Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Long term sickness

KarenAKarenA Member Posts: 25 Connected
My sister has been unable to work for the last 6 years due to severe ulceration of both legs. She didnt claim sick benefit because her husband is still working. She has had to give up work completely now and is unable to leave her bed.  Because she didnt claim any benefits, her pension will be reduced unless she makes additional payments. 
Her husband, also her carer ,is ill himself and on a 4 day week. I am applying for pip on her behalf but this w ill be the only benefit she gets. Is there any way in which she can claim additional support now. She has several years before she reaches pensionable age. They are short of funds as husband doesnt earn a great deal. 

Replies

  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,388

    Scope community team

    Hello @KarenA

    I am sorry your sister is going through this difficult time.  I can imagine that is really stressful and a lot to cope with.  

    Your sister might find it useful to use Scope's benefits calculator to find out which benefits she is eligible to.  Please keep us updated with how she gets on :)
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  • KarenAKarenA Member Posts: 25 Connected
    Thank you. . I'll have a look at this
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,194 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community, using the benefits calculator is the best way as you can enter all the required info/

    It is hard to advise on here what she may be entitled to as we dont know all the details which are taken into account
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    HI and welcome,
    Use a benefits calculator to check entitlement to Universal Credit. Whether they;ll be entitled to anything will depend on their joint circumstances. UC is a means tested benefit and they will need to claim as a couple. If they have asavings/capital of £16,000 and over they will be excluded from claiming.

    If they are claiming tax credits a claim for UC will end that claim and they won't be able to go back.

    As she has a limited capability for work, if they claim UC then she will need a fit note from her GP to start the limited capability for work.

    If they're not entitled to any UC then a claim for New style ESA for NI credits only maybe possible. She won't receive any payments though because of lack of NI contributions from working in the previous 2 years.

    Hope this helps.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • KarenAKarenA Member Posts: 25 Connected
    Thank you Poppy, that's very helpful. I think that might be a way forward for her. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You're welcome. I note that you said her, Universal Credit is means tested which means they must claim as couple. They need to use a benefits calculator to check entitlement before they start a claim because it will be pointless starting one, if they're not entitled to anything.

    If her husband has a diability that impacts his daily life then he should also look into claiming PIP for himself.

    You also say that you're applying for PIP for your sister. If you haven't already filled in those forms then when you do, i'd advise you to put as much information as possible about how her conditions affect her. Then add a couple of real life examples of what happened the last time she attempted that activity for each descriptor that applies to her.

    Medical evidence is only useful if it states how her conditions affect her and most medical evidence doesn't state this. It will only ever state the basics.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • KarenAKarenA Member Posts: 25 Connected
    I'm trying to put in as much information as I can. She cant leave her bed at all so she has to have a great deal of help. The biggest score would seem to be that she cant prepare food or drinks for herself, but all the descriptors seem to be more related to people who might not have capacity to do that. Whereas she cannot physically move to do anything. It's been years since she has been able to do so. Husband has heart condition and diabetes so not sure that he can claim pip?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2020
    The descriptors are definitely not aimed purely at people who don't have the capacity to do them. I certainly have capacity and i claim Standard daily living and Enhanced mobility.

    Her husband, whether he's entitled will depends on how his conditions affect him. PIP isn't awarded based on any diagnosis.
    Have a good read of this and it may give you more of an understanding of the PIP descriptors and what they mean.

    Do be aware though that before Covid19 most people had face to face assessments. As they are still suspended, telephone assessments have taken their place and most people have them, so she maybe one of them.

    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • KarenAKarenA Member Posts: 25 Connected
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,941

    Scope community team

    Hi @KarenA. I just wanted to say how nice it is of you to help your sister out and look into all of this for her. The benefit system can be quite confusing so if you need any further help or have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. 
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    Your feedback is really important to the development of the online community, so please remember to complete our online community annual survey
  • KarenAKarenA Member Posts: 25 Connected
    Thanks Adrian. I did want to know if it's possible to keep claiming Pip after her official retirement age? She is only a few years off . Also husband cant claim carers allowance as they cant afford for him to reduce his hours. Is attendance allowance paid instead of carers allowance after retirement age or does it replace PIP? Thank you for your time. Sister in too much pain to deal with this at the moment. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2020
    KarenA said:
    Thanks Adrian. I did want to know if it's possible to keep claiming Pip after her official retirement age? She is only a few years off . Also husband cant claim carers allowance as they cant afford for him to reduce his hours. Is attendance allowance paid instead of carers allowance after retirement age or does it replace PIP? Thank you for your time. Sister in too much pain to deal with this at the moment. 

    An existing award of PIP will carry on after state pension age for as long as she remains entitled to it.

    Attendance Allowance is not the same as Carers allowance, it's a disability benefit that people claim form state pension age and above if they don't have a PIP award.

    Carers allowance can still be claimed after state pension age but he won't be able to receive any payments, he will have an underlying entitlement to it which could increase other benefits or make them entitled to them.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • KarenAKarenA Member Posts: 25 Connected
    Thanks again Poppy for all your help.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You're welcome.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • KarenAKarenA Member Posts: 25 Connected
    Because my sister is so I'll, she cant face filling in the forms to claim PIP. It's taken me years to persuade her to claim and to let me fill in all the paperwork for her.  The DWP wouldnt let me deal with her claim unless we were both together on the phone , even though I live 4 hours drive away from her. She we felt if she were to write in and request the forms but ask that they be sent to me as her representative at my address. It took several months for her to even do this, despite me typing her a letter and enclosing a stamped address envelope. She finally sent it on 16 June. Several months later, they still hadn't actioned it and initially denied receiving it. They did look again and realised they received it on 18th June. 
    Although we gave them all the information you would give over the phone, they insisted that they would have to send out a form for her to fill in to request the pip claim forms. 

