Quick question about benefits.... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

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Quick question about benefits....

Lynnetp profile image

Hi everyone,

I have found myself unemployed for the first time in my life and it looks likely to remain this way. I’m just wondering what benefits anyone is claiming or if anyone could give me an idea as to what I may be entitled to. I am claiming Universal Credit and have just had a, Capability to Work interview which they concluded they wouldn’t be recommending me to look for work. I have a PIP interview next Friday. Are those the benefits I am able to apply for or are there any others?

Many thanks in advance for any advice 😊

Lynne xx

47 Replies

Look into council tax reduction be sure to say disabled. Check if you have mortgage protection it covers you for a year it was a great help no mortgage payments for a year. . If not able to walk far apply to your city council for Blue badge. If you have a lot hospital appointments check your hospital about parking if on universal credit you will get free parking

Lynnetp profile image
Lynnetp in reply to Spacecat1

Thank you for your reply. I have blue badge but still pay for parking at the hospital as it’s not free parking for blue badge holders. I didn’t realise it’s free if claiming UC though... I’ll look into that as well as the council tax.Thank you!

Spacecat1 profile image
Spacecat1 in reply to Lynnetp

If I think of anything will let you know.

Bevvy profile image
Bevvy in reply to Lynnetp

You need to check IF you can get free parking at hospital. All hospital car parks have different rules. For example my local hospitals I get free parking due to Blue Badge.Also council tax reduction is applied differently by different councils. My council is VERY difficult with regards reduction and so far can’t face the forms or the home inspection that would follow.

Agree with others about Benefits and Work site. Also CAB website has useful information about claiming PIP. Worth investigating before your interview. Is this a telephone assessment. Remember if most days you struggle to do something tell them about those days. If you say “oh 1-2 days I can ......” you are likely to be turned down. Shouldn’t be that is what they do.

Finally is a benefits advisor for BLF worth calling her.

Remember is a bank holiday in England so no one around on Monday.

Lynnetp profile image
Lynnetp in reply to Bevvy

Brilliant. Thank you so much for taking the time to give your advice. I’ll definitely watch my wording and I will call the BLF advisor tooXx

Hiya Lyn, sorry to hear that you lost your job. Myself suffer from severe asthma and COPD. I am without a job 3 years in July. My UC run out long ago. I don't get any benefit at all because my partner is earning to much. I have applied for pip and been declined 2 years ago.

My lung volume has further declined in this year I believe, because less active and shielding. Didn't had my test this year but last time I was on only 25% on both sides. Transplant, to early, to young I have been told as my Doctor was to arrange an appointment in Newcastle.

I actually wanted to call this week to apply for pip again. But forgot about it. I really need to call on Monday to get this started again.

With pip you get points regarding to your mobility and than Daily living rates.

Daily living - standard rate £60.00

Daily living - enhanced rate £89.60

Mobility - standard rate £23.70

Mobility - enhanced rate £62.55

Any disability as long as you have had difficulties with daily living or getting around for three months. Your condition would need to be expected to continue for at least nine months to be able to claim.

I believe 8 points are the standard and 12 is enhanced rate, if they didn't change it. Here in Scotland.

Wishing you the best of luck for your interview. You can find further information on here when you search for pip I believe that you can find good information on how to fill in or answer the questions, I need to check this out myself again. I will look out when I find it I copy the link to you.


Lynnetp profile image
Lynnetp in reply to MELNEL

Thank you so much for your reply. I was declined PIP 2 years ago too but my health has declined since then also so hopefully I’m eligible for at least the standard rate. I’m currently being assessed for a lung transplant too. I’ve had all the blood tests and done the walk test. Re-doing the in depth tests next month too.

