What illnesses will qualify you for financial help?

If you can prove that sickness or disability prevents you from working a full time week, there are benefits available for you such as tax benefits, including tax credits. The benefits available to you depend on your ailment: difficulty in walking around, unable to work or if you care for someone who is sick.

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Additionally, if you can work a number of hours but have very low income, there is working tax credits available to boost your weekly income. As a homeowner, getting housing benefit and council tax benefits are critical if you are unable to pay your mortgage.

The Department for Work and Pensions runs a telephone line so you can ask about benefits based on your illness. It could be a serious progressive illness, or be terminal; perhaps a doctor has been forced to issue a potential period of no more than six months to live?

Here are the illnesses and qualifying benefits available:

  • Sickness from injuries

If you are disabled, deaf or have become ill purely due to an accident at work, the Industrial Injuries Benefit will be good financial assistance. This also includes disease as a result of being at your workplace. You may be able to gain Disability Living Allowance in addition to this benefit.

 Other qualifying illnesses include cancer, asthma, spinal cord injury, and Alzheimer’s disease.

 

  • Mentally or Physically Disabled

If mental or physical disablement ails you, there is Attendance Allowance which can pay for someone to visit your home and provide care services. Paying for a carer becomes ever important for people in their old age and if you are over the age of 65, this benefit offers financial support.

There is also the Employment and Support allowance which can top up these benefits to help you avoid care home fees.

 

  • Employment and Support Allowance

This benefit is available for you if you are unemployed, employed, or self-employed. If you can prove that you are unable to attend work or find work due to your illness or a disability, the Employment and Support Allowance can help; provided that you are below the state pension age, and not already in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance or statutory sick pay, you are eligible to apply.

Bio: The article was written by Cheselden, who offer professional advice on how to fund your care home fees, as well as refund fees that have been wrongly paid. We fund ALL of our cases ourselves which means we only take on a claim if we fully believe it will be successful, and there will be absolutely no cost to you if the claim does not get approved. Give us a call or fill out the enquiry form on the website.

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Budget 2013: same challenges, same measures in a bid for long term growth

The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s budget last week has received mixed reactions; some business leaders and insiders consider the provisions a step forward, while others are stinging in their criticism of it.

At the dispatch box, George Osborne gave a brave performance. In presenting some optimistic figures, he still revealed that public borrowing is set to rise marginally over the next few year, accompanied by a fall in growth, from 1.2% to 0.6%. After promising in previous years that the deficit is being reduced, and will be gone by 2014/15, it will now be eliminated by 2016/7. This was just the prelude to more government cuts.

Amongst those cuts, a 1% public sector cap on pay will remain. Most government departments will see their budgets cut by 1% each year for two years; education, health and international development budgets will be ring- fenced however. A further financial burden to each department is that

£11.5bn in cuts has been announced for 2015-16.

For the public sector, it is not all doom and gloom. Transport and infrastructure, both public and private, will see an extra  £3bn in 2015-16, and will receive in £15bn in total by 2020. This comes after investment in aerospace and related industries was announced. Investment in shale gas exploitation will get tax allowances, and the Midlands pottery industry will be exempt from climate change charges. Mr. Osborne also fully endorsed Lord Heseltine’s proposals plan for a regional fund to stimulate economic growth in the region; this measure is fully supported by the Liberal Democrat coalition partners. On environmental matters, tax incentives were announced for ultra low emission cars.

For the military, reeling after cuts in personnel, projects and future procurement projects in recent years, after praising their courage, Mr Osborne announced that the recommendations of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body would be adopted, bringing with it an exemption from “progression” pay limits. Indeed, Mr Osborne went further, announcing increased funding for Combat Stress, Help for Heroes and similar charities; this would mostly be funded by bank fines from the Libor scandal.

Reflecting the fact that the Bank of England will see new management later this year as Canadian Mark Carney takes over from Sir Mervyn King, the rate of inflation was left at 2%. The Bank of England’s remit is to be altered so it can tackle growth in addition to inflation and currency stability. These measures give Mr. Carney a lot of scope and flexibility when he takes over to implement changes to stimulate the economy.

