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Disabled During Lockdown

jj70 Member Posts: 12 Listener
To be honest, I’ve always hated asking for help. I started to lose the use of my legs over a year ago. Three is actually nothing physically wrong with my legs, the condition is neurological it hit its worst a few weeks into the Covid lockdown, I’m now in a wheelchair and out of work.. I have no appointment with social services or been able to see a doctor face to face. My appointment with a specialist is due March next year. I live on a second floor flat in a town centre, my car is parked 1 mile away, I can only walk a few yards.
this is less than half of it, (I’ve not been further than my bathroom for weeks).
Any advice would be appreciated 


  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,132 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi have you spoken to social services to see what help they can offer? Have you checked that you are claiming all the benefits you might be entitled to? could you phone the consultants secetary to see if they could see you sooner? Do you rent your flat and if so is it social housing (council etc) or private? if council speak to them about rehousing, it wont happen overnight but its upto you to start the ball rolling.
    I know its not easy but sometimes you have to be proactive with these matters.
    However if we can be of any further help with anything please feel free to ask we don't bite (honest).
    Be extra nice to new members.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 8,132

    Scope community team

    Hi @jj70! How are you getting on today?

    I think woodbine has made some good points here. There's no shame in asking for support. 
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  • jj70
    jj70 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Hi Both, and thank you for your kind replies. Yes I contacted Social Services many times, no help due to Covid (wrote to my MP, who has been pretty proactive- resulted in a few phone calls and one OT visit (no more help due to Covid).
    I’m in private rental (second floor no lift), I’m not that old 50, and in reasonably good shape. Ironically I find walking up a flight of stairs easier than walking on the flat. I can walk just under 8 meters with a crutch.
    I’m just totally lost, I can’t find any help, and yes in my current situation would take anything I could get.
    At times weeks go by when I have been no further than my bathroom. Obviously this is hitting my mental health- anxiety and mild to mid depression- some of you may understand this can affect your ability to fight for help.
    again thanks for your kind replies, but any practical advice would be gratefully accepted. 
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 15,069 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi unfortunately you just have to keep fighting and sometimes feels like you are hitting a brick wall.

    I would get on your local council waiting list for a new property it wont happen overnight

    I advise also to contact CAB or welfare rights or shelter who may be able to advise you more 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,363 Disability Gamechanger

    You were very lucky to get that OT visit because in my area they aren't even doing home visits at all. Were you offered any help from the OT?

    You're asking for practical advice may i ask if you can be more specific? You said you're unable to work so how are you managing financially? Do you live alone or with a partner?

    Do you have family that can help you?
  • jj70
    jj70 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Hi Poppy, thanks for the reply. No I didn’t get any real help from the OT although she was a really lovely kind young lady. She admitted the only reason I got to see her at all was because I had contacted my MP and he contacted the director of social services. you kindly asked for specific advice, it’s hard to be specific, I was totally unprepared for this level of disability, to say the pandemic hasn’t helped is a major understatement, I’m assuming many on here have been disabled for some time.
    How did you cope emotionally and financially (I’ve always worked), ? 
    I have some help from friends (thank God or I wouldn’t be able to get basic food), my only family are my parents who live hundreds of miles away, I’m in Kent they are in Lincolnshire, they are also very old and having major problems themselves.
    ive only been out of work for 2 months, (I was actually sacked because of my legs), ...I know employment law pretty well and am post grad educated, 
    probably too much information but again thank you for your kind reply.
    more specifics...how can I get mobile, why can’t I get a blue badge, how do I survive financially and how to cope mentally?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,363 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm sorry the OT wasn't really helpful. It's very difficult times indeed.

    I've been disabled for more than 10 years and i've just learnt to live with it over the years, having brought my 3 children up alone, with no help from anyone and i won't say it was easy at all.

    Financially, over the years extremely difficult and i haven't worked for many years because of my health but enough about me.

    I do have quite substantial benefit knowledge and it's one of the reasons why i advise here on the community, having helped thousands of people. May i asked what benefits, if any you're claiming at the moment? I see you rent your home, are you claiming for any help with your rent? If you can tell me exactly what benefits you're claiming then i'll be very happy to help you further.

    The blue badge, without automatically qualifying with a disability benefit then the criteria will depend on your local council. It's likely you'll need some sort of assessment as you don't automatically qualify. You will need evidence about your condition when/if you apply. Pop your postcode into this link. https://www.gov.uk/blue-badge-scheme-information-council

    Disability benefits advice next.... PIP or personal independence payment is benefit paid to those who have a disability that affects their daily life. 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. Evidence will be needed to support your claim because they very rarely contact anyone for any of this, the onus is on you to make sure it's sent.