Fingers crossed for you too when you reapply 🤞😊x

MELNEL profile image
MELNEL in reply to Lynnetp

Oh wow that's Sounds good. Wish you getting on well too. 😘

MELNEL profile image
MELNEL in reply to Lynnetp


simplesprout profile image
simplesprout in reply to MELNEL

Hi, i went for a P I P medical a few years ago and scored 0 points, after taking advice from someone on this site i joined a web site called BENIFITS AND WORK. It cost £20 and they advised me through the forms, i was then granted lower rate care and higher rate mobility. since then i have had a double lung transplant, but the £20 quid was well worth it.

You may be able to get new style ESA and Council Tax Reduction as well xxx

Lynnetp profile image
Lynnetp in reply to MrsRainbowD

Oh thank you! I’d not thought of ESA...I’ll check that out. It’d be good to speak to a real person at the council as opposed to trying to work it all out online! xx

Hello Lynne, you've had lots of good advice from everyone. You could also phone the BLF Helpline (03000 030 555) and ask to speak to Biddy who is the BLF Benefits Advisor. Have a look at her post here: healthunlocked.com/blf/post... I'm sure she'd have good advice for you.

Good luck!

Lynnetp profile image
Lynnetp in reply to annienell

Thank you! I didn’t realise there was a BLF benefits advisor! Thats perfect, I’ll give her a call...thank you 😊 xx

I don't have advice but wish you well accessing all help available to you. Good luck with everything.

Lynnetp profile image
Lynnetp in reply to Lemon7

Thank you 😊 that’s very kind of you xx

Good luck if you claim PIP. Remember it's not what illness you have but how it affects you. If you can do something say yes, but tell them if it takes you a long time and/causes you pain if it does. One of the criteria is that you can do things safely and in a timely manner.

Get help to fill the form in from CAB or a local disability centre.

Lynnetp profile image
Lynnetp in reply to hypercat54

Thank you! Fingers crossed I filled the form as if on my worst day, following advice from others on here xx

Agree with space at.After losing my job as a neonatal nurse after 28 yearswe faced the same issues.

We were covered by mortgage insurance and got help with council tax.

Citizens advice were also fabulous.

Good luck with your pip appointment.

You may well feel a sense of bewilderment at such a big lifestyle change ,loss of routine ,work friendships ,wage etc give yourself time as your world will have been turned upside down.

This site is amazing for advice ,information and support.

Thinking of you.

Lynnetp profile image
Lynnetp in reply to ninelives

Thank you. Such lovely words....and you’re right about this site it’s a place I now find myself turning to because of all the caring people on here 🥰 xx

Best wishes with claiming all the benefits available. If you don't get PIP the first time, appeal. It sounds as if they will have trouble dismissing the problems your illness causes you, but they came up with a load of codswallop in dismissing my autistic daughter's claim. (Said she could cook, among other things.) It sounds as if you are already on the ball about describing your worse day, not trying to be a brave little soldier. I hope it's all plain sailing. xxx

Lynnetp profile image
Lynnetp in reply to Alberta56

Thank you! That’s been one of my problems and I’m sure lots of us share it on here.....being the brave little soldier lol! That did make me chuckle! I hope it’s palin sailing too 🤞Oh I do hope your daughter now is able to claim all she’s entitled to 🤞xx

Alberta56 profile image
Alberta56 in reply to Lynnetp

Thank you for your kind wishes. Daughter finally got her PIP with the help of a kind lady from Mencap, but it took us a long time to summon up the energy to make the appeal.

Lynnetp profile image
Lynnetp in reply to Alberta56

Bless you 💕 xx


My application for PIP was refused, I rang and asked them to look at my claim again, I did say I may not have made myself clear in my telephone interview ,after a couple of weeks I was awarded the standard rate backdated to when I applied for PIP, try and get help filling in your form and be careful about the words you use, for example, I said I found it hard to breath in the shower ,what I should have said was "I cant breath in the shower and steam suffocates me , best of luck

starskyd profile image
starskyd in reply to Phronsias2

Phronsias2. So true I got turned down twice despite endless drs, consultant letters informing illnesses and inability to work. After nearly a year, both times tribunal I won...seriously stressful, last time however, last year after telephone consultation due to Covud, I was awarded mobility only....situation same but I obviously underplayed problems. I so agree give bad says examples, they try to catch you out . I was even told once my bronchiectasis not diagnosed!!!! Had 20 years at least possibly longer but wasn't diagnosed.

