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Who do I ask for benefits advice?

I am very depressed. I live on my own with very little money. My family does not support me at all. Who can help me to claim benefits? I heard I can claim Disability Living Allowance but I don’t know who to ask.

Michael

Deafauntie says:

I am not surprised you are depressed. I think anybody would be if they had no money and no support from their family. It must be very difficult for you.
The best course of action to take is find a Benefits Officer – someone who really knows the benefits system, and can help you with the form filling and give you advice.
I don’t know where you live but could you find out who would be the best person to help you? Your Social Worker, if you have one, or perhaps your doctor, if you are seeing them about your depression, may have suggestions. You may be entitled to other benefits as well, so it is important to find an expert in that department, especially as the benefits system is changing – as you might have seen on TV.
I have asked RAD Legal Services for their advice – hopefully they will post it here.

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4 responses to “Who do I ask for benefits advice?

  1. I hope you find the benefits you need so that you have enough money in the short-term. Once that is sorted out, I hope you can find support to do things that you really enjoy and can earn money from. It’s important to mix with people and share experiences – have you joined any online forums – there are some really good Facebook pages and LinkedIn also has supportive deaf groups – these are a good start in getting the advice and support you need.

  2. I am very similar to you. Have no support or understanding of my family especially since my mother passed away. So please don’t feel alone in this. You have already done some good by contacting Deaf auntie. So well done for that.

    The above is good advice. These are difficult times regardless due to welfare reforms, and the economy being what it is. But in the past I have helped some deaf people get their DLA and it has taken some hard work and a good support network to achieve that. I helped in my capacity as a friend and a support.

    So it seems to me that you need to do two things:-

    1. Follow the advice above.
    2. Reach out to your local friends. You may be surprised that some of them will be able to help and support you in ways that will be invaluable.

    If you don’t have local friends, then please join us on facebook….there are lots of deaf “friends” and you can via them get some support, even if at a distance, at first. Someone will turn up who is local to you and will have some experience of welfare and know what it is like.

    The most important thing I want to say to you. It is amazing how many deaf people find that they have no “support” from families!! You are not unique in that experience. Often it is because you are the only one who is deaf in the family.

    You need to be more like an Octopus…and have all your tentacles in different circles of friends, family, and support network to create your own life support as needed.

    As soon as you have read this. Go and reach out. Chat to people. Discuss things with RAD and find out if there is a local support worker that you can access?

    One step at a time. Things will pull together, and you will move on and gain a great life with security and support.

    Come back to Deaf Auntie and let us know how you are getting on! Good luck!

  3. Hi Michael, I agree with all the above comments, and the fact that unfortunately you are not the only person in this situation. Do you have a CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau) nearby? They could possibly help you with the DLA form and possibly with any other benefits you could claim. Good luck

  4. I am sorry to read of your situation and that you get so little support from your family.

    Laraine and other posters have already suggested people you can contact for help in finding the right people and in filling in the forms for DLA. A lot of people can help so that’s a good start!

    Another suggestion could be looking at the gov.uk website, which uses plain English and explains what the steps you need to take. It is useful reference if you want to look at it before you meet with your social worker or CAB for advice on benefits, as it might help you be clear in your mind what questions you need to ask, or to help you remember details after you have talked things over. See for example https://www.gov.uk/dla-disability-living-allowance-benefit/overview

    There are other things you can apply for that are not monetary benefits like DLA, but other kinds of benefits which could help you improve your quality of life. You may be eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant for adaptations to your home like a flashing doorbell. Again, see the gov.uk website https://www.gov.uk/disabled-facilities-grants/overview

    (England only). If you have a significant hearing loss you can apply for a disabled person’s Diamond Bus Pass which allows you free travel after 9 or 9.30am. Again, the gov.uk website can help. https://www.gov.uk/apply-for-disabled-bus-pass

    Put in your postcode and it will take you to the form you need from your local authority. It is free to apply for. Many deaf people think that you need to have DLA to obtain a bus pass. That is not true, you do not need to have DLA to get one. An audiology report showing a hearing loss greater than 70 dB (which you can get from your doctor or audiology department) or evidence of registration with your local authority is required.

    Small steps like these won’t stop your depression, but they may help you on the way to feeling a bit better.

    Good luck.

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