Claiming Benefits – My Tips | invisible i

Claiming Benefits – My Tips | invisible i

Shall we do another video about Benefits?
Why yes, I think we shall. Hey everyone, it’s Katy and welcome back to
my channel. So since my ‘Benesh*t’ series of videos, you guys have been chatting to
be about all things Benefits and since I spent abut 2 and a half hours in the DWP last week
this sort of video seemed quite appropriate. I really wanted to sit down with you guys
and share a few things about what I’ve learnt since the whole Benefit shenanigans – you
know, I’ve been in the process of claiming benefits since 2014 so I wanted to share a
few things that I have learnt because it is, sort of, like a ‘learn as you go along’ kind
of process. And definitely when it comes to claiming benefits, information is power! So
I thought I would just share a few things that I would definitely recommend to you guys
if you are in the process of claiming benefits. So tip number 1 is to keep anything – and
I mean anything – that has medical evidence on it. Any sort of letters from your GP, appointment
letters, referrals, prescriptions, blood test results, scan results. Anything that you have
that has your name on it and anything to do with your medical conditions – even if it’s
really, really small – keep it! It can be the difference between claiming benefits and
not. This is my little file of medical evidence.
This is also all of my correspondence with the DWP so it looks like a lot but not even
half of this is medical evidence – a lot of it is just letters back and forth to the DWP.
So file everything away in a nice big folder and that way you know that everything is in
the same place and everything is altogether. And even though I now know that I have been
successful in my Personal Independence Payment claim and I am now receiving Personal Independence
Payment, I still file away every single bit of medical evidence. You never know when they’re
going to need things, you never know what’s going to happen in the future with benefits.
Obviously I know that it is not feasible to keep every scrap of medical evidence, you
may have to sent things off for other people. So like, I get Fit Notes from my GP but I
literally get them and then have to send them off to the DWP immediately and then I don’t
get them back so in between that stage I will always take a photo with my phone and just
take a photo of my Fit Note so that I have evidence that I had it. I’ll send it off to
the DWP but I’ve still got that medical evidence there so I’ve got copies of all of my Fit
Notes even though I don’t actually have a physical Fit Note to hand. So tip number 2 is to keep a symptom diary
and I know what you guys are thinking because anytime anyone every told me to keep a symptom
diary or that it was a good idea to just write down your symptoms everyday, I would be like
‘who’s got time for that? No! No way!’. It wasn’t until recently that I really started
to keep a symptom diary and really hone in on my symptoms and realise how important that
this is, especially if you do have a really unpredictable condition like Fibro which changes
on a daily basis but you’re never symptom-free. It’s quite difficult when you are struggling
with some many symptoms to keep a record of just one so this is where a little symptom
diary comes in so handy and this is really good medical evidence as well. Not all medical
evidence has to come from someone official like a GP or a consultant – evidence can come
from you as well. So tip number 3 is one that I feel is quite
overlooked but can be very, very crucial and that is to get the help of your friends and
family and ask them to make statements about your medical conditions. At the end of the
day, your friends and family are the ones that see you the most and sometimes going
to a GP and talking about things, they don’t really get a full picture of how you are on
a daily basis. But if you live with someone, if you live with your family or a partner
or a spouse or if you just have a room-mate, ask them to just write down a statement of
what they’ve seen you be like and what they feel like your medical conditions affects
your life like. This can be a really crucial bit of medical evidence because it’s coming
from almost like a third party but someone who sees you every single day. So tip number 4 is to get some help from the
services in your area. Lord knows claiming benefits is not an easy process and if you
don’t have the know-how or the support, it can be really, really intimidating and scary.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I always felt when I was claiming benefits and even
still now claiming benefits, it feels like they’re trying to trip me up or trick me.
It always feel like I am falling into a loophole or I’ve said something that they’re going
to use against me and this can be super, super scary and anxiety-ridden. So I went to go
and get some help from Citizens Advice in my area and they were so helpful, they literally
know everything! They can help you with filling out the forms. You can book an appointment
with them, it’s completely free and you can ask them to help you fill out the forms and
all of the questionnaires and all the horrible stuff! They can help you with your medical
evidence and what’s useful, what isn’t and what they would recommend. Oh my goodness,
so helpful! So if you have something like that in your area, just try and look up any
sort of benefit advice services that you can grab a hold of because I would definitely
recommend getting to see someone and just getting a little bit more information. And my fifth and final tip for claiming benefits
is a nice, simple one – well, it sounds simple but it might not be – but that is to just
be persistent and I always struggled with wanting to throw in the towel when I was going
through the mandatory reconsideration and then finally going to court. It was a long,
horrible struggle but I got there in the end and I am so glad that I went through that
process. But the DWP wants you to give up, any kind of benefit service, they want to
give up. So if you think that you’re entitled, be persistent and don’t give up. So there we have it, those are my 5 tips for
claiming benefits. Let me know your tips in the comments below or if these helped you.
I feel like benefits are something that we are having a more open and honest discussion
about on my channel now which is really lovely because there are times when claiming benefits
can be a bit taboo or it’s judged a lot and we don’t want that to happen. Claiming benefits
is part of having medical conditions and if you’re entitled you should be able to go and
claim benefits – it’s why they’re there! So I don’t feel like it should be something that
is not allowed to be talked about or it’s something that’s a bit taboo so if you want
to share your experiences in the comments below with me and if you like benefit videos
and want to see a few more like this then let me know by giving it a thumbs up and I
will be sure to do some more in the future. I hope you’ve had a really, really good day
and I will see you soon – bye guys!