    They changed their minds and sent the whole 33 page claim form out to her for return by 25th September saying she had to sign it.
    I am now faced with an 8 hour round trip to fill in the form at her bedside, get it signed so that I can then send it off in time for third 25th September deadline. I am going on Monday.
     I wondered if anyone knows what we have to do for her to nominate me as her appointee as putting the request in writing, signed by herself, doesnt seem to be enough. She cant even bring herself to look at the form. Surely she is allowed to nominate someone to help her? Her husband cant do it as he struggles with forms due to dyslexia.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2020
    To become an appointee for someone claiming benefits then they must be mentally incapable or severely disabled. Under normal circumstances a home visit would be needed for this but i don't know what would happen now because of Covid. A phone to DWP needs to be made to start this process of though. See link. https://www.gov.uk/become-appointee-for-someone-claiming-benefits

    You will also need to have her PIP money go into a bank account in your name and then you'll be solely responsibile for her benefit claim, which will include reporting changes and receiving all letters.

    You can also ring DWP to request extra time to return the PIP form, which they will be happy to do.

    Becoming an appointee for her will not include her UC claim, if she's claiming this now.


    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • KarenAKarenA Member Posts: 25 Connected
    Ok. Thanks Poppy. I'll just have to suck up the long drives then back and forth with forms. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    While you're there with her, you could also ring DWP to just ask if it's possible that you can deal with the phone calls on her behalf? Providing she agrees to this then i can see there being any problems and all you can do is ask. Although for this, any forms/letters sent out will go to her and not you.

    May i ask how she will manage if an assessment is needed for the PIP claim? Paper based assessments are very rare. Before Covid face to face assessments were the normal but now because they are suspended then telephone assessments have replaced them.

    Did she claim Universal Credit with a fit note? If so then the same applies to the work capability assessment for this. Although if a decision can't be made by the telephone assessment then they will wait until face to face assessments are back up and running again.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • KarenAKarenA Member Posts: 25 Connected
    She cant claim universal credit as her husband works. I cant begin to imagine how she will manage a phone call assessment. The only thing I can think to do is ask that I be there with her for the phone call. She couldnt go to them because she cant physically leave her bed, let alone ber house. I was hoping that if she got pip, she could eventually get a power chair when she is well enough so she could at least move around the house.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Have you used a benefits calculator as advised in a previous comment of mine? Just because her husband works, it doesn't mean they're not entitled to any UC. It depends on how much he earns each month and what their maximum entitlement is. People claim UC and work, if they're on low income.

    Before Covid home assessment were possible. Could her husband be there for the phone call assessment, if needed? Although a successful claim can potentially take several months so the assessment may not happen very quickly.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • KarenAKarenA Member Posts: 25 Connected
    Ber bubby is a lovely man but not the sort of person to help with this. You need your wits about you I think to make sure you are not being misrepresented. He would let them railroad her 
  • KarenAKarenA Member Posts: 25 Connected
    She says she has done so and cant claim. Really she needs re housing but she wont let me chase anyone up over that too. I think it must be a sort of depression affecting her. She hasn't been outside except for several 999 rides to hospital for about three years now. I dont know how she keeps going. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    That's a very long way to travel everytime a form needs filling or she needs help with something. When you do see her i'd advise you to sit down with her and do that benefits calculator with her, just to make sure she did it correctly. It would be Universal Credit they would need to claim.

    May i ask if she's ever had a needs assessment from her local council? If she hasn't then she can refer herself and they will assess her and hopefully be able to help her. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/help-from-social-services-and-charities/getting-a-needs-assessment/

    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • KarenAKarenA Member Posts: 25 Connected
    Thanks Poppy. I'll take a look. She was assessed some while ago on one of her returns home from hospital. The physio referred her. They agreed her housing wasnt suitable because she cant get out the front or back door because of deep step and the doorways arent wide enough to fit a wheelchair through so they wont build a ramp. She has no privacy because the downstairs is open plan, so even when she is strong enough to leave her bed(if that day ever comes again) she has to use a commode in an open plan environment. But it was months and months ago, if not a year, but she wont chase them or let me chase them. It's very frustrating. But I keep chipping away. At least she will let me help her with PIP.. 
  • KarenAKarenA Member Posts: 25 Connected
    To be honest, you wouldnt keep a dog like this. No access to outside in over three years. Not felt the sun on her face in all that time. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm sorry to hear that, it's very sad indeed. Just being able to go outside in the garden would be a huge help to her mentally.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • KarenAKarenA Member Posts: 25 Connected
    Yeah it would. Once her legs are better, I'm hoping she could rent a powered chair so that she could at least go and sit by the patio window when its sunny. 
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,941

    Scope community team

    Hi @KarenA. I noticed you said that her husband's wages are quite low. It may be worth revisiting what @poppy123456 said regarding Universal Credit.
    When doing a calculation she needs to check if she was to have a health assessment and be awarded LCW/LCWRA whether she'd then be entitled to some UC then. If awarded, this would then give her class 3 NI credits. 
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    Your feedback is really important to the development of the online community, so please remember to complete our online community annual survey
  • KarenAKarenA Member Posts: 25 Connected
    Oh thank you. I've not heard of that. I'll look it up.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
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