What benefits am I entitled to?
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Finance

0nanny0nanny Member Posts: 12 Connected
hello since being ill health retired (2013) I have maintained my bills but I am getting into problems, my mortgage is in arrears also some other credit bills are getting harder to pay. When I first became unwell I did not find citizen advice bureau helpful. I am getting PIP and ESA , problem is my boiler broke down and I have had to replace this, all my savings are going very fast. Any advice available

Replies

  • ms11ms11 Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hope you find some good advice. I often think that maybe we would all be better off without savings. People with nothing often seem better off.
    We took the opposite view, when our boiler became obsolete we stopped using it. We only used the gas fire one month last winter, and got heavily penalised by our energy supplier despite being £300 in credit. I used vouchers I earn doing online surveys to buy an electric storage heater and we just use the kitchen and bedroom in winter. Yet look down our road and you can see the steam coming out of the vents from every house where the occupants have never worked. Maybe the answer is having lots of kids. I remember seeing ads for a scheme where boilers are replaced cheaply for people on certain benefits. We didn't qualify of course.
    We are all different, there is no "normal". Surely that's a good thing ?
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    0nanny,

    I'd check first that your ESA is correct - if you get PIP, then it's always worth checking whether you should be getting some or more income-related ESA. You might not have got that in the past if you had savings over £16,000, but if your savings have gone down, you could be entitled now. 

    Are you getting any help with mortgage interest in your income-related ESA? Again, you may not have got that before if your savings were over the limit, but perhaps you are entitled now if your savings have gone down.

    You do have to be a bit careful about what you spend your savings on but if you have been using them to replace a boiler and pay the mortgage then that is completely fine and the DWP should accept that you now have less in savings and may be entitled to income-based benefit.

    Finally, if you do get income-related ESA then you are entitled to apply for a budgeting loan from the DWP once you've been on the income-related form of the benefit for 26 weeks. The loan is interest free and can be used for various things including household equipment or maintenance of the home. You do have to pay it back, so it means that in subsequent weeks your benefit would be reduced to pay off the loan (usually over 104 weeks).

    You can check whether you should be getting some or more income-related ESA, and whether it should include an amount for mortgage interest, by using the Turn2Us calculator, but you may need to speak to an adviser too. If you do need face to face help you could ask the Scope helpline to signpost you as there might be an alternative to Citizens Advice in your area.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    PS 0nanny

    I think it may be too late for you to use this scheme now, but here is the government boiler scheme for people on benefits:
    http://www.boilergrants.org.uk/

    You have to be on income-related ESA to qualify, and there are a number of other criteria, including your postcode and the type of property you live in. 

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • AlexW_ScopeAlexW_Scope Scope Posts: 215 Pioneering
    Hi @0nanny - very sorry to hear about your troubles.  There is some information about credit card debt on our site but it's probably best to get some free debt advice.

    It sounds like you have already replaced your boiler but if not try www.boilergrants.org.uk

    Call our helpline on 0808 800 3333 if you need to speak to our benefits advisor.
  • 0nanny0nanny Member Posts: 12 Connected
    Thank you for all your replies, they are most useful, I think I will have to sale my home to sort things out but I am unsure of where I go from there, as I don't wish to put a charge on my house
  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 2017
    @0nanny

    Have you contacted StepChange debt advice charity about setting up a Debt Management Plan (DMP)?  They assess, over the phone, how much you can afford to pay off each month, contact your creditors, you pay StepChange the total amount each month which they then apportion between your creditors.  Usually, credit card interest is stopped.  Don't underestimate the sums you need for outgoings.

    If you set up a DMP, you might not have to sell your home to pay off debts.
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