Advice for a newbie disabled person. — Scope | Disability forum
Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

Advice for a newbie disabled person.

Deeks
Deeks Member Posts: 5 Listener
Hi. Im in my forties. A number of years ago they found thousands of non metastatic tumours/granulomas in my lungs. [And other organs] Multi systemic damage, and lots of crippling symptoms. Diagnosed with Chronic Sarcoidosis, stage 4, and pulmonary fibrosis. I tried to carry on working, struggled a lot but the fatigue and other symptoms just became too crippling.
Been through absolute hell with it.
 My specialist doctors have confirmed I cannot work properly and I hope, [and expect] to get paid a very small sum from my insurance company whilst I am incapacitated. £665 per month. 
I am trying to sort it out now. [Hand shaking anxiety every morning at the moment]
I made some horrendous decisions over the last few years after becoming ill. I lost my house and Im now alone.

Some of these questions might seem a little naive. Or maybe Im asking all the wrong questions?
Theres nothing, [except cost,] stopping me from moving to anywhere I want to. 
Are there some cities/places which are far cheaper to live in than others? 
Im just thinking, I need to be close to a cheap supermarket, and bus/train routes? What else? 
John o groats, isle of skye, wales, cumbria, etc, etc..?!
How can I afford to pay my council tax? Whats the cheapest way to get the internet? Do I get free TV license? Bus passes, Rail Cards? Phone line? I cant afford any of this stuff can I? 
I want to live somewhere quiet. I read a lot. Dont go out much. Cant now with the disease. I spend all day in my dressing gown. In and out of bed. 
 I dont have clue to what Im entitled to, if anything? Should I be registering as disabled with anyone? I've no idea. :)
 ['Do they give you a car?'
Someone said that to me.
'Disabled?! Oh you'll get loads now!'
 I told them I didnt think it worked like that.]
Just how difficult, is it to live on £665 pcm? 
[Im pretty scared of becoming homeless. Couldnt survive that.]
Before I became ill, I never thought this would happen to me. Since I became ill, I now realise that a society should be judged on how it treats its most vulnerable citizens, and by that measure we fail abysmally. 
Any help, advice, suggestions, tips on how to live on such a low income, and comments gratefully received, thankyou!
«1

Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,886 Disability Gamechanger
    HI and welcome,

    I'm one of the community champions here on scope and i'm here to help and advise others.

    There's lot of places around the country that are cheaper to live than others but the scale could potentially be huge, it would be better for you to narrow your search down by doing some research into particular areas. The best way to do this will be to use the internet.

    Can you register disabled? no, there's no such register anymore.

    As for benefits, then it will depend what exactly the insurance is that you're receiving? Is it SSP or earnings that your employer pays you? You haven't given enough of information about it to be able to help you with what benefits you could be entitled to. The amount that you receive could affect any benefits that you maybe entitled to.

    Other questions are, do you live alone or with a partner? Have dependent children? Rent or own your home? living with parents?

    Do you have savings/capital? The best way to find out what you maybe entitled to is to speak to an advice agency near you for a full benefits check and they will give you the correct advice based on your circumstances. This link will tell you what's local to you for this advice. https://advicelocal.uk/

    Your other questions, council tax, again this will depend on your circumstances and all local councils have there own criteria, so you will need to fill out a form from them to apply for a reduction. If you live alone then you'll receive 25% single person discount.

    TV license, i'm afraid this isn't free and you will need to pay. It's £154 a year but you can pay by monthly direct debit to spread those cost over 12 months.
    The cheapest internet provider, again this will depend on which area you will be living and what's available in that area. It's not possible to answer that question without knowing which area.
    Disabled bus pass, this will depend on the criteria of your local council. Check that here. https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-disabled-bus-pass

    Do you claim PIP? this isn't means tested. It's not awarded based on a diagnosis, it's how those conditions affect your ability to carry out daily activity based on the PIP descriptors. You'll need evidence to support your claim and a face to face assessment is most likely because most people have them.

    A successful claim could potentially take several months, maybe longer. See link for information about PIP.