65 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I was on benefits because of my Fibro. My god i hated it all. I got myself back into full time work which is pretty much killing me just because the money wasn't enough and the stress was exhausting 🙁 xx

  2. I was on benefits because of my Fibro. My god i hated it all. I got myself back into full time work which is pretty much killing me just because the money wasn't enough and the stress was exhausting 🙁 xx

  3. Some symptoms I note like my bladder or bowels or my head but pain I tend to ignore as the more I think about it the worst pain feels lol I have a huge A4 lever arched file full of things makes life easier as ESA, PIP, council, nhs they always wanting to look at something or other lol

  4. If you cant get to a citizens advice etc my recommendation is the benefit and work guides. Worth the money imo. I know so much about pip now I could be an advisor 😂

  5. I'm trying to apply for child DLA for my 4 year old daughter who has multiple conditions. However we have moved house quite a few times and a lot of her medical notes etc have gone missing.
    Iv tried calling the gp and asking them if they would print a copy of all letters sent to them and the women said "yes that's fine" and told me to call back and find out if they'd been done….so I waited a week and called back and another lady said they couldn't do that.
    I feel pretty livid that I'm not allowed a copy of letters that have once been sent to me, personal letters about my daughter that the gp also has copies of.
    I'm willing to pay for them, but they want an extortionate amount of money for each letter. It feels like they are holding them at ransom!.
    How do I solve this anyone??

  6. Thank you for this video. It scares me how difficult and stressful something like this can be. But I'm going to try to get them as soon as I can. I can't even go outside most days and have no friends/family so I hope that everything will work out.

  7. Your so beautiful, not only that but we both have Aspergers and we are both 20, I'm not so beautiful though.

  8. you are absolutely right about how benefits process is every for aspie suffering with anxiety. The DWP they don't care about anyone's with medical condition or disabilities because they treat you same as everyone else like a culling process. They don't have anytime for sympathy at all. They make you question yourself when you are in fact the victim and how egregious is that. Love your folder of documents but if the DWP did their jibs correctly, we would not be having this discussion at all and there would he no need for GP letters because they should make contact with your GP. i'd love to meet you because you and i are like two sides of the same coin. I'm sure we would have loads in common but we are just experiencing them differently in our own unique individualistic way if that makes sense.

  9. Fibromyalgia really hurts!!! I'm laying in bed and can't have anything touching my skin…Burning like I've had 2 weeks constant sunbathing in the caribbean without any Ambre Solare.
    Every hair is like a needle hurting my skin even more. I feel so sorry for people with this hellish autoimmune disease.

