I'm new on here a friend told me to ask my question looking for help — Scope | Disability forum
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.
Please read our updated community house rules and community guidelines.

I'm new on here a friend told me to ask my question looking for help

Options
Sue78
Sue78 Community member Posts: 9 Listener
Hello
I hope I am in the right place first of all Like everybody we are both stressed and worried about how we are supposed to live on what we get. My hubby is 73 and I am 78. I have hardly worked in my life because of bringing up the children, caring for my now deceased mother, my now deceased father-in-law as well as my husband so I don't have many stamps and got my pension when hubby reached 65. He had a good job and paid in his stamp up until his accident in 1994. Since then, he has not worked. He suffered brain damage, has a heart problem and cannot walk very far. Because he can't deal with people or money it is left to me to do my best. I think that he used to get some sick benefit from the DHSS but it finished when he got to 65.
We get between us we get £237 a week state pensions. It is getting to a stage that we cannot afford to pay our bills. Our daughter helps out with some food shopping so that is taken care of. It's the bills that is the problem. I'm no good when it comes to forms or even understanding what I am told as it is beyond me. I once went to the citizen advice place but I just didn't understand it all so gave up and didn't like the pl pace with them making me feel inadequate and silly. Can somebody tell me who to talk to on the telephone to ask if the bills can be reduced to what we can pay?
thanks Sue


Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 53,978 Disability Gamechanger
    edited October 2022
    Options
    You can claim pension credit, which will top up your income to £278.70 per week. It can also be backdated for 3 months so i'd advise you to do that too. Full details on how to claim are here (you can claim it only through the link)  https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit/how-to-claim
    There's huge backlogs for pension credit claims so it could take about 6 months.
    Sue78 said:
     I think that he used to get some sick benefit from the DHSS but it finished when he got to 65.


    I would think that would have been ESA or Incapacity benefit, which ends once you reach state pension age.
    You should also look at claiming Attendance Allowance for your husband. If he needs help/care during the day and /or night then he may qualify for this. Claims are currently taking up to about 12 weeks,
    To start a claim your husband will need to contact Attendance Allowance, details here. https://www.gov.uk/attendance-allowance/how-to-claim
    Do you rent or own your own home?
    Are you claiming council tax reduction from your local Authority? If not then you'll need to contact them to claim this.
    For help having you bills reduced then you will need to contact each individual company to speak to them.





    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.
  • Sue78
    Sue78 Community member Posts: 9 Listener
    Options
    Hello Poppy
    Thankyou for the reply.
    I have seen the form from the internet, my daughter did it for me yesterday. It seems quite simple. I'm going to need a few days to get all of the information it asks for going back to August. You say that we will get another £40 a week which will be a great help. Is there a catch or downside with this? I always think that if someone wants to give some money away there may be a catch in it? My daughter has also printed off the attending allowance form. That goes into a lot of detailed information which neither of us including my daughter would find easy. I think I will give that suggestion a miss. Our home was my hubbys family home and we got it through the will. No we don't get council support but it is very low lreally because the home is very old but it has been modernised over the years by hubbys dad before he died. So I will have to speak with Scottish power about reducing our bills.


  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited October 2022
    Options
    Sue78 said:
    … Is there a catch or downside with this? I always think that if someone wants to give some money away there may be a catch in it? 

    No. On the contrary, if you receive guarantee Pension Credit you will automatically be entitled to full Council Tax Reduction  if you claim it. You really should claim it.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 53,978 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    You really should consider claiming AA for your husband and get some help with the forms. You can use this link to see what advice agency is local to you for help. https://advicelocal.uk/welfare-benefits

    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.
  • Sue78
    Sue78 Community member Posts: 9 Listener
    Options
    Hello Calcottie & Poppy
    Thank you for both of your replies. We are going to fill out that form for the Pension credit increase, seems silly not to especially as it looks easy to do. The Attending one is that we all agree that it is rather difficult. Saying that we should go to get help. I had a bad experience at the citizens place the people were not nice and made me feel undeserving. I have had a look at the advice thingy, do you know that the nearest one other than the one I mentioned is about 27 miles away in Preston. To get there we have to get a taxi to the big town costing about £25 then a bus costing about £5, each way. We can't afford that. No, we will be happy with the extra £40 a week if that's alright with you both?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 53,978 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    It's entirely up to you what you choose to claim.
    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.
  • ShirleyW
    ShirleyW Community member Posts: 355 Pioneering
    Options
    @Sue78

    What is it you are finding difficult about in the claim form for Attendance Allowance?

    Have you downloaded the form and had a look at the questions?

    I found it quite easy to complete although it was time consuming.  I spread it out over several days and typed my answers onto the computer and then copied and pasted them onto pdf claim form.

    Does your husband need a lot of personal care?  For instance does he use an aid getting on and off the toilet?   Does he use grab rails in the bath or shower?  Does he need help getting washed and dressed?  These are some of the things which would count towards receiving Attendance Allowance.  Even if no one helps him to do the things.

    There is some good information on Age Concern 
    https://www.independentage.org/get-advice/money/benefits/attendance-allowance?

    And you can download a very good factsheet about it here
    https://www.independentage.org/get-advice/disability-benefits-attendance-allowance

    It is a very worthwhile benefit to claim and it is very rare for anyone to have an assessment of any sort.

    I applied in January 2022 and my claim was accepted about 4 weeks later but I understand that there are quite long backlogs at the moment, however it would be backdated to when you make the claim.  If your husband qualified for the Lower Rate of Care or Supervision during the day it would mean an extra £61.85 per week.

