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Disability Benefits we can actually live on?

Discussion in 'Work, Finances and Disability Insurance' started by Squeezy, Jun 28, 2020.

  1. Squeezy

    Squeezy Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Does any government give disability benefits to their sick and/or disabled citizens that they can actually live on?

    Maybe a lone disabled person living in a studio flat. Barely scraping by. Miserably.

    But I'm a mother with 2 dependent kids. They don't stop needing to live with you at 18. Don't magically become financially independent with their own homes.

    This last few days my anxiety about how the hell I'm going to live when money from my incipient divorce runs out has sky rocketed.

    I only get the equivalent of £580 a month in a country, (Israel), where food and home rental prices are similar to London.

    My daughter has another year in the army, then will start university. My son has one more year of high school, then starts national service. Their useless father cannot contribute anything.

    They get a minimal stipend in the army/national service. £100 of my £580 is toward supporting the kids.

    It's impossible. My rent is £1000! On a basic 3 bedroom apartment.

    In 2 years I'll have to move to that studio flat I mentioned earlier, in a different town. And barely scrape by. There'll be no room for my kids. They'll be students. With no home to come home to.

    It's a horrible future.
     
  2. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Not in Canada. I've been living in the same apartment for 27 years, my rent is $325 below what others are paying for the same size unit. Rent sucks up 80-90% of monthly disability income Thankfully I like my place and neighbourhood and won't be moving.
     
  3. Squeezy

    Squeezy Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @Mij I thought Canada was kinda socialist - or is that just in comparison with the US?

    I guess nowhere believes sick people deserve real looking after. Wouldn't it be terrible if we had some quality of life.
     
  4. Diluted-biscuit

    Diluted-biscuit Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Denmark isn’t too bad from what I’ve heard
     
  5. shak8

    shak8 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    In the US, when I qualified for social security disability benefits, I also qualified for getting on a five-year waiting list for reduced rent, if you then could find a place that would accept the voucher which very few landlords would accept.

    With the voucher (called Section 8 Housing) you would only pay one-third of your income, however low, on rent.

    There were some other small benefits like reduced phone and gas and electric costs.

    But still living in California on $1500 a month (much less if you've never worked) is such a burden. But the housing voucher made all the difference.
     
  6. rvallee

    rvallee Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The disdain for the disabled is universal, cultures differ very little on that. Some just pretend more than others.

    I'd say my process was a bit easier than in other countries. Just years too late. But I could not have done it myself, my father did it. I tried for years and never even managed to find the right form, let alone be able to follow through.
     
    Caesar, JemPD, ladycatlover and 8 others like this.
  7. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    In the UK, housing allowance to cover rent is separate from other benefits, which is a big help. I get 88% of my rent paid; if I didn't have a 'spare room' (a small space where I keep my powered wheelchairs), all of it would be covered.

    This isn't universal throughout the UK, as there is a limit on how much rent housing benefit will cover. I live in the Midlands, where rents are comparatively low, but people living in very expensive parts of the country would likely have a shortfall every week which would have to made up from their other benefits.

    I can manage, and am able to save a bit towards car & wheelchair repairs. I live very modestly, though, and never spend anything on social activities. Luckily I enjoy wildlife, which mostly comes free of charge, and gardening, which is cheap!
     
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  8. Mij

    Mij Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    When I became ill 28 years ago there was a 4-5 year waiting list for subsidized housing, now it's a 15-20 year wait.
     
  9. Squeezy

    Squeezy Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Thanks everyone. Your responses are very interesting.

    @Kitty Wow, you are one of the very few success stories I've heard recently from home of people living happily on benefits. All I read of is horror stories of people having them taken away, or waiting years for reapproval. It's great to hear.

    @shak8 Section 8 sounds like a great idea on paper. But in practice it can be different. A friend of mine who works in the industry told me that I wouldn't want to live in the neighbourhoods where these apartments are. Or have most of the neighbours.

    But when you have no choice you're just glad of a roof.
     
  10. Squeezy

    Squeezy Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yep. I get you. And I'm trying to handle this in a foreign language too. The follow through is so far beyond me it's truly scary.

    My only hope is to find a doctor who has some idea about ME and have them assess my state of health and capabilities correctly. And submit their assessment. Together with education about ME.

    Cannot find such a doctor.
    ME is an alien concept here.

    If they'd even respect ME as separate from Fibro and "CFS".

    Here, the Fibromyalgia and "Chronic Fatigue" patient organisation are ecstatic that last year they got Fibro recognised as a legitimate condition deserving of disability status.

    Oh no, not a status where you can actually receive money!

    You have to have an additional health disorder to achieve THAT status.

    It's disgusting.

    If I didn't have chronic migraines and chronic dry eyes I wouldn't have qualified even for this small amount of money. I barely qualify. My eyes get me over the line!

    "CFS" and Fibro diagnoses weren't enough on their totally bizarro points system. The effing chronic migraines weren't!

