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Anyone left in penury after divorce, ill health, losing job?

(16 Posts)
Jenn53 Thu 18-Mar-21 11:58:24

I find myself in my late sixties in ill health & destitute. Has anyone here been in similar situation? how did you cope? how did you get your life back on track? I was married for many years and we had a nice house and lifestyle only to be told one day by husband that he had to sell the house as the bank was calling in his company's business loans. The house was mortgaged up to the hilt. We had an old-fashioned marriage. Husband never discussed finances. After paying back the bank, estate agents, conveyancing solicitors etc. no money left. We had to go to the Council cap in hand to help with renting privately. Marriage broke down under the strain of losing everything and I walked away with nothing. After many setbacks, depression etc. I started from scratch in my 40s and found not very well paid jobs. Buckled down and got on with a sort of life. Now in my late 60s, and diagnosed with serious health issues my employers made me redundant during COVID. I am back to square one, having to apply to Council for help with housing, living on very little savings and State Pension. I am bewildered as not knowing where the Council will house me, no job and unlikely to get one at my age and medical issues at this time. Would like to hear if anyone has been or in similar position and how they managed or are managing.

EllanVannin Thu 18-Mar-21 12:15:24

Fortunately, no, but these situations are mainly what you'd read about and never become victim to but are very real.
I'm sure you'll get through all this firstly by seeing what entitlements are there within the DWP. Also speak to your GP if you haven't already and say that you're applying for financial help for your medical conditions.

Are there any housing associations near you ? These are in preference to council properties whereby some associations will only accept the older person or those who are younger with a disability as opposed to families ( mixed ) . Once you can find somewhere such as this they will then help you towards any claims there might be.

kittylester Thu 18-Mar-21 12:25:18

Ask AgeUk to help you do a benefits check. Depending on you health conditions you could be entitled to Attendance Allowance. But AgeUK are your best bet!!

Delila Thu 18-Mar-21 12:27:33

First of all, apply for housing association/council housing. At your age and with health problems you may be eligible for sheltered accommodation.
If you are receiving state pension, even if you have some savings, you might be eligible for pension credit. Pension Credit Guarantee, even a very small amount, entitles you to help with rent & council tax.
Good luck, give it a go. There is hope for a brighter, more secure future.

Ilovecheese Thu 18-Mar-21 12:27:39

I also advise contacting housing associations, some of them cater specifically for older people. Make sure to apply for pension credit and any other benefit to which you may be entitled. Look at the Government and citizens advice websites for information.

sodapop Thu 18-Mar-21 12:53:08

So sorry to hear about all your difficulties Jenn53 I can't offer advice as I haven't lived in UK for a good few years now. I'm sure there will be lots of help from other posters on here. I didn't want to ignore your post, I hope you get some help soon. Good luck.

GillT57 Thu 18-Mar-21 13:00:32

So sorry to hear about your situation, it just goes to show that financial disaster can happen to anyone. I would suggest that your first stop should be AgeUk who will be able to point you in the right direction regarding housing and benefits. I wish you every success, hopefully you will soon get a secure roof over your head.

Redhead56 Thu 18-Mar-21 13:46:50

Very sorry to hear of your dilemma but you sound a strong person I am sure you will get through it. I am not familiar with the benefit or housing associations but you have some sound advice here. I wish you well and hope things brighten up for you at this difficult time.

Artaylar Thu 18-Mar-21 14:30:59

This Directory of Retirement Homes and Sheltered Housing in the UK might be helpful.

Wishing you the very best of luck for the future flowers

vampirequeen Thu 18-Mar-21 17:30:40

You sound as if you're ashamed of claiming benefits. Don't be. They were put in place to help people who have found themselves in your situation. You've paid into the system and should feel no shame about claiming from it. Someone earlier suggest Age UK. That's a good idea. Make sure you're getting all the benefits you are entitled to. Do you have sufficient pension or are you entitled to a top up? Are you entitled to a cold weather payment or a warm home grant? There are so many benefits you may be entitled to.

I went from a good income to benefits. It came as a shock as my income plummeted but I got used to it. I contacted my creditors who have been more than helpful and got help from a local disability group with benefits.

