Remaining politically neutral during General Election 2024


Under guidance from the Electoral Commission and Charity Commission, it's important that Scope remains politically neutral during General Elections.

While we understand that this period will see many passionate discussions and do not want to discourage open discussion, we cannot allow discussions which are purely intended to influence voting.

As ever, please make sure that your comments remain respectful of other people's opinions and keep to our online community house rules.
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Hello, I am new here and in a bit of a pickle.

Options
creamcrackered
creamcrackered Scope Member Posts: 38 Courageous
Hi everyone, I hope you are all doing as good as you can be. My news won't come as anything new to some of you but I have been very let down by the benefits system. I'm 41 and diagnosed with ME/CFS. I am unable to work and my life is flipped upside down. I was at University full time when I fell unwell 4 years ago. I managed to finish my degree but then unable to continue my Masters I began to apply for benefits. I did not know that my NI wasn't credited while at Uni nor did I know that you have to have the last 2 years NI paid to gain ESA. I have 18yrs NI paid prior to this. I'm now left with a total income of £340 from PIP (ends next March so not guaranteed to continue). I'm luckly i moved in with my partner as he can cover the bills, mortgage etc but how do I get financial security for myself. If anything happens to my partner I'll have nothing to put towards rent or my own mortgage. Nor can I afford to pay into a pension so I can't even protect my future. How do I deal with this? Is there anything I can do to help my situation?  

Comments

  • JustPete
    JustPete Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 303 Pioneering
    Options
    Hello @creamcrackered 
    It would be good to welcome you to this community, but it is hard to do so given the circumstances you have described.  There will be other colleagues better versed than I in the Benefits system who will be able to give you more practical advice regarding your financial situation, both immediate and future.  If you navigate through the categories, you will find a section 'Talk about money' where you may find more info.

    I wanted to say that it is important to look after your mental health too.  Being creamcrackered and in a pickle isn't a great combination, but at least it seems you have some support from at least your partner.  I have found the people involved in this community to be extremely supportive and genuine, so rest assured you will always find a reassuring voice on here.


    I am a Scope Community Volunteer Adviser with knowledge of "life"!  Lived experience including employing personal assistants, being gay, sport & leisure inclusion & participation, mental health issues.  

    What is the bravest thing you've ever said? asked the boy. 'Help,' said the horse.  'Asking for help isn't giving up,' said the horse. 'It's refusing to give up.”
  • creamcrackered
    creamcrackered Scope Member Posts: 38 Courageous
    Options
    Hi, thank you for your advice. I will take a look at the section you have mentioned. I look forward to being part of this community.
  • leeCal
    leeCal Community member Posts: 7,550 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2022
    Options
    Probably not helpful but you can usually buy old years missing of national insurance contributions to help safeguard your future pension. Something to consider when you’re in a better financial position perhaps. 

    It might help to check on turn to us or similar to see what benefits you might be entitled to, though I guess you’ve already done that. 

    Im sure others will have better ideas than me pretty soon. Good luck and best wishes. Stay positive 🙂

    “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” 
    ― Dalai Lama XIV

  • creamcrackered
    creamcrackered Scope Member Posts: 38 Courageous
    Options
    @leeCal thank you for the info. I'm thinking of paying a couple of the lower amounts of NI that I have gaps for when I was unwell I'm hoping UC are covering me at the moment.
    I will keep trying turn it in as I know things change hence why we can now get UC and couldn't the other year. Fingers crossed. Oh this is awful, but yes trying to keep my frown upside down 😅
  • leeCal
    leeCal Community member Posts: 7,550 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    https://www.entitledto.co.uk/ Is another benefits calculator. 

    “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” 
    ― Dalai Lama XIV

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 56,995 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    @leeCal thank you for the info. I'm thinking of paying a couple of the lower amounts of NI that I have gaps for when I was unwell I'm hoping UC are covering me at the moment.
    I will keep trying turn it in as I know things change hence why we can now get UC and couldn't the other year. Fingers crossed. Oh this is awful, but yes trying to keep my frown upside down 😅

    In another thread you mentioned you were only 38. Just wanted to make sure that you're aware that if you pay missing years then these will only help towards your state pension, they will not be useful to claim a benefit such as New style ESA (unless you were self employed) then you can pay class 2.
    As you have quite sometime yet before you reach state pension age, those missing years may not be needed by the time you reach that age you may have enough for full state pension. As you're claiming UC then you will automatically receive class 3, which will be towards your state pension.
    Seems a little pointless to pay missing years if they won't be needed. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • creamcrackered
    creamcrackered Scope Member Posts: 38 Courageous
    Options
    @poppy123456 I was 38 when I got my degree, I'm 41 now. It was in 2018 when I fell unwell. I've just been given a diagnosis this month hence why this is all my concern now since I now know it's potentially no income for the rest of my life. I need to do what I can for myself.
    I know about UC covering credits at class 3 and also about paying back NI to fill gaps which like you say isn't a worry but thanks for the info anyway. My pension issue is also answered on the other thread.
    Thank you for your time. 
Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.

Do you need advice on your energy costs?


Scope’s Disability Energy Support service is open to any disabled household in England or Wales in which one or more disabled people live. You can get free advice from an expert adviser on managing energy debt, switching tariffs, contacting your supplier and more. Find out more information by visiting our
Disability Energy Support webpage.
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.