Hi, my name is Bill1964! I need some advice on benefits and housing — Scope | Disability forum
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Hi, my name is Bill1964! I need some advice on benefits and housing

Bill1964
Bill1964 Member Posts: 7 Listener
Hello all,
Hope you are all coping as best you can in these difficult times.

I am hoping I can get some help and advice on how to navigate the housing and benefits system (which to me seems daunting, confusing and unwelcoming to say the least and causing untold stress etc).
Sorry in advance if this is not the right place or time to introduce myself and my issues. I have a few physical and some mental health issues/problems.
At the my situation is exacerbating my health problems. In short, I have had multiple heat attacks 4+ years ago and repeated heart problems ever since, I have heart disease and angina and I am also waiting for cardiologist appointments as my Doctor believes I have heart failure. I am also awaiting Sleep Apnoea Services appointment as I have respiratory problems (some COPD and possible Sleep Apnoea). I also have spondylosis in my neck and lower back which causes constant pain with near to no discs between some lower vertebrae and neck. This causes not only constant pain, but also severe numbness and pins & needles in my hands and legs (sometimes an extreme burning sensation in mainly my left leg especially when standing or walking for 5-10 mins or more, and headaches from my neck problem. I am also unable to sleep on my back as this also causes my legs to go dead and makes it hard to breathe. Typing this has been hard work due to these problems and I have to take regular breaks whenever I do anything physical. This is made worse due to my heart problems, bending to pick something up, suddenly getting up to answer the door, walking and suddenly stopping to say cross a road etc etc all cause a sudden drop in my heart pressure which in turn is causing fainting and near passing out. Also any physical output causes profuse sweating due to my heart being weak and my physical problems.
I have also lived (and coped not very well) with stress, depression and high anxiety for many many years (made worse no doubt by a serious head injury when I was a school teenager) and at the moment (and since the heart attacks, where I was revived in the ambulance when it finally reached me, and then they had to revive me twice at the hospital with electric shocks etc, at Manchester RI). I also have stomach problems and related problems and recently had endoscopy and colonoscopy cameras, which luckily hasn't revealed any cancer or tumours, though doesn't explain the stomach pain, bloating, bleeding and loss of iron from my system. My regular blood tests continue to come back with varying problems. Also possibly due to my low blood counts, I am susceptible to infections and over the last 18months to two years I have lost count of the number of serious infections I have had to be treated for.
At the moment my long term relationship has broken down and I am now being forced to sell what was my family home. (the estate agents are coming to photograph the house today).
Also recently I lost my best friend of nearly 40 years who died suddenly, aged 61. This is all adding to my stress/anxiety/depression, and causing panic attacks and heart palpitations etc. I really feel unable to cope with my health issues and the fact that I am about to be made homeless.

Over the last 4 years the only financial help I have had is the most basic PIP £60 pw and do not even qualify for free prescriptions? (I am unemployed). And because my partner(now ex-partner) is working I did not qualify for any other financial help or benefits.
We are forced to share the house until it is sold and so I assume I will still not qualify for any social security until such time as we are living separately?

I will leave it there for now as it is depressing enough just putting this down in words and I'm unsure if this is even the right time or place to be offloading all my problems.

I literally feel like I am drowning.

I may only be able to really get into any discussion about my needs and issues on Monday onwards as I am busy until then and also need to be in contact with my doctor.

Yours sincerely,
Bill.

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Comments

  • Bill1964
    Bill1964 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    PS: I've tried to get some nhs counselling service (phoned today) but the earliest date they can give me for the initial callback to take my details and assess me to sign me up for any counselling is in January 2022?
  • Teddybear12
    Teddybear12 Member Posts: 1,347 Pioneering
    Hi @Bill1964 I am sorry you are having such a difficult time at the moment. If you have any questions please ask. Welcome to the Community. Take care.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 12,821 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community 

    I am sorry to hear about what you are going through 

    There are lots of members here with knowledge about benefits who will be able to advise 

    There are huge waiting times to access counselling services have you looked at the charity mind as they offer counselling services they have a website 

    You may also benefit from speaking to cab 

    Another thing you can do is self refer for a care needs assessment on gov website.  A ot will come and assess you and recommended your needs and do a report this can be useful if you are wanting to apply for social housing 

    I would also get yourself on your local housing register and discuss you ate about to become homeless 

    There is also shelter charity who assist homeless people find housing 

    Lots for you to look into but come back and ask any questions 

    British heart foundation are also a reputable charity that could offer support 
    I have professional experience in HR within public,  private, and charity sectors.  If I can help I will 
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 6,610

    Scope community team

    Welcome to the community @Bill1964 :) 

    I'm sorry to hear about everything you're going through. It sounds as though you've got an awful lot on your plate at the moment. You're more than welcome to get things off of your chest here, and I hope that it's brought you some relief to talk about these things openly. 