Lynnetp profile image
Lynnetp in reply to Phronsias2

Great advice thank you. I will chose my words carefully when responding xx

Hi Lynnetp, I had to give up work 7 years ago...I have had asthma since 2 months old , he bronchiectasis for 20 years, several other illnesses but had to give up work due to epilepsy. Whilst mire controlled niw I had blackouts/fits 4-5 times a day, danger to myself and others. Be careful with pip, im on 20 tabs a day but wasn't ill enough. After a lot of hassle, tribunals, I won twice, but last time only got mobility, not daily living. When I got housing benefit/reduction I then got an unpleasant surprise, I waz asked to give it all back, as hubby earned too much.just over £300a week..still paying it back after 3 years as in benefits haven't got it. UC I get sometimes, very irregular and confusing. I hope you get better luck, not sure if just my mean council.

Lynnetp profile image
Lynnetp in reply to starskyd

Oh my goodness! What a journey you’ve been on. I do hope things become more settled and easier foe you. I do think sometimes that we have so much to deal with with our illnesses, it would be lovely for these people to understand and empathise as opposed to presuming everyone is not truthful....

Wishing you all the very best xx

starskyd profile image
starskyd in reply to Lynnetp

Thankyou. My main problem at the minute is my mental health.. feeling on scrap heap.. people don't realise when saying" oh you lucky thing lady of leisure" I so don't want to be i was 50 when gave up work , tried to work but cannot get insurance to do so. Put on a brave face, paint a smile and carry on.. Good luck with your health

Lynnetp profile image
Lynnetp in reply to starskyd

Oh I totally understand. I feel the same. This was not my choice to have to stop work. That was my lifeline to normality as well as my career since the age of 16.People do find it difficult to understand & yes, smile gets painted on in the morning & generally cried off later in the day

Sending lots of love to you xx

starskyd profile image
starskyd in reply to Lynnetp

Yeah, my 50th year and I felt on the scrap heap. I didn't feel useful at all worked since 17...just because we look ok doesn't mean we are. I have terrible anxiety, public transport alone now, a big No, . Thats why this forum is good as people really do understand.

Lynnetp profile image
Lynnetp in reply to starskyd

Oh bless you. Anxiety can be a terrible burden and a difficult cycle to break. I totally get what you’re saying. I’ve been there & it’s awful. It is great being able to share experiences on here xx

Bevvy profile image
Bevvy in reply to starskyd

I understand where you coming from. I was retired on health grounds 5 months ago and am only 52. I have to say the decision process for me was extremely difficult but once decision had been made then was okish.I now am using my time for hobbies (indoors during lockdown) such as arts and crafts. Am enjoying doing a bit of kitchen stuff. It takes me most of a day to make coleslaw but now because no pressures on my time due to work it doesn’t matter. And mine tastes so much nicer than shop bought.... lol.

Now summer seems to be here am sitting in garden, meeting friends in their gardens. Doing lots of reading. I expected to watch lots of tv and indeed have lots stored on sky box to watch but not getting around to it!!

What I am trying to say is don’t think of yourself as “on the scrap heap”. Find things to do in the day. I am not spending much money. Things I am doing don’t cost a lot.

You have worked for a huge number of years enjoy the time now and spend time in you. And energy at getting as well as you can.

Ps Due to the fact you unable to work due to health this is classed as a disability. Have you applied for Freedom Pass? This would mean you can travel by bus (not sure where in country you live) and if in London tube for free.

You can also get a cinema card from CEA so a “carer” ie friend or relative can get in for free. Lots of places such as museums and exhibitions allow carer in free.

