Ill without income and rising debts

CashPoor

Registered User
Messages
10
Hi, I am in a temporary position regarding my illness, so haven't done anything regarding benefits. I made a few calls about social welfare etc, but it all seems such a long ordeal just to get a few quid, and to be honest we weren't expecting for me to be like this for so long.

So here's the story. I've been ill for the last two months and will be for approximately another 1 - 2 months at most. I usually look after our child, but I am literally on strict bedrest at home, so my husband has had to take over my role. He's self employed, so has just had to stop working. Usually we are comfortable enough moneywise, but now all our savings are nearly gone and we've just applied for a loan to get us through the next while. We would usually be pretty good at reducing our credit card debts, but it's down to minimum payments now.

I suppose my question is, I'm looking for something I could do online / telephone to make a few quid. I've been looking on the moneysavingexpert.com for ideas, but it's very UK based and most of the stuff doesn't apply to Ireland. I've registered for opinion surveys but haven't heard anything back. I have all day free and have plenty of time to plan, but would love to do something constructive with this time to help us pay back our debts. Thanks
 

ClubMan

Registered User
Messages
44,630
Hi, I am in a temporary position regarding my illness, so haven't done anything regarding benefits. I made a few calls about social welfare etc, but it all seems such a long ordeal just to get a few quid, and to be honest we weren't expecting for me to be like this for so long.
Are you sure that it will be so little that it's not worth claiming?!
 

DrMoriarty

Moderator
Messages
5,180
Welcome to AAM, CashPoor. Sorry to hear about your predicament; hopefully you'll get some good tips here.

First thing strikes me is that if you have no income coming in, have spent most of your savings and are only making minimum payments on (you don't say how much?) credit card debt, your situation could unfortunately get a lot worse a lot faster than you might expect. I say this not to depress you further but to suggest that you reconsider this bit:
I made a few calls about social welfare etc, but it all seems such a long ordeal just to get a few quid, and to be honest we weren't expecting for me to be like this for so long.
I'd be looking for whatever assistance/benefit you can possibly get. How do you know that this scenario will last 'approximately another 1 - 2 months at most'?

[Edit: post crossed with ClubMan's]
 

CashPoor

Registered User
Messages
10
Hi Clubman, I hear what you're saying. The thing is, I'm taking it so easy (bedrest) based on alot of research we've done on the net, and not on doctor's advice. I have a very very rare condition that is not really seen in this country. The docs told me to continue with my daily life, but based on what we have found, people in the States are admitted to hospital immediately and have much higher success rates than what the doctors here gave me. So that leaves us with the dilemma that we would have to get a doctor to agree with us that bedrest is what I need. At the moment, they are considering it a miracle that I'm so well, even though I keep saying that I am not lifting a finger at home. So even getting a medical report, then fighting to get the benefits just seems such a struggle
 

truthseeker

Registered User
Messages
2,577
Hi Clubman, I hear what you're saying. The thing is, I'm taking it so easy (bedrest) based on alot of research we've done on the net, and not on doctor's advice. I have a very very rare condition that is not really seen in this country. The docs told me to continue with my daily life, but based on what we have found, people in the States are admitted to hospital immediately and have much higher success rates than what the doctors here gave me. So that leaves us with the dilemma that we would have to get a doctor to agree with us that bedrest is what I need. At the moment, they are considering it a miracle that I'm so well, even though I keep saying that I am not lifting a finger at home. So even getting a medical report, then fighting to get the benefits just seems such a struggle

Could you not get a doctor to agree with bed rest based on the medical literature that you yourself have come across in your research?

Can you deal with social welfare by post/internet thus saving you having to actually go anywhere? Could you have a social welfare official call to the house? Im just thinking aloud here - but there must be methods of getting the job done without you physically doing it, people who have had very debhilitating strokes etc manage to get the social welfare payments sorted.
 

CashPoor

Registered User
Messages
10
How do you know that this scenario will last 'approximately another 1 - 2 months at most'?

[Edit: post crossed with ClubMan's]

Sorry DrMoriarty, I'd prefer not to go into specifics, but I suppose you could say that there will be doctor's intervention after that maximum amount of time to make sure that's the longest it will last. It definitely won't be longer and I'll be back to normal within that time
 

Welfarite

Registered User
Messages
3,058
I have a very very rare condition that is not really seen in this country. The docs told me to continue with my daily life .....So even getting a medical report, then fighting to get the benefits just seems such a struggle

First question is whether the doctor would certify you as unfit for work? If so, then claiming Disability Allowance is an option. Although, reading the above it sounds like they say you are fit but you have decided that you are not by researching the condition yourself?
 