Gloom aside, Mr. Osborne stated that his budget was in favour of British businesses; and it was. In measures designed to get businesses trading and growing, corporation tax was cut (to 20% from 21%), with tax reliefs for businesses who invested in social enterprises. Government procurement from small to medium businesses (SME’s) is to rise, and stamp duty on certain shares is to be abolished.

The real boost for business was over National Insurance. A new Employment Allowance will cut National Insurance bills for businesses by £2,000, with 450,000 SME’s paying no NAtional Insurance. With the extra money, more staff can be hired, and more money can be invested in growth or procurement strategies.

In a measure designed to stimulate both the property market and first time buyers, yet another government scheme was announced. Government backed interest- free loans, worth up to 20% of the value of new-build properties- will be available, and shared equity schemes will be be expanded. Again government- backed, banks will offer and underpin £130bn of new mortgages. Coming into affect from 2014, these measures are particularly aimed at first time buyers; after previous and similar government interventionist schemes, whether these schemes will in reality stimulate the property market remains to be seen.

As a reminder of recent high profile scandals, tax avoidance and evasion agreements will be signed with other jurisdictions, particularly in the Channel Islands, aiming to get back up to £3bn in taxes. Such matters of overall financial policy aside, families and households will be directly affected by some budget outlines.

Fuel duty- set to rise by 3p in September- will remain the same for now. Beer duty- set to rise by 3p in April- will instead be cut by 1p. An annual rise of 2% in beer linked to inflation will stop, but wine, cider and spirits will still have the same “duty escalator” as before applied, as will tobacco duty, which will rise to 2% this year.

The big break for taxpayers is that the personal allowance (the threshold at which taxpayers start paying tax on earnings) will rise, reaching £10,000 by 2014. For families, the proposed single flat- rate pension of £144 a week will come into force from 2016, a year earlier than originally planed.Additionally, from 2015 a tax relief of 20% will be placed on childcare, up to £6,000 per child.For those who bought Equitable Life policies prior to 1992, and lost money, there will be payments up to £5,000.

The Chancellor was criticised for bringing before Parliament a Budget of “much of the same”. Similar to pat budgets, cuts in public spending were once agin announced. However, this was counterbalanced by measurers designed to boost business, and more efforts to re-energise the property markets. Family and business friendly policies were central to the Budget, and will improve the financial prospects of families and businesses alike when they come into effect.

However, the figures and measures in George Osbornes’s budget show that Britain will be in a deficit and in debt for longer now. The immediate relief provided by some measures in the budget are counterbalanced by the stark reality that Britain’s economic problems will last for longer as some recent economic measures are not working. Stimulating a flagging economy (with European economic worries as a backdrop), reducing the deficit, lowering unemployment, establishing economic security again, and similar  will take more time and effort form government and the private sector alike.

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Payday Loans- New Regulations

Payday loans and the dangers of debt are the current hot topic; today it has been everywhere on the news, radio and internet.  Everyone is well aware that the current economic climate is far from favourable – despite the government’s attempts to tell us all the recession is on its way out.  Wages are flat whilst inflation just seems to keep rising and the everyday family are finding it difficult to make ends meet.  The latest figures suggest, not surprisingly, that more people are turning to credit as a way of tiding themselves over, and payday loans are the way many people are choosing.

The government today announced its plans for intervention in the conduct and practices of the payday loans industry.  This follows a lengthy investigation by the Office of Fair Trading, which found many inadequacies in the current services provided many such companies.  Presently the OFT holds the power to revoke a company’s licence for credit if it is  proved unfit to hold one, although this power will next year be passing on to the new financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (replacing the FSA).

Jo Swinson, the government Under Secretary of State for Employment relations, Consumer and Postal affairs, stated : “We are clear that no-one should be lured into using payday lending, and people should have the tools to make informed decisions about the help on offer.”

The new regulation will impose hefty fines on payday lenders if they are in breach of the tough new codes of practice, which include limits on the rates of interest that can be charged and limitations to the advertising of payday loans on daytime TV.  They also will be required to make their charges clearer in their advertising.  “Please make sure that you only apply for a payday loan if you know you can afford to repay the amount borrowed on your next pay day” are the words Payday Loan Direct say on their website, but not all companies are clear on the appropriate usage of their services, and this is increasingly problematic as many vulnerable people are getting into debt they simply cannot afford.

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