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Financial support for mental health

debbiedee513
debbiedee513 Member Posts: 29 Courageous
Hi, is there a financial support grant for a person with mental health, to help pay when you have overspent due to the mental illness? 
Im on ESA & PIP for mental health, thank you 

Comments

  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,603 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm not aware of any such grants, but if you have got into debt speak to the debt charity "step change"

    https://www.stepchange.org
    I am a person with epilepsy not an epileptic, my illness doesn't define me.
  • debbiedee513
    debbiedee513 Member Posts: 29 Courageous
    Thank you, no I don’t have a debt problem, the person who helped me obtain PIP said that he has put me forward for this grant, I received £895, I was not told what the grant was called only that it is paid out to a person with mental health due to overspending being a symptom of the illness and was also told not to mention it to anyone as it’s not well know about.  This has made me a bit suspicious (mistrust is one of my symptoms) because if it is available to people then surely we should know about it, so just a bit curious 
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,332 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 10
    Who was this person that helped you get PIP?

    How did you receive this ‘grant’ and who did the payment come from?
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • debbiedee513
    debbiedee513 Member Posts: 29 Courageous
    He used to be a local MP, I received the payment as a transfer into my bank but with his name as reference, which I thought was strange so this made me contact my bank to ask who sent me the money and it was Social, don’t understand why they used his name as reference and not my name or maybe even a reference number.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,332 Disability Gamechanger
    When you say it was ‘Social’ do you mean DWP? If so it would be helpful if your bank could tell you which DWP department it came from.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • debbiedee513
    debbiedee513 Member Posts: 29 Courageous
    Yes sorry it was DWP that’s all the bank knew 
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,168

    Scope community team

    Hi @debbiedee513. Has the person who helped you receive PIP and with this grant been in touch with you since about it? I'm confused why it would be with his name as a reference. Did the bank definitely say it was from the DWP and not social (as in a social payment from friends/family)?
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  • MarkM88
    MarkM88 Member Posts: 1,981 Pioneering
    I’ve heard of organisations and dealt with organisations in the past that offer grants where they have to be applied for by specific people on behalf of someone else, for example a social worker, charity link worker or probation officer. 

    Often the payment would be sent to the organisation that applied on the individuals behalf and then they would send it on to the individual. 

    Is it something like this that has happened maybe? 

    Although I would of thought it would have been paid into the bank by the organisation and not the individual or by a cheque instead. 

    Rather worrying. 
  • debbiedee513
    debbiedee513 Member Posts: 29 Courageous
    edited May 12
    Adrian_Scope  @ MarkN88
    it has all been very strange, I was introduced to him via a friend to help me get my PIP form sorted, this was before the 1st lockdown back in March 2019, I finally got my PIP after 10 months, he did not charge me as he was doing it as a favour for my friend, so I didn’t think much about that, anyhow when I got my PIP my daughters PIP was up for renewal and they stopped hers, she has Lupus & Rheumatoid arthritis, so I contacted him back and asked if he would help her with her renewal.  My friend told me that he normally charges for this service, so when my daughter finally got her PIP back we both went half each to pay him.  I dropped a card through his letter box to say thank you and included £200 for his service. I had never met him in person but had spoken to him over the phone a few times when he had some queries regarding my medical records, Up to this point I didn’t think anything was untoward & it still may not be.
    However, when I dropped the card through his box he apparently saw me, I received a phone call from him later that day, sounding like a teenage boy with a crush on a girl, that girl being me, I’m 60 lol and he is 48, he asked if I would go for dinner with him, to which I said it wasn’t possible because of lockdown and that I also wasn’t interested in anything other than a friendly meal as a thank you. He then came back to me a few days later saying that because of my mental health causing me to overspend at times he could get me a grant, saying that it’s a one off grant they give but this couldn’t be obtained by the normal channels and not to say anything as not many people know about this grant.  I received this money about 2 weeks later, paid into my bank with his name as the reference, I called him and asked why it had his name & not mine, he said oh it was normal because he was the one applying for it on my behalf, I still thought this was a bit strange but said no more.
    He phoned me again but this time via video call, this isn’t something I’m comfortable with and I couldn’t look at the screen (part of my condition is I can’t look people in the eyes) and all he kept saying was “you can’t look at me” I said I was sorry but it’s not something I’m comfortable with, since then I haven’t heard from him.
    I then found out that he also had contacted my daughter to say he would get the same grant for her, but this never materialised.  So I contacted him again and asked for the name of the grant so that I could chase it up for her, I haven’t heard back from him and I don’t think I will.
    He also has my full medical records, which concerns me more as obviously there is a lot of personal details in it, I’m aware that if I ask for these back he could quite easily make a copy so prob not worth asking for them, but it makes me uncomfortable knowing he has all this info about me.  
    so I was discussing this with my daughter and she googled his name and there was a news paper article about him 6 years ago, he was in court for sexual assault and fraud.
    this started to raise red flags with me because he knows so much about me, then I started to wonder about this grant, i never received any letter from DWP as one would expect when they pay us any money, so now I’m rather confused, and wondering if I’m overthinking the situation.  

  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,603 Disability Gamechanger
    I think you are getting there, my next action would be in your place to contact the police, the only conclusion I can come to is that this £895 wasn't a grant, wasn't from the DWP but from the man himself.

    I would add a warning to this post:

    You never need to pay anybody for help with claiming any benefits, help is freely avaliable across the internet and through the CAB or welfare rights etc.
    I am a person with epilepsy not an epileptic, my illness doesn't define me.
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,603 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 12
    I think you are getting there, my next action would be in your place to contact the police, the only conclusion I can come to is that this £895 wasn't a grant, wasn't from the DWP but from the man himself.

    I would add a warning to this post:

    You never need to pay anybody for help with claiming any benefits, help is freely avaliable across the internet and through the CAB or welfare rights etc. And of course right here on Scope.
    I am a person with epilepsy not an epileptic, my illness doesn't define me.
  • debbiedee513
    debbiedee513 Member Posts: 29 Courageous
    I think that’s the route I have been trying to avoid mainly because I couldn’t deal with the stress of it, but things aren’t sitting right & maybe as you say I need to take that step.
    I did ask him if he had paid it in a joking way but he was adamant he didn’t, I thought he was trying to impress me being he became too friendly with asking me out for dinner.
    oh what a mess!
    thank you 
  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Member Posts: 2,186 Pioneering
    @debbiedee513 hi there, that sounds very odd to me after reading your last post. I really wouldn't know what to advise on that, it depends if you want to pursue it with him. How long ago was it?
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 5,389

    Scope community team

    Hello @debbiedee513

    Thank you for sharing that with us, it sounds like it's made you feel very unsettled and unsure, which is very understandable? 

    Can I ask, have you had contact with this person recently? When was the last time you spoke with them? 

    I would advise that you speak with the police about the situation, I'm sure they'll be very supportive of your situation and you'll ultimately feel better in the end for reporting what has happened. You can contact the police through this online form, or by dialling 101.

    You might also want to report what has happened through Gov.uk, in case this person is offering to help others in the same way with their benefits. However, I would suggest the police as your first avenue to go down.

    As stated on this discussion already, there is never a need to pay for benefit help and advice, it's always better to go through places like Advice Local, or Welfare Rights, and of course you can always post your question on a community like this for people to share their thoughts and experience.

    A few resources that you, or anybody else, might find useful for situations like this:
    I am also about to send you an email with further information, it would be great if you could get back to us.

    Take care
    Online Community Coordinator

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