Having an illness such as Fibromyalgia or M.E (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) can not only be a strain on your emotional well being and your health but also on your finances.
A considerable number of people who contract Fibromyalgia find that they can no longer work to the same degree as they did before their illness and in some cases have to give up work altogether. This is where additional stress and emotional upheaval comes in as these individuals have to try and adjust their lifestyles not only to accommodate an illness that leaves them unemployed but also on a much lower income.
My Finances Have Dropped Because I'm Ill, What Can I Do?
The first and most practical piece of advice we can offer is to get in touch with those companies or individuals you owe money to. It is very rare nowadays to find anyone who doesn't have some degree of debt so it is important to make contact with your debtors and explain the situation to them. In most cases they will be sympathetic to your circumstances and will offer you - where possible - reduced payments or alternative ways to pay. It is fair to say that few businesses or companies want to take you to court for non payment of debt as it ultimately costs them more in the long term.
Making a claim for benefits is something many people feel loathed to do but it is a necessary end if you are out of work with no other sign of income. You will have to fill out a series of forms which - in the interim period - may be representative of Income Support or Job Seeker's Allowance. Unless you have a full and final diagnosis from your doctor you will not be able to apply for (DLA) Disability Living Allowance or Mobility at this stage.
Whilst on benefits you must show that you are either making an attempt to find gainful employment or are at least incapable of work. If the latter is the case you may qualify for Incapacity Benefit - again however you will have to ask what you are entitled to as it is common place for individuals not to be fully aware of their entitlements.
You may also be entitled to help with your Council Tax or Rent if you live in a council property - if you have a property yourself and are paying a mortgage then unfortunately there is no help available to you although in certain circumstances private home owners may qualify for some council tax help.
I Have Some Savings - Does That Make a Difference?
There have been recent changes to the legislation again so you may need to check with your local DHSS or DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) office for a detailed analysis but if your savings stray over a specified level then you will be declined benefits and be required to live on your savings until such times as they run out. It is worth nothing however that in the past some individuals have tried bucking the system by neglecting to mention their savings - these government bodies however have the power to commission a search for any bank or building society accounts in your name and may do so if they think you are not fully disclosing the nature of your financial circumstances.
They may also check to see if you have any insurance policies which mature if you are unable to work due to ill health.
For further information you should contact your local DHSS or DWP office and speak to an advisor or contact your local Citizen's Advice Bureau where their volunteers will be able to give you detailed advice as to what you are or aren't entitled to financially.
@cat lady - in addition to the advice in the article, you can find out all you need to know via the UK Fibromyalgia link here. I hope this helps.
FibromyalgiaSyndrome - 2-Jul-15 @ 11:32 AM
I have Fbromyalga, Chronic Fatigue and I am also being tested for
Arthritis and Hughes Syndrome.I am looking for a support group or suggestions where I can get financial help. I am single and cant work due to my condition, my hot water tank is leaking, I had water coming through the ceiling and light fitting.the plumber has cut the water off from the tank, but because of how the water comes into the house, this has left me with only cold water and to one sink.The toilets dont flush as the cystems are not getting any water due to it having been turned off.
cat lady - 29-Jun-15 @ 3:42 PM
To Whom It May Concern,
I am reaching out to each and every possible avenue in the hope of finding some assistance or information on assistance in helping my single mother keep her home.She is in the latter part of her 50’s.She worked for the Office of Naval Intelligence for her entire working career and retired early only because her Fibromyalgia, RSD and constant cluster migraines which had become debilitating and she sometimes could not get out of bed for work.The first year after her retirement, she received a decent retirement check which afforded her the opportunity to purchase a home in a trailer park in Delaware, where she could be near the beach.After a year passed she her retirement dropped drastically, something which is apparently very common, but widely unknown until it occurs.Since that time, she has diligently struggled to keep up a decent quality of life, but often having to visit pawn shops to keep current on her bills.When I visit, I bring as many groceries as I can because she lives off of very little, most of which holds no nutritional value simply because she can’t afford it.She has tried multiple times to work part time in the past to earn a little extra money, but she has had to leave each one after a short time because of the pain and chronic fatigue she suffers from.This is a woman who got up at the crack of dawn every morning and worked hard and climbed the occupational ladder before her disease overtook her. Her unemployment is not for lack of trying, but rather lack of ability.
My mother has tried and failed numerous times to apply for Social Security benefits, but has been turned down each time.She was diagnosed in Maryland, and continued to see her doctor in Maryland even after moving to Delaware until the financial burden of the trip became to much.She currently sees a pain management doctor in Delaware, but not a regular physician.Because of her limited finances she has to choose whether to see the doctor, to eat or to pay her utilities; so she has not found a regular physician because she simply cannot afford additional co-pays.Because she was diagnosed in Maryland, and the diagnosis was done years ago Social Security and local agencies will not accept the diagnosis.They say she needs a new diagnosis, and one from her pain management doctor would not be sufficient.This amazes me because she has a diagnosis of a disease that does not get better, it only gets worse, and yet they want her to go through testing and more doctors just to prove what has already been proven.
The trailer park that my mother lives in, is one in which each resident owns their home, but the entire community (which has an LLC) owns the property the homes sit on.There is a $5,000.00 yearly fee that must be paid to the communities LLC ever year, which my mother has paid every year up to this point.This year, she just could not find the additional funds to pay it, and her family (myself included) live fr
Beth - 2-Aug-12 @ 6:58 PM
I am in need of a knowledgeable disability reviewer, the diagnosis of fibromyalgia was considered "contraversial" and not taken seriously. Social Security misdiagnosed me with some other justification that's worse than Fibromyalgia, for two years plus my petition to the local union AFGE gave me no relief none of my requests were processed. I did not get the Federal Disability due to me immediately if I were unable to work, even though I had a written diagnosis from GWU Hospital and a letter from my primary care Dr. who did try to help me was dismissed.I suffered terribly physically, and financially and emotionally when my supervisor wrote me up as having "mental deterioration" and that I was a Threat to my coworkers, the agency, the community and to myself.I cried endlessly as trumped up statements were made by co workers who "did not want to be identified" for fear of me. I didn't have the strength to do much of anything to anyone in the way of violence. But I was mostly upset because a nasty gossip rumor was that I was on "Cocaine" and I panicked as Security questioned me about my daughter as if she were a drug pusher. My personal finances were manipulated due dates changed and intrest up the gazoo was added to those accounts the circumstances were surreal. When I did get an appointment with Social Security and told them about being exposed to a chemical flash painted on a light bulb in my cubicle knocking me out cold, I was told that was not enough to be considered to receive disability benefits. I went through severe loss of memory my request for Federal disability was not processed and my AFGE counselor quit my case and EEOC was unreachable within the specified time period allowed by Federal Law.I was not allowed to come on the primeses. I would truly like to know if there is someone out there who isn't afraid of doing what is right for the disabled "not that I planned it" who can get my records straight stand up for my rights and get the benefits that should have been provided for me by the responsible representatives with whom I was employed.I am a very creative person I am not looking for a hand out I worked 17 years for the Federal Government and I did it very outstanding. I think I could even go back to work if I could get this stubborn pain and exhaustion under control. Most of the remedies are horribly expensive. I would also like legal counsel regarding a innovative matter that was stolen too.
Sputnik - 25-Jul-12 @ 9:10 AM
I am looking for support groups that can financially help me. I am out of funds, bills are piling up, and I have a 7yr old daughter. I'm in the process of a disability case. I need help!