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Thread: Independent Living and DLA.

  1. #1
    woodsetton
    Guest

    Question Independent Living and DLA.

    I am 29 and have lived with my Mum who is my carer all my life. My DLA is higher level care, lower level mobility due to mental health problems. I some need help to cook meals as my lack of concentration can mean its dangerous to use the oven/stove and I need someone with me at night in case I get out of bed to go to the toilet and fall down the stairs or fall and hit my head as the tablets I take are very sedating and make me very drowsy. I have always wanted to live independently in my own flat (without those dangerous stairs like at home!) but I know that if I do move, I will need help at least at night. But if I do try to live independently, will my DLA get cut off because I don't live with my carer all the time? My Mum and my Dad would take turns staying at my flat at night if I did move and I would have meals prepared for me in advance but I worry that trying to live independently would mean I lose the benefit which I need to live on.

    Does anyone have any advice on this?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    1,803
    You don't say if you get any other benefits, which you may be entitled to, and would help you to live independently, you only mention DLA. Although many do live on their own, getting high rate care means it is assumed you need 24 hour care, which you would have to show you are still getting. It may be that you would be put on middle or low rate care but then if you are eligible for other benefits this would make up for that lower rate DLA.
    I think the important thing is that you feel certain that you could cope on your own. It is a massive change and not to be gone into lightly, are your parents supportive?
    May be a trial run like using a B&B or hotel or a holiday short let could be an option, this would give you a feel whilst not committing to a long term rental.
    Your DLA will not cover independent living unless you have other income or are going to be subsidised by someone else.
    Another option would be to look into some sort of sheltered or supported housing.

  3. #3
    davewhit
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by woodsetton View Post
    I am 29 and have lived with my Mum who is my carer all my life. My DLA is higher level care, lower level mobility due to mental health problems. I some need help to cook meals as my lack of concentration can mean its dangerous to use the oven/stove and I need someone with me at night in case I get out of bed to go to the toilet and fall down the stairs or fall and hit my head as the tablets I take are very sedating and make me very drowsy. I have always wanted to live independently in my own flat (without those dangerous stairs like at home!) but I know that if I do move, I will need help at least at night. But if I do try to live independently, will my DLA get cut off because I don't live with my carer all the time? My Mum and my Dad would take turns staying at my flat at night if I did move and I would have meals prepared for me in advance but I worry that trying to live independently would mean I lose the benefit which I need to live on.

    Does anyone have any advice on this?
    social services and your mental health team will have access to differnt sorts of halfway houses all with differnt levels of support some which will not affect your DLA others that if you managae would have an affect on DLA as the support level is much lower

    the argument they would put that if you managed in a placement with a low level of support then as you dont need as much dla you could make up your income with a part time job. which in many ways would of course be the ideal place to aim for.

    you need lots of expert advice and just because there are ways of moving into supported places and even unsupported it might not be right for you and of course with budget cuts getting such placements could be very hard

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    387
    There are sheltered housing schemes and warden controlled places which are meant for people who need extra support. You wouldn't lose your DLA simply because of trying to live more independantly, and should be able to claim your own Income Support, Housing and Council Tax benefits as well, subject to the usual conditions.
    The first step is Social Services. Tell them what you would like to do. There could be a long wait for suitable accomodation, but if you are offered a place the next step might be an assessment by Social Services for Direct Payments for extra care. These do depend on your level of need and are by no means automatic.
    Your Mum could continue to claim Carers Allowance for looking after you, as long as she provides 35 hours or more per week of care, and of course as long as you continue to receive DLA Care at the middle or high rate. Carers Allowance It can only be claimed by one person, so if your Dad helped out as well they might need to look at who is the best one to claim.
    You might run into problems with the size of your own place though. If you need 2 bedrooms you may not get full Housing Benefit unless the person getting Carers Allowance can be shown to be the one staying with you every night. But that problem is a way off yet. If you make the first approach to Social Services they will advise and guide you through.

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