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About mackerel

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  1. Hi all. First please allow me to explain my situation. I am a full-time carer for my partner who has physical and mental disabilities, and as such is on PIP (standard daily living, standard mobility rates). He also gets ESA (Support group), which allows us to get Housing Benefit and council tax benefit. I also claim carers allowance for looking after my partner full-time. We have been discussing my return to work - initially to supplement our income within the confines allowed by each benefit, but hopefully the work may grow so that we can come off of some of them altogether. I will be a self-employed sole trader, initially only working about 10hrs a week / earning around £75 per week. I want to report my work to the DWP so everything is legitimate without risk of sanction. I am looking for advice on how this will affect our benefits (i have booked an appointment at my local CAB office but it is several weeks away as they are so busy). In particular, how much am i able to earn before it affects certain benefits? If i work, will my partner still be able to claim ESA or will it go to income support (which i thought was being phased out?)? I have used the turntous calculator but the results do not seem to be right.
  2. Hello, i am hoping someone can recommend a good place to get a loan from? I am currently unemployed but i do own my car outright worth several thousand £, and am looking for a loan provider that will use my car as collateral. Please note i am NOT after any logbook loan type companies, but a provider that maybe you have had experience with and can recommend. I have tried the internet comparison sites but they do not allow me to enter the car to take the loan against. Thanks (apologies if this is not in the correct forum, please move if necessary).
  3. Well i finally got hold of the advisor before the interview, and we agreed to do a telephone interview. It went so-so, partner started getting quite agitated at some of the questions (what jobs did you have on your summer holidays when you were 14?!?!). Anyway, the advisor mentioned she would need to arrange another interview in a month, as she said it would be unlikely that the appeal would be processed by then, my partner would need to attend that. Is that true, that the appeals take that long to be looked at?
  4. The advisor is due to phone some time tomorrow - is there anything i can say that will make them defer these interviews until the appeal is over? Would they speak to me instead of my partner (she doesn't do very well on the phone), to answer questions on her behalf?
  5. Appealed the decision, got confirmation of the appeal in the post. Then spoke to the office that would be doing the personal advisor interview. I told them that due to us appealing the decision, and the fact that my partner suffers from mental health problems, she would not be able to attend. They said that the because the original decision on file is that she has been placed in the WRAG, she must attend all interviews until a new decision is made, as they are compulsory. This is bad news, as i know from reading on here that appealing the grouping can take months, and i fear in the meantime that they will force my partner to attend all the wrag interviews.
  6. Confusing indeed!! Although i believe a part of that may be may fault for not posting back sooner and keep the thread on topic. Latest update: we sent the appeal form (GL24) off, and the next day got a letter from jobcentreplus with a date for a WRAG personal advisor interview! It hasn't even been a month since we received the original decision letter, and i'm not sure the appeal has even been processed yet. What shall i do about this? There is no way she can attend the interview, nor do i feel she should. I'm going to phone the dwp tomorrow to find out what the hell is going on, but on what grounds can i refuse my partner to attend the interview - on the basis that we are appealing the decision? Have appealed, but haven't got MIND involved, may be wise to, thanks for the tip. (What's a WR Specialist?) She has these problems, for certain. i really appreciate the advice, i'm totally unsure how to proceed now to be honest. I can see the point that you two are making, and it makes sense, but i'm a little hesitant to change the position we change the way we claim benefits in case we end up in a worse situation eg would we still be eligible for housing benefit if we are not on ESA, but are just claiming income support? We already had a letter from our council saying the DWP had informed them that my partner was now on ESA. I think i'll phone the dwp tomorrow and see what's going on, and then if it's more confusion, talk to my partner about taking the simple route and just claiming IS in my name as a joint claim. I suppose if things are starting to get messy, we could do a joint IS claim under my name, then if it gets turned down we can reapply for ESA (for whatever reason, if we needed to)? If we done this, how long would it take for the joint claim to come into effect? One question - if under the joint claim for IS i have to state that my partner does not work due to ill health (which they will obviously have records of as she is entitled to ESA) will they not defer her to ESA by default, and put us back to where we are now?
  7. Finally got through to the dwp, and asked why she was placed in the work related activity group without being assessed. They said that they have no medical assessment on file, and that the decision had been made regardless, without seeing her. Well that makes going to the assessment worth the effort for everyone doesn't it? Got a GL24 being sent to me, starting the appeal process.
  8. Well i went to the CAB on Monday, they took some details and made an appointment for me with their benefits guy the next day. We went through a lot of things, but a couple stuck out. First of all, he was really concerned that my partner had been placed in the work-related group without even being assessed. He said they only do that if you fail to turn up for an interview, and that got me fuming thinking that not only did they mess us about on the day, but would they turned round to the dwp and said we didn't even attend? If they do, how can we prove that we did attend but were sent home? As for the joint income support aspect, he wasn't too keen on the idea. He had to get some mammoth text book to support what he was saying, but basically it came down to something like being on DLA does not mean that my partner is not qualified for full-time work, as people can work full-time and claim DLA. He thought it would be too easy for everyone who is on ESA and has a partner as a carer to opt out of the system by just hopping on to their partners income support, which would be a big hole in the system and would lose out of the system a large amount of people that ESA was designed for. He specifically photocoped a section of the book: Basically he was saying that without going on ESA, it would look like my partner is simply choosing not to work, and under those circumstances the dwp would not be likely to support the joint claim. I'd love some feedback on this. I can see where he is coming from, but later i was mulling it over an thought that being eligible for ESA, as satisfied by Appendix 1 of the descriptors, would be "good cause"? Surely if she is eligible for esa, then she should eligible not to work? Or could that only be decided if she is placed in the support group? Either way, i need to phone the dwp and see why they decided she was put into the work-related group without an assessment. I'll post back after i've phoned them.
