Benefits Expert: ‘I cannot go on like this’

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I AM currently on the sick, but the DWP is trying to kick me off.

I was receiving £98 a week Incapacity Benefit, but in October this was stopped because I did not score any points on my medical.

I have appealed, but only receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) of £67.50 a week. I have no money for gas, electric, food or other bills.

Is there anything I can do as I cannot go on like this?

Worried widow (East Rainton)

I AM afraid you can only be patient and hope that the appeal, when it is heard, goes your way.

If it does you will get your benefit back at its previous rate.

I would advise you to obtain the help of an advice agency like the Citizens Advice Bureau to help with your appeal.

People who are found not to have a “limited capacity for work” will lose their benefit, but may claim ESA while they wait for their appeal.

That ESA, however, can only be paid at the basic rate of £67.50 a week.

I AM an 82-year-old widower living on my own in my own house.

My State Pension is £165.70 a week and my private pension is £111.30 a month.

My savings are just over £10,000. I pay £67 a month Council Tax.

A year ago I enquired by phone if I was entitled to any benefits, but was told I was not. Can I claim anything now?

Mr. R (Silksworth)

I AM not sure you were correctly advised. By my reckoning you are due a Council Tax rebate of £6 a week.

WHEN I was awarded Attendance Allowance my sister claimed Carer’s Allowance for looking after me.

However, as she had a State Pension of £53.43 a week this was deducted, making her only £2.12 a week better off.

She is poorly now and cannot give the care I need. Could my daughter, who works part-time, claim instead?

Mrs A (Grangetown)

IF your sister was to give up her Carer’s Allowance it would be open to someone else to claim instead.

They too would have to be looking after you for at least 35 hours a week. Your daughter could claim if this applies to her, but only if her earnings are no more than £100 a week.

I READ your reply about people on Disability Living Allowance having to be re-tested from next year.

I am 69. Will it apply to me?

Bob (by email)

No. Only those aged from 16 to 64 will be affected.