I have just been turned down for incapacity benefit because I haven’t got enough NI contributions, i get that i haven’t worked in a while as i’ve been at Uni (trying to better myself so I can get a well paid job and support myself) but now that i’m not studying and can’t work a normal job because of my ME they  (the government) say i’m not entitled to incapacity benefit. The reason I haven’t paid any NI for the past year is because I have ME and have managed to surive without any help and didn’t want to claim incapacity benefit (or NI credit) for the sake it – I was trying to save governemnt moneu by not claiming things I didn’t truly need. How stupid of me, i must learn to be more selfish.  How i’m supposed to pay rent and feed myself is beyond me. I am told I can apply for income support but this is taking ages and i’m still not sureof the amount they will give me, if any. I am truley angry at the whole situation. My GP is has written me a medical certificate and understands that I can’t work a normal job. I say normal meaning a nine to five job – my condition means that i have periods where i have to rest and this can cause problems with an employer. I manage to get stuff done for deadlines but i need to be able to do the work in my own time taking regular rest periods – not work continuously all day.

Whilst talking with a friend who is on long term sick because she has SLE, who has recently had her benefits reduced, we wondered how people manage to claim benefits fraudulently when we (who are honestly in need of help and have both previously worked full-time for numerous years) are finding it so hard to get a little help with living expenses. I was also recently turned down for disability living allowance even though when my ME is bad (and at the time of applying I was in a bad way) i can’t even get down the stairs or cook myself a meal.  I don’t expect to be spoonfed money but during the summer vacation when I don’t receive a student loan payment a little help would be good and it’s not like the student loan goes along way (£4633 per year is hardly cause for excessive living and only just covers  the rent). I wouldn’t mind if i was sitting on my backside all day but I am trying to better myself by getting an education so I can be of some use to society as a whole (working in scientific research is never going to make me a millionaire but its what i enjoy). Right now i feel like giving up on the whole thing then at least then i may get more help – they take my student loan into consideration as my income which means I am not entitled to housing benefit, even over the summer when I have nil income.

is it me or is this just wrong! no wonder university admissions from working class families are in decline. I’m a mature student so my parents income doesn’t come into play (not that is would change things anyway) but there is no provision for mature students who are unable to work whilst studying. I can just about manage during term-time with my student loan but over the summer its impossible.

and to top off a really bad day the potatoes for the shepherds pie have boiled dry – karl had managed to save them though so atleast he gets to eat tonight.

Well, enough of my ranting i’m off to eat my dinner and knit, hoping it will induce some inner calm


About Lyndsey-Jane

I love to knit, spin and crochet, usually accompanied by music, a good book or good TV. I have had ME/CFS for 6 years and have been recently diagnosed with a type of inflammatory arthritis.

One response »

  1. How frustrating! This may not be very helpful right now but you can make lump-sum payments to “buy” national insurance contributions for up to 5 years ago. (I’m going to have to do this for the time I “wasted” failing to get a PhD). Whether this would then qualify you for the benefit you’re being denied (and how you can rustle up the money out of the ether), I don’t know, but it may be worth investigating once you do have an income.

    Meantime, enjoy the baking (hey, its low fat and its got bananas in, it has to be good for you)

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