Hello all. Need some advice please

Hi. I have cared for my mother for several years now and sadly she passed away a week ago.
I am 51 years old and lived with my mother in her house all my life .
I am in a right pickle as i have nothing sorted in life and was never motivated to do so.
My mother was my world .

Things i need sorting are basics like a bank account & passport for id purposes.
So then i can join the council housing list etc…

Biggest concern is right now is my mums home i am living in still.
I know i can stay here for a year or so.
But would i be able to get any benefits help on utility bills ?
there is no way i will be able to afford them otherwise.
I will be paying no rent as mum owned the house.
And me and my two brothers will be geting a equal of whats left after sold and paying off what equity owed.
I am on ca & income surpport which i understand will run for another 8 weeks ?
We have filled in a tell us once form for mum, Will that also count for me ? so i dont need to ring them myself ?

I think thats all for now, my mind is all over the place at the moment. .

many thanks.

Hello & welcome

Condolences for the lose of your mother.

We have filled in a tell us once form for mum, Will that also count for me ? so i dont need to ring them myself ?

You will need to ring.

Utility bills

Normally, you would need to show access to certain benefits. To access any relief I would talk to the companies and have a conversation.

If you have no income you will need to register for Universal Credit. As this could open up access to other benefits.

I am on ca & income support which i understand will run for another 8 weeks ?

I’m not sure that you do have to move out within a year. Talk to a solicitor about that.
You don’t have to have a passport to go on the housing list.

I know how overwhelming things can be after a parent dies.

In some ways I was lucky, as I have a lifetime experience of filing things, from medical records to lorry archives!!!
Start by getting a stapler, hole punch, two lever arch files, some extra wide file dividers, and some plastic sleeves, usually a pack of 100.
One for mum’s paperwork, one for yours.
In each case, have them in order of importance.

Now have a major paper shuffling exercise.
This is going to take a while, coffee and breaks are vital. Sit comfortably, TV on.
Start with a junk or keep sort.
My mum was a terror for keeping everything that came in the door, and letters in envelopes.
Start by gathering together ALL the paperwork in the house in a giant pile.
Have a recycling bin or sack beside you.
Immediately bin all junk mail and ancient bills, normally anything over a year old.
Then sort the remainder into rough piles, for gas bills electric, and so on.
Put them in date order, staple them together, and then put them in a plastic sleeve.
Put that in the lever arch file.
Keep doing that with each pile.
Put utility bills in the file next to each other.
Once everything you need is in order in the file, you’ll feel so much better!

You need to tell DWP that mum has died, as far as your CA is concerned.
You may be entitled to some income related benefits, that’s not something I know much about.
Talk to our CUK Helpline.

Now write a short brief letter, to use for everyone official.
Headed with your name and address.
Dear Sir/Madam,
Then mum’s name address, dob etc.
"I regret to inform you that my mother died on xxx.
Please find enclosed a copy of the death certificate.
Please copy for your records and return the original to me asap.

Banks will want an original copy, not a photo copy.
The account will then be frozen, until probate is granted.
Ask the same bank to open a new account in your name.

That’s enough to be getting on with!


So sorry for your loss. I dread the day my Mum passes as my life will be in tatters.

Can I ask why you say you will have to move out within a year? Is it an arrangement made with your siblings? Was it part of the will? They can’t force you to move out unless you all agree to sell the property.

Put in a callback request to your local authority’s housing section. They will be able to give you expert advice. At this moment in time, you are not homeless or threatened with homelessness in the next 56 days so you won’t get a priority band or many points. However, if you put your name on the list, there is nothing wrong with that. If you were street homeless or threatened with homelessness in the next 56 days, they would have to work with you to try and sort something out!

When you say help with utility bills, can you elaborate? I know some people get winter fuel payments (dependent on age and disability) or whatever they are called but generally, you don’t get help with utility bills. If you were on UC, you would get a personal amount which you spend on yourself, food, drink, travel and bills. You won’t be able to claim housing costs via UC as you won’t be paying rent. It can be quite hard if you have not ever lived on your own! I work with young people and when they find out they have to pay for their water, they go crazy! There are fuel vouchers you may be able to access if you went through your local authority’s welfare provision scheme or some food banks are able to give out fuel vouchers as a one off, i.e. £15 top up for electricity and £10 for gas as a one off.

Get on the phone to DWP or go online and put an application in ASAP. If you don’t have a bank account, the easiest one to open one with if you have minimal ID is Barclays. I think it’s all done online so you won’t be able to open one in a bank unless there are mitigating circumstances.

Good luck and all the best.