    Hope this helps.

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 12,951 Disability Gamechanger
    @Deeks Hello and welcome to the community its great to welcome new members. I am a community champion here at scope and just wanted to welcome you. I see Poppy has given you some good advise to start getting your head round she really is the exert when it comes to benefits and financial advice and would urge you to take on board her comments. I became disabled 3 years ago and lost my job as a result, which also led to losing my home and on top of that my husband had left me a few months before leaving me and our son. While it took lots of time and worry sorting out our life again claiming benefits, finding a suitable home, and coming to terms with the separation, everything ha now worked out. I have a beautiful bungalow , I claim UC with housing benefit, LCWRA , reduced council tax and PIP, come to terms with my disability and starting to rebuild my life. Keep positive and while I had a hard fight to get what I now have it was worth the fight. Its a real shame disabled people have to fight so hard for support, but joining this forum gives lots of valuable advice and a friendly place to cone where you are not judged. Keep us updated on your progress     
    I have professional experience in HR within public,  private, and charity sectors.  If I can help I will 
  • Deeks
    Deeks Member Posts: 5 Listener
    edited February 2020
    Hello Poppy and Janer and thankyou for your responses. You are obviously unappreciated in your time!  :) 

    Big valentines [non-creepy] kiss/hug from me!  <3

    Coming straight from one world to another.
    I think its disgusting, that housing associations and councils have shared ownership schemes, where disabled people who cannot work are expected to pay rent on the percentage which those institutions retain. No wonder there are so many homeless sick people. I read once up to 80% of homeless people in the USA have an illness.
    They know that house prices are completely and utterly demonstrably orchestrated and fixed by banks, housebuilders, and political policies anyway.  
    So thats obviously an outright attack on people who are/become disabled. I have some capital, but not much and it would be a far more reasonable solution for me, if I could purchase fifty percent of a house, leasehold, and not have to pay any rent on the remaining share. [I think they do, do that in Socltand and call it shared equity, instead of shared ownership. I dont know if any housing associations in England do it.]  Of course I wouldnt have to do that if the thieving government hadnt allowed banks to blow up house prices from 3x salary to 12x salary in the first place. Then again, the front bench are all ex bankers, or related to bankers, and both parties get millions in donations from land banking housebuilders.
    Its also find it unbelievable that the BBC and gov, publicly funded institutions dont make TV licenses free for people who are too sick to work. Are you listening Attenborough?!
    A pox on them also, and their filthy ilk.
    Councils throw money away, I can no longer work to make any, but I have to choose between food and heat and giving them it to burn? So screw them as well. I dont understand why people who are on jobseekers, looking for work get their council tax paid, but disabled people too sick to work do not?!!
    You would think some large ISP, just for the publicity would give away internet services, to people who are disabled. Not being able to connect online is like partially blinding and deafening you in this day age. More billionaire scumbags Thanks Mr Branson.
    So far becoming disabled seems like a chance for government and institutions to punish you. Do they all stand around in a back room looking at your photo and laughing, haha!
    He's disabled now, lets kick him in the teeth some more. Ha ha!
    Even though you 'paid in' for your entire life. Much like the old poor houses where the mentality was to make you suffer even more if you lose your job. I can already tell that this is going to be a thoroughly demeaning belittling experience.
    Of course there are many people worse off than me, but still, what a bunch of total ar5eoles who make these decisions. Of course thats an early impression....I could be wrong?
     o:) 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,886 Disability Gamechanger
    Very few people claim 100% council tax reduction now, most people have to pay a very small amount. The only exception to this are those that are claiming severely mentally impaired (SMI) but there's criteria to claiming this. https://www.mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org/en/welfare-benefits/can-i-claim-welfare-benefits-if-i-m-living-with-a-mental-illness/council-tax-exemptions-and-support-to-pay/

    You say you have a small amount of savings. If this savings is between £6.000 and £15,999 then means tested benefits will be reduced. If it's more than £16,000 then you won't be entitled to any means tested benefits.

