Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Banned wishface Novitiate

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    Default DWP/ESA Complaints number?

    Is there a phone number for a complaints department I can speak to regarding the suspension of my ESA claim. Atos have cancelled my appointment without consent and while they pull their fingers (edit) trying to deal with my complaint I'm in the process of trying to get the DWP to reverse the decision having written to them. I've been promised call back after call back and I'm climbing the walls. Every time I talk to them it's their bloody useles call centre who do nothing whatsoever and act like proper robot jobsworths. I can't take much more. I was supposed to get a call back this morning (10am) and still nothing. I ring them back and it's back on the 'we'll email xyz to get them to call you back' merry go round.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: DWP/ESA Complaints number?

    Over the phone, it's always a call centre unfortunately. The call centre cannot do anything, as they are a general enquiry line; they can't answer anything to do with your complaint as it is not them who are dealing with it. They can only tell you what they see on the computer. If they cannot answer your enquiry because the information is not on the computer system, they send an email to the office that is dealing with it, who will have your papers and be in a better position to answer your questions. Quite often the call centre is housed in a different office entirely. An example. I had to call about a Social Fund enquiry today for a lady. The benefit delivery centre is in Scotland. Where is the call centre? England!

    Next time you get through, tell them politely but firmly that you have requested a call back several times in regard to a complaint that you have made, as you would like an update but not one call back has materialised and that you would like to make a further complaint about this and insist on speaking with the telephony manager - who should then liaise directly with the relevant department to get your call back done.

    Have you appealed the decision as well as complained? If not, it's very important that you do so, to avoid the deadling for appealing against the decision.

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  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder whatcaniuse Novitiate

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    Default Re: DWP/ESA Complaints number?

    Quote Originally Posted by wishface View Post
    Is there a phone number for a complaints department I can speak to regarding the suspension of my ESA claim. Atos have cancelled my appointment without consent and while they pull their fingers (edit) trying to deal with my complaint I'm in the process of trying to get the DWP to reverse the decision having written to them. I've been promised call back after call back and I'm climbing the walls. Every time I talk to them it's their bloody useles call centre who do nothing whatsoever and act like proper robot jobsworths. I can't take much more. I was supposed to get a call back this morning (10am) and still nothing. I ring them back and it's back on the 'we'll email xyz to get them to call you back' merry go round.
    Employment and support allowance written to me on the 7th Oct 2010 saying that my benefit would be suspended if I could not give them a good reason as to why I did not attend a medical on the 27 of Sep 2010 . The letter said 14 days to reply.

    I filled in the form provided, stating that I had never received a letter for an appointment, I sent the letter back in there second class envelope with a first class stamp attached to it, as the letter they sent to me was delivered on the 11th Oct!

    Then on the 14th Oct I received another letter dated 8th Oct.
    Saying that they will not be paying me from the 22nd Sep 2010 as I failed to attend a medical on the 8th Oct 2010

    Therefore there must be two appointments sent out??

    On the 18th Oct I went to the jobcentre in swadlincote, I spoken to Phil who then past me on to t support worker called Andrew, Andrew looked on the computer system and found that the medical appointment letter sent out for the 27th Sep had been sent out to the wrong address.
    Andrew then phoned the ESA, were I had to confirm I was there for security, then she told Andrew that I would get a call back within 3 hours?

    The next morning I got my phone callicon, a woman stating that my claim would be reinstated as it was there fault I did not receive the letters regarding medical, and that the letters would be sent to me 2nd class this is why I received them 4days and 6 days late respective. I told her I still have the envelope that these letters are sent in and that they are first class.
    I also notice that the letter I sent back to the ESA with a first class stamp was received by them the day after I sent it this was on there computer data.

    I told her I was not happy with this at all that I would take it further there were no formal apologies for what I had been put through.

    My last payment from ESA was on the 11th oct 2010, I was due a payment on the 25th oct it was declined at the post office, I called at the post office several times to see if payment had gone in, nothing!

    Thursday AM 28th oct, I rang the ESA to be told I would get a call back in 3 hours,, nothing till 9.35 Friday 29th oct

    I was told that I was not paid as there was not a sick note supplied for the period, I told the woman that there was a sick note in for a 24 week period it was in force until feb17th 2011, this I had also seen on the computer at the jobcentre and have proof that it was on there!!
    The woman then said she would call me back when she had spoken to my doctor to confirm the sick note, around 40 mins later she called me back to say she had called them but the person she needed to talk to was in a training meeting, she would call me back later,,, no call back at all !

    Around six weeks ago I had a similar ordeal, I send in a sick note in a pre paid envelope they supplied me, the following week I had no money I called them to see why; they said I had not sent in a sick note, I had to go to my G.P to get a duplicate note and fax it in , plus send in the duplicate note, I did this and still had to wait several weeks for them to pay me.

    what a bunch of ???????????? is it worth the sleepless nights i ask?


