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Moral guidance please, should we claim benefits just because we can?

(146 Posts)
JanetG Mon 25-Jan-21 08:12:49

I am in my early 70s and have incurable ovarian cancer. My husband and I live comfortably and he is managing the extra household bits and pieces quite well at the moment. I am still well enough to enjoy life most of the time and am having chemotherapy with the hope of giving me extra symptom controlled time in this world.
My dilemma is that apparently we are entitled to claim attendance allowance as I am terminally ill, but we do not actually need extra help and the only extra costs at the moment are regular trips to hospital. It would feel wrong to take money that we don’t absolutely need, but I’ve been told, “but you’re entitled to it”.
I thought we paid into the system to help those in real need not to grab it back for ourselves just because we can.
Any thoughts please.

vampirequeen Mon 25-Jan-21 08:18:08

It's up to you but by claiming it now it will be in place for when/if you ever do need it. You could always donate the money to the local foodbank if you don't feel you need it.

Poppyred Mon 25-Jan-21 08:20:36

Why don’t you use it to pay for a cleaner so that your husband doesn't have to ‘manage the extra household bits and pieces’ and can spend more time with you?

silverlining48 Mon 25-Jan-21 08:28:33

Janet am sending my best wishes to you and hope that chemotherapy treatment helps you.
Re AA it’s obviously up to
You whether you want to claim or not. If you feel uncomfortable about it now there is nothing stopping you doing it later if you change your mind/need extra help.
It is a generous thought.
Good luck. flowers

Riverwalk Mon 25-Jan-21 08:29:23

I'm sorry about your diagnosis - and wish you well with the chemotherapy giving you extra time.

If you're financially very comfortable and definitely don't need the money then don't claim the allowance - as you know it's not a universal benefit but something that you claim to assist with the extra expenses.

Jaxjacky Mon 25-Jan-21 08:30:57

I would claim it now so all the paperwork is completed and it’s in place. You’ve said your husband is managing at the moment, perhaps you could use the allowance for any bigger jobs that need doing. So, perhaps gardening, house maintenance or treats. I wouldn’t feel guilty, you’d be using it as it’s intended.

silverlining48 Mon 25-Jan-21 08:41:45

I should have said AA is payable from the date of initial application. Or at least that was the case.

Nortsat Mon 25-Jan-21 08:45:01

Good morning Janet, I am sorry to learn of your diagnosis and am so pleased to hear that you and your husband are currently managing.

It would seem sensible to claim the benefit, to my mind. Then use it for help with household cleaning or garden maintenance, to make your DH’s life easier. Or buy some high quality pre-prepared meals and stock the freezer for occasions when you/he don’t feel like cooking.

I’d probably buy some treats too, to raise both of your spirits when you have low days. Some wine or lovely chocolates.
Or use it to pay for Netflix and cosy up together and watch some really good films and tv series.

I understand your moral dilemma, especially at this time when things are very difficult in the economy. However this money has been identified for people in similar situations to yours and it is meant to improve the quality of their lives.
Do apply for this and spend it to boost your quality of life a little more.

Sending you both every good wish 💐

pensionpat Mon 25-Jan-21 08:46:57

AA is payable from the initial date of contact, providing the completed forms are received by the office within 6 weeks.

janeainsworth Mon 25-Jan-21 08:47:39

Janet I too wish you well.
I thought we paid into the system to help those in real need not to grab it back for ourselves just because we can
It’s both in my opinion. I’ve never heard of anyone not claiming their state pension because they were comfortable enough without it.
Remember that you are paying tax all the time.
If you have a private pension you’ll be paying tax on that.
When you take out an insurance policy you pay tax on that.
Whenever in the past you’ve gone on holiday and flown anywhere you’ve paid tax.
Whenever you buy anything, unless it’s VAT zero-rated you pay tax.
If you employ anyone to do work in your house, if they’re above board, you pay tax.

Personally I would claim it. There may come a time when you need to pay for extra help around the house and garden and be glad of it.

sodapop Mon 25-Jan-21 08:53:16

I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis as well Janet I hope your symptoms continue to be well controlled thanks
I agree with other posters, take the benefit you are entitled to and get some help around the house or pay for other jobs to be done. You could donate some money to help local charities so others benefit as well. Best wishes.

PECS Mon 25-Jan-21 09:00:41

I think , as others have said, that you should use the AA to make "today" easier & more comfortable for you and your DH. The fewer additional things to worry about the better and if that is some tasty ready meals or the window & gutters cleared or a regular clean of kitchen & bathroom that seems sensible to me. Take care.