    There's also New style ESA which is based on your NI contributions from working between April 2017 and March 2019 but as you're claiming £665 per month then not knowing what this is for then i won't be able to give you any further advice regarding this.

    Renting from social housing for any other area other than where you're currently living then you would most likely need a local connection to that area that you want to live. Waiting lists are also huge with most areas. Even being disabled may not give you any more of an advantage, especially if it's a different area.

    Certainly take a look at claiming PIP, that will be a start and then speak to advice agency for a full benefits check.

    Good luck.


  • Deeks
    Deeks Member Posts: 5 Listener
    edited February 2020
    £665 is from an income protection insurance policy. A very low sum, but I had a dispute with a client and wasnt paid a full years income. Hence its a lot lower than it should have been, as the insurers calculate it as a percentage, based upon the last 12 months income from employment. I was struggling and I should have/could have made more, or sued the client. C'est la vie.
    I think the insurers might stop the payments if I get a PIP, but maybe not, if i can get them to take into consideration the full amount my policy premiums should have paid out. Which was significantly more than £665.
    I have over £16k.
    Plenty for me to look into. Thankyou.
  • tru88le
    tru88le Posts: 217 Member

    Actually  Deeks people live on half that on benefits.
    The only disability perk ive seen is a blue badge.
    You get a car if you claim PIP and qualify for the higher rate of the mobility section of the claim.
    Use public wifi where you can or oay £5 for a couple of gigabytes and turn off settings to download pictures as pure text goes a lot further.
    Download large files on public wifi.
    If you have over 5k in savings your benefits are reduced but disability benefits unaffected by savings.

    Council tax is 20% or about 20 quid a month to pay..

    The further north the cheaper it is to live.

    Look for deals on tv and briadbsnd then unplug the phone cos you wont beable to pay it..

    Personally i dont see why you think you should be able to buy half a house and get the other half free...
    I didnt know a house could devalue by 12x either. But dont they eventually come back up anyway i suppose its past that but any assets you have wilk cost you in benefits



    Better to get your name on housing list and after 2 years you might get a flat that will be cheaper to buy each year you live in it, effectively paying half or even 3/4 the price.

    You have a lot to learn sadly  and its a crappy horrible world your getting into where your 665 a month is more than double what you will get to live on and pay ALL your bills with and eat.
    Look at about 200 a fortnight before any disability money plus some housing benefit minus bedroom tax if you have an extra room. Unless you have a carer to stay in the spare..
    I say that because the bedroom tax created demand for 1 bed flats and even tiny terraces have been split round here to fulfill demand.

    Turn heating off everywhere except your living room but dont block vents 

    Shop bargains and use your freezer  to store batches of foid.
    Shop at Heron and iceland but only the bargains.
    You can go M&S when you get your PIP through. 😄

    Next step citizens advice simply cos you have too much to do  but you cant plan for this life simply because you have to be in it to qualify wheras you seem to be in a better position now.
    In fact i just read you have 16k! Forget everything but the disability because you cant have more than 5k.
    😡
    You have 665 a month and 16k banked- your practically royalty in benefit terms.

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,886 Disability Gamechanger
    @tru88le Some of your advice is not correct, sorry.

    The minimum amount of savings a person can have before means tested benefits are reduced is £6,000 and not £5,000 and i advised this here in this thread. Although it makes no different here because there's more than £16.000 in savings.

    Council tax reduction will depend on the local council but most people will have to pay at least 10% and not 20%. My council tax is £9 per month, which for me is 10%.

    New claims for housing benefit are no longer possible unless a person claims a severe disability premium. All areas are now a full Universal Credit area so it's this people need to claim for help with any rent.

    If there's an entitlement to Contributions based benefits then savings will make no difference to this because it's not means tested. Although because Deeks is claiming the £665 per month Insurance then this may not entitle them to any Contributions based benefits but as i have no idea what sort of insurance it is then i can't give any advice on that. If they could claim then it would be £146 per fortnight and not the £200 you mentioned.

