Arthritis Action
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Benefits or the Street

I'm just coming up to my 63rd Birthday and I have got Osteoarthritis in my neck which effects the nerve running down both arms. I went to the Doctors last week with problems in both hands. I was signed off for a month and told not lift or pull with both and I will be getting a letter. I recently went to the Jobcentre and was told that they all deal with the Disabled and disablement Officer they do not have anymore, I was given a piece of paper with phone numbers on. The same one I received 6 years ago and she told DLA as they would know what to do, so the staff in the jobcentre do not know about PIP. I would like to know is there any Benefits to help me as it looks like I will not be able to go back to work, knowing I have tried to get a office for the last 6 years. I have received no help from the National Careers Service, Jobcentre, Futures, and the Work Company they have told I am to old and Disabled. The jobcentre told me that I would get £68 a week instead of the £190 a week I get, so what do I do keep a roof over my head and starve or buy food and live on the streets and have no medication. I have applied for PIP but I don't think they pay money to the homeless and I don't know if I have got it yet.

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Dont forget council tax and housing benefits to cover rent only from your council benefits team and if you are a pensioner the pension guarantee credit. I f you are not getting a pension you will need universal credit too from dwp These all will help a bit but in no way do they replace earnings. The often held belief that those not working get loads is to totally untrue.

The citizens advice or housing association can help with what you can qualify for and help with application forms. Some help with appeals if needed to. Always challenge unsuccessful decisions and you dont need lawyers. Honesty, determination, clarity and shed loads of evidence is all that you need.

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It is likely I am loosing the use of my hands. This as come about because I was won of those people who worked to hard. I have spent all my money trying to get appropriate work so this day would not. I was my Mother and Father carer and saw the reduction in staff, their wages and the of time they were allowed to spend with each visit and this was not the time the person needed. Don't waste time asking the Government anything because you only get some stupid answer like I asked my local MP if there any help with over 50's and disabled to get a job which suits them. The answer I got was we spending £250 million pound to spend on helping the over the over 50's get work. So asked when the answer was it will 10 years to set up the scheme. My thought was by the time the scheme up there will no money left.

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Speak to your gp about hands. D epending on what you used to do for a job you may have carpel tunnel syndrome which is a nerve has popped out of the tunnel in your wrist. My dad had it in both hands. It is operable and curable. One difficulty you may have is with the mobility side as it revolves around walking rathet than your ability to drive. If you cant walk or drive you are really in the kack. I cant drive long distances ie longer than 20 miles. I have 27 medical conditions and live off a machine. I dont qualify for full mobility yet I ache in every inch of my body. I was born with some problems and others came later. Ive done everything I can to improve my position and worked until I was ordered to stop and im still treated like a common criminal by the system. One dr even said I was lucky to get some drugs as hed paid into the system. My partner got him fired as everyone knows the nhs is free at the point of need, id also paid into the system and I was critically ill at the time.

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Sorry to hear about your problems, my Doctor did say it could be Carpel Tunnel but I told him both hands had been done because I have repetitive strain injury in both hands. But this is different it's nerve pain and the loss of feeling and chronic pins and needles. A Consultant did warn me that I could be paralysed, so I hope we can stop this getting worse and I have to have to feed me. Both the these were caused by working to hard.

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Ive nerve root compression and my neck is giving more issues of late

My grip can be ok for a while then loose it plus if clench hand like for blood test it's stuck seized up have to wait for it to do it's own thing before can use them.

Repetative actions cause issues they just die/go dead but get that in other muscles so more a Fibro/Raynauds things

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Is that actual fact about the homeless not getting pip?I've never heard that before

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Is surgery an option to correct the problem ? My degenerative disc disease in my neck ( cervical spine ) became so bad that surgery was recommended, had pain and numbness down both arms as well due to nerve compression. I opted to continue with PT instead but still suffer with it. I have had problems when I have needed surgery as they air on the side of caution to prevent further damage when putting under for surgeries I have needed. I do not have a good answer regarding your current situation. Disability can be tricky, you should try to contact an organization that can help you work through it. Best of luck to you.

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Yes Surgery is possible but they will not do until there is no chance of stopping getting worse as the surgery is likely to paralyse me anyway. By this time I would lost my job anyway.

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I have the same type as problems with my hands as you and like you when I found it impossible to work due to unbearable pain In my hands, wrists, elbows neck and shoulder could not get any financial help even though I had worked in accounts paying full NHS all my life. I am sure working with computers and calculating machines for all those years have contributed to my medical conditions. My very best wishes to you and hope you can get support (we deserve this support)

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Best advice is to lookup contact details for your local citizens advice bureau or other welfare rights agency. They can help you with the applications. Job centre staff are completely clueless and untrained to deal with out of work benefits. Ideally you want ESA claim to be assessed as belonging in the support group. Universal credit only if it has replaced ESA in your area. Pip of course and housing/council tax support from the council. If no fixed abode then you need to get a correspondence address. Welfare rights agency can help with finding this. The council have a duty to find you housing if you require it as you would be in priority need.

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