I get asked a lot of the same questions from different people pretty much every day, and have to type the same things out over and over which makes my fatigue and pain so much worse, plus it’s a bit annoying to have to keep explaining myself over and over every few days or so. That is why I decided to make a FAQ on the most asked questions.
This answers all the usual questions. I have spent years fighting for benefits I can’t get that I should. I know 100% for sure what I can and cannot get. I have spoken to citizens advice, all the benefit checkers, DWP hundreds of times, MP’s many times, even parliament numerous times now too!
I have done all I can and I can’t get even a penny more than the PIP I get.
If there isn’t something you wanted to know here, feel free to ask! Just please check first as almost everything is answered here.
I update this as needed.
Q: How much do you get a month
A: I get a total of just over £300 a month before any outgoings which is horrific and not enough to live off so I struggle every month! My medication alone totals £206 a month which I have to had to crowdfund some of as I can’t afford it but need it to live!
Q: How much do you pay for your medications a month?
A: I pay just under £11 a month NHS. I also have £195 a month none-NHS for total £206 a month prescriptions, but I cannot afford the non-NHS medication so I am in extreme pain all the time due to this.
Q: Have you tried looking what benefits you can get?
A: Yes I have (many times over many years) and I get the only one I qualify for which is PIP.
I don’t get anything else as it is either I haven’t paid enough NI credits or because I don’t live alone, their finances get taken into account. This means I can’t get ESA, UC, warm home etc.
I have researched it all and spend many hours over the years trying and fighting but you can only apply for what you are eligible for, even with the ridiculous rules.
Q: Have you spoke to a benefits advisor/MP/DWP
A: Yes I have spoken to numerous benefit advisors, citizens advice, my MP many times, the DWP hundreds of times and even parliament twice! I’ve now spent YEARS fighting but there is nothing I can do.
Q: Have you tried benefit entitlement checkers like Turn2Us
A: Yes many times! I have done them all! Turn2Us, citizens advice, entitled to, Government site and more!
As I said, I don’t qualify for anything else or I would be claiming it! I am not just sitting here saying I can’t get more without checking, I have been fighting for well over a year for more money, but I can’t get more as I am excluded usually because I haven’t paid enough NI credits or because I don’t like alone and their finances get taken into account. If you go to the gov.uk site and read the benefit requirements, you will see what I mean. You can’t just get a benefit because you are disabled it doesn’t work like that! There are requirements that you must fulfil!
Q: Do you get ESA/UC?
A: No to both! Even though I can’t work and am disabled with numerous chronic illnesses, I don’t qualify due to their rules and requirements which is ridiculous. Basically the fact I worked part time for as long as I could, rather than to claim benefits early, means that I have paid National Insurance so I don’t qualify for ESA.
It has been years now, it is not for lack of trying, it is that you have to meet their requirements exactly or like me, you don’t get a penny!
New style ESA is the only ESA for new people now which is contribution based. Income based ESA is now replaced by Universal Credit which I can’t get either as it takes into account your households income. As I share a house as I can’t afford rent on £300 a month, their income gets taken into account which is ridiculous.
I cannot get ESA or UC, hence am on just over £300 a month total income.
made it so I can’t get ESA.
Can’t get ESA due to national insurance credits and can’t get UC because I share this house with someone else due to being unable to afford rent anywhere. As I can’t afford rent, I can’t show a tenancy agreement so they just assume you’re together unless you can prove otherwise, which I can’t as how do you prove that someone lets you live here for minimal costs?
Catch 22 situation. Would be homeless if not here as I can’t afford rent, but if I stay I can’t get UC.
I worry about the future as I am sure one day either we will argue (as we don’t get on all the time) and I will be forced to leave and live on the streets. That is a big worry of mine and one day I am sure I will be asked to leave. I just won’t have anywhere to go to.
That is the sad state of England. No other country penalises you because you worked part time instead of just giving up working sooner.
If I had of just given up working sooner and not worked part item, I would be able to get ESA! Absolutely ridiculous!
Q: Have you tried phoning them as you should get ESA if you are disabled
A: As above! Yes, many times. I can’t get it as per above.
Q: You are wrong, I get x or y!
A: As above! No I am not wrong. Read the requirements of each benefit on the government site, read the restrictions and eligibility requirements and read what I wrote here. I can’t get anything more. You have to fulfil all the requirements! What you get will be different to me. Your situation won’t be the same as mine! Just because you get something doesn’t mean I will. All benefits have eligibility requirements and you have to tick all the boxes. Check the government site. It shows you clearly what you need to get which benefit.
National insurance credits is the main reason I can’t get ESA, followed by the fact I share a house so their income gets taken into account as I can’t provide a tenancy agreement obviously as I can’t afford rent, so can’t get UC!
Q: You should speak to a benefits advisor then
A: I have many times! Please read the other question and answers. I have spoken to everyone I can and done every benefit checker known to man as well as call anyone and everyone I can!
I know my situation better than you and I have spoken to them many times over multiple years!
Q: Can you get any grants?
A: No. Not one. I have checked for around 4 years, checking again every month or two but there has never been even one grant I can get. I have used numerous checkers and also manually checked sites myself.
Q: Do you get warm home for your energy bills?