Many thanks for all your replies.
firstly on sorting mums bills and closing accounts etc… Thats all been done by my aunty and eldest brother,They have been brilliant help.
I am at the stage of sorting my own things out now.
And all ready i am over whelmed by how much cost is going to go out and it far outweighs my income on ca & income surpport.

On ring the DWP i allways end up going round in circles and end up not talking to 1 human being. I allways end up back on tell us once.
Thats been done for mum tell us once.

On moving out in a year, My aunty rang the solicitor of my mums will to inform them of her death. And she brought it up and they said i would get at least a year in mums home. Thats where we left it at. We have not disscused that properly yet with anyone.

They can’t force you to move out unless you all agree to sell the property.

we owe roughly a 3rd of the house to equity release and they will want there money back.
The will hasnt been finalised yet.

As for the housing I filled in a online form 3 years ago and since then allways thought i was on it. Untill 6 months ago when i tried to log on, It didnt recognize me. Then i redone it and found out i needed to upload id bank account etc…
So how does one join the housing without id ?

help with utility bills

I will be obviously staying here rent free. but on doing the bills today with my aunty.
electric,water,tv licence.council tax. pet food. mobile phone and virgin tv.
They far outweigh what money i have coming in.
Yes i know i will have to cancel virgin tv and any other luxurys that i cant afford.

has anyone got a phone number for DWP so i can actually speak to a human being please ?

And many thanks for the suggestion of opening a Barclays bank account with minimal ID
I will ring them asap.

If i got to talk to some real people i might get somewhere.

Thank you for all your time for replying back.

It really is much appreciated by me.

Some useful info …

I’m unable to add anything to the advice given except I had reason to call DWP recently. I phoned at 8am and the call was answered immediately, much to my surprise. So phone early.
When my husband died, the bereavement dept were very helpful. Write down what questions you need to ask and if you can make a note of what they tell you. Make a note of the date and time you phone. It then will hopefully be on the system.

OK, so the moving out in a year is a family agreement. Would your brothers really want to see you out in the streets after a year or might they let you stop for longer? I know you’ve mentioned equity but that’s gone straight over my head. The main thing is you are not immediately threatened with homelessness so you don’t have to worry about that for now. You can deal with other things that requite urgent action.

Maybe it’s different in your local authority compared to ours re: asking for ID. I forgot to ask, which you don’t need to answer by the way, but are are you British? I’m assuming you are as you mentioned CA and something else. Our local authority asks for the applicant’s nationality and if you are not British, it asks you to send in proof. Not all people from abroad are able to access housing from the council or claim benefits from the government. They ask for proof again when someone is offered a tenancy just to make sure things haven’t changed in the person’s circumstance.

Do you have a citizens advice bureau near you? They may be able to help you access all the right benefits you are entitled to. As you have stated, you will have to cut out luxuries and just spend on what is essential. If you are living on your own in a big house, you might want to just heat up the rooms you use and not waste money on other rooms etc. Buy food from discounters and cook in batches and then freeze and eat another day kind of thing. I am sure you do things like this already. Sorry if I sound condescending, I don’t mean to.

Hope you got to speak to the DWP. If you have illnesses, you may be able to claim other benefits but get in touch with the CAB, they will be able to help you. If you are struggling, you could always ask your auntie or brothers to speak on your behalf.

Good luck!

With regard to Council Tax, if you are on benefits you shouldn’t be expected to pay much, or anything. You will also be entitled to single persons discount.
You MUST start talking to them, don’t wait.
Have you sent the letter I drafted for you to the utility companies yet?
Mum’s accounts should be settled after probate is granted, and you need to set up an account in your sole name.
Don’t delay. Talk to them, explain the situation. In the mean time, read the meters, and give them the readings.
As it’s approaching spring, and you are on your own, you shouldn’t need to use much power. Don’t heat the whole house if you can’t afford it. Put another jumper on, a warmer duvet, a hot water bottle. Avoid using your oven, get a slow cooker and a pressure cooker. Join Freecycle and say what you are looking for.
Also make a rough note of what you don’t need in the house and can sell, if it’s going to have to be sold in due course, you can never start clearing out too soon, it takes forever!!
How much do you know about cooking?
Make sure the house remains insured.

1 hour wasted ringing dwp numbers and still not talking to a human being.
Being shunted to different numbers then back to tell us once.
I give up now.
they will soon contact me when they realise i am not entitled to benefits.

Keep at it. Let them know what’s going on. The last thing you want is for them to stop your benefits and you have no income at all.

Try different options when you phone them up. I am sure there used to be an option for speaking to an advisor in the past.

Do it the old fashioned way. Write, and send it Recorded Delivery, keeping the PO slip.