  9. I may as well post it here as there is nothing personal in it and all the rates are available on the internet. This is from the letter we received yesterday.
  10. It's not your fault your it's complicated, although sometimes i feel it may have been designed that way on purpose. Yes, we are both over 25. I think at the moment, as we are on joint income support under my partners name we get £120 odd per week just for IS, then carers allowance seperately of £56 per week - so what you are proposing would mean we get slightly more, which is always welcome, with the advantage of not having any of this hassle, although i need to compare it to the ESA support group rate, which is what my partner should be placed into. The letter we got said that being placed in the work-related group for ESA, would be £112.30 per week. I would be happy to pm you the page of how they worked this out, if it makes it easier to understand my circumstances. Will definitely print this thread and take it with me to the CAB on monday.
  11. ok, i think i'm getting the picture. So because i am claiming carers allowance, i can apply for income support in my name, as a joint claim to include my partner. This would mean that she would not need to go on ESA, but then i would lose carers allowance - i'm assuming that's the payment and not the eligibility - but get income support with couple rate, couple disability premium and carers premium. Would i be worse off financially by not having carers allowance? But then i'd be able to claim carers allowance again in a few years time when DLA is replaced, is that right?
  12. thanks for explaining further mikey, what you're suggesting sounds ideal. I'm just getting confused how i can apply for income support for the both of us, when income support is being replaced with ESA- eventually, wouldn't be back in the same scenario, with them wanting to stop the income support and put us on ESA? Sorry if i'm being dim, but for obvious reasons i need to have a clear understanding of how these things work, and they don't make it easy! For instance, quoted from http://www.nhs.uk/CarersDirect/moneyandlegal/otherbenefits/Pages/IncomeSupport.aspx If we did proceed with the joint income support in my name route, would my partner be required to attend the work focused interviews? It's fairly unlikely she'd be able to attend them. Feelingsad - at least they sent you another appointment, instead of assuming your fit to work without even assessing you! Thanks for the customer complaints link, i can feel an angry email brewing...
  13. Interesting, but a few things - she was on income support, not incapactiy benefit. And the fact that she has been placed in the work-related group is ridiculous, i think. But if i then claimed income support in my name (which i'm assuming would be esa as a new claim) wouldn't i then be placed in the work-related group, with me having to attend the interviews (i have no problem with this, except the fact i would not be looking for work at the moment due to being a full-time carer).
  14. Hi, thanks for letting me know who to ask for. As for the income support being closed - i'm not sure is the answer. We were on income support, but with the letter this morning saying that my partner is now in the work-related ESA, i'm assuming it is closed, since this morning? Or does the income support stay in place until the time to appeal is over?
  15. Hello I am writing this on behalf of my partner, who has mental health problems (bipolar depression, anxiety/panic attacks, ocd and agoraphobia). She currently claims DLA at the middle tier for care, and lower tier for mobility. Her condition is such that DLA will not be reviewed for another 5 years, as she has a long case history with CMHT's and secondary care facilities. She also had a fresh psychiatric evaluation just two weeks ago, as we moved recently and she had to be placed back into the mental health welfare system in a different county. I am her full-time carer and claim carers allowance. We were previously in receipt of income support as a joint claim, and a couple of months ago received a letter in the post saying they would change her benefit to ESA, and she would need to attend a medical. This was expected, but the medical was a complete farce. Considering my partner suffers from panic and agoraphobia, it was incredibly hard for her to attend the interview, and the build up a few days before was dreadful. On the day of the interview, we arrived 15 minutes before the interview as instructed, which was supposed to begin at 4pm. We were told that she might not be seen today, as there was a delay and if the current interviews were not finished by 4:15pm we would have to reschedule, as the dwp is strict about people being out of their building at 5pm, and the interview takes a minimum of 45 minutes. So we waited until 4:30pm, all the time my partners anxiety increasing to unbearable levels; she hasn't been in a building like this in the middle of town for years. They tell us to go home and they'll get in touch soon with a date for an appointment earlier in the afternoon. Obviously my partner flipped, after going through all that to be sent home without even being seen. Anyway, that was about 5 weeks ago. We hadn't received any letter from them with a new date, but this morning get a letter saying she has been placed in the work-related group!!! They haven't even assessed her properly!!! Let alone the fact that she is compleltely incapable of holding down a job (no reliability due to depression and agoraphobia) or being around strangers without getting violent (due to her anxiety). Obviously i need to appeal, but i'm wondering about the best way of doing this? I can go to the CAB first thing on Monday morning, but is there a specific type of cab-advisor i need to ask for, or book an appointment with? Any other pointers would be greatly appreciated.
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