A: No I do not. I can’t get it as I can’t get the other benefits (as stated above) so I don’t qualify. The eligibility is stated on the government site. There is a core group and a broader group. I can’t get either as I don’t get a qualifying benefit.
Q: Do you get WaterSure?
A: No I do not qualify as I don’t get the required benefits to qualify.
Q: So what do you get then?
A: As I said, just PIP which is just over £300 a month. That is it!
I still have to pay for bills like everyone else plus food, medication totalling £206 every month! Do the math and you will see it doesn’t add up.
Can’t get ESA
Can’t get UC
Can’t get Warm Home
Can’t get Water Sure
Can’t get free prescriptions
Can’t get any other help whatsoever from this awful government who don’t care about people like myself.
Q: Do you have any relatives to help?
A: My parents and grandparents are all dead and I have no relatives at all, such as siblings or aunts/uncles/cousins etc, there is just me.
Q: Why don’t the DWP help you more?
A: They have specific eligibility and if you don’t meet all, you don’t qualify. It’s that simple! Too many people think all you need is to be disabled and bang you get ESA and UC. Not at all!! You have to qualify by fulfilling all the requirements! Go to the government site and check ESA. Look at the requirements. Those are eligibility requirements that you HAVE to meet. You can’t meet all but 1. You have to tick all the boxes as I like to say. You need to qualify.
I can’t afford rent anywhere in the country, not even council house rent as I just get £300 a month. That means no landlord. I share this house with someone who lets me live here for minimal costs. I towards bills, my medication and my food etc. Their income gets taken into consideration as well! That’s why it’s so ridiculous. The government is Tory so it’s unlikely to ever change. If I wasn’t here I would be homeless so I am grateful I have a roof over my head.
Q: But you get so little that surely they have to help
A: No they don’t. This seems to be a misconception that you can just get money if you get less than it costs to live. You can’t! You have to qualify for specific benefits in full. you can’t just tick all but one box.
All they have to do is give you what you are eligible for. Due to stupid technicalities such as not having paid enough national insurance due to working part time before being unable to work at all actually punished me and is the reason I can’t get ESA.
Because I pushed myself to work part time for as long as possible rather than taking government money, that made it so I can’t get ESA.
They don’t have to help you if you don’t tick all the boxes and qualify fully.
Q: Have you asked to see if you might have fibromyalgia?
A: It is not Fibro. My CFS started when I was about 10 (hard to remember exactly) and the chronic pain when I was about 21, albeit mild back then. They are 2 different conditions. Also I have no good days, which with fibro you have good and bad days. I have no good days. I have bad and horrific.
I had multiple doctors try to assume it was fibro. They didn’t read all the info and read pain and fatigue and jumped to fibro. I told them the conditions started decades apart and the conditions are very severe with no good days ever. They then confirmed I was right and it is NOT fibro! I had almost all doctors jump to the assumption it is fibro and I had to them THEM why it was not and they agreed. Every single one.
This happens too much with people. LOTS of people are wrongly diagnosed fibro when it is chronic pain and cfs which are not the same as fibro. Yes the symptoms are similar, but fibro is a condition in itself. I have multiple separate and very severe conditions that leave me housebound and unable to walk far or stand more than a couple of mins.
Sadly way too many people get wrongly diagnosed fibromyalgia when it is not that at all.
Q: Have you tried cannabis?
A: Yes I was legally prescribed it as I got some money crowdfunding and it worked very well (actual cannabis, not CBD!), but I can’t get it on the NHS for pain and I have to get it from a private doctor which costs hundreds a month so I had to crowdfund it but the money ran out when I hit £1,037 which was just a few months supply.
Q: Have you thought about buying <insert anything here>
A: I have £300 income a month before bills, I don’t have the money for anything! Not even something cheap!!
Q: Have you tried <insert anything here for my chronic illnesses>
A: Yes I have tried literally everything over the actual decades I have had these conditions and no it doesn’t work (full list on my about me page). I have tried everything on the NHS as well and am on the last and strongest painkiller available!
Q: What do you eat?
A: Before February 2022, I had just two small meals a day costing a total of around 55p a day. I have a small bowl of value priced cereal or oats and UHT milk for breakfast/lunch and for dinner I have things such as value pasta or rice and often something frozen such as value chicken with it.
Nothing special but there isn’t much you can buy for such a little amount of money.
I cannot cook food as I don’t have the health so I can’t cook from scratch anyway but the lack of money and the bad health mean it has to be very quick and cheap things no matter how boring they are.
As of February 2022, food prices are through the roof due to the cost of living going sky high, so this doesn’t give me enough food anymore. I was having two small meals, now it is enough barely for one small meal.
Plus energy prices being so high food or heating is a choice lots have to unfortunately make.
Q: Why don’t you cook from fresh?
A: Quite simply I don’t have the health or money. I shop once a month and get my groceries delivered. I can’t go out and don’t have a car. I can’t shop more often as it costs so much to get it delivered with delivery fees and minimum basket fees. I order enough to last me all month so the food is packet, dried or frozen. I can’t get fresh as it goes off quickly and costs more then the saver brands I buy.
I can’t cook anymore due to my chronic pain and chronic fatigue. I can’t even do it sitting down.
Updated 19th May 2022