Financial help questions — Scope | Disability forum
Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

Financial help questions

cordypants
cordypants Member Posts: 13 Courageous
Hi there,
I wonder if anyone can help me, has been in the same situation and/or knows what I can do. My gorgeous 3yr old Flora has cerebral palsy and is unfortunately quite severe & relies on adult help with all aspects of daily living. I currently work full time (4 long days & 1 day off to make way for therapy & medical appointments for Flora). I am really struggling to keep up this pace and my physical and mental health is really now starting to suffer. I am literally exhausted and crying and I have made an appointment with the GP (it’s in 3 weeks!) to discuss my health but I feel I need to drop down my working hours otherwise nothing is going to change/improve long term. I want to give Flora the best care/life possible and if I’m ill I won’t be able to do that. Basically I would like to drop down to 16hrs but financially I can’t afford it without claiming benefits but all the literature I have read says I can’t claim anything if I voluntarily give up work, I don’t know what to do. Does anyone know what I can do, if there are any benefits I can claim, has anyone been in this situation and what did you do? I have tried citizens advice but they have just given me some more literature and I really don’t understand it or know where I fit in.
if anyone could help me it would be so appreciated, I feel like I’m a bad mum for struggling and I’m so scared to admit it because I’m worried that people will think I’m not capable of looking after my daughter but I am and I want to be able to continue to.

thanks so much for reading

Helen x

Comments

  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,178

    Scope community team

    edited September 2019
    Hi Helen! 
    I've moved your post over to the 'benefits' section of the community as it may get a few more relevant responses there. 
    Can I ask @cordypants, do you currently get DLA (Disability Living Allowance) for your daughter?

    I also wanted to add that no one will think you're a bad mum for struggling. I'm really glad you're off to see your GP to discuss your own health too, it's so important to remember to take care of yourself.
    Community Manager
    Scope

    Tell us how to make the community better for you. Complete our feedback form.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    May i also ask if you live with a partner that works? Do you rent or own your own home?
  • cordypants
    cordypants Member Posts: 13 Courageous
    Hi poppy123456 and Adrian_Scope thanks for the messages. I have filled out all the forms for DLA so hopefully that will come through soon, my daughter has only just turned 3 so we have now applied for that. I have a mortgage and live with a partner. We are in a bit of a position because he has a debt resolution thing going on from before we were together so he pays me a small amount and the rest he uses on paying off his debts, I am effectively The main/only breadwinner and although ‘on paper’ we are a 2 person household we are not really. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    For benefits purposes, if you live together then you claim means tested benefits as a couple. Universal credit is the only benefit that's possible to claim because all areas are now a full universal credit it. If you claim UC then any tax credits you claim will stop and transfer to UC.

    Whether or not you're entitled to claim anything will depend on your circumstances. Household income, savings and capital.
    The bet thing you can is to put all of your details (including your partners) into this benefits calculator and it will tell how much you could claim, if anything.

  • cordypants
    cordypants Member Posts: 13 Courageous
    Thanks poppy for all your help I will try that calculator. You don’t happen to know the rules of whether someone is able to claim if they give up working/reduce income voluntarily do you? I don’t know if I fall in the exceptional circumstances category because of my daughter or not? Thanks again for taking an interest and your advice x
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,178

    Scope community team

    edited September 2019
    Hi @cordypants. If you're applying after you've already given up work they don't always ask.
    If they do, it can depend on whether they consider it a 'good reason' and the criteria for this isn't defined in legislation. However they are supposed to take into account each claimant's individual circumstances and caring is generally considered good reason.
    It would be easier for you to do if your daughter is awarded DLA (this is because as a carer, you have no work commitments so can give up paid work). 
    Obviously I don't know your personal situation but depending on how much your partner earns, you may not be entitled to Universal Credit. Even once extra disability and care elements are added. If this is the case, you could look at applying for Carer's Allowance alone. This is £66.15 a week and isn't affected by your partner's income or savings. However, if you're looking to continue working you can only earn £123 a week (after tax, NI and expenses such as pension contributions). 

    If you take a look at the link Poppy provided, pop your details in and then you can come back to us with any questions. :)
    Community Manager
    Scope

    Tell us how to make the community better for you. Complete our feedback form.
  • cordypants
    cordypants Member Posts: 13 Courageous
    Adrian_Scope Thank you so much for your help, it definitely eases the stress getting some information I can work with. All the comments/replies are so much appreciated x

Brightness

Do you need advice on your energy costs?


Scope’s Disability Energy Support service is open to any disabled household in England or Wales in which one or more disabled people live. You can get free advice from an expert adviser on managing energy debt, switching tariffs, contacting your supplier and more. Find out more information by visiting our
Disability Energy Support webpage.
Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.