Elusivebutterfly Mon 25-Jan-21 09:06:10

I am sorry to hear your diagnosis.
Whilst you are obviously entitled to this benefit, if you don't feel comfortable claiming it, you may not be happy receiving it.
It is possible that in future you may need a carer, which you will have to pay for so this allowance could pay for the carer - you could feel differently then.
It can take a few months for benefits to be paid - my husband's claim was only paid after he died.

Marydoll Mon 25-Jan-21 09:09:37

I think you should apply for it now, better sooner than later. Hospital visits, parking etc drain finances.

You may need to make adaptations to your home, as your condition deteriorates.
Your husband may find he has to do more than he is doing at present and some help would be beneficial for both him and yourself.

In the end though, the decision is one only you can make.

Missfoodlove Mon 25-Jan-21 09:13:36

Firstly I would like to wish you well and hope the chemo is not too gruelling.

I think no matter how much money you have there is always a limit as to what you will spend on something.
The Elemis shower gel and cashmere socks were a step too far for me as was the price of halibut in the fishmongers last week.
However, I would have derived pleasure from all three.

You have worked and paid tax, this is like an insurance.

So have some lovely treats together, indulge yourselves, wether it’s beautiful candles and bath oils or fillet steak and champagne.
You could pay for extra help, have your bedding professionally laundered and pressed or have food delivered from a nearby restaurant.

Don’t feel guilty.

midgey Mon 25-Jan-21 09:15:50

I agree with previous posters, as this pandemic has proved, we have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Paperwork takes time and you might find you need the extra income suddenly for some reason. I wish you both well. flowers

Calendargirl Mon 25-Jan-21 09:16:38

If you’re entitled, claim it.

No telling how much help you might need in the future, one way or another.

My mum felt she shouldn’t claim AA as she could manage, but felt better about it when my sister reminded her that dad had died just before reaching pension age, and she was receiving just a bit of what he would have had, despite a lifetime of contributions.

Shropshirelass Mon 25-Jan-21 09:23:19

You are entitled to it, you have already paid for it with your taxes. As you very sadly have cancer, I believe you are also entitled to claim for PIP, previously called DLA. Cancer patients are normally awarded this immediately. PIPis not means tested, you can receive it even if you are still working. Good luck with your treatment.

Marydoll Mon 25-Jan-21 09:29:20

Sorry, if this this sounds quite blunt. I think, cancer patients are only awarded immediately if the cancer is terminal and they have less than six months to live. There is a form that a GP signs, which avoids all the pages of form filling.
I'm sure others on here will be more up to speed.

JanetG Mon 25-Jan-21 09:39:17

Thank you all so much for your good wishes and thoughts. We will think long and hard about this. I think growing up with a ‘you work for your money’ approach to life has it’s downside!
It’s a good point that we could donate it to a charity if not needed.
Thanks again. Now on with my day - it’s a beautiful crisp sunny one today and the birds needs food and water that is not ice!

pensionpat Mon 25-Jan-21 09:49:02

If someone has a terminal diagnosis, AA can be claimed under “Special Rules”. The majority of the form does not need to be completed. Your GP will send a DS1500 to confirm the
diagnosis. The benefit was be paid as quickly as in a week.

pensionpat Mon 25-Jan-21 09:49:58

“Will” be paid. Oops.

Happilyretired123 Mon 25-Jan-21 09:57:08

Am so sorry to hear this and wishing you both well.
You have probably paid taxes for many years. It might help your husband to have some help so you can have more time together, but if you find you don’t need some or all of the money, consider donating it to a charity of your choice?
It is good of you to consider others may need it more, however the govt will have allocated a budget which if not used may be cut in future years.
💐

JdotJ Mon 25-Jan-21 09:58:10

So sorry to hear your situation. We had this dilemma when my dad was diagnosed with lung/liver cancer 6 years ago. He didn't want to claim but the home Hospice nurse explained that 'yes, he was perfectly entitled to the money (he had started work aged 14 and worked until 65, never claiming for anything during that time). She said to look upon the money to be used for taxis to hospital visits/anywhere, expensive food that he liked, meals out with my mum, books he might like to read. All to make everyday living more enjoyable, so yes, go ahead and claim and enjoy every penny. You deserve it and your husband deserves to have the benefit of the joint income you have both accrued over the years. x

Shinamae Mon 25-Jan-21 09:58:58

Janet, what a lovely lady you sound, so sorry you have to go through this but your attitude is amazing wishing you all the very best 💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐💐