What benefits am I entitled to?
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need urgent advice please

happyfellahappyfella Member Posts: 114 Courageous
Hi, I really need some expert advice. I am disabled and my wife has COPD. My wife has been on furlough since the beginning of the pandemic and is due to go back to work in four weeks, which scares me and my wife.

My wife works in a supermarket and will be having her second vaccination in three weeks. Having her on furlough has been a blessing for me as my health has got worse.

My wife ears £800 per month and she is 65 this year. My wife is worried about going back to work because of the pandemic and her copd, and is worried about leaving me on my own. Her doctor does not want her to go back to work until she has had her second vaccination.

My wife has mentioned about retiring early on health grounds, so retiring when she is 65 instead of 66. But as far as i know if she gave up work then she would not receive her pension until she was 66

Can anyone please provide me with some professional advice on this matter, or will my wife be forced to return to work for another year. we could not afford to lose her income

Replies

  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,942

    Scope community team

    Hi @happyfella.

    To better answer your question we’d need to know a little more about your situation if that’s okay? 
    Are you and your wife currently claiming any benefits at all? Such as PIP, DLA, AA, ESA, Carer’s Allowance, UC, housing benefit etc.

    Are you above state pension age yourself? 
    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
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,210 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome 

    You cannot get state pension any earlier but if she has a private or company pension it could be a possibility 

    Other option is to get signed off work  by gp and get ssp but this isn't as much as her earnings and paid for 28 weeks , she could then proceed to medical dismissal 

    Or she can leave on medical grounds and claim benefits try a benefits calculator to see what you would be entitled to 

    It could be new style esa if she has paid enough ni if not then uc and she could also apply for carers for caring for you if you get pip daily living component 

    Lots to look into just ask if any further questions 

    You may benefit from contacting welfare rights for a full check 


  • happyfellahappyfella Member Posts: 114 Courageous
    Hi @happyfella.

    To better answer your question we’d need to know a little more about your situation if that’s okay? 
    Are you and your wife currently claiming any benefits at all? Such as PIP, DLA, AA, ESA, Carer’s Allowance, UC, housing benefit etc.

    Are you above state pension age yourself? 

    hi, i receive full PIP, and while my wife is on furlough, she is receiving furlough pay and universal credit. she has one year left until she official retires
  • happyfellahappyfella Member Posts: 114 Courageous
    janer1967 said:
    Hi and welcome 

    You cannot get state pension any earlier but if she has a private or company pension it could be a possibility 

    Other option is to get signed off work  by gp and get ssp but this isn't as much as her earnings and paid for 28 weeks , she could then proceed to medical dismissal 

    Or she can leave on medical grounds and claim benefits try a benefits calculator to see what you would be entitled to 

    It could be new style esa if she has paid enough ni if not then uc and she could also apply for carers for caring for you if you get pip daily living component 

    Lots to look into just ask if any further questions 

    You may benefit from contacting welfare rights for a full check 



    thank you.her private pension is worthless to be honest and we are shocked by it. she has been paying into it for over 15 years. she took out of it £6,000 around six years ago, and when she retires next year they will give her a lump sum of £2,000 and £100 a month. we worked out, for what she has paid in, to get all that money back she would need to live until she was 100. its not a great pension
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,210 Disability Gamechanger
    Yep I get where you are coming from taking money early can hugely impact the pension investment as there is less left to invest 

    Let us know if you have any questions after you have looked into it 
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 1,215 Pioneering
    edited April 23
    You say that you are already getting PIP and UC. If you are getting the daily living component of PIP has your wife declared to UC that she cares for you? If she hasn't, she should. This will increase the UC entitlement by £163.73/month and mean that she has no work search or work related requirements. She is then free to leave work without any UC sanctions. However you need to decide whether your UC income will be sufficient. Use a benefits calculator or, if you wish, post a breakdown of your last UC statement and one of us can tell you what you would get if your wife was not working.

    You didn't answer Adrian's question about whether you are over pension age yourself. How old are you? Do you get the LCWRA element in the UC?
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • happyfellahappyfella Member Posts: 114 Courageous
    calcotti said:
    You say that you are already getting PIP and UC. If you are getting the daily living component of PIP has your wife declared to UC that she cares for you? If she hasn't, she should. This will increase the UC entitlement by £163.73/month and mean that she has no work search or work related requirements. She is then free to leave work without any UC sanctions. However you need to decide whether your UC income will be sufficient.

