Benefits and Work
Some people with ME or CFS may not be well enough to work at all at some stage in the illness and therefore may need state benefits (see below) and other financial support.
Other people with ME or CFS may be well enough to do a few voluntary hours, or work part-time, but this can sometimes be very challenging to manage and therefore advice and tips may be helpful (see below.) Often benefits or working tax credits are needed.
ME Support Norfolk
Dan Ward of ‘ME Support Norfolk’ regularly attend the Elevate monthly meetings. He is a carer and has years of experience of voluntarily assisting people with ME/CFS fill in benefits forms and appeals with a lot of success. You can contact him through www.mesupportnorfolk.co.uk
You may also get good tips from people at Elevate and encouragement that they have been successful in their claims.
Fightback For Justice
This charity services include:
- Welfare benefit advice and appeals.
- A helpline.
- Face to face help from a Bury office or home visits if near enough.
- Disability benefit applications completed by a fully qualified lawyers.
- A buddy system for medicals.
- A facebook group facebook.com/FightBack4Justice
If you are severely affected the 25% may well provide advocacy/welfare advice & assistance as well as being generally helpful. www.25megroup.org
Some people have found the Facebook group “M.E. & Chronic Illness Benefits Advice Group” helpful. The following should work if you are already signed in to Facebook or search for the group name using the Facebook search facility.
Benefits and Work
“Benefits and Work” produces downloadable PDF guides to filling in forms, a newsletter but it is a lot of reading which some people may struggle to manage. They also provide other services but they do not have the expert knowlege of ME that ME support Norfolk and the 25% group have.
Other Financial Support
Grants for individuals:
The following organisations may provide grants to help fund disability aids such as mobility scooters, home adaptions, etc if these aren’t covered by PIP or a ‘personal health budget’, savings, or other income. A support letter from an OT or a supporting charity may help or be expected with some of these charities when making an application.
Independence at Home http://www.independenceathome.org.uk/
Act Foundation http://www.theactfoundation.co.uk/
Newby Trust http://www.newby-trust.org.uk/
Turn to Us is a national charity that helps people in financial hardship to gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services.
Advice on work.
Some peole with ME find that they need to make a career change so that their work becomes more flexible for their variable condition. They may then find financial support through ‘Working Tax Credits’ which expect a minimum of 16 hours for people with disabilities who meet certain criteria (see government website – may soon be replaced by ‘universal credit’).
Careers advisor with experience of ME
We also have a member who works part-time as a careers advisor and you can see her website by clicking here You can also read about her experience of working self-employed on a part-time basis.