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Soooooo confused

VOB Community member Posts: 45 Pioneering
Hi I'm so confused at the minute. I've had a bad week had a really bad meltdown on Monday and was quite unwell yesterday too. I have had mental illness for 25 years and phsyciatrist said I have Autism but have learned to live with it, at the moment I'm not good at all.
I need some advise because this situation is just making my mental health much worse 
In Dec 2018 I developed foot problems which I was and still am having treatment for. By June I couldn't cope with the pain any more and after having ultrasound guided injections to the insides of my feet which didn't work I had to cut my full time working hours to 20. I got advise from citizens advice before I did this and was informed that I would get £280 a month off Universal credit. I had my contract changed to 20 hours and my money dropped drastically. I signed up for UC but they barely give me anything £9-00 to £29.00 a month. My life has changed my car got repossessed so I have to get the bus which is very unreliable and makes me late so my stress levels are shocking I barely have any money after my bills go out.
Anyway after nearly 3 months I wrote in my journal for UC  is there no benefit that I could claim to boost my money because it's not that I won't work full time I can't do it because of the pain I experience. I was told I should have sent a fit note in? Well I'm not being funny but at 61 and working from 13 I'm not used to the benefit system. Should they have not told me at my first interview 3 months before that I needed a fit note.
I sent a fit note in backdated to June and 5 weeks ago I sent in my UC50 that I was also sent. I have a  UC assessment on 22nd Nov. I am due to get UC of £29.00 for this month on 17th Nov. Can anyone enlighten me in regards to any payments I should get or any other benefits I should be claiming. My mental health is poor at the moment I see my CPN fortnightly and I'm waiting to start 20 weeks of DBT. I am also waiting to have 6 rounds of electric shock therapy on my feet. Surely there must be some help out there.
I thankyou in advance for any advise or information.


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,016 Disability Gamechanger

    I wrote an extremely long reply but for some very strange reason it didn't post!

    How much UC you're entitled to will depend on your circumstances. Any wages you receive during your assessment period will reduce the amount of UC you're entitled to by 63% for every £1 you earn.

    Do you rent or own your own home? If it's rented is it private landlord or housing association? Is it a single claim or with a partner?

    Putting your details into a benefits calculator will tell you how much you're entitled to but it's only correct based on the information you put in.

    The work capability assessment you have coming up will be to determine your ability to do any type of work and this is what they will assess you on. Details here.

    Did you send evidence with the form to support your claim? They very rarely contact anyone for this, the onus is on you to make sure it's sent.

    Once the assessment is complete a report will be sent to your GP and a decision will eventually be made based on the recommendations in that report. The decision will either be limited capability for work (LCW) if it's this you won't receive any extra money each month. Or limited capability for work related activity (LCWRA) if it's this then you'll receive an extra £336 per month from the 4th month of your claim from when you reported your health condition.

    On top of that if the decision is either LCW or LCWRA then you'll receive a work allowance each month. How much this will be will depend on your circumstances. If you claim housing element then your work allowance will be £287 per month. If you don't receive housing element it will be £503 per month. This means that you can earn that amount of money each month before you start to see any deductions in your UC. See link.

    Or the decision will be fit for work. If it's this then you won't receive any work allowance and you'll be placed into the all work requirements group. If you disagree with the decision you can request the Mandatory reconsideration within 1 month of the date of the decision. If this happens please post again and i'm sure someone will advise you further.

    There's also PIP. This isn't means tested and earnings won't affect the amount you could claim. It's not awarded based on a diagnosis, it's how those conditions affect your ability to carry out daily activities based on the PIP descriptors. Evidence will be needed to support your claim and a face to face assessment is most likely. See links.

    A claim for this could take several months, maybe longer.

    Hope this helps. Good luck with the assessment you have coming up.

    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.
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Posts: 10,581 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community @VOB, it sounds like things have been really tough for you at the moment, sorry to hear this.