  4. #4
    Basic Account Holder matt west Novitiate

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    Default Re: DWP/ESA Complaints number?

    Hi, another victim of ESA/;JSA swapover here.

    24th feb esa cancelled. No letter to tell me so although apparently it was sent. Never arrived. I found out my claim cancelled when social fund wrote to tell me I couldn't have a loan as I wasn't in receipt of benefits. This was the %th march I got the letter. I then rang JSA line to start new claim for JSA. Lady took all my details and I asked about having it backdated to 25th of Feb and was told that wont be a problem I will add it to your details.

    ESA then failed to close my claim until the 22nd march which then showed as closed on the 23rd on jobcentre computers.

    In the time between the 7th Mar and 22nd of March I had made countless calls to ensure ESA weas closed and it never was which meant JSA would not pay me. Now it has been sorted I am expecting payment today. Guess when from... &th March and not the 25th as promised by the lady who tookm my JSA claim initiallly. I only found out today the day after I have signed on that i need to complete a JSA5 form.

    Funny thing is thisd happened on JSA the last time I claimed it and my pay was backdated and guess what I had no JSA5 form to fill in. I dont understand why their staff at these godforsaken callcentres make things up as they go along.

    Below is a mail I sent to local papers concerning the troubles I have had on claiming ESA right through to claiming JSA.

    Hi,

    I am a disgruntled unemployed person. The Benefits agency is a joke. They need to be shamed into sorting themselves and their systems out.

    It seems that the only way you get a hassle free life is if your an immigrant into this country and don’t speak English. I have paid my taxes etc and became unemployed during the height of our recent recession. Ever since July 2010 i have had one problem, after another with the benefits agency. Every 2 weeks in fact just because they don’t work together.

    I recently had a claim which was cancelled due to them losing paperwork. Then cancelled cos they said they said they sent letters which never materialised. Now I got problems again where they shut my claim down and stopped me receiving payments. As a result I had to open a new claim for jobseekers allowance when i was previously on Employment support allowance. The 2 sections when closing and opening new claims don’t talk to each other which means I am now being forced to get into debt with them as I now have to repeatedly get crisis loans.
    #
    As a claimant its hard enough to live on 65 quid a week and support my 3 children on weekends. Now due to having to repeatedly having to keep taking crisis loans it means I will have 45-50 quid a week to try to live and support children.

    I rang them today to see whn my new claim would be payin me. I made this new claim on the 7th of March. I was told that due to my previous ESA claim not being closed I would have to ring them and have them close it and wait a further 2 weeks to receive any payment. This is not my action to take. I did it anyway.

    Please investigate this and shame them into sorting themselves out. Many people look down on people claiming benefits. They think we are all leeching a living purposely from the government. I in fact hate doing so especially with all the hassles it entails.

    I recently was in a situation where I had to go to local jobcentre to drop off a sick note to only end up being caught between a shouting and swearing arguement between staff at bristol central jobcentre plus. They were swearing and screaming at each other about the benefit delivery service not doing their job right. I then had to ring the benefit delivery centre and was shouted at by them for calling them at the jobcentre plus’s advice and was told they aren’t doing their job.

    I am only a claimant, why am i supposed to do all their work for them and still be forced to live like a begger. My self dignity is affected as is my pride and my faith in out government and its systems is very shaken.

    Please help me to change their ways and make it easier for people like us who are on benefits and looking to find work. Its close to impossible to find work without the money to do so. And all the time spent running from one department to another is also causing time delays in seeking work.

    Also as I am not currently seeking work due to having to try and sort all this out every single 2 weeks will cause them to cancel my benefit again as they will blame me for not looking for work.

    Please please help to make lives easier and less daunting for us so we can actually live and find a job and stop all the working people slagging us off all the time.

    Yours sincerely

    A disgruntled annoyed and worn out mentally guy.



  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder wackosmum Novitiate

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    Default Re: DWP/ESA Complaints number?

    same problems for us. did formal complaint got nothing back. claim been done clerically so not on system therefore trying to get help with other things such as social fund assistance is like bangin head on wall as not entitled as not claiming relevant benefit .... because they cannot find it on the system... because its been donoe clerically.. just got another rejection . keep telling them to look further into it. even considering sending them a letter SHOWING the entitlement and do their job for them. so frustrating!!!!!! help !


  6. #6
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    Default Re: DWP/ESA Complaints number?

    Next time when filling out the application for a social loan etc, just tell them your claim is clerical and they can check with the relevant section.

    A DEX or Clerical offier usually looks after such claims but there does seem to be a lot more of these claims cropping up, and the faults on these cases seem to be getting harder to fix.

