I am married and work full time as a financial director. I have a fairly ordered life, but my brother has mental health problems and over the years has got harder and harder to manage. He has bipolar, and also severe anxiety, so he’s unable to manage his day to day finances and finds interactions with others difficult. He has been living in caravans all over the place, and when he does have stable accommodation he gets distracted and blows up the microwave or lets the kettle boil dry. It’s one drama after another. No one talked about it really, my dad dealt with him, and shielded my mum and I. But then my dad died and my brother’s mental health got worse.
After a string of failed jobs and upsets, my brother eventually moved in with my mum who is now in her 90s. There’s a lot of upset between them. My mum isn’t very flexible, she struggles to understand that my brother can’t help the way he is. They argue daily, and they both call me to sort it out. My brother has a good heart but he overspends and can’t organise himself to manage his medical appointments or normal tasks.
He was getting some benefits but they were very minimal. Then a huge assessment form came through the post which he was unable to cope with. He was ignoring reminders, and I started to think that his benefits would be stopped unless I figured it out. I phoned Caba and explained my situation.
Caba have staff trained in the benefits system and they were able to help me complete the forms. They advised on how to make sure I made the best case for my brother. Then they also looked at the household’s finances overall and pointed out a number of other benefits that my brother and mum could each apply for. It was unbelievably helpful. They checked the payments when they came through too, noticed an under payment and advised on how to get it resolved. They spent hours on the phone with me, and as a result, my brother and my mum now get all the benefits they are entitled to. Their overall income has really improved.
Caba’s support has made a significant difference to my life. I still need to speak to my mum and my brother every night and there are still a lot of emotional demands, I spend every weekend getting their jobs done like cleaning the oven and organising hospital appointments. But now they have correct benefits, I am not under the enormous pressure of wondering how I can keep them out of poverty too.
If you are struggling with PIP or Attendance Allowance or any of the other benefits, contact caba now. Don’t procrastinate. The support is there and it will definitely be helpful – they know so much about benefits that your average person couldn’t possibly know. You’ll get a better outcome with their advice.