Why arent benefits enough? — Scope | Disability forum
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Why arent benefits enough?

ydna Community member Posts: 9 Connected
This isn’t to sound ungrateful as I know someone will shoot back with comparing us to other countries, but why aren’t benefits enough to support the cost of living? 

How is anyone able to cope on the amount provided? 

£342 a month to live off.

£130 goes to topping up my rent, £66 to pay back an “advance”.

Leaves me with £146 a month before I start. And apparently in September it’s going to down a further £80? What the actual? So I’m supposed to live off £66 a month for all my bills and so on? AND keep my Internet and phone going so I can sign into my ‘online journal’.

Does anyone here actually manage it? £66 a month? 


  • MarkM88
    MarkM88 Community member Posts: 3,127 Connected
    Benefits weren’t really designed to live off in the first place and often not meant for long term use. 

    If you have a health condition and/or disability, have you considered declaring those to receive a work capability assessment which can lead to additional benefits paid if awarded? 

    There is also PIP which again can provide additional money if you feel your daily living and mobility are impacted?
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
    It all depends on knowing exactly what you can claim for and your circumstances as mark mentions above their are additional benefits if you have long term medical conditions 

    Have you tried using a benefits calculator to make sure you are getting all you are entitled to 

    Also the advance payback won't be helping you 
  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @ydna and welcome to the community. 

    Have you considered using a benefits calculator to check what you might be entitled to? Just in case you aren't getting everything that you could.
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  • ydna
    ydna Community member Posts: 9 Connected
    I think I’ve derailed my own discussion by saying my situation as this is more about benefits in general.

    I get your point about short term rather than long term @MarkN88 but shouldn’t they still cover basic costs of living? £256 is the monthly amount without COVID increase. 
    Does anyone here live on just £256 a month? And if so, can you tell me how or show me your budget? As my numbers don’t add up.

    As for my situation; I had a stroke in November and have been signed off work. I’m working with physiotherapists and hope to improve but right now I can’t work and have a carer come in twice a day. 

    I am claiming everything I’m entitled to, that is just the amount benefits are.

    Work capability scored me lcw so no extra money and PIP I got 6 points daily and I think 4 points mobility. 

    But back to my original question, why is the LHA so low? 
    Why are benefits not enough to cover basic necessities in life.

    I’m still expected to pay £12 towards my council tax. 

    So again I ask, does anyone here think they’d be able to cover their basic costs of living for £256 a month? Honestly? What about if you’re having to top up £130 for your rent out of that and pay £12 council tax?
  • ydna
    ydna Community member Posts: 9 Connected
    Nobody else find it  hard?? I thought many would be finding the amount difficult but it doesn’t seem that way from reactions here.
    From tv shows and media I always thought those on benefits had luxury lives but being on this side it’s very different. 
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 10,470 Disability Gamechanger
    We have lived off benefits for over 20 years, due to ill health, it's not been easy but not impossible either.
    The problem is for people who live off basic benefits i.e no PIP etc, for many benefit rates were frozen for a number of years.
    Seasons greetings to one and all 🎄🎅🏻🌲
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Campaigns Posts: 12,465 Disability Gamechanger
    I think many people do struggle with their finances @ydna, and have to budget carefully. It seems as though our users were just trying to give you some practical advice on ensuring you're accessing everything you're entitled to and so on. I can see you've started a separate thread on budgeting, which is a good idea :) 
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  • erin2490
    erin2490 Community member Posts: 45 Courageous
    @ydna Until recentally and after a year of fighting for benefits I am entitled too. due to mental health issues and universal credit not listening to me.
    I was in the same boat, I couldn't even afford food to last me the whole month, ran out of electric.. literally had nothing (which actually made my mental health even worse)
    So can totally relate, if your on benefits surely a person should be able to afford food to last the month.... And be able to pay basic bills like water and eletric
    I have worked my whole life up until I became poorly mentally and could no longer work, for me to go onto benefits... While trying to get the help I needed to get better. Only to find myself even worse.... If I wanted to get better I had to go to appointments and getting to appointment cost money. Money I didn't have to spend, so I just became more isolated and anxious.

  • fluffycat
    fluffycat Community member Posts: 233 Pioneering
    As other said ‘benefits calculator’

    can you get advance reductions reduced ?

    charity grants if need anything for the home (based on area / low income or previous occupation possibilities etc.) 
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 10,470 Disability Gamechanger
    One thing that possibly would solve this issue would be the introduction of universal benefits (i.e everybody over 18 gets £x).
    It's been trialled in a number of countries, maybe one day here? you never know.
    Seasons greetings to one and all 🎄🎅🏻🌲
  • pollyanna1052
    pollyanna1052 Community member Posts: 2,032 Disability Gamechanger
    Can you access food banks?
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener

    £130 goes to topping up my rent
    That's the problem right there. Your landlord is charging extortionate rents that exceed the Local Housing Allowance, so Housing Benefit doesn't cover the full rent.
  • Lou67
    Lou67 Community member Posts: 4,259 Disability Gamechanger
    @ynad Just wanted to say you can apply to your council for help from the Discretionary fund to help with the rent you have to pay. 


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