  10. Hi ive just found your chanel and can really relate,i have m e,chronic fatigue and now i have been diagnosed with fibro myalgia i also suffer from anxiety.Its great to hear from others have similar problems and not to feel alone.I receive esa benefit but am now thinking of applying for PIP but am extremley worried about tribunals etc.I will keep watching your videos.

  11. Thank you so much for this video. I'm in the process of claiming ESA for fibro but my anxieties cause me to procrastinate terribly. You have spurred me on to sort this out and hopefully get the benefits I'm entitled to. Hope that you are well, best wishes.

  12. SUPER helpful, I was on ESA for a couple of months after finishing work due to my M.E. but it was taken away from me after my work capability assessment, with a woman who wrote the most awful report, claiming that because I simply got up from the waiting area to walk 10 metres to her office and quote "lifted her water bottle to take a drink" and had good eye contact that I resembled absolutely NO evidence that I was sick at all, and that I should be absolutely fine to go back to work. Completely crushed my spirit so hard, I was so intensely angry, I was in tears when they rang me to tell me the news and all I wanted to do was scream down the phone at the sheer injustice of how I'd been treated and how small I'd been made to feel, how the heck could they ever understand what it was like to live in this body!?!??!?! 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁

    They sent me off to the job centre instead, am I am really trying, but it's so freaking difficult, and I am just left exhausted and frustrated with the entire process.

    Taking it all the way as far as court sounds awfully draining and anxiety provoking, well done for pushing through!

    Do you have any advice on reapplying for ESA? I have also applied for PIP but they're taking ages to process the application as always. Bleugh.

    Thanks again for the awesome vids, highly inspiring, thank you! x

  13. Keeping records is a good idea. Particularly if you are using Universal Job Match & Universal Credit. CAB Citizens Advice Bureau web site and Turn2U are great sites…If you are worried about Sanctions then contact us for more info @benefits2apprenticeships

  14. Try and find a local autism support group as you will be able to access help with filling in pip forms and other forms. great vids!

  15. If you could make videos like this you technically have earning potential. Disability in the US would look at things like that. I'm no one to throw stones but but I have too much anxiety to make YT vids, even though I have some very good skills.

  16. I live in the US. If you can keep up on applying for all these benefits you can work! Just my opinion! In the US benefits are for single Mom's and children not a lifetime job. Now I understand why the Britts still have a class system. Oh and on a foot note no evidence of fibro to be an actual illness! Its also interesting how many people that live in the UK have panic attacks and some sort of mental disorder. Your government is not doing any of you any favors! Most that live in poverty die young and this type of living is passed down to each and every generation. Just give you enough to survive!

  17. I have been struggling with university a lot (autism and depression) and I'm really considering applying for a handicap ID at least. Life has been difficult but I'm not sure what to do – I hope a therapist can help with getting accommodations and support in the future – I'm currently waiting for my next appointment to meet a new therapist. I really hope it works out with her.

  18. If you have problems, the thing with the DWP is they don't like opinions (this is coming from someone thats had a chat with a doctor GP really) very much they prefer it when it's based purely on fact, its much easier sometimes to have things actually diagnosed rather than anything else like this person has downs syndrome and causes… insert that here… but then if you get a doctor to prove you have the said things in your application that adds more weight to a benefit application.

    This is particularly relevant to a tribunal hearing in fact.

  19. I've been dealing with anxiety/depression since being around 12/13 (I'm 23 now), and I went to college and university. I dropped out of university because I was having panic attacks and falling behind because I had so many days I couldn't go in. I studied music and another reason I left is because I felt like I was letting my band down and they didn't understand why I wasn't making rehearsals and when I was there why some days I just couldn't focus on lyrics or put energy in and it was too stressful. I also left my first job (in a cinema), after 3 months because I started getting panic attacks again. I left it some time, and got another job (inbound call centre work), and after a really bad experience where a woman screamed at me, I locked myself in the toilets for my full lunch break having a panic attack, then I stayed there an extra hour, getting more panicked about the length of time I'd been away from my desk and worried that everyone would be able to see I'd been crying. When I finally thought I had it together enough to go back to my desk, I felt frozen and couldn't bring myself to change my phone to available, and my manager pulled me into a side room to talk to me, where I started crying all over again because I was scared she was going to be mad or think I was being dramatic or stupid – in reality she was lovely. I still got fired after a couple of weeks off because I was to worried to go to the doctors and get a sick note. (Probably for the best), Again, I lasted around 3 months. Last year I went back to college to study beauty therapy and after 5 months I dropped out for the same reasons.

