Q&A - Benefits and terminal illness

  • Posts: 27
    23/04/2015  13:36

    Hi Everyone,


    I might have missed this - it could be somewhere in the above responses - but might the GP be a good starting point ? 


    I would have thought that any decent GP, would have sufficient understanding of the benefits/help-available situation, to be able to give some useful advice ?

  • Posts: 1
    23/04/2015  14:21

    I've recently been diagnosed with bowel cancer, I'm not going to go into the details but I want to make sure my family is looked after when I'm gone and I'm worried about how we're going to afford our mortage now and also when I'm gone. Is there any help out there or anyone we should be talking to? Thank you

  • Posts: 2
    23/04/2015  15:45

    I've recently been diagnosed with bowel cancer, I'm not going to go into the details but I want to make sure my family is looked after when I'm gone and I'm worried about how we're going to afford our mortage now and also when I'm gone. Is there any help out there or anyone we should be talking to? Thank you



    Help with costs that are specifically mortgage costs is available via certain means-tested benefits.

    Income-related employment and support allowance (ESA), income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) pension credit and universal credit can all help with mortgage interest payments and certain other housing costs.

    Eligibility for all the above benefits is assessed by applying their normal entitlement rules. For example, to receive ESA someone must be agreed as having a limited capability for work.

    The amount of housing costs met is worked out taking into account the following:

    ·        whether your housing costs are ‘excessive’;

    ·        an upper limit or ‘ceiling’ on loans (although there are some exceptions);

    ·        a standard rate of interest applied to loans (rather than that actually charged);

    ·        deductions for any ‘non-dependants’ living with you (eg adult son or daughter, friend or relative).

    ·        a waiting period (a number of weeks you must be entitled to the means-tested benefit before housing costs are included in your applicable amount).

    Housing costs that you can get help with can include not just interest on other loans taken out to buy your home.

    In addition, they can include interest on loans for certain repairs and improvements; some service charges payable as a condition of your occupancy (eg under a lease) and ground rent or other rent payable under a long lease.

    In brief, to calculate allowable housing costs the outstanding balance of your qualifying mortgage(s) and/or loan(s) is multiplied by a standard interest rate to give a qualifying amount of interest for the year.

     

    The standard interest rate used by the DWP to calculate housing costs help is set at a level equal to the Bank of England’s published monthly average mortgage interest rate (currently 3.63%).

     

    A weekly rate of qualifying interest is calculated by dividing the yearly figure by 52. Other qualifying housing costs (eg service charges) are calculated at a weekly rate and added to this figure. The result is added to your ‘applicable amount’.

     

    As you’ve been diagnosed with bowel cancer you may be claiming or preparing to claim ESA.

    Help with mortgage costs is not available to those who are only entitled to contribution based ESA but only those who are awarded income based ESA.

    However, while someone may not immediately be eligible for income based ESA they may be after a waiting period, often of 13 weeks, when mortgage costs can be added to their applicable amount.

    So, if someone is reused income based ESA but they have a mortgage they should get advice as to whether they may be able to move on to income based ESA after an initial waiting period.

    In addition, if housing costs have been awarded to a partner, if that partner dies then this can often mean that similar means-tested mortgage costs benefit help can be awarded to their surviving partner..

    In terms of the general eligibility conditions for the means-tested benefits I have listed, Marie Curie have further information available @ https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/help/money/benefits-entitlements/benefits-social-care-system/social-services#benefits

    However, you may want to get more detailed advice about your potential current entitlement and that of your partner.

    You may want to contact Marie Curies Support Line for further help: 0800 090 2309 (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm)

    Suggestions of independent advice sources are available in Disability Rights UK’s Getting Advice factsheet available @  http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/getting-advice


  • Moderator - Posts: 18
    23/04/2015  16:04

    That's all the questions that we have time for today. Thanks very much to Ken and everyone who asked him questions.

     

    If you have any further questions or comments on this topic, please start a new thread and our community will be happy to help.

     

    We'll be doing another Q&A session very soon and will be advertising it nearer the time - you can also follow our Facebook page or Twitter account for a reminder of when that'll be on.

     

    Many thanks

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