There is no shame in claiming benefits when you are in need and there is no shame in being in need.

rafichagran Thu 18-Mar-21 17:39:21

Please get all the help you can. Are you claiming attendance allowance as well OP?
Also if you have a serious health condition you may be a priority for housing.
I wish you well and hope you get the outcome you want and need.

Thistlelass Thu 18-Mar-21 23:00:02

So I don't quite understand why you have lost your home again? Did you not apply for housing and council tax benefit after you lost the job? Anyway, certainly in Scotland a lot of regions have one application form which covers the main public housing provider and local housing association. But I really do not understand. Evictions have not been going ahead during the pandemic. My daughter - a Solicitor handling this in Scotland - has not worked for a year due to the standstill. Can you come back to us and help us understand please?

Kamiso Thu 18-Mar-21 23:53:13

Did you agree to the house being put up as collateral? If you didn’t there should be some kind of comeback on them.

The reason we pay National Insurance is to make sure that help and support is there if circumstances require it. You need help now. Who knows who else will be needing help in the future?

Locally there are organisations to point you in the right direction and offer a lot of practical help including accessing accommodation and helping to furnish it, all be it with donated items.

Once you get a place to call home, and perhaps see your GP, you’ll start to get your life back on track. Good luck!

maydonoz Fri 19-Mar-21 18:45:42

Jenn, sorry to hear of your dilemma, it must be very stressful for you.
Apart from all the good advice you've had re applying to the Council for accommodation I thought I would mention something, it may be worth pursuing.
Many years ago, at least twenty, a dear friend, she was a single person, had to declare herself bankrupt due to taking early retirement, this was because of poor health. She had been a teacher for many years and found her situation very embarrassing, so didn't tell many friends or anyone about it. However, with the help of a Social Worker she was given a small flat to rent at a very low cost in one of the Alms Houses. This was a wonderful refuge for her and slowly she got her life back together.
The residents were mostly single women who had fallen on hard times and were in great need of help.
I hope you find somewhere suitable for yourself to live in peace and comfort.
My best wishes and good luck to you for the future.

Franbern Sat 20-Mar-21 09:37:53

Not quite sure why you now need to apply to Council for housing. Why are you having to leave your existing home?
You are probably entitled to having your rent paid, and then that just leaves your pension for all other needs, which should be okay. If you do not get the full state pension, you would be entitled to Pension Credit.

Social Housing would mean that you do not even have to worry about any repairs to the property.

Cannot see how just being in receipt of a State Pension plus some savings makes you feel that your are destitute. Not being unfeeling, but destitution to me applies to those poor souls crouched in shop doorways.

Jenn53 Sat 20-Mar-21 11:29:09

I just want to thank everyone here for their helpful advice and comments which have focussed my mind on what to
and the best way to go about it. EllanVannin - thank you and you are right, I often read about these awful situations never thinking that it would one day happen to me. Kamiso. No, I was not consulted. Apparently, my name was never entered on the deed. It was his house. I know it sounds strange in this day and age but my husband was older and more established and controlled our finances. I suppose I was just naive, didn't ask questions for a quiet life and left it to him to deal with matters which would benefit us both. Artaylar. Thank you for the link to the Directory of Retirement Homes & Sheltered Housing. I will look at these. Vampirequeen. I do understand and thank you for the advice and support. Thistlelass Sorry, I did not explain properly. Yes, I did apply for housing & council tax benefit after I lost my job last year during the pandemic. The sad thing is my lovely elderly landlord has died (96 years old) and the executors' solicitors want to sell the property. I have lived here peacefully for many years which has been a place for me to heal after the struggles. The solicitors have now sent me Section 21 Notice but have not yet given me Eviction Notice because of lockdown. I suppose that will come any minute now. Maydonoz. Thank you. I can relate to you friend feeling embarrassed and not telling friends, etc. These days I never take life for granted. I just want to find a place which offers peace and quiet and be surrounded by people who understand how life can change suddenly and have the strength to get back on my feet. Your replies have given me the push I need to do this.