    Since leaving my second job I've been claiming ESA, and I moved in with my boyfriend (who also deals with anxiety and depression), and it's been really tough. We've lived together over 2 years and the amount of struggle being on benefits has caused is crazy. It flat out isn't enough money to live on. We can never afford to go out and do anything on the days we feel up to it, so the depression gets worse. I applied for PIP but because half way through the interview I managed to stop shaking/crying enough to talk to the woman I was denied it. The letter basically said I was fine and that I could dispute the decision but it was unlikely anything would come of it. It was heartbreaking.

    It's awful not being able to afford Christmas or Birthday presents, or having to turn down meals out or drinks with friends. Being on benefits is what I need but it comes with so much stigma that I'm lazy, and taking advantage. I'd love nothing more than to be able to work and earn money so every month I wasn't combing a budget trying to figure out if we need help with money, or if we'll go overdrawn (and then need to pay charges and end up stuck in a cycle of money horrors). I want to be able to go on holidays, get tattoos, go out with friends, learn to drive and buy presents for family and friends on their birthdays or for Christmas. I don't want to turn down parties/celebrations, and I don't want to own two pairs of jeans, scared one will get too worn out because how the hell am I buying a new pair? But working stops benefits, and if I lose my job after a few months because of my mental health will my landlord, water board, power supplier and phone provider understand why my bills are late? And who is going to be the one to talk on the phone trying to explain? And how can I deal with an interview at the DWP when sometimes I can't leave the house for weeks at a time?

    These people do not understand what it's like, because if you're holding down a job, you couldn't understand how powerless/useless/helpless it can make you feel that you can't. I get they may have their own struggles, and I'm certainly not assuming mine are worse or harder, but they aren't in my situation and it feels like I'm being told to try harder, even though so many times I've put myself through hell trying to get through a rough patch while working. The problem is rough patches can last a few hours, or a day, or they can last weeks or months and I can't tell when I'm going to be okay enough to do stuff – not even properly okay, just okay enough to get on with it.

    It sucks so much that the people in charge of the decisions that truly effect lives don't understand. It's invisible, almost impossible to translate how it feels, and even if you could, people who don't deal with mental illnesses can't understand. Hell, I was told by multiple doctors that I was "too young to have this kind of problem" and that I should "get over it and see my friends more," before I was diagnosed. And to be honest? Four medications, and a course of therapy later I'm still where I was 10 years ago more or less. I'm not confident my diagnosis is accurate but I don't want to claim illnesses I don't have (I find it very easy to over relate to mental illnesses I probably don't have), but unless a doctor wants to chill with me for an hour or so while I explain my thoughts and feelings and they ask me a bunch of questions to even start getting somewhere with a list of possible things that are wrong with my brain, I can't see anything changing.

    I really admire you for the videos you make. You're so open about not only your illnesses but also that you do claim benefits. It just makes me feel like the life I have right now is more justified and that it's okay, and sometimes a reminder is necessary.

    I hope things are going well for you (mentally, physically, emotionally, financially) 🙂 Also I hope everyone commenting finds a way to deal with their struggles <3

  20. NOBODY TELLS YOU: I'm going to do a series about my journey with benefits, autism diagnosis, complaints, JSA, ESA mandatory and tribunal appeal, now just got home from court, after burying my head in sand about council tax, now going to apply for exemption, so council has decided not to pursue today with trying to get a liability order, good customer service guy chatting to me before need to enter court, finally not necessary … any ho. I'm crippled with depression but lucky to be obsessive about justice, so good at researching legal stuff.

