Financial Assistance

Hi, I’m hoping someone on here can offer me some practical advice regarding my circumstances. I have been medically retired from my current career having served for 29yrs. I will receive a pension but am wondering whether I am entitled to any other form of help or allowances, how I go about making the enquiry and who should I make the enquiry with? Any pointers would be gratefully received. Many thanks

I’m no expert but I will do what I can here. Firstly, If you have a choice of receiving a lump sum as part of your pension, if you think you have a good chance of living a good number of years, then opt to take the largest amount that you can. If you do that you can invest that capital in tax free ISA’s, roughly £11,000 per anum. I recommend Hargrieves Lansdown internet site, you can invest in stocks and shares and get far more than building society rates. You can read up on the website and have acess to the cash at any time. Unfortunately you should have retired prior to the year 2000 because our beloved leaders have spent the later years dismantalling our welfare system. My next advice is never, ever vote Conservative again, for it is they who will ensure you will have to fight for every penny from now on.

Whether you can claim any benefits will depent on savings, pension income, and the extent of your disabilities. You will be very lucky to get any good advice from anybody on this score. This MS Society website will send you leaflets on some of the subjects that can help you so request them and read up on any possibilities there may be. Go to the You Gov website and read all about carers allowance, attendance allowance, employment support allowance, and apply for all of them, even if you think you won’t get them. You may well have to jump through hoops, attend medicals, walk on water, eat fire, and be hung on the cross, and you may well end up getting nothing at the end, but at least you will have tried, and clogged up the system a bit more if nothing else.

If you have an MS nurse talk to them and see what they think you may be entitled to. GP’s are generally no use in any of this, I think they have been either scared off or paid off by the Government. Citizens advice have all the information and can help but you may find it nigh on impossible to get an appointment, too many people on benefits apparantly, you should know better than to get sick before you retire at 85.

If you do get a lump sum buy yourself whatever you will need for the forseeable future as well as things you may need for your illness like a mobility scooter, new car, rise recline chair, etc. This will reduce your capital, but by doing this it may well bring it down to a level where you can claim council tax benefit, housing benefit and suchlike. You really have to do your research and do not be put off. Forms like books and medicals are there to try and put you off but persevere and learn to be as awkward as you can. Watch ‘Benefits Street’ on Channel 4, and tell yourself ‘At least I have an illness, so I should be entitled to benefits’.

Good luck and If I can be of any further assistance or you want to get in touch privately by e-mail, post a request on here and I’ll send you a message.

Bumping your post up 'cos it’s slipped to page 2 and no one has posted a reply. You need to complete the forms for DLA ( disability living allowance, soon to be PIP which is personal independance payment) and ESA (employment support allowance). These are the 2 that I am in receipt of. The forms are long and always put your worse day when your MS is at it’s worse. It can be a bit of a battle to get the DWP ( department for works and pensions) to pay anything but don’t give up. You can complete the forms on-line, Google ESA and DLA and you should find them. There is also Housing Benefit but I don’t receive this so not sure where to get this from or what the rules are for receiving it. There are possibly other benefits you may be entitled to but I only have DLA and ESA so cannot comment on anything else. You should also qualify for a Blue Badge and free car tax, but you need to be in receipt of DLA first. Hope this helps. Tracy