    I'm sorry to hear about the breakdown of your long term relationship, as I can imagine that's bringing up lots of difficult feelings along with having to handle the practical side of things. 
    I am now being forced to sell what was my family home. 
    I am about to be made homeless.
    What are your plans for once the house has been sold? Have you and your ex-partner come to an agreement about how the money from the sale of the house will be split? If you're worried that you're at risk of becoming homeless, Shelter may be able to offer you some advice as Janer1967 has said.

    Also recently I lost my best friend of nearly 40 years who died suddenly, aged 61. This is all adding to my stress/anxiety/depression, and causing panic attacks and heart palpitations etc.

    I'm also really sorry to hear about the sudden death of your best friend. Have you spoken to anyone about the grief you've been experiencing? Chatting things through with someone who can understand what you're going through is something many people find helpful. You might like to get in touch with Cruse, who can help you to process what's happened and find a way forward at your own pace. Did you have many mutual friends? Are you able to speak to them about what happened, and how you're feeling?

    also need to be in contact with my doctor.

    I definitely think about getting in touch with your GP about the physical and mental health issues you've been experiencing is a good idea. Best wishes for the appointment, and please do let us know how you get on. 
    I've tried to get some nhs counselling service (phoned today) but the earliest date they can give me for the initial callback to take my details and assess me to sign me up for any counselling is in January 2022?
    Waiting times for NHS counselling/therapy can unfortunately be very long. Your GP might be able to help with this, so definitely bring it up with them if you feel able to. You may also find the following resources helpful: 
    • Hub of Hope: to find mental health support local to you
    • Samaritans: call 116 123, or email [email protected] You don't have to be suicidal to get in touch with them, and they're always around to listen
    • SHOUT: text SHOUT to 85258 if you'd find it easier to speak to a volunteer over text
    • Anxiety UK: to get advice and support on coping with anxiety

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  • Bill1964
    Bill1964 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Thank you very much for the help, info and links. I will try and get back to you when I have a little more time (Probably Monday as I'm going to stay with a friend over the weekend, just to try and clear my head etc).
    I have been in touch with my doctor and he is going to try and help with my needs as I'm waiting on Mental Health/counselling help. He has also been chasing up the other appointments I'm waiting on, Cardiology and Sleep Apnoea appointments among others (which are all taking longer than usual due to the backlog from the Covid-19 Pandemic).
    I'm trying to find suitable council accommodation, but it isn't easy as there isn't much suitable in my area (I don't want to move too far away from my Doctor's surgery, family and friends etc). It is a long time since I had to move home or claim any Social Security ('benefits') so I'm finding it all stressful, btw I don't like using the word 'benefits' as it implies one is getting some sort of bonus or gaining a profit in some way, what it really should be called is the old term, 'Social Security', as it is in fact just about keeping your head above water and giving you some security in living needs. (Don't get me started on how the government has treated the unemployed, old, ill and disabled over the last 10 yrs or so with their cuts and sanctions).
    Anyway sorry I digress...
    I am finding the whole Social Security system and Council Housing system rather stressful and hard to navigate, plus once the house is up for sale I will have a limited time to sort things out (which is not easy when dealing with physical and mental health problems as well). The last 18month of having to isolate have no doubt taken it's toll, I was/am on the clinically extremely medically vulnerable list who had to isolate during the pandemic. Though tbh, I'm not good in crowded/social situations anyway so the isolating and empty streets was not as bad for me as it was for others, though I think it may well have reinforced my mental health issues of not wanting or finding it easy to interact with the public and social situations.
    I haven't mentioned the death[s] of friend[s] and acquaintances to my doctor, but was hoping to go through this in some sort of counselling, but that now seems to be a long way off and so I will take your advice and bring it up with my doctors when I next see them. 

    Sorry I will have to leave it there for now.
    Thanks again for the info/links and support. I will check out the links ASAP.
    Have a good weekend,
    Best regards,
    Bill.

  • Bill1964
    Bill1964 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    @janer1967 and @Teddybear12, thanks to both of you for your comments and for the links and info, much appreciated. I will check out those links Sunday/Monday. By all means read through my previous reply to Tori_Scope as I maybe should have included you in that reply.
    Thanks again for showing interest and support.

    Have a good weekend,
    Best regards,
    Bill
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 6,610

    Scope community team

    There's no rush, so please do take your time reading through the information and resources @Bill1964 :) 

    I hope that seeing your friend this weekend helps you to clear your head. It's good that you have friends you can lean on when needed. 

    It sounds as though your GP is supportive, which is great. I do think it's probably worth bringing up the losses you've experienced, as there's no harm in doing so and they might be able to point you in the right direction for some additional support.
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