    You must have had the conditions for at least 3 months and expect them to last at least a further 9 months. A successful claim can potentially take several months, maybe longer. An assessment will most likely be needed before a decisions made on your claim. Have a read of these links here. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/

    If you can just answer the questions in bold above, then i'll help you further.

  • jj70
    jj70 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Poppy your a star, my disability started over two years ago. I had many assessments, approx November last year it was concluded that my condition was neurological.
    before last Christmas I could walk approximately 1 mile assisted will a crutch (borrowed), then there was lockdown, within a few weeks of lockdown my walking was down down to 15m assisted with numerous falls. No help from Social Services or the NHS.a wheelchair delivered at my door without any assessment.
    I have applied fir PiP months ago and am now on universal credit (no payments yet received from either).
    ive been turned down for a blue badge as I still have no diagnosis, next appointment March 2021due to Covid.
    carl x . 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,363 Disability Gamechanger
    edited October 2020
    You're very welcome. PIP there's very likely quite a large backlog because assessments were suspended for 3 months during lockdown. Face to face assessments are still suspended and telephone assessments have replaced them, most people have then so it's very likely that you will have one. Once an appointment becomes available they will contact you.

    Universal Credit, may i ask when you first applied for this? There's 5 week wait for first payment and then it's monthly after this. Are you sending in fit notes from your GP to start the work capability assessment process off?

    1 last question, i promise. May i ask have you worked and paid NI contributions in tax years April 2017 to March 2019?
  • jj70
    jj70 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Thanks again Poppy, I can confirm I have been paying income tax and NI until about 8 weeks ago.
    I still managed to work throughout lockdown (everybody asks me how, but I managed)

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,363 Disability Gamechanger
    edited October 2020
    Thanks for that. You didn't answer the question of when exactly did you first claim UC?

    The NI contributions will entitle you to claim New style ESA, with a fit note from your GP. Although you won't be financially better off because it's deducted in full from any UC entitlement. As it's not means tested it will definitely be worth your while claiming this as well as the UC because no one can ever predict the future and all savings/capital and a partner earnings are all ignored for this. Any future works pensions are also ignored up to £85 per week, if a works pension is more than this per week your ESA will reduce by 50p for every £1 over this amount.

    It's also pays class 1 NI credits, where as UC pays just class 3. It's paid fornightly too and UC pays monthly so will help you to budget better. It's £74.35 per week paid for 365 days unless placed into the support group and then it's paid for as long as you remain in that group.

    It can also be backdated for 3 months but whether it's worth you doing this will depend on what date you first claimed UC and what date you finished work. So answering the question about when you first claimed UC is really important.

    I'm sorry if i'm confusing you. If there's anything you don't understand and you have any questions please do just ask and i'll do all i can to advise you.

    Also please make sure that you're claiming council tax reduction because it's not part of UC and needs to be claimed from your local council.

    Regarding your Blue badge refusal... having a diagnosis for this definitely isn't needed, that's just ridiculous. If it was me then i'd apply again!
  • jj70
    jj70 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Poppy your a star, I claimed universal credit the day I lost my job two months ago. I have no idea what is going on with my PIP application as I was told this could not be done online. I applied while I still working. I’m starting struggle with things I used to find basic (I’m well qualified and until recently I was very active and confident).
    if there is a PM function I can send more details including my refusal for a blue badge.
    your help and support is greatly appreciated 
  • jj70
    jj70 Member Posts: 12 Listener
    Oh yes and reading back, except from when I was at university (many years ago), I have paid tax and NI every year 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,363 Disability Gamechanger
    You can still claim the new style ESA even though it doesn't make you financially better off, as previously explained, if i were you then i'd definitely claim this.

    As you claimed UC the day you left work this will most likely be the reason why you haven't yet received any payments because your earnings received for your last pay will have reduced your UC by 63% for every £1 you received, this will havve very likely reduced your UC to zero.

    If you claimed 2 months ago then you should receive your statement soon, this will give you a full breakdown of the elements you're entitled to, plus the deductions, if any and then it will tell you what you will be paid, along with the date.

    You will need to continue to send those fit/sick notes from your GP until you're assessed and a decision is made on your work capability assessment.

    For your PIP, Did you already fill out and return the how your disability affects you form? If you're not sure then this link will tell you what the form looks like... it's a sample. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/713118/pip2-how-your-disability-affects-you-form.pdf

    You can ring DWP to ask them if they've received your form back and they'll tell you if they have. The number to ring is 0800 121 4433 and lines are open between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Best time to ring for me is always as soon as they open, although you could still be waiting for a while for them to answer.

    There is a PM function where you can send messages to other members and no none else on the community can see these. I don't usually help members through PM because if i did then i'd probably never have any spare time lol. For you though i will make an exception to my rules and i'll PM you. You shouldn't be alone in times like this, i know what that feels like, been there, done it and wore the T shirt. Always happy to help.


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