    Heating doesn't always cost a fortune. I live in a 2 bedroom house and i have my heating on 16 hours a day and last month my gas bill was just £40 (Octopus energy)

    Some areas down South are just as cheap to live as some areas up North, having lived at both ends of the country, i know this is correct. As with all areas, it just depends where exactly you live.




  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,846 Disability Gamechanger
    Actually there’s lots more of that which is regrettably inaccurate or misleading.

    There are no “perks” from being disabled but certainly receipt of specific benefits or a blue badge can passport people through to things like a CEA card or concessionary travel or even various discounts for carers or grants and loans for many things. . 

    You do not “get a car” if you get PIP M at enhanced rate. You have the choice to cash that component in in order to lease or purchase a Motability vehicle. It’s a choice but it comes at a clear cost. 

    I would never recommend people use public wi-if. It is insecure and requires the giving away of far too much personal data. It encourages poor security on your devices because it often prevents using stores to update apps and often comes with ludicrously low data limits such as those on buses. Finally, it is usually slower than 4G and will eat your battery up faster so the cost of charging more often plus everything else makes “free” a very bad deal indeed.

    @poppy123456 has already corrected the inaccurate information on capital limits but it’s worth adding that Council Tax Reduction schemes are localised so you need to look at your local scheme to see what the minimum percentage you need to pay is. The amount payable can be reduced by lots of other relevant discounts as well as SMI eg a carers discount. New claims for HB can be made in multiple complex circumstances so this is one I’d say you need face to face advice on before you do anything as UC is largely a lobster pot. Getting in is a lot easier than getting out.

    The £16k is not absolute either. Some capital is disregarded so having £16k is just a starting point. It depends on the type of capital and your level of access to it. Again, get advice. A forum is not the place for that advice. 

    The advice to turn off heating is dangerous and flies in the face of all good practice. There’s a massive amount of advice and information out there on fuel poverty and how to counter it but every area has local schemes which add to the national UK schemes so go get advice. I don’t wish to recommend a specific energy provider. I also use Octopus and they’ve been a revelation but what’s best for you in your circumstances and your area with your home may be completely different and changes from week to week anyway. Check multiple comparison sites (never use just one) but do so on a library device rather than your own as things often go up if it’s recognised for exam,Poe that you’re using an iPad. 

    As regards where to live only you can answer that. The cost of living really depends on what your current expenditures are and that varies for each of us. London is expensive in many ways but public transport for example is way more expensive outside London. Similarly, Council Tax may be cheaper but home or car insurance may not. You may have some items which need specialist insurance or need adaptations which attract grants in one area but not another. Essentially you need to research and ignore any answer which says “here”.

    You questions are not “naive” they’re the natural consequence of someone whose not been in this position before. It will seem alien and scary but hang in there. Start with benefits advice as nothing happens without an income and go from there one step at a time. The more you get advice the more you’ll learn and the less scary it will become. 


  • tru88le
    tru88le Posts: 217 Member
    edited February 2020
    Not corrected it, rather asserted her own as definitive facts. 
    So council tax should only be 10% because thats what popps is and your gas bill will only be 40 a month because thats what poppys is and its just the same cost of living in the south and north becsuse it was for popoy. None of poppys facts correlate to any statistical data however which suggesz most gas bilks are more than 40 a month and that council tax bills are usually more than poppys 10% andthat the cost of living is generally higher in the south than the north or wales but obviously government and private statisticians dont know that popoy lived in both places and instead used the empirical  data  of millions of people not just poppy alone.

    According to one survey  groceries that cost  £82 In london 
    Would cost £51 in Derby

    An equivalent rent in the south of england of£72 would cost 25 in Derby.
    So anyone who agrees with poppys assertion that the south has the same cost of liv8ng as the north is talking utter rubbish theres. a huge gap between the costs .

    Heres another fact : groceries that cost 69 in reading would cost 41 in cardiff.

    But poppy says its the same.

