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Completely stuck - Carers UK Forum

Completely stuck

All about money
I help care for my mother here, but this house really is a horrible place to live. As I posted in another thread, both my mother and grandmother are very dismissive of me and never listen. They never admit blame and if I defend myself will speak about me behind my back saying they have done nothing wrong and it's all me.

As I also mentioned in the thread I have social anxiety and depression. I am a nervous wreck when I leave the house and feel very low most days. A lot of this is caused by the house I live in, due to the way I am spoken to or treated (Xmas for example was spent in my room alone due to the way both members of my family were).

When I see dr's I am never diagnosed properly, they read that my mum is ill and assume that it's only "stress" because I find it hard caring for her which isn't the case.

CBT would be a great help, yet dr's have never suggested it and I know the waiting list is 6 months+. Based on that, I know if I was finally given help today, it would take at least 6-7 months before I would be fit to work.

Here's where it is very tricky finance wise:

I get £420 a month carers allowance and income support combined. Remaining here though means my mental health state will never get any better over the long term.

If I was given the help I needed by dr's, in order to make sure I don't keep slipping back into a depressive state, I would need to completely leave this house. That means forfeiting CA and IS, be signed off and claim ESA which is less money than I currently receive (Just £289.60 a month). I would definitely have to claim housing benefit, yet because I am under 35 the government would only partly pay for a bedsit or room as part of a house share. There are barely any of those types of accommodation here and the few that are here are mostly drug dens or student housing.

After 13 weeks though (before I have had full help and CBT), I will be called in for a fit for work assessment. Because my health issue is not physical, I will be declared as fit to work and put on jobseekers allowance. The same money, yet with many other requirements. 1 of which is regular visits to the job centre. My SA is that bad though, that when I had to go to the jobcentre to sign forms when I applied for Income support with my carers allowance, I actually had a full on panic attack and was assisted by staff. So that would become a very distressing experience.

Any suggestions?
Sorry, I didn't want to just read and turn away, but I really don't know enough about benefits etc. in your situation to make any positive comments, other than ring the Carers UK helpline in the New Year.
Hi Jake

I think that BB's suggestion of contacting the helpline is a useful one-you can also email them. I believe they are closed until after the New Year but they are best placed to advise on your specific situation.

Regarding the CBT, there is always a long wait. Mental health issues aren't seen as important and the waiting times are always bad but there are things you can do in the meantime for yourself.
Here is a link to an online free CBT course which is widely used. I'm sure you know that the major part of CBT is self help, worksheets etc and challenging the though processes that exacerbate anxiety issues and some cases of depression.

At least this way you can make a start!

ESA is given to people with mental health issues but I agree that more often than not, people are refused. I know it's difficult with Social Anx so you really need to get some support to deal with DWP etc, perhaps Citizens Advice can help with this too?

Hope it goes well.
Hi its sounds as though you have had a difficult time. But I think you need to get help in the new year. Where are you in the uk? If you need to talk I will listen. I have a rotten cold at the moment and yes its not been a good christmas. Roll on 2015 ! Regards Amandah
I know in this area you can self refer for CBT. Yes there is a waiting list but at least you can get it underway without having to rely on a GP who doesn't understand.
Why not give Rethink a call - http://www.rethink.org/
I am sure they will be able to give you advice on CBT availability in your area, support groups & how to self refer.
Have you thought about approaching the local Social Services support worker? In my area, there are special arrangements for carers who are struggling, they can have counselling without any significant delay. I found it hugely helpful.
Hi, and sorry things are so grim.
You don't have to live with someone to claim Carers Allowance: you can visit five days a week for eight hours or whatever, as long as you are caring for 35 hours a week.
And you may be able to get a job of some kind: possibly in a gentle environment: some charities offer very supportive workplaces, other don't. You can earn wages whilst on CA, within limits.
Either way, there are pathways out of your situation that others have travelled before you, so please don't panic, start to plan one step at a time, and always check the facts first.
That's just what I was going to suggest- remaining a carer keeping to the 35 hours but getting your own space to have a breather. I would also contact your council to ask for a carers assessment. Perhaps ask if you can meet in a neutral place like a coffee shop ( or whereever you feel comfortable) if it is hard to talk in private at home. Explain to them exactly what you have said here and see what they can suggest to help. They look at it from your point of view and not the person you are caring for. The whole idea is to find out what support you need and advise you what help is out there. A great place to start. I think yo u should go and see you GP as soon as possible because if you need to go on a long waiting list the sooner the better and use the DIY online help in the meanwhile.
Wishing you a great 2015- a year for change.
The 35 hours includes any time spent doing things for mum, not necessarily time with her. So you can include shopping trips on her behalf, phone calls, trips to the chemist for prescriptions. If you add up all that time, you'll find it soon mounts up. However much you wish your family were different, they are highly unlikely to ever change, it's too late. BUT it's not too late for you to change your own situation. They can only ruin your life if you let them. As children, we must do what we are told. As adults, we don't have to. It's very likely that they like to keep you under their control by undermining your self confidence, so you don't leave - they might be frightened deep down that you might do so. Your friends here will give you all the support they can. Taking the very first step towards a better future is often the hardest step of all.
Thanks all, going to look into some of the links.

Social services/support workers are no good because I am not the sole carer. This has been a path I went down previously, but was told basically that as it isn't my house and I am not the sole carer that they can't do anything unless abuse was part of the situation and I reported it.

The other problem with 35 hours a week as a carer is transport. Everything else aside, the government will only part fund me in a shared house or bedsit. Aside from the drug houses, the nearest possibility would be almost 2 hours away on foot. Busses would be the only option. If I give 7 hours of care per day, that's 5 days of busses. A weekly bus pass is about £20 so over the month thats a fair chunk of cash gone