Finally once PIP sorted apply for a blue badge for car. If get PIP badge automatic. Otherwise will need assessment. Blue Badge and bus pass come from local council.

Lynnetp profile image
Lynnetp in reply to Bevvy

Bless you. I’m so happy for you that you sound content and happy now you’ve found your niche. You sound like you’re filling your time wonderfully... and your coleslaw sounds like it’s something else lol!I do find I fill most days but still struggle when my mind is idle, that’s when I stumble.

Thank you for taking the time to write to me & for all of your wonderful advice xx

Yeah it so is All the best to you.

Hi LynneYou will be able to claim Council Tax reduction if you live on your own

Universal credit plus non working group £750 per month.

Reduction in car tax based on Pip evaluation

Free disabled parking providing its not a private car park

Rent support up to £425 per month if applicable

When you have your pip assessment discuss what you are like on your worst day not your best. Pips is divided into 2 catagories, mobilty and daily living. Minimum on mobilty is £23 min £60 max per week. Daily living is £62 min £89 max per week. It depends how bad your condition is as to what is paid

You also get free prescription, eye test etc

Hope this helps. Good luck

Lynnetp profile image
Lynnetp in reply to Nelliemunt

Oh thank you so much! I didn’t know UC plus non working was £750... I guess I’ll see what happens now I’ve passed the interview for Capability to work...Didn’t realise I’d be able to receive feee prescriptions! That’ll save the monthly subscription I pay too!

Really helpful, thank you 😊 xx

I'm lucky that my daughter works in benefits! I get attendance allowance which I would think most of us would be entitled to! This helps pay for carers three times a week. The council also put a contribution in for this.I have Council tax reduction as well.My water bills and fuel bills are reduced too. Ask for advice from a welfare rights officer,its very difficult to negotiate the system on your own.

Lynnetp profile image
Lynnetp in reply to Aingeful

Thank you for your reply. That’s a really good idea to ask for help and advice. I’ll definitely do that. Many thanks xx

Be careful in regards to free prescription and eye tests having worked in opticians Pip doesn't count as not means tested i e even millionaires can have it, its health wise, however uc does count.

Lynnetp profile image
Lynnetp in reply to starskyd

Thanks for the heads up! I’m on UC at the minute so will look into it. Thank you xx

You will be fine with us.

Hi Lynnette,You have been given great advice and the best is list all health problems, medication. Do not say you have good days look at your worst days and that's what you say. The more evidence you have from Consultants, doctors, nurses is very helpful to you. If you are called into office to be assessed always take someone with you, if you have a good union rep within your previous employment ask if they will represent you, providing they are up to speed with PIP and other benefits you may be entitled to.

I live in Scotland so council help may be different e.g. My council have a 'money expert' re benefits and entitlement also a council office dedicated to welfare rights who will help and represent you. Check what your doctor is putting on sick lines, discuss your current situation with him and request his support.

Unfortunately, PIP decisions are made by Administrative Staff with no medical experience so if not awarded you must appeal, so many people just accept decision which is what the Department want sadly.

Good luck and get as much help as you can.


Lynnetp profile image
Lynnetp in reply to Tarapup5

Thank you so much. It’s my phone interview on Friday so I’ll only answer questions about my worst day. This is my second attempt to claim. I tried a couple of years ago & was declined but my health has declined since then too so fingers crossed. If not I will appeal as lots of you have now said to do so.Thanks again 🙂 xx

Tarapup5 profile image
Tarapup5 in reply to Lynnetp

I wish you good luck it's a good idea to have a note pad and write down your ailments, medication and how they affect you DAILY even better if you have photocopied application, always do that as it's difficult to remember what you wrote. If your requesting mobility component max to get is 50 meters walk before having to stop to catch your breath, again good luck and let me know how you get on.

That’s really helpful advice, thank you! Luckily I photographed my form so I can have that to hand to confirm my answers.I will let you know what happens 🤞

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