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,886 Disability Gamechanger
    tru88le said:
    Whatever you say

    I see you removed the very nasty comment that you made in my direction. Just so that you know i reported the comment but thanks anyway. I'd also like to point out that my gas bill is correct and the reason i know that is because i have smart metres so they can't be incorrect.

    Enjoy the rest of your evening. :)
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,886 Disability Gamechanger


    Some areas down South are just as cheap to live as some areas up North, having lived at both ends of the country, i know this is correct. As with all areas, it just depends where exactly you live.


    @tru88le I think you need to have another read of what exactly i advised here, i've quoted the comment just so you know. Yes, i did say SOME areas. Please be mindful of your tone.
  • Ami2301
    Ami2301 Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,948 Disability Gamechanger
    @tru88le please me mindful of your comments and carefully read posts.
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,846 Disability Gamechanger
    If we’re keen on actual statistics then last time I looked at least 40% of local authorities asked for contributions towards Council Tax of at least 20% according to Policy In Practice. Numerous sources cite the average gas bill as being £56 not £40 but for a single person that falls to £33. It is however an average so by definition the majority will fall below that whilst some higher ones will drag it up. 

    So, yes, actually the @poppy123456 assertion on this totally stands up. 
  • tru88le
    tru88le Posts: 217 Member
    If we’re keen on actual statistics then last time I looked at least 40% of local authorities asked for contributions towards Council Tax of at least 20% according to Policy In Practice. Numerous sources cite the average gas bill as being £56 not £40 but for a single person that falls to £33. It is however an average so by definition the majority will fall below that whilst some higher ones will drag it up. 

    So, yes, actually the @poppy123456 assertion on this totally stands up. 
    Of course it does to you. You wouldnt dare agree with me lol
  • tru88le
    tru88le Posts: 217 Member
    So what did the other 6p% of councils ask for.
    You just admitred that popoys £40 gas bill was was16 below average  then you say it stands up.
    What about the north south cost of living? Does that stand up...
  • tru88le
    tru88le Posts: 217 Member
    Anyway the average gas bill is 56 but i can understand yiu tweaking it to 33 to make poppy right
  • tru88le
    tru88le Posts: 217 Member
    And one more thing i said "about" relating to any costs meaning roughly n9t definitely exact and i dint see where i mentioned gas  in particular.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,886 Disability Gamechanger
    tru88le said:
    Not corrected it, rather asserted her own as definitive facts. 
    So council tax should only be 10% because thats what popps is and your gas bill will only be 40 a month because thats what poppys is and its just the same cost of living in the south and north becsuse it was for popoy. None of poppys facts correlate to any statistical data however which suggesz most gas bilks are more than 40 a month a


    Although a spelling error, you did mention gas bill here....

    I don't know what the problem is here. I never said those figures were guaranteed for all areas. You really should read comments properly...
  • tru88le
    tru88le Posts: 217 Member
    tru88le said:
    Whatever you say

    I see you removed the very nasty comment that you made in my direction. Just so that you know i reported the comment but thanks anyway. I'd also like to point out that my gas bill is correct and the reason i know that is because i have smart metres so they can't be incorrect.

    Enjoy the rest of your evening. :)
    Are you kidding? No one disputed your gas bill just that its well below average , have you forgotten your post dedicated to  explaining why i was wrong?  I was only offering a guess at potential bills but you said i was wrong because your bill was was less, well that doesnt make me wrong or you right but you go on to rip everything i said apart when it wasnt warranted. I know you complained pretty obvious realky snd it was a half hearted rebuttal you clearly forced onto them.
    you give it but cant take it. Youve been pretty insulting yourself and you have your fellow 'champs' to gang up with you so dont make yourself some kind of victim.
    Its quite humiliating to have some suggestions you offer held up as incorrect and your gang members joinibg in and verifying why your right and im wrong even though you werent right at all and its pretty mean blaming someone for losing a tribunal  saying its their own fault!

  • tru88le
    tru88le Posts: 217 Member
    I think its a bullying thing. I wont be asking for advice here again after last time  and i certainly wont be giving any.
    So thanks for that poppy.
This discussion has been closed.

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.