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Should I apply for any benefits?

Hi, I was diagnosed in 2004 and since then had loads of relapses. Thankfully, all of these were fixed with steroids or waiting them out. I’m now on Fingolimod and this has given me a whole year without any further relapses. However, stress causes me a lot of problems with fatigue. I would say at least one or two days a week I am stuck in the house without any energy. Other days I am fully mobile and can visit the gym and swimming pool. My workplace retired me two years ago on a long term disability benefit scheme of their own. This is a lot less than I used to earn. Should I be claiming any benefits? The last time I tried claiming, I’d had three bad relapses over a period of five months and at the time of claiming my mobility was seriously impaired however because I told them I’d got better, my claim was declined. Should I get anything?

you could try going to the citizens advice bureau, see what they suggest?! i’m not sure how such variable needs affect benefit claims (i’m just straightforward knackered ).

all the best,

wendy

There is a brilliant website called benefitsandwork.org they will help through the procedure of claiming for benefits. MS is a progressive illness - so when claiming all ways think of your worse days. Some of the benefits are not means-tested.

These people will help and advise you through every step of your claim.

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There are two benefits potentially available to you. Personal independence Payment and Employment Support Allowance.

PIP is not means tested nor dependant on National Insurance contributions. Making a claim with a variable condition is a challenge but by no means impossible. The website that Spacejacket recommended (about £20.00 a year to join) has a very good section on variability in their PIP guide

The other benefit, ESA, is intended for work age claimants who cannot work due to illness. If you have been on an ill health pension for 2 years you will struggle to meet the National Insurance contribution requirements (you might have paid NI for 30 years but they are only interested in the last 3) You can still make a claim but it will be means tested so if you have a working partner or savings you may not qualify.

jane

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to add to Jane’s comments, the forms for both i believe are on the gov Website. I use to work in the citizen advice and it is a bit of hit and miss, if you have a MS charity with a MS nurse attached they may be your best option also look at the form and see if you apply

trish

You should go to your CAB office, they will advise you on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independant Payment (PIP) and any other benefits you may be entitled to ie council tax or rent allowance.

If you are entitled to ESA and receive a private pension you will have 50p deducted from your benefit for every £1 over £85 per week you receive in private pension. I don’t know about the welfare scheme your company has.

Even if all of any benefit you are entitled to is deducted you still need to claim as the DWP will then keep your national insurance up to date. Unless the welfare scheme you are receiving keep your NI up to date.

good luck

Jan x

Turn2us gives a good eligibility for benefits.

If it’s money you’re entitled to then everyone should be getting it. Do you think the tax man wouldn’t claim tax that wasn’t his?!