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Extra costs due to disability watch

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    I have quite bad mental health problems and I have a lot of extra costs which are causing me financial problems.

    - firstly I am unable to use public transport so I get a taxi to uni. My support worker from uni told me this had been agreed under my DSA but there has been a mix up and it was only agreed for while I am on placement as I used to live on campus and therefore had no need for travel costs. A request is being put through but for now I can't claim this. It costs me £18 a day and I am in 3 days a week.

    - I live in a studio flat as I can't cope living with others. This was agreed under my DSA but again, there has been confusion and mix ups over the cost mostly due to my accomodation staff being thoroughly unhelpful when I try and request them to give me prices to provide to SFE. My support worker at uni has had to intervene and try and sort it herself as it got complicated. Now I am ending up paying £110 not £90 as I had previously been told.... also due to the delay in getting suitable evidence due to the staff at my accomodation this hasnt been confirmed yet so I haven't been able to claim this back yet either.

    My accomodation demanded I paid £600 rent upfront (5 weeks) and as there was nowhere else for me to go my mum put it on a credit card so now she wants this back which I understand however I am having severe cash flow problems.

    So to sum up: I am currently unable to claim back any costs for my taxi's or rent. This is due to mix ups and confusion. I still have to continue paying for taxi's however this is fast draining my bank account as you can imagine and I am concerned that I will run out of money before I manage to claim back anything. Also the money I owe my mum is a large concern to me. I know it is my own fault but I panicked and my mental health means I struggle with these decisions and the stress causes me huge problems. I have applied to a hardship fund but I don't know when this will come through. I can't work due to my mental health problems.

    Sorry if this makes no sense and I know there is probably nothing anyone can do but I am finding it really difficult to see a way out of this.
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    (Original post by Jenx301)
    I have quite bad mental health problems and I have a lot of extra costs which are causing me financial problems.

    - firstly I am unable to use public transport so I get a taxi to uni. My support worker from uni told me this had been agreed under my DSA but there has been a mix up and it was only agreed for while I am on placement as I used to live on campus and therefore had no need for travel costs. A request is being put through but for now I can't claim this. It costs me £18 a day and I am in 3 days a week.

    - I live in a studio flat as I can't cope living with others. This was agreed under my DSA but again, there has been confusion and mix ups over the cost mostly due to my accomodation staff being thoroughly unhelpful when I try and request them to give me prices to provide to SFE. My support worker at uni has had to intervene and try and sort it herself as it got complicated. Now I am ending up paying £110 not £90 as I had previously been told.... also due to the delay in getting suitable evidence due to the staff at my accomodation this hasnt been confirmed yet so I haven't been able to claim this back yet either.

    My accomodation demanded I paid £600 rent upfront (5 weeks) and as there was nowhere else for me to go my mum put it on a credit card so now she wants this back which I understand however I am having severe cash flow problems.

    So to sum up: I am currently unable to claim back any costs for my taxi's or rent. This is due to mix ups and confusion. I still have to continue paying for taxi's however this is fast draining my bank account as you can imagine and I am concerned that I will run out of money before I manage to claim back anything. Also the money I owe my mum is a large concern to me. I know it is my own fault but I panicked and my mental health means I struggle with these decisions and the stress causes me huge problems. I have applied to a hardship fund but I don't know when this will come through. I can't work due to my mental health problems.

    Sorry if this makes no sense and I know there is probably nothing anyone can do but I am finding it really difficult to see a way out of this.
    Are you able to phone up your needs assessment service to get these mix ups ironed out that bit faster? see if a top up needs assessment to get the things that need changing changed is possible maybe. Are you able to get a student overdraft to help in the short term if you dont already have one? do your university offer short term loans on top of the hardship funds available at all?
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    Hmm, they are clamping down quite a bit on accommodation allowance - this is the reason why I now go down the route of the hardship fund that my uni has helped me with it due to DSA not wanting to (I've done this for the last two years, access to learning fund in first year, and the hardship fund last year; this year I will be using the hardship fund again). If it doesn't work out with SFE/DSA, you could ask for both a standard and non-standard award under the hardship fund (your uni should have one). In first year I had pretty bad cash flow issues myself due to SFE messing up with my maintenance loan and I got both the standard and non-standard award. The standard award is for when you're unable to by basic things like food, pay bills, etc. Non-standard awards are where you're able to get a bursary type thing when you fulfil a certain criteria (e.g. being eligible for accommodation allowance from DSA, but having it get declined by DSA). You also don't have to pay it back.