CashPoor

Registered User
Messages
10
First question is whether the doctor would certify you as unfit for work? If so, then claiming Disability Allowance is an option. Although, reading the above it sounds like they say you are fit but you have decided that you are not by researching the condition yourself?

Yes, I suppose they would certify me as being unfit for work. However, I wasn't working prior to this, only my husband worked. So I'm unable (in our opinion based on research) to look after our child. I don't think they would certify me as unable to do this. I suppose what you are all saying is, it's worth a shot at asking the doctors if they would be willing to agree with this? I'll bring the forms on my next visit. Thanks
 

CashPoor

Registered User
Messages
10
The people in Welfare told me that my husband could apply for Illness benefit, based on looking after a dependent relative and that I should apply to my local community centre for local schemes they may have for me
 

Welfarite

Registered User
Messages
3,058
The people in Welfare told me that my husband could apply for Illness benefit, based on looking after a dependent relative and that I should apply to my local community centre for local schemes they may have for me

I think that you are talking about Carer's Allowance but that is still dependent on a doctor's report. Unless you apply for a Social Welfare scheme-tyfpe payment , either you claim Disability allowance on your own behalf or hubby claims Carer's Allowance, you cannot apply for any "local schemes" as you call them, such as mortgage supplement.
 

CashPoor

Registered User
Messages
10
Hi Welfarite, the form the Welfare sent me out is for Carer's Benefit (sorry not Illness benefit as I said). As a self-employed person, can he claim this? It says he has to have been employed for 8 weeks during the previous 26 weeks. I presume this means self-employment too?

The Welfare told me that I did not have enough stamps as I haven't worked since I had my child, so I should get my husband to call into the community centre and see what they can do for me. Sounds very vague to me, but I suppose we'll give it a shot. Do you reckon it's too late to claim for the last two months, or do they usually back date it? Hopefully I'll get the doctors to agree that it's not just a miracle! We'll see...
 

gipimann

Registered User
Messages
4,862
CashPoor,
The person you need to talk to at the local health centre is the Community Welfare Officer (CWO) who administers the Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) Scheme, which can provide a basic weekly payment and a supplement towards mortgage interest. This is a means-tested scheme, so PRSI contributions do not matter here. The fact that your husband is presently unable to work (thereby earning no income) will be taken into account during the means test, along with savings which you may have (bear in mind that the first €20k of savings is exempt when determining means).

Your husband can visit the local CWO and make a claim for Supplementary Welfare Allowance. As part of the application, the CWO may visit you at home, so there is no need for you to attend the health centre, but you can explain your situation fully to him/her.

If you qualify for Basic payment SWA, it can continue until a decision is made on your husband's claim for Carer's Benefit (if he doesn't qualify for this, there's also Carer's Allowance which is not PRSI-based). If you qualify for Mortgage Interest Supplement payment, it can continue as long as you are on a Social Welfare Payment (although it may be reviewed from time to time).

While at the health centre, your hubby should also pick up an application form for a medical card.

Hopefully you'll be in better health soon, but as the good DrM said earlier, the bills can sneak up on you which will be no good for either of you, so you should claim what you can.
 

Welfarite

Registered User
Messages
3,058
Gipimann, would I be right is saying that a claim for SWA would depend on a claim to SW, such as Carer's Allowance, having been made?
 

CashPoor

Registered User
Messages
10
Wow, thanks Gipimann. That's very helpful info. It's good to know what I'm talking about when I ring up, I'm not very up on all this stuff
 

CashPoor

Registered User
Messages
10
I have the opportunity to go to the UK to have my procedure done earlier, so I may do that, which means that we could get back on our feet quicker
 

gipimann

Registered User
Messages
4,862
Gipimann, would I be right is saying that a claim for SWA would depend on a claim to SW, such as Carer's Allowance, having been made?

Yes, it is one of the qualifying conditions for SWA - applying for any DSFA payments which the claimant may be entitled to. However if making the application for DSFA payment was going to take a while (e.g. waiting for medical letters or birth certs), SWA can be paid before the DSFA claim has been submitted. The CWO may also be able to assist with the paperwork associated with making DSFA claims (which can be daunting for people who haven't met the DSFA system before).

If there is no DSFA scheme which the claimant can qualify for, SWA may still be paid.

The reason I didn't mention it earlier was that I felt it important for the family concerned that they make contact with the CWO and receive assistance as soon as possible, instead of feeling they couldn't until they made some sort of claim from DSFA.
 
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