Back to Work - Financial Advice!!

Hi everyone.

Just looking for any tips and some solidarity with anyone looking at going back to work after bereavement.
It will be four months on the 6th since mum passed away. I was sole carer on carers allowance. I’ve had all the bereavement run off support from the gov and was advised to apply for ESA (unfit for work.)
I’ve had my appt today and the money I will be recieve is over half LESS than what I was on on carers allowance. A large part of this reason is because under 25s automatically get paid a lot lower on the new Universal Credit system (insert words about how awful UC is here…)

This means I need to work to make ends meet despite the fact I’m not ready to.

Anyone been through this? I feel like I’m being punished for being bereaved. It’s not my fault that I’ve been left on my own.

Any tips for money that can be saved or anything I’ve missed!

Hi Kerrance,
Other than single person’s discount on rates there aren’t any discounts I know of.
The reality is many of us have to go back within a few weeks rather than months to pay the bills.
I’m just relieved I only have to support myself and don’t have children to worry about.
Have you thought about working as a carer? These jobs are often quite flexible and easy to find. Hoping you find something , Sadme

I was a long term carer. 23 years! I’m still not working 5 months since my Mothers sudden death. (I do help my partner a little bit with his business, but I don’t get paid.)
Of course, carers can have added problems, exhaustion from their caring role. Plus, being out of the workplace for a long while.
Could part time earnings be enough for you to live off for now? Could you take a smaller number of hours to ease yourself into work? Perhaps, something with 20 plus hours. (You might not feel ready for work, but you might enjoy it. It could be a distraction.
As a former carer I understand how you might be feeling. I personally feel rather lost. As a former carer, part of my identity has gone. The world I knew has gone. No wonder it’s a struggle to get ones head around it all.
I’ve heard former carers say after the death of a loved on that it is sink or swim. Often they feel like they returned to the workplace far too soon.
I believe there should be much more help for former carers.

Hi Kerrance,
It must be a very difficult time for you right now. On top of grieving about the loss of your mum, you now have financial worries. From what I have read on the Government’s website carer’s allowance continues for 8 weeks after the person you cared for has died. You write that you are not yet ready to work, but will probably have to. As Sadme wrote, that is the reality for many people, often only one week after a loss. Have you thought about what you want want to do long-term? Did you have a job before you became your mum’s carer or have you been her carer since you left school? Do you already have a CV that you can use? If you don’t, and have no work experience other than caring, would you consider starting to volunteer for a few hours a week, maybe in a charity shop, to see how you get on? Sometimes we can cope with more than we thought possible when we actually take that first step. That would not immediately solve your finance problems. You will probably need financial advice from an expert. Is there a citizen’s advice bureau in your area that you could contact? The last thing you will want is ending up in debt. Maybe the person who advices you to apply for ESA can look at alternative options with you? Sorry that I do not have an answer for you, but I do hope that getting responses on this forum will help you to feel less alone.
Jo64

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