    Hope that makes sense, Jenx301.
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    Thank you both for replying

    (Original post by claireestelle)
    Are you able to phone up your needs assessment service to get these mix ups ironed out that bit faster? see if a top up needs assessment to get the things that need changing changed is possible maybe. Are you able to get a student overdraft to help in the short term if you dont already have one? do your university offer short term loans on top of the hardship funds available at all?
    My support worker at the university said she is sorting it out and has put in new information for them to add to my assessment. I already have an overdraft and spent it all - before you say anything I know it's bad. I really struggle with finances. I don't know about loans, I am still waiting to hear about the hardship funds.

    (Original post by Pathway)
    Hmm, they are clamping down quite a bit on accommodation allowance - this is the reason why I now go down the route of the hardship fund that my uni has helped me with it due to DSA not wanting to (I've done this for the last two years, access to learning fund in first year, and the hardship fund last year; this year I will be using the hardship fund again). If it doesn't work out with SFE/DSA, you could ask for both a standard and non-standard award under the hardship fund (your uni should have one). In first year I had pretty bad cash flow issues myself due to SFE messing up with my maintenance loan and I got both the standard and non-standard award. The standard award is for when you're unable to by basic things like food, pay bills, etc. Non-standard awards are where you're able to get a bursary type thing when you fulfil a certain criteria (e.g. being eligible for accommodation allowance from DSA, but having it get declined by DSA). You also don't have to pay it back.

    Hope that makes sense, Jenx301.
    Thanks for your advice. DSA have already agreed to pay for my accomodation costs however I moved into a different flat than I originally quoted for them so we have had to send updated information through my support worker and I need to wait for them to confirm all this before I can make any claims. It's a shame that DSA are refusing to pay your costs - I didn't think they would approve mine to be honest but my psychiatrist and counsellor wrote letters about the reasons I need it and they said yes.

    I have applied for the discretionary hardship fund as this was advised to me through student support. I have had this previously and I feel very guilty to keep taking but I have no choice. I feel like this isn't really my fault completely as DSA should be covering the costs I incurr because of my disability and I am really quite unwell which brings me to my next point...


    I don't know if either of you will know about this but basically I took time out of university because I got really unwell in my mental health. I left in January (term two) and came back this year to repeat third year. Basically I am really struggling - I went back last week and after going in I spent 5 days in bed. My flashbacks are getting worse and it is making me feel really awful. I had a meeting with my course leader and the academic lead and she basically said that i have to see her again in three weeks to see if I can keep going with my course. I went in to a lecture and walked out due to severe anxiety and the lecturer wanted me to do group work and a presentation. My support worker said I should think about whether I want to continue or not....... and I don't know if I am up to it but I feel like I have no choice. If I left I will owe money to student finance and probably the university, I won't be able to pay my rent and basically I will be crippled financially. I also will never be able to get a degree probably as I have used up all my funding. Maybe I should just push my way through somehow - or at least try to - and then pick up the pieces after somehow.

    Basically I dont know what to do, I'm feeling really anxious and worried about it all. I feel like I have no choice in the matter and my financial problems are just getting worse. I don't want to have wasted 3 years on nothing. I don't know what I'd do, apparently I'd have to claim sickness benefits. I worry about it though because I was recently rejected for PIP.
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    (Original post by Jenx301)
    I also will never be able to get a degree probably as I have used up all my funding. Maybe I should just push my way through somehow - or at least try to - and then pick up the pieces after somehow.
    I think you have two options here:
    in your case, it's clear that if you leave, you're doing so because you're ill, rather than "I don't like the course". This would, with the appropriate evidence, entitle you to compelling personal reasons. This means that the years for which you provide evidence which says you're ill and had to drop out, those years are ignored for student finance.

    Part time / OU may be another option. Here, (my knowledge on the funding part for fees is a bit hazy here) whilst you won't get a maintenance loan, you would be entitled to ESA and housing benefit without having to claim PIP.
 
 
 
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