British Liver Trust

My update

Hello everyone thought I would let you know how ive been getting on.27th I will finally find out just how damaged my liver really is, benefits (pip) has been a nightmare right from the start, ive been diagnosed with bipolar type2 ,clincal depression since 96 and medicated successfully,I had a bad motorcycle accident pins inserted into my right arm and wrist to keep it together, buprenorphine for pain management ive been on this for 14 years, so if I dont take that in a morning I cant function.Ive been diagnosed with hep c liver disease, for about 2 months, im recieving No treatment for this either yet cause my doctor tells me my depression is getting in the way of that.Im scared,I dont feel like my doctor even gives a stuff cause its not happening to him, I get no financial aid at all apparently im not eligable ? My wife is my carer, and earns to much money for us to recieve Any financial help,(12 thousand yearly) surely this is not true.i couldnt take a mri the other week as I couldnt afford to get to the hospital.everyone is giving me either a cold shoulder, or attitude for asking,I feel like I wanna just die so they dont make me feel so bad for asking for help.does anyone have any advise I could use, how can I get help ? I can't afford my medication cause I have to pay council tax, im so lost, and in pain, please, please, help me . Simon

6 Replies

Hi Simon, sorry for your current predicament.

Have you asked for help from your local council Welfare Rights Officer? They should be able to visit you at home, look into all your current finances and advise which benefits you should be entitled to. It sounds like you should be able to claim PIP but it is a battle I know - hubby and I had to go all the way to a tribunal hearing for him to finally be awarded enhanced daily living but no mobility (at his face to face assessment he scored 0 right across the board - shocking).

The Welfare Rights Officer should be able to help you complete a claim and guide you through the process. Our WRO was brilliant in supporting us at the tribunal.

Sadly you probably don't qualify for Employment and Support Allowance as partners hours and income are taken into account, I know I have to submit timesheets and details of my earnings which are way below the threshold. We get ESA, PIP and Housing and Council Tax benefit but we have had to battle to get them. All details HAVE to be put on your claim forms or 'How your illness affects you" form. Plus they are looking for evidence from medical practitioners a lot more but you have to provide it - the DWP will not request it themselves. You need help in getting the correct information to support your claim and our WRO requested such things on our behalf and actually got some good stuff.

You and your wife should look into an NHS low earnings scheme which can help with prescription costs, hospital travel costs, dental treatment etc. There are certain criteria such as savings limits which apply. More details are available at

Remember too that you could request hospital patient transport which will take you to and from appointments if you have no other means of getting there. I know our appointment letters always come with details of how to arrange patient transport ambulance.

Hope some of this helps,.

Wishing you all the best, Katie x

1 like

Liver4Life have a free helpline. They might be able to help:

08000 74 34 94


Oh dear 😓😓😓 you must be feeling very low 😘😘😘😘

I am not an expert but I am sure that you can claim ESA if signed off by GP (that shouldn't take partners income into account as you are 'sick') also if your wife is looking after you - when you fill out forms make sure you are mentioning everything !!! Go back to GP and discuss your depression (maybe just a change in meds will make things a little easier) - ask local hospital for number of Liver/hep Nurse Specialist - they will offer support and should be keeping an eye on you xxx also there is Hepatitis Trust (they have helplines and groups that may help) also if you are using Internet the HCV forum is excellent for support and advice xxxxI am sure that once you have sorted these things then you will have more positive thoughts 😘😘😘😘 if you need any help with form filling I can help xxxxxxxxx love and best wishes xxxx


Contribution based ESA isn't means tested so someone who has been paying National Insurance in the run up to claiming should be able to get this, however, it only lasts a year - if insufficient NI payments made or illness persists longer than the initial contribution based period then you claim for Income Related ESA and this is means tested and is affected by partners income and hours of work and any savings.

Hubby is on ESA in Income Related category and I am not allowed to earn any more than £20 a week or his benefits would be reduced. My brother works full time in farming and his partner is unable to work due to a serious back condition and she isn't eligible for a penny of ESA - she does however get some PIP.

The benefits system is a minefield hence the suggestion to contact Welfare Rights Department at local council, they will sit down and examine all circumstances and let potential claimants know what they should apply for & should be able to help with claims etc.

All the best, Katie


Hi there, I am no expert on this but I have hepatitis c and Arlcirrosis and I have been getting Pip for a year now. I know that every case is different. If I were you I'd get all your paperwork in order from appointments with local docs, prescriptions(not nessasery recent) ,hospital App's. etc. It is so important that you have all the ammunition you can get. Make sure everything adds up. What with all you are going through, sounds like they are dismissing you. Hope you're okay, all the best. If I can help you further, ask away. 😃


Sadly the current Hep C treatment is contraindicated if the patient has depression or Bi-Polar as a diagnosis. However all is not lost, it might be worth asking about clinical trials of new drugs as some treatments being trialled dont involve interferon or ribavirin I believe.


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