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Signed off due to illness - entitled to help?!


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My partner recently had a very serious asthma attack which was very nearly fatal and was in intensive care for over a week. He has been signed off by a doctor who has said that he must not work until he has a detailed meeting with a respiritory consultant team - not until middle of September. We were originally told this would be within 6 weeks, however have just had the date...and it's away in September. (This happened end of May). He had just recently left his job, and was about to start a new one so there is no sick pay.


We've been told we're not entitled to any help...and well, just told to basically sort it out ourself. There is no way I will allow my partner to get a job until he's had this assessment - it's just not worth the risk. However, we desperately need some help - we've borrowed from family to tide us over, but it's getting to the point where we can't ask them to help anymore.


I earn around £1100 per month after tax. Our rent is £750 per month (private tenant), council tax £150 electricity and gas about £150. We have a few other small bills, which mount up to more than the income we have for the total month.


This is before we even factor food (around £200 per month for us both).


Is there any form of assistance we will be entitled to? I don't even know if there would be any point if we were entitled to benefits - by the time we applied and received any money, he'd probably be working again!!! Hopefully he will see the specialist and everything will be fine and he can get back to finding a job, but until then we're absolutely stuck!


PS - we know we're not entitled to Housing Benefit assistance. We have tried that but been told that I earn enough for the both of us and can afford to pay the rent. Grrr!


Please help!



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If he is unable to work he may be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance (Contribution based). I say contribution based because due to your income, he would not receive income related ESA. Contributions based would depend upon whether he has paid enough NI contributions in the qualifying period. ESA replaced Incapacity Benefit last year.


To make a claim you can call freephone 0800 055 6688.


If he has speech or hearing difficulties and needs to use a text phone, the text phone number is 0800 023 4888.


Hope this helps.

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Have you tried claiming Working Tax Credits?


If you're over 25, you could well be eligible.


Also, Erika says, try contribution based ESA. Your partner needs to have paid his NI for a while (I think it's the last 3 full years)


Me and my partner are in a similar situation.


At the beginning of 2007, I attempted to get a business off the ground. I gave up my full time job, but it never took off. I had a gap of 6 months NI then I got another job. I was attacked on a night out in march last year, resulting a broken leg. I have had serious problems since with walking and stairs since. I am due to have another operation soon (within the next 13 weeks!!)


I applied for ESA, both contribution and income based, I was not entitled to cont. based because of the gap and my partner works more than 24 hours, so no income based :(

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