  21. Man I had to go threw the same thing I kept everything that I was given I battled for five years to get my Ontario Disability Support Program. I still to this day keep as much evidence as I can for them in case they need it. It was not any easy process but god was on my side. I have had fibro now for 18 years and am still getting benefits. I had a legal aid lawyer help me and that was how I won.

  22. Have recently been through the PIP thing after having been on DLA for most of my life. And after my medical, I was turned down flat for PIP. The assessor I had had zero understanding of Autism or how it affects people. He also lied in the report and twisted my words around. Recently undergone mandatary reconsideration and got the award after that. It took about 3 months. But basically did what you said in the video. Believe it or not, they tried to use the fact that I do a bit of casual work as a means of refusing me PIP. I get ESA and am in the Work Related Activity Group where volunteering and casual work is pretty much encouraged. Yet the guy who assessed my PIP claim. As in the ATOS Trained Monkey tried to insinuate in his report that I should not be awarded the benefit because I am working. Worse still he made out that the work I was doing was way more skilled than it actually is. I work casually as a consultant and am asked by various services to discuss how Autism has affected my life and the kind of help that I often need on a day to day basis. I do not make a huge amount for this. But long story short. We pretty much got that overturned as well given that PIP is not supposed to be a means-tested benefit.

  23. The whole assessment thing is a joke as the assessors lie through their teeth and then when you listen to DWP guidelines of not paying for evidence that they'll get it they never get the evidence needed so it results in you having to pay for the evidence anyway I currently have PTSD , two personality disorders, severe anxiety , an eating disorder and depression and got declined so gotta go through the whole reconsideration/ appeal process because it affects my daily life if they can't see the disability it gets ignored as they discriminate against invisible disability especially with the new pip system they tried to say I was under no mental health support or input when I'm with the local community mental health team now the process is making it worse

  24. I've had fibromyalgia since 2007. But only been able to claim disability since last month (July 2018) it takes a long time unfortunately.

  25. The welfare state system of the United Kingdom is Europe's 2nd least generous, the most generous is Denmark, I hope Scotland becomes an independent country so it can eradicate benefit poverty as I trust the Scottish government.

  26. Just over 2 weeks ago I got turned down for PIP as I scored all zeros, yes i didn't even sore a single point, I have aspergers but I somehow think by getting complete zeros it's a waste of time re-aplying, it was last month that I went for my meeting and days leading up to it, I was a nervous wreck.

  27. Benefits are there for people who need it. People who abuse this system should be ashamed and fined. It's unfair on people who actually need it.

  28. I have suffered from depression and anxiety all of my life. I also have a good job and further career prospects. If you resign yourself to fail then you will. Benefits should only be available to those who truly need them.

  29. CAB for me was akin to getting advice from the ghost of Tutankhamun. Incompetent and completely unaware of my condition. I almost wanted to make a complaint against them.

  30. Thank you, thank you ,thank you! Your video is wonderful ! Very helpful , validating and I love how you have an upbeat spirit ! Great idea re the symptom journal ! All the best !

  31. Hi I never gets any records of anything I had an appointed it was for me I got rid of them because it was cheating me out of my benefit now I have nobody to help me with my benefits my ex partner help me with my benefits but now I seem to be on my own I have only one friend but she works a lot and I'm really bothered that they're going to try and take over financially Andrew my life which I don't want so what other way can I get help apart from having a pointy as they control your money and finances which I'm quite capable of I do have dyslexia and reading writing is hard work for me and understanding the forms is even more difficult I'm not too sure how to go about that??

  32. i living uk i have two and haf year residents permit i am not allowed public pound naw my lag injury so i can claim any banabit for my lag injury. it is any problem creact my next settlement applications time please please please reply me sis

  33. It baffles me how they can fail someone on their medical assessment who has a physical disability or mental health issues but I’ve heard that if someone is a drug addict or an alcoholic then you immediately pass 🤔🤷‍♂️

  34. I’ve got Type one diabetes , retinopathy , neuropathy and sciatica and i still work in a hospital 12 hr days . Days when i have a lot of pain i push thru i refuse to give up never have i thought of my disease as a disability or used it as clutch . I’m young 33 years old and untill I’m dead i refuse to give up . It’s tough but I’m strong. L

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