Fibro Newbie seeks Benefits advice

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Fibro Newbie seeks Benefits advice

Postby robdelondres » Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:47 pm

Hello all, I apologise in advance for the long winded post :oops: but I felt I needed to give people some background to what is a complicated scenario in order to get the relevant advice and not waste anyone's time!
So;
I have recently been diagnosed with FM, anxiety & depression and nutritional issues despite over 6 years of hospital tests, research & doctors visits to no avail.
I always thought I had FM as my wife is a holistic therapist as well as studying physiology as a degree.
My first claim for ESA just after I was struck off from full-time work was dismissed by a tribunal when I was originally on ESA 6 years ago. Their reasoning was that I didn't seem to be depressed!

I also had a test by who I assume was ATOS and as I was deemed 'able' to look after myself they also refused my claim.
My problem, it seems was that I was in a situation, being single and living on my own at the time, where I had no choice but to look after myself, do my own shopping, wash myself etc. I also feel a little male pride came into it and I didn't want to admit that I struggled with basic day to day things. So they didn't take into consideration the fact that every day I was in excruciating pain in all my joints and that living a day to day life was a struggle. At this time I had been diagnosed with 'only' Chronic joint pain and because I was 'such a positive person' they ruled out depression or anxiety even though I have always been an anxious person with obvious signs.

Anyway, that's the 'brief' background. Since losing my job, losing an ESA tribunal and wondering what I was going to do, I have met my childhood sweetheart, gotten married, taken on a father's role to her two children aged 11 and 13, moved home twice and now have a beautiful 8 month baby of our own too so I have a lot to live for!

As I have had no idea what I am eligible to claim for, I decided as I couldn't work a normal job due to the day to day pain and depression, that I would start my own business. So my wife and I have set up a partnership, building our own business from home so I can manage my illness around it.
We have had no support from the government for our business, we have done it all by ourselves with loans from family and by selling personal items to fund it.
We are still very new and are relaunching following my wife's maternity leave and a house move so we do not earn enough to pay ourselves any wages yet.
We're basically running the business at a loss at the moment until it has grown and we start to see some profits. Then we will be able to pay ourselves a small wage which will of course affect any benefits we're on. We're currently claiming Housing benefit, and Tax Credits.

I felt I didn't want to sit around on my butt all day doing nothing whilst claiming JSA for jobs that did not exist or I would not be eligible for because of my condition. So I thought by helping myself (and the economy) by starting up my own business, the government would help people in my position. I thought wrong!

So in the meantime, we are struggling to get by financially, sinking further into debt. I am seeking help for the depression and anxiety and have medication to manage the pain and depression as well as nutritional prescriptions to help with the severe weight loss I have suffered from. But I need to know from people who may be or have been in a similar situation, just what am I missing?

Should I try to claim DLA or ESA or PIP or whatever else is out there to help us get by some more?

I've looked online at the benefits sites but there is a lot of jargon and gobbledeegook. I can't seem to get a straight answer when I call the local council helplines and the CAB just told me to try and claim for everything and see what happens (great, thanks!)

So if you have managed to read my post without falling asleep :sleep: and you think you may be able to advise me, it would be greatly appreciated! Thank-you and I look forward to hearing from you.
:-?
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Re: Fibro Newbie seeks Benefits advice

Postby gilld » Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:24 am

Hi. Get in contact with Fightback4Justice. they will advise you.
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Re: Fibro Newbie seeks Benefits advice

Postby robdelondres » Fri Aug 08, 2014 3:44 am

gilld wrote:Hi. Get in contact with Fightback4Justice. they will advise you.



Thank-you. I'll look into that! Much appreciated! :-D
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Re: Fibro Newbie seeks Benefits advice

Postby zappa20 » Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:55 pm

If you're registered as self employed and have stated your working hours are more than 30 as far as I know you should be receiving the maximum for child benfit and tax credits for 3 children as well as full working tax credits, as well as help with HB and Council tax.

The benefit entitlement checkers should be able to give you full info on what you could be receiving. DLA for adults for new claims no longer exists, so would need to be PIP you apply for which is not means tested. If you were eligible for PIP at above a certain level you could also get additional top ups I think.

If applying for PIP you should get help from one of the professionals at either. CAB or your council Welfare advisors to help you fill in your form. It's important to give a full and detailed picture of how your condition affects you to enable a decision maker to have enough information when they make their decision.
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Re: Fibro Newbie seeks Benefits advice

Postby robdelondres » Fri Aug 08, 2014 6:49 pm

zappa20 wrote:If you're registered as self employed and have stated your working hours are more than 30 as far as I know you should be receiving the maximum for child benfit and tax credits for 3 children as well as full working tax credits, as well as help with HB and Council tax.

The benefit entitlement checkers should be able to give you full info on what you could be receiving. DLA for adults for new claims no longer exists, so would need to be PIP you apply for which is not means tested. If you were eligible for PIP at above a certain level you could also get additional top ups I think.

If applying for PIP you should get help from one of the professionals at either. CAB or your council Welfare advisors to help you fill in your form. It's important to give a full and detailed picture of how your condition affects you to enable a decision maker to have enough information when they make their decision.



Oh I see, so PIP has replaced DLA for new claims. I will look into it and see who can help fill in the forms locally. Thankyou for the advice. Much appreciated! :-)
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Re: Fibro Newbie seeks Benefits advice

Postby awindup » Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:23 am

Ok... working with mh and fibro is ok and as states above over 16 hours per you should claim working AND child tax credits. The next thing is pip. Read the info carefully about what affect your illnesses could qualify for. It is NOTHING TO DO WITHOUT EITHER DEPRESSION OR FIBROMYALGIA! ! It's about the effect the separate illnesses have on your ability to live a normal.life. like cooking and caring for yourself
Are you in danger or a danger to others. What pain you suffer mentally or physically when undertaking a familiar or non familiar journey etc etc. If you get enough points for the affect the disability has on you then you . If you get even the low rate in any of the care or mobility sections you will get thousands extra in working and child tax credits! Also Amy housing benefit is also increased if you get higher rates. I have just been sacked through disability but was on working and child tax and housing benefit and only earning 500 from work it was topped up by about 900 per month in benefits plus my pip/dla high rates . Has allowed me to rent own home for me and my son! Now I've lost my job I get esa instead of wages and lost lots and lots but still my housingbenefit went up and my esa is income based so I still get extra benefits like warm home discount and free prescriptions! I get pip at about 600 per month . No rent or council tax to pay and esa at 149 per week! OK took me two years and I genuinely need all I get and deserve it too. I have to have carers every day and need constant therapy...I'd pass any test nit because I have fibro or depression but because I have pain and mental.suffering that makes me incapable of relationships and work. I think you have to delete the label the illness has because that doesn't get you a PENNY! Get help from the dwp themselves if you cam through job centre or get cab to put you in touch with a specialist advisor. Maybe even a charity like mind or framework? Experience is everything when filling out forms but you have to be willing to be tested and you can't fool them. You can make sure they look in the right direction with letters from specialists etc. Good luck with the business and who knows the low income may be your saving grace lol paul
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Re: Fibro Newbie seeks Benefits advice

Postby robdelondres » Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:13 am

Thanks so much Paul, that's a very interesting read and I'll take your points on board. Thanks you for taking the time to post that! Great info! I wish you all the best. :-D
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