    You didn't answer Adrian's question about whether you are over pension age yourself. How old are you? Do you get the LCWRA element in the UC?

    i have 20 years for my pension. My wife gets the carers element in UC. My wife  took a reduction in hours to look after me so i was not on my own much. but when she returns to work i will be on my own three days a week most of the time. She is worried about me, but i am worried about her and how she will cope, due to the environment she works in. I know it is getting better and we are coming to an end, but i still worry about her. before i got ill she wanted to carry on working until she was at least 70, but due to my health she will not work past next year
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 1,215 Pioneering
    Because your wife is a carer she has no work search requirements so can give up work without penalty.

    You will lose the £800 of wages she receives but your UC will increase. If you are getting Council Tax Reduction and it doesn't't cover all of your Council Tax that may increase also.

    Does your UC include help with rent? Do you have LCW or LCWRA? Are your wife's earnings the only earnings included in the UC calculation each month?
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • happyfellahappyfella Member Posts: 114 Courageous
    we have a mortgage so we could not afford to lose the £800. we will just have to wait until next year when my wife retires, and i may have to hire someone when my wife is not there to help out
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,942

    Scope community team

    @happyfella have you been assessed by UC as to your work capability? Have you started handing in fit notes to them? I think I recall you asking about work commitments in the past. 

    Would I be right in thinking you currently receive around £252 a month from UC, with your wife earning £800?

    Sorry for all the additional questions. The thinking behind them is this:
    • if you are assessed by UC and found to have LCW or LCWRA it would add a work allowance to your claim, meaning less would be deducted for your partner’s earnings.
    • if you don’t have a work allowance currently, the loss of income from your wife not working may not be as high as you’re thinking it is, as she wouldn’t have any deductions to UC for wages
    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
  • happyfellahappyfella Member Posts: 114 Courageous
    hi, i do not understand lcw or lcwra.  i spoke at length over the phone to UC. you then said I would receive a form to fill in about being able to work. When I received it, my face dropped to the floor as it is 40 pages long. I have been told not to do anything that causes me stress so i have been putting off the form. But, i suppose i will have to fill it in with my wife even though my counsillor has advised me to get an organisation that they deal with to fill it in for me.

    I have been talking at length with my wife since posting this, and we have decided that she is going back to work in four weeks, and the days that she is at work i will try and manage, and if i do not manage then we will arrange for someone to come in for a few hours each day.

    I am not sure if we would then receive UC with my wife going back to work, i do not think we will with my wife coming out with £800, and i dont think we will get the carers element of UC with her going back to work.

    My wife was full time, but reduced her hours from 45 hours a week to 22 hours a week to look after me, but her wage is over the threshold of carers allowance.

    I am hoping next year to start doing some work from home if i can find a company who does that. It is a case of finding out who hire people from home.

    UC have already asked me why i have not filled in my form and i have told them it will cause me stress, but tomorrow and monday i will go through the form and fill it in
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 1,215 Pioneering
    hi, i do not understand lcw or lcwra.  i spoke at length over the phone to UC. you then said I would receive a form to fill in about being able to work. When I received it, my face dropped to the floor as it is 40 pages long. I have been told not to do anything that causes me stress so i have been putting off the form. But, i suppose i will have to fill it in with my wife even though my counsillor has advised me to get an organisation that they deal with to fill it in for me.
    ...
    UC have already asked me why i have not filled in my form and i have told them it will cause me stress, but tomorrow and monday i will go through the form and fill it in
    If you are found to have LCWRA it would increase your UC by £343.63/month.

    If you don not have any children on the claim and neither of you have Limited Capability for Work then you do not currently get a Work Allowance. Getting LCWRA would mean that you do and that some of your wife's wages would be ignored (£293 if you are receiving help with rent, £515 if you are not).

    At the moment, if you don't have a Work Allowance, your wife's wages of £800 are reducing the UC you receive by £504/month. You can check this by looking at your UC statement. If that is the case and your wife stopped work you would only be down by £296/month which is less than the LCWRA element which means that if you get LCWRA you could afford for your wife to stop work.

    If you so have children on the claim and do have a Work Allowance already the maths will be different but the underlying principle is similar. If your wife stops working you do not lose all of the £800 because your UC would go up.


    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
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