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Thread: Unclaimed benefits - Help needed please.

  1. #1

    Unclaimed benefits - Help needed please.

    Good Morning,

    I am hoping you can offer me some advice about my sister. I will outline the facts and keep it as brief as possible.

    My sister is 52 and has learning difficulties. She lives in a flat with no warden. My Dad, before he passed away looked after her needs until he passed away 15 years ago and she is in receipt of Housing Benefit, Income Support (topped up with severe disability and no other help at all.)

    I live out of the area and visited recently and was appalled to see the state of her bathroom which was covered in mould and damp. I contacted Gateway to Care in her area and they are now dealing with the damp problem and I have been in touch with a key worker to discuss benefits. The key worker has informed me that she could have been claiming ESA – then Incapacity Benefit and PIP – then Disability Living Allowance for the last 15 years, with other benefits and help as well.

    I am so upset and distressed about this situation as she has been struggling financially for years and has now only confided in me how bad it has been for her. My sister can do basic tasks like go to the Post Office and pay bills but she has no idea about other issues. I would like to stress that I live far away from my sister and am a pensioner myself. I thought she was coping well, she is a private person and very independent (as much as she can be) I thought she was coping until I visited her recently.

    I know this is a long shot but is there anyway the claims for Incapacity Benefit and Disability Living Allowance can be backdated? I am furious that she has not received any guidance and assistance from the DWP. The key worker who is helping me now is leaving her position in 3 weeks due to the funding of her organisation ending then I will be lost what I can to do to help her. Also I am very concerned how she will cope if she has to go for medical assessments to claim PIP/ESA. The key worker says she will definitely be entitled to them, but don’t know if she will attend the assessments. I will ensure that I am with her for these meetings if necessary.

    Thank you all for reading this and any advice would be so much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    As much as i can understand that someone with learning difficulties may struggle to understand what they are entitled to, it is the claimants responsibility. It sounds like the local social services should be involved in ensuring her care needs are met. Id consider getting her assessed by social services. This may result in them giving her a carer given that she has no support locally. This would atleast ensure that she is taken care of when you cant be there.

    With regards benefits, i think it unlikely youll get it backdated prior to the date the claim was put in. If you look towards the future however, make sure the claims for benefit are submitted before the key worker leaves. This may involve you checking on her as often as you can whilst the claim is being processed, even if its only over the phone. Make sure she has opened letters and knows if she has an appointment or any forms to fill in. You may want to plan another visit to see her a few weeks after she applies for PIP and ESA. She will be sent a form to fill in for each benefit. These would likely be to difficult for her to fill in alone.

  3. #3
    Senior Member deebee's Avatar
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    I am confused, you say your sister receives IS with severe disability top up, but I thought you could only get the top up if in receipt of either ESA support group or DLA
    Is it possible your sister already claims this ?

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    SDA is/was payable with an Income Support top up, later changed to Incapacity Benefit then ESA.

    some people are still on it and waiting to be migrated to ESA.

  5. #5
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    I agree that she should have an adult social services assessment.

    From what you have said it seems that she would benefit from a support worker. Is she living in a housing association property? If she is then her housing officer may be able to arrange a support worker for her. Supported Living plus her area is a phrase that you could google to find out more.

    Councils operate different schemes so it may be that they could help. Or try CAB for information and sign posting.

    MIND is a useful organisation that may help. Also her doctor's surgery may have organisations that offer support.

    She can apply for PIP. This is not means tested. CAB could help with completing the form or a welfare worker.

    It seems that she has not been transferred to ESA yet so PIP seems the only other benefit she would be eligible for.
    Last edited by pmlindyloo; 12-08-15 at 17:40.

  6. #6
    tallit
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    PIP/DLA/IB/ESA will not be backdated.

    You have to make a claim and that is the date that it will be paid from.

    I was in and out of hospital, rehab, sectioned etc and during those five years I failed to appeal against a refusal to re-award DLA. I could only claim it as from the date when the new claim was submitted. I lost just over 5 years of High Mobility & High Care money because I was unable for one reason or another to deal with anything.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by tallit View Post
    PIP/DLA/IB/ESA will not be backdated.

    You have to make a claim and that is the date that it will be paid from.

    I was in and out of hospital, rehab, sectioned etc and during those five years I failed to appeal against a refusal to re-award DLA. I could only claim it as from the date when the new claim was submitted. I lost just over 5 years of High Mobility & High Care money because I was unable for one reason or another to deal with anything.
    ESA can be back dated 3 months if the doctor is prepared to back date a fit note..
    Hope that helps, best of luck with it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member deebee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tedthered View Post
    ESA can be back dated 3 months if the doctor is prepared to back date a fit note..
    Hope that helps, best of luck with it.
    But the benefits they currently receive are instead of ESA as explained by slipmaster

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by deebee View Post
    But the benefits they currently receive are instead of ESA as explained by slipmaster
    Yes you are quite correct.
    I was just clarifying the point regards ESA and not specifically referring to this lady, it may prove useful to someonrpe who reads the thread
    Last edited by tedthered; 13-08-15 at 06:13.

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