    I notice that you say you live near Preston.  Do you live in the Blackpool area at all?  There is a very good Carers' Charity for Blackpool residents and I think they would help you to fill in the form.
    https://www.blackpoolcarers.org/
    You don't have to be claiming a Carer's benefit for them to help you but I think you have to be a Blackpool resident.  If you don't live in Blackpool then maybe there is a more local charity who could help you.  Don't let your experience with Citizens' Advice put you off claiming a much needed benefit.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    Just want to flag again Council Tax Reduction to be claimed from your local authority. If you are struggling to pay bills you are making it more difficult for yourselves if you do not claim what you are entitled to.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Sue78
    Sue78 Community member Posts: 9 Listener
    edited November 2022
    Options
    Hello Shirleyw
    Thank you for your comments.
    I know that what you are saying but we feel that the form is too long and is very detailed. I don't really sit down and work out what I have to do for hubby I just do it, it's normal for me.
    We have some aids that were loaned to us and they help a lot.I have my own problems as well of getting about and other medical matters that seem to be increasing in volume as the years go by. I had two visits to Preston hospital A&E this last weekend and now find that I have a blood clot in my left leg whatever next. We don't live anywhere near Blackpool we live in a small village [Removed by moderator - personal information]

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 53,978 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    Can your daughter help you to fill it out? I agree it's a long form but you can do it in your own time and take as long as you want to. Use the links that Shirely posted as a guide to help you fill them out.
    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.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2022
    Options
    Sue78 said:
    .. we feel that the form is too long and is very detailed. I don't really sit down and work out what I have to do for hubby I just do it, it's normal for me.
    Do please look at the information that has been suggested which gives you guidance on how to complete the form to support a claim. 

    As you say, you will just get on with what needs doing and it becomes part of your routine. It can help to just keep a diary or some notes over a few days to highlight to yourself what you are having to do, which in better circumstances, he would do for himself.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • ShirleyW
    ShirleyW Community member Posts: 355 Pioneering
    edited November 2022
    Options
    @Sue78 I know the form is long and does seem intrusive.

    None of us mean to pressure you but once you start it won't seem as bad.  Could you spend just 15 minutes a day and do one question at a time?

    The extra money would benefit you both enormously.  If your own health problems are increasing as well it may be that you would qualify for Attendance Allowance as well or perhaps in the future.

    In the case of myself and my husband my claiming and receiving Attendance Allowance has made a big increase in our finances.  I have cared for my husband for many, many years and worked part time as well.  The carer's Allowance stopped when I received my State Pension.  My own health was getting worse due to severe osteoarthritis and I delayed claiming AA for a long time.  My husband receives PIP and because we both get a disability benefit and nobody claims Carers' Allowance for us our Pension Credit has increased a lot.

    We can now afford to buy a lot of things to make life easier for us.  I can get a cleaning company in to do all the hard housework jobs, pay someone to do the heavy gardening jobs etc.  I'm not worried about keeping us warm this winter.  I am saving up towards things like repair jobs around the house and for the car maintenance.  The relief I feel is incredible.

    Anyway I won't pressure you any more it's your decision to make.  I know where [Removed by moderator- personal information] is and it's such a pretty village.
  • Community_Scope
    Community_Scope Posts: 943 Scope online community team
    Options

    Hello @sue78,

    We just want to let you know we’ve edited your comment because it contained the name of your village. Disclosing your general location is okay, if you choose to, but we've removed this for your privacy and safety. For more information about why we removed this, please consider our online community house rules

    All the best, 

    Tori

    Online community team 

  • Sue78
    Sue78 Community member Posts: 9 Listener
    Options
    Hello Calcotti
    Thank you for your note
    One of the things that worries me about the form is that it just has boxes to tick. I'm frightened that the DWP will treat me as a liar and cheat as anybody could tick the boxes and they have nothing wrong with them. I've always been honest all of my life and would hate it if they looked at me as a cheat in the same way that the citizens office did. I'm too nervous and completely lost in all of this form filling.

  • Sue78
    Sue78 Community member Posts: 9 Listener
    Options
    Hello Shirley
    Thank you with such a nice story
    I have asked hubby if he can remember what he was getting before he went on the pension in 2014. He says it used to be incapacity then he moved to ESA. I couldn't work out when our income dropped it was when he started the pension. You mention something called carers allowance. What is that? I have been a carer for hubby since 1994 after he came out of hospital. He was in there for a couple of months with a coma after he was attacked in Blackburn wanting the money he had just taken out of the cashpoint. He had a cracked skull and a bleed. The front of his brain suffered damage. Should I have had this carer allowance since then? 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 53,978 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    They will not treat you as a liar. Just fill the form in with as much detail as possible about the help your husband needs. If you have some evidence to send to support the claim then you should send that as well.
    Sue78 said:
    You mention something called carers allowance. What is that? I have been a carer for hubby since 1994 after he came out of hospital.
    At the moment you can't claim carers allowance because he's not claiming a qualifying disability benefit such as Attendance Allowance.
    If he's awarded AA then you'll be able to claim carers allowance but because you're claiming your state pension if this is more than £69.70 per week then you can't receive the payment, you will have an underlying entitlement to it which can increase entitlement to Pension credit by £38.85 per week, known as carers premium.
    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.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2022
    Options
    Sue78 said:
    One of the things that worries me about the form is that it just has boxes to tick. I'm frightened that the DWP will treat me as a liar and cheat as anybody could tick the boxes and they have nothing wrong with them.
    It isn’t just ticking boxes. You need to add comments about the difficulties experienced. The space provided for doing that is often too small and you can attach expanded answers on separate pages (include name and NI number on each page). Then include copies any relevant medical letters if you have any. Your GP should provide a Summary Care Record if you ask for it.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.

Brightness

Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.