP too. 

    We are here to support you, if you did want to run through things with one of our advisers, you can also email the Scope Helpline.

    Don't worry about the long post, please ask if we've missed anything, and we'll do what we can to help. 
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  • 2oldcodgers
    2oldcodgers Posts: 665 Connected
    I receive PIP at enhanced rates. Only just started receiving payments a year ago. Was too incapacitated for about 6 years to apply for PIP once my Disability Allowance and Incapacity Benefits were phased out, so I missed out on all those years of benefit. It kills me, but it couldn't be helped, I was just too unwell and had no one to advocate or help me.

    I feel for you.
    I was receiving DLA - High Care & High Mobility up until 2004. Due to being assessed as requiring to be sectioned for a month at a time and then living on all manner of physco drugs authorised by my psychiatrist and no one to manage my benefit claims I failed to renew the DLA claim. It took 7 years in my case to get the strength together to reapply in 2011. Thankfully I was awarded the same as before but lost 7 years of payments.

    I complained to the DWP but they just told me that I should have found someone to help with the claim - my fault for being too ill to care and living on another universe thanks to the meds at the time.  
  • Cher_Alumni
    Cher_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,741 Disability Gamechanger
    @Melange Hello there, how are you getting on? I hope some of the comments received on this thread have helped with your current situation. If you could let us know how you are, that would be fab - no pressure though  <3
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