    If there's anything else we can do then please do let us know. :)

  • VOB
    VOB Community member Posts: 45 Pioneering
    Hi, I received my Pip decision in which I got zero points. This is what I expected. Vital information had been omitted and untrue statements had been added. I feel really down at the moment so I'm not going to do anything about this as I haven't got the fight in me.  I really struggle  everyday to drag my self to work yet the assessor states that because I go to work and communicate I have motivation. If I didn't go to work I would never leave the house except for appointments. How am I supposed to pay my bills and live if I don't go out to work? I can't get my head around it.
    I will just see what the UC f2f comes back saying although I know what the answer to that will be.
    I read that if you have had depression for 2 years or more then you are classed as having a disability. Well over 25 years feeling like I do and having no quality of life am I not in this category.
    Also read that having inflamation of the Plants fascia for 12  months means it is a disability. I have informed the assessors about the treatment I have already had and that I am awaiting further treatment but it's just brushed under the carpet. Apparently according to the PIP assessor I can walk for two hours before experiencing pain. Well I couldn't even do that before. What I did say was sometimes I can be at work for 3 hours before it starts and some times it can be just walking to the bus stop. Anyway enough of that because it just upsets me talking about it.
    I just can't understan what a person is supposed to do when they have worked since 13 years old until present at 61 and despite all I have put in am left to struggle financially because no one believes my health limits me to what I can do. If someone would give me a sit down job I would gladly do it.
    I did not know this time last year that I would be in this mess with no transport, that I would have to drop my full time hours to part time hours and I would be living on the breadline.
    I'm so bitter it's driving me in sane. Anyway I have an appointment with CPN so better move myself.
    Thanks for reading this and enjoy your Day.
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Community member Posts: 6,379 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2019
    Hello @VOB   Pleased to meet you sorry to hear what has happened.
    Please if I can suggest consider looking at mental health charities.
    Used them all the time. If CPN having problems not working. Use other sources of help and support.
     I had situation of my own circumstance s enrolled mental health charity same time had council services. Council services offered me 12 weeks to 8 weeks to me being ignored. So went to the charity mentioned in the links provided. 
    Has three year contract lots of coping methods, strategies have disability as well. Helped me with addiction even though clean advised and supported me in benefit problems, assessments.
    I am and was so grateful. Learnt a lot. May I add the links.

