Confused and need help — Scope | Disability forum
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Confused and need help

I’m currently living alone and receiving ESA and universal credit but my ESA is due to end at the start of December. I’m happy for my benefits to just be universal credit if my situation was staying the same but my boyfriend and I have been looking for a place to rent together. If we do live together my universal credit will drop to less than £150 a month because my boyfriend works full time. After paying his half plus his other outgoings (he currently is paying a debt off but he also has a teenage son that he pays maintanence for) he wouldn’t have money left so we wouldn’t be able to afford rent and bills.
I’m currently looking for work but I’m limited in the type I can do and how many hours because I am diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder, awaiting an ADHD assessment and I am just about to be diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder.
We really want to be able to take the next step in our relationship but I’m worried about being able to afford rent and bills and I’m not sure if there are other finances available to me. I have applied for PIP but my claim has just gone through to tribunal stage so may be waiting another year.
If my housing situation was ok then I would be happy to wait a bit longer but my house has mould and damp problems plus the heating doesn’t work properly and is expensive so I’m currently just putting the heating on in my bedroom and living out of the one room.
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated as I really don’t know where to turn.

Comments

  • Cher_Inactive
    Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,414

    Scope community team

    Hello @Leigh_S

    I'm sorry to hear things are difficult money-wise at the moment for you.  

    The job market is really challenging.  I wondered if you had heard of Scope's Support to Work service?  They offer 12-weeks personalised support around various things such as:

    • identifying your strengths and transferable skills
    • developing confidence and job skills like time management
    • reviewing your CV to meet your employment goals
    • how and where to look for jobs
    • mock interviews
    • how to talk to your employer about your impairment and reasonable adjustments

    You can contact them on [email protected] or call 0300 222 5742 to discuss whether it’s right for you.

    Also, I wondered what is your current housing situation?  I really feel for you living out of the one room and in damp conditions.  Have you enquired about having this sorted?  

    Please let us know how you get on and lots of luck.  
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  • Leigh_S
    Leigh_S Member Posts: 8 Listener
    I’m currently receiving support in getting back to work from Reed.
    I am currently privately renting and have reported the issues to the landlady directly and to the letting agents but nothing has been done in the 18 months I’ve lived here.
  • Cher_Inactive
    Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,414

    Scope community team

    The landlord/letting agents have a responsibility to carry our repairs and make it habitable for you  :(

    Shelter provide this online guidance about what to do if your private landlord won't do repairs.  I'd make sure to chase it up and keep records and evidence of the issues as it suggests.  I hope you have some progress with it soon.
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  • Leigh_S
    Leigh_S Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Thank you very much. I plucked up the courage to email them again so that would have a record of the email. They replied almost immediately and is sending someone as soon as they can arrange it.
  • Cher_Inactive
    Cher_Inactive Posts: 4,414

    Scope community team

    @Leigh_S  Yey!! Brilliant  :) 
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  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,886 Disability Gamechanger
    edited October 2020
    HI,

    May i ask what group you're in for ESA? you say it ends in December, so i assume your ESA is new style and you're either in the WRAG or still on assessment rate, is this correct?
  • Leigh_S
    Leigh_S Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Yes I am on new style. I was assessed by them and they said I was capable of working and they saw no issues surrounding my autism, I was appalled when I finally saw a copy of my assessment to see the assessor had blatantly lied on the report and had not put things in the report, such as needing to turn the lights down in the room because of how they were affecting me. At the time I didn’t have the energy to appeal it.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,886 Disability Gamechanger
    Were you found fit for work? if you were then your ESA should have ended when the decision was made. If you were placed into the WRAG then payments will continue for 1 year and then stop once you reach that time scale.

    If you can just answer that then i'll advise you further regarding your UC claim.
  • Leigh_S
    Leigh_S Member Posts: 8 Listener
    It sounds like I’m on WRAG then as my ESA is finishing after a year
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 24,886 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes, it does sound like it to me. When your partner moves in with you then they will need to claim UC with you because you will be classed as a couple and UC is means tested. As you already have limited capability for work then this means that your UC will have a work allowance of £292 per month. This means that you or your partner will be able to earn that amount of money before you start to see the 63% deductions in your UC entitlement.

    Your UC payments will change from single person to couples rate standard allowance. If at least one of you is over 25 then this will be £594.04 per month. You will then receive your housing element, if your PIP award is successful and you're awarded the daily living part then your partner will be able to claim the carers element of UC if they look after you for at least 35 hours per week. Best thing to do is to use a benefits calculator to see how much you maybe entitled to, if anything. When you fill out the calculator you need to make sure you tick the box that say limited capability for work or WRAG, otherwise it won't give the correct calculation. https://www.entitledto.co.uk/benefits-calculator/Intro/Home?cid=d779d079-70b3-4fcb-9ba4-a359b1339512

    If your PIP award is successful then this of course will continue, even if you live with your parner.

    If you're claiming the single person discount for council tax then this will also end if you live with your partner.
    Hope this helps and good luck with the PIP Tribunal.

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