    God. I'm so fed up of being helpless. I'm so angry. Livid! I want to be healthy, goddammit! I want to work. To earn money. To support myself. But all I can do is lie here beneath this sword of Damocles.

    It's spinning above me, in the breeze. It will fall. Soon enough. And I'm too sick to move out of the way.
     
    Caesar, JemPD, ladycatlover and 7 others like this.
  11. Agapanthus

    Agapanthus Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I am in the UK, retired and so no longer on disability benefits and luckily my pension and late husband's are very good but while I was on them it was a nightmare - reassessed 4 times in 5 years, and that was just the basic Employment Support Allowance - didn't bother to apply for the other one as too stressful. Luckily we had paid for our little house by the time I became ill (husband was ill too with other issues so we both tottered towards retirement).

    My middle son on the other hand is in his 40s and suffers from Schizophrenia and Tourette Syndrome and Dyspraxia and has lived on benefits now for around 14 years. Due to my support and at the time considerable expertise in obtaining benefits, he is able for now (though always at the risk or reassessment) to live very well. The benefits system is so hard for people with mental health issues (as well as those with ME) that I know if I hadn't helped him, he would not be in such a good position.

    Currently he pays nothing for his 1 bedroomed flat as due to his lack of savings and low income the State pays it (and all his Council Tax as his County is unusually generous). The flat is pretty grim and in a horrible setting - looks out on an Asda carpark but he's been there now for 10 years and there are worse places to be.

    He is on Employment Support Allowance and also Personal Independence Payment both at higher levels due to his disabilities, and he gets various top ups. However I dread him going onto Universal Credit as I feel sure that his money will drop in some way - not sure if he will lose out re the housing for example though it is a Housing Association flat. He also gets Direct Payments to pay for a Carer/PA, but that is a mixed blessing as the first person he had was abusive over a long period of time (not physically but mentally, plus he is clearly an alcoholic), but trying to get rid of someone when you are classed as an employer and yet vulnerable, is a complete nightmare. That has been going on now since Feb and the carer is still on Statutory Sick Pay as he dare not just dismiss him (in fact cannot while he is signed off sick).
     
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  12. DigitalDrifter

    DigitalDrifter Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think that over population is an issue. If every woman in the world only had one child until the earth's population is 10% of what it is now then the world would be a better place.

    I say this as someone who has been made completely bed-bound by inappropriate accommodation and lack of care. My doctors refused to write a letter to the housing association to get me moved in to more suitable accommodation.
     
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  13. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    As someone who is 55 I am in favour of the solution used in the film 'Logans Run'

    That is, put everyone under 30 in big self sufficient bio-domes - and then blow up the domes.

    Whilst everyone else gets on with life as normal.

    From the sounds of it I am doing better than people in alot of the world.

    I get approximately £800 per month, for everything, allowing for the effects of any subsidies (e.g. that includes my rent etc.)

    It is not enough to live on, it is barely more than I was on 20 years ago and the price of everything has gone up - a lot more than my 'income'.

    Don't get me wrong, I can manage to buy basic foods, not good food but enough to eat, I can even, during the summer, afford power etc.

    What I cannot afford are 'luxuries' like the internet, a tv licence, a phone, to replace anything that wears out, or buy new clothes, stuff like that.

    Bear in mind I rarely drink, and not in pubs, I don't smoke, I don't have a car, or a pet, and I cook almost all my food from scratch.

    I do not live an 'extravagant' lifestyle.

    But still, anything beyond basic food or power has to come out of my nearly exhausted savings pot.

    Or on credit.
     
  14. Squeezy

    Squeezy Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Crashed. Response later. Or tomorrow.
     
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  15. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    :hug:
     
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  16. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Financially I'm luckier than many as my husband has an income. However, one lesson I have learned very well is to take nothing for granted. Especially a person's health.

    Not only are benefits not enough to live on -
    They can be fiendishly complicated & almost impossible for those with cognitive impairments to get their heads around.

    In the UK at least they seem very skewed towards denial of benefits as the default. So while government whinges about the total bill of the benefits system they fail to say how much they save in unclaimed benefits. Savings often made off the backs of the poorest & most vulnerable in society who are unable to claim them or not made aware they are eligible to.

    The system not only doesn't pay enough for a person to live healthily and without a lot of stress but the application and review process will make many people with fluctuating health conditions or mental health conditions much worse further reducing quality of life.

    Yep, been there. Been put back in bed by the effort of having to deal with them, chasing my records around the different regional offices, being given the wrong information, finally getting a letter from my doctor with the right information, them claiming to have lost it, resent the letter and then them dragging they're heels so they could claim the information wasn't valid as the letter was 3 months old and out of date.....

    You go through all that and for all you know another form will hit the mat before the ink is dry on the letter saying you will continue to receive the benefit.
     
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  17. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I got my pension due to my obstructive sleep apnoea. Seems my muscles are not able to keep me breathing while asleep. Nothing to do with ME ... [ironic]
     
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