    At the moment we seem to have a new batch of them cropping up every day, the DEX is overwhelmed and the customers are having to phone for the payments each time.
    Not good for them and twice the work for us.
    The Legacy system does so badly need an update.
    With Universal Credit around the corner I dont think it will get one


  7. #7
    Basic Account Holder wackosmum Novitiate

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEY DABODEE View Post
    Next time when filling out the application for a social loan etc, just tell them your claim is clerical and they can check with the relevant section.

    A DEX or Clerical offier usually looks after such claims but there does seem to be a lot more of these claims cropping up, and the faults on these cases seem to be getting harder to fix.

    At the moment we seem to have a new batch of them cropping up every day, the DEX is overwhelmed and the customers are having to phone for the payments each time.
    Not good for them and twice the work for us.
    The Legacy system does so badly need an update.
    With Universal Credit around the corner I dont think it will get one
    Hi thanks for reply. We did write it on the form . They told us they hadn't received it originally so we have filled another one out but the one they said was lost obviouslly turned up and they just havnt botherd looking at it properly . So now I am going to hav to call them AGAIN to no doubt be told to fill another form in or appealin writing. Other than standing in local jobcentre until they sort it I don't know what to do . Partner having surgery today and I'm 8 months pregnant with everything to buy. maternityicon money from work doesn't cover bare minimum and as they keep messing up his esa claim payments evry fortnight we r kinda desperate . So frustrating . Worked 25 years and paid in . Now we need help its like pulling teeth !hel


  8. #8
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    Default Re: DWP/ESA Complaints number?

    I wonder if you are entitled then, if your husband is on ESA conts and you are on maternityicon allowance,
    maybe not

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTax...me/DG_10018905


  9. #9
    Basic Account Holder BanditQueen Novitiate

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    Default Re: DWP/ESA Complaints number?

    The DWP had our documents sent to them to inform them my husband now gets a pension from medical reasons from his former employers that he left five years ago. He is now 60 and has been on the support group of ESA for some time now. Our benefits gone from 315.00 every two weeks to 139.00 every two weeks and now we get 411 for the pension every month. We sent them a letter from the University and the pension people four weeks before it was to start in July. The letter and the documents got lost. So we sent them again and got copies from the University again. They did not respond so we followed with an email to the manager and a phone callicon. The DWP woman looked for them and phoned back two days later to say she had found them.. This was fourth week in July: first payment due end August. We were asked in a letter and on phone to send the first two months pay slips. The University Pension do not provide payment slips so we have to write and ask them for them. It we want more they charge us. So we explain this to the DWP. We go to see Benefit Max Person on 30th July with a copy of same letter sent now three times to the DWP. They tell her that we have not told them about the pension. Lying swines!

    She write us insulting letter saying it is her duty to break confidentialityicon and tell DWP about the pension they already know about so we make complaint about her. Never get response about this complaint but heard no more about what she threatened us with. Nasty person and she is meant to help us!

    Followed up another letter confirming the details from the pension; no response. Sent them the breakdown in August and end of September a letter and a follow up email to them with the slips and a cover letter and more details they asked for and again the letter from the pension people. MId October no response so we decide to send a follow up email with help from Age Concern and send it on 15th October and get no response by 28th October so make a formal complaint. 1st November get letter showing new payment notice and what we will get and how much it is reduced by backdated to 3rd September and nothing else.

    15th November get a letter dated 4th November asking for more details. They asked us the date of first payment and how much: excuse me this was on the payment slip that they have and have not returned to us.

    They ask are we still paying tax. Are they idiots? It is a pension we will pay tax on for the rest of our lives. Tell them yes we are still paying tax. They ask when the lump sum began and how much it was? Excuse me this was in the five letters we have sent to them and on the document from the university and the tax people have also contacted them as have the university pension people. It also said when it started and it was tax free. We also put all of this in the varied emails to the manager. So we now send another one to them on 15th Novemeber with all the information again and we want our documents back please! They still have not sent back our documents

    Get no response from this email and now 3rd December get three letters stating that they have had no response from their letter of 4th November. They sent them again so I scribbled all over them and told them to refer to my formal complaint and to the varied emails and to my documents as to be honest some of the information we cannot give them as they have all the copies of the documents and we do not know the infromation without them.

    I know that they got my last email as I also asked for compensation in it and got also today another letter from Ian Morrison the head of Customer Resolution apologising for how we have been treated and granting 100 in compensation. Surely the idiots at Birkenhead/Wolverhampton should be aware of this and now stop asking us for the same information. I have also today sent another email complaint. I can only do it via email not phone or long mail: do you have an email for a further complaint please as this is getting boring now; writing to the same person and nothing being resolved.


  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder Squirrel12 Novitiate

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    Default Re: DWP/ESA Complaints number?

    During the nine months I have been on ESA (without being called for assessment) I have written to the DWP eleven times on a variety of fundamental errors they have made.On non of these occasions have they had the decency to reply, even when I write making an official complaint.Next stop the Independent Case Examiner



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