    Last one an advocate service for those with problems getting access and answers to mental health.
    Nothing wrong accessing other support and guidance, advice your conditions.
    All mental health charities have floating support, welfare, benefit advisors and have lots to help you to cope.
    Plus additional support meeting monthly discussing with others meds, sleep, and health diet anything else.  
    Take clientele with additional disabilities as well mental health often signpost you to guide and help to relevant support regarding that disability or condition.
    Might not be in areas you live.
    Another one to look at is AGE UK.
    Used them for advice.
    Benefits are complex and confusing so I would always advise speak to the links I have suggested or consider them, does give you confidence, self esteem.
    Please if you wish to ask or know anything, please get in touch.
    My friend @poppy123456     has given you excellent advice. I am one of the community champions like my friend is. My own health circumstances use to help others.
    I am in my middle fifties always get senior moments never easy confused a lot makes it hard so use these organisations and does help.. I hope that helps you, anything.
    Pleasure to meet you. Keep warm and safe. Happy to be supportive. Have compassion empathy.
    Please take care.
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • VOB
    VOB Community member Posts: 45 Pioneering
    Spiceman thankyou so much for that information and the links. Sometimes it feels like you have so much going on in your head that you can't think straight. I am ok if I write or copy everything down. One of the biggest hurdles is people tend to just cast you aside and are just doing there job and nothing more. I have been telling people for months that my medication isn't working. I am actually medication resistant so I just become used to a medication and it doesn't work after several months.  I'm not used to being left because I'm the type of person who if I say I'm doing something I just do it and I'm not satisfied till it's done.
    Oh well sorry to moan on and thanks again for the information.?
  • thespiceman
    thespiceman Community member Posts: 6,379 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @VOB Thank you for reply, kind words. Want to add your not alone with this or any of this is your fault.
    One of the big problems with mental health and trust me have been there is that any support.
    Is a concern or needed to those of our age group unfortunately patience, tolerance is wearing thin.
    One of the other issues is many of the staff never can relate to them, must add many are from University have no idea or clueless or about the real life scenarios and situations of people with mental health.
    In my counselling been shouted at because I do not compare to her notes as a mental health problems, have according to her do not fit.
    Yet I had to endure this young naïve girl not a woman a teenage barely mindful of the degree she possessed . Made a lot of misjudgements and errors.
    Add to that council services are stretched beyond belief the days do a job for enjoyments are gone more like want go do a job ad go home, no compassion, or sensitivity.
    I used to get told this is it and nothing you can do. OK. I went yes I can make my own health plan, no I need you. Lot of that is addiction and booze the poison, so had this attitude straight away.  Head strong had courage knew what I wanted.
    One other important note all mental health charities have a code of conduct, need you to comprehend any opportunity to help yourself.
    Add to that further many mental health charities do have a policy do as you will against our plans or goals for you will send you a letter discuss options and will remove you. Please say yes to every thing say no a lot get short shift and removed.
    One other vital point I should consider these support staff have an early start many clientele as the councils services are rubbish, charities taking a lot.
    So please  that they may be starting before 8.30 finish at night late. Must say my support worker had 15 clientele a fortnight and sent me texts, emails every night around 9pm.
    Please apply and please I hope you also contact RETHINK .
    I wanted to explain to you that is all. You mental health is important as is every one. I live alone can cope free clean from addiction.
    Confusion and muddled very much so end result, I would also speak if I can certain meds do effect your memory your thinking. Have side effects.
    Mirtazapine anti depressants effect tiredness, sleep a lot, drowsy, confusion lots of nausea and sickness find a dry mouth. Many others .
    Sertraline an anxiety medication has so many side effects mainly the ones are confusion, tiredness as with anti depressants, sweating, insomnia . Others are muscle problems, sickness, nausea the list is huge.
    Including bowel issues and skin problems.
    With any medication you have can take a long time to kick in get used to any of it.
    Amongst the medications is a leaflet always read this, some simple requirements of diet may be needed.
    Using in combinations of medication maybe need to look at diet as well. If you smoke or drink alcohol these can prevent some problems the medication working. Most anti depressants and medications do not work with alcohol.
    One other aspect of medication is adapting to any of this. Many times been on charities courses. Dealing with medication.
    Recovery Colleges do this funded by the Charities themselves.
    I mentioned diet this some thing I know some foods and some types can actually interreact with the medications. One I use right now no grapefruit. Others can be sorts of every day food items we all eat. Unaware to you but could cause some problems.
    Other ones are these supplements vitamins or other herbal or spice ones, if using those can be harmful not helping the meds to work. I use spices and herbs in my diet but know the right ones till discussed with GP, not these supplements many do not have the full herb or spice in. I buy the whole spice or herb.
    as with any medications. Discuss with GP.
    This is a lot of knowledge I learnt a lot doing course and have qualifications around food add science of food.
    Simple eating a healthy diet can be beneficial to your well being. Lots of whole grains and pulses, fruit, vegetables plus lean meat.  Eggs oats and other foods that are healthy such as fish, nuts.
     I hope this helps. I would all so add speak to your well being service who can advise a lot of what I have been saying.
    I apologise a long post but have had my illness since early teens and use my education knowledge to heal, inspire others.
    Please take your time reading this.
    Please take care and please ask me anything.

    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Posts: 10,581 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @VOB, sorry to hear things are still really difficult for you. How did the CPN appointment go?

  • VOB
    VOB Community member Posts: 45 Pioneering
    Hi Chloe
     Thanks for asking.
    It was upsetting talking about stuff and explaining how I was feeling. We did some work about Core beliefs which I found really interesting. It summed a lot of things up for me.
    I talked about how I was once the life and soul of the party and then one single day back in about 1993 every thing came to a halt when I had a breakdown.  When I reflect back I can understand why it all came to a head. I'm waiting to start DBT but not sure how long away that will be. Still waiting to see phsyciatrist again regarding my change of medication.
    In all fairness I've been feeling much brighter since last Sunday. I'm up and down like a flippin yo yo.
    Again thanks for asking. You all do a wonderful job on here.
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Posts: 10,581 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @VOB, I'm sorry it was difficult at times, it sounds like it was all beneficial to discuss though. Really glad to hear you are feeling brighter and thank you very much for your kind words. 

    If there's anything we can do to help then please do let us know. :) 

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