Very worried about finances and home

Hi everyone. I'm new here so please forgive my ramblings. After living with Psoriatic and Osteo arthritis for several years I suffered a flare up last April that lasted around 10 weeks. Since the flare up passed, the arthritis has worsened and last December my hips joined in. So much so that I can't walk further than 20 metres.

Before lockdown I was a driving instructor for 15 years but I now I can't even drive.

About 4 months ago I decided to go for the advanced rate of PIP because I'm very worried about finances and the thought of losing my home. Last week I received a decision from DWP saying that not only will I not be getting the advanced rate, but they were stopping my lower rate as well. As you know, that was devastating news and I've since appealed.

In truth, the furlough has kept me financially afloat and I'm trying desperately to find work from home. When the furlough ends, unless I get work from home, I'll lose my home. I've also reapplied for a reduction in the council tax. I was refused that several months ago.

Has anyone else been, or is living with the same predicament as me? If so, if you'd like to talk, I'm here. And if anyone can offer me any helpful tips, that would be great too.

Many thanks

Comments

  • Anna
    Anna Moderator Posts: 308

    Hello @Dan70 and welcome to the online community,

    Since lockdown you have been unable to work due to worsening of your arthritis and your PIP has been stopped. Understandably, you are very worried about finances and your home.

    Many members have had similar experiences to you and I’m sure they will be keen to share their experiences and tips. There are also several information pages on the Versus Arthritis website that provide you with some useful suggestions. I’ve linked to one below that talks about the various benefits you can claim if you are finding it difficult to work due to arthritis:

    https://www.versusarthritis.org/media/23161/benefits-you-can-claim-factsheet.pdf

    If it would help to talk to an advisor, the Versus Arthritis helpline are friendly and supportive and can give you information and advice. Here are their contact details:

    Best wishes, and do let us know how you’re getting on,

    Anna ( Mod)

  • Dan70
    Dan70 Member Posts: 7

    Hi Anna,

    Thank you so much for your response. I'll call the helpline tomorrow and take a look at the website. X

  • Anna
    Anna Moderator Posts: 308

    @Dan70 By the way, I meant to say that you weren’t rambling, just telling us your story! That’s what we’re all here for - to listen and support you.

  • Dan70
    Dan70 Member Posts: 7

    Thank you

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,298

    So sorry to hear what you’re going through @Dan70 , that sounds unbelievably stressful, as well as the suffering from your arthritis. I’m not familiar with the PIP process, except that it seems to result in a lot of injustice, misery, stress and suffering to genuine claimants have to battle to get what they’re entitled to. I hope you have the energy and support to carry the appeal through.

    i’m self employed too, and the lockdown was a blessing in disguise when my hip chose to rear it’s very ugly head in 2020. I've had to change the type of work I take on to accommodate what my body will allow, although it had a huge impact on my income. One small saving grace of the pandemic may be that there are now greater opportunities for home working. One thing that seems to go hand in hand with arthritis is having to adapt your life around it, and replacing what you can no longer do with something new that you still find rewarding, I hope those doors will soon open for you x

  • Dan70
    Dan70 Member Posts: 7

    Hi @Lilymary, thanks for responding to my message. I'm sorry to hear that you've been in a similar position to me. I don't know how it is for you on a deeper, personal level, but for me, it's the fear of not being able to protect and support my family that gets me the most. I try to stay strong for my wife and children, but it's not always possible.

    I've been told for many years that I have a "good" voice, so I've invested money I received for my birthday and bought myself some recording equipment. I'm now marketing myself as a voice over artist. I got my first gig recording a book for Audible on Wednesday, so finally doing something worth while. hopefully, I can grow it into a lucrative business. I refuse to give up and be defined by my condition.

    Wishing you all the best x

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,298

    Hi @Dan70 , I can see how your family responsibilities would weigh so heavy on you, I’ve never had that worry, just my own bills to pay, but until I married late in life, there was only one income and mortgage to pay, so not working was never an option. Whatever happened (and much did) I just had to push through it, which has been a useful life lesson that has helped me to deal with the effects of arthritis.

    It’s been my experience that when Life occasionally slams a door in your face (and sometimes it has really felt like that) the alternative route eventually turned out to be much more interesting. I don't believe in life coaches who say you should “have a plan and if you really push you can achieve anything”. Pfffft! Yeah, right. The naivety of youth. At best they probably just made some money from the book sales and created a generation of disillusioned wannabes 10 years down the line. Real life is much more chaotic than that!

    But wow, your new opportunity sounds exciting! What a great idea. I really hope that develops well for you and takes your life in a new positive direction, wherever it ends up. New ventures always take a while to really get off the ground, so don’t be too discouraged if it stalls from time to time, just be open to change, wherever that leads you.

    While OA has had an awful effect on my life, an unexpected blessing has been the kindness of strangers, on this site, through work, where I live, and the health care teams. We must seek and find small pleasures where we can. One of my mantras that sees me through a bad day, and which I also take literally, is ‘always take time to smell the roses”. I hope you find many along the way.