Just want some advice from this with experience of breaking free from disability benefits

Hi all,

I'm a new member to this community but a very long time since I had my brain injury.

I acquired my injury in childhood RTA, lost my 17 year old brother in that and my father 4 years after. I am now 40+, to give you an idea how long I have been living with this in 1988, aged 12, I had my injury, in 1992 my father passed and in 2001 my local community brain injury team finally linked in with me, helped me with CBT programme and onto benefits in 2002.

In 2005 I met my wife, in 2010 I quit using alcohol (should have happened 20 years earlier after my 1st blackout) meantime had 2 children now 2 and 8.

Right now I have a diagnosis of Chronic depression, dysthymia; have been working voluntarily for 7 years. I get my social experiences with local Headway group.

Anyway why I'm writing my message. Im trying to get away from my absolute reliance on benefits but I'm terrified of the consequences. What if it doesn't work out? Embarking on a programme unique to Northern Ireland called LEMIS+

I do not trust anyone involved, the DWP the programme providers because of all the horror stories out there about the lack of support, understanding for brain injury sufferers. But I cant keep being a victim.

I am one of those who got stuck with a generous benefits level <poor me? But it has led to my state of inertia.

What I'm hoping is to hear from someone who broke free from depending on the state. How do they feel today? Is it possible?

Any words of wisdom out there?

Thanks for reading.


8 Replies

  • I'd love to be able to make any sort of complaint about benefit, but as an ex fireman living off a pension and being told that 'I'm too well off ',get nothing in the way of benefits. It's not 1bi that I had but 2 heamorrahages, chronic heart disease, epilepsy, 2 TIAs and partial deafness. Maybe you can give me a hint of what I'm doing wrong! Thanks.

  • Bless you mate.

  • I was 12 years old so I'll never realise what I was capable of pre injury. To be fair DLA/PIP is not means tested and sure sounds to me like you're entitled. Get help from an advocate at Headway is your best route to applying. Good luck

  • A couple of years ago I had DLA but with the onset of PIP it was stopped. I'll be looking into Headway, as I can't live this way. Most months after bills are paid and shopping done I normally stay at home for the rest of the month unless doctors or hospital appointments. DLA and PIP, as you rightly said aren't means tested but there is a very strict criteria before being awarded it. Thanks for your information. Dave

  • Hello,

    I would say stick with them. I came off disability in 2008 as I went to work. Worst thing I've done I think. I didn't know about head injury soo soon after it happening and was younger. I've worked on and off since but I don't feel settled and just do it to get a place to live and some pocket money. I'm not damaged enough to be seen as disabled but I'm pretty sure I'm still affected by head injury but will have to forget about it because things are getting bad at home with my non brain injured parents!!

    I'm sure they will take it away from you if they can! So I'd hold on for the moment unless you have to change.

  • Have you considered trying voluntary work under the permitted work rules

  • I don't think I could start work again because I have seizures at least once a week and my strength is waning, I am 62 years old and the DWP have retired me because I have worked for 37 years which gives me enough NHI stamp (35 years )for my OAP in 3 years time. Thanks for the idea. Dave

  • Horrible... think I might just stay hidden...I really wish you all the best.

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