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Everything posted by reallymadwoman

  1. Not sure if this is benefits or should be somewhere else. There is an outstanding debt to DWP for an overpayment which my relative had been paying off slowly for about 10 years. The relative died recently, and I am dealing with the estate. Within less than 2 weeks from the date of death I had quite a stroppy letter from DWP demanding immediate repayment of a sum about double what I had expected or alternatively providing detailed information on all of the estate's assets in a form to be returned within 7 days. Leaving aside the sensitivity of contacting me even before the funeral, I couldn't either pay them or provide the information they asked for in their time scale even if I wanted to. Are DWP even entitled to detailed information about the estate's assets or to demand payment/information so quickly? I was under the impression they were no more of a priority than the credit cards for example.
  2. More hassle - DWP cant send me the data I asked for because Maximus haven't sent it to them, but Maximus won't send it to me direct because 'they're not allowed to'. You really couldn't make this up. I also got told off for calling an email a letter. On the plus side, since they've finally accepted that I can't get into their assessment centre, I don't need an assessment after all.
  3. There is no average time between assessments for ESA, and whatever the healthcare professional advised after your last one, DWP can reassess you whenever they like. It's not unusual for them to send out the forms well in advance anyway as it can take a long time to go through the assessment process.
  4. Probably the best thing you can do is read some other threads about Smart Parking and DRP. One example is here: https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?487232-Smart-Parking-Charges-Haven-Banks-Retail-Park-Exeter Once you've done that, come back with any specific questions you have. I have no direct experience of this particular firm, but all the advice seems to be to totally ignore them. Appeals are never upheld - their business model would fail completely if their charges were fair or reasonable - and they rely on people paying without question.
  5. And I do so hope they say the month I've allowed them for a full response to my complaint isn't long enough when they expected me to complete their stupid form in half that time.
  6. Update I asked Maximus who asked DWP for all the data they hold relating to my most recent ESA claim since Maximus wouldn't just give me a copy of the file. The time limit under GDPR runs out tomorrow. I expect DWP will blame the Christmas holidays for the delay when I complain. This will of course be used as evidence against them in my complaint about them not giving me extra time to complete my PIP forms which were even more badly delayed by the Christmas holidays. I can almost hear the sound of them shooting themselves in the foot as they scramble about deciding which of the two complaints is likely to be most damaging to them.
  7. Both my GP and I interpreted Maximus' comment as meaning if I tried harder I could manage without the wheelchair so they could let me in to their non-ground floor assessment centres. We could be wrong, so I've asked them to explain what they meant by misquoting it. My GP is pretty annoyed that they've asked her to fill in their form then pretty much ignored everything she said and has made that quite clear in the letter she gave me to pass on to them, which she didn't charge for! The long-awaited PIP review forms finally arrived yesterday, dated 7th December. Unless I pay my own 1st class postage, to get them back on time I need to get them to the post office by 1st January according to Royal Mail, which gives me less than 2 weeks. Luckily, I've got a nice PDF with all the evidence I sent for ESA plus I'll include a copy of the GP's letter and form plus not that much has changed so far as function is concerned so it shouldn't take long to edit what I sent in last time. I'm ingnoring the review form, I don't trust them enough to risk not providing a lot of details.
  8. Another fairly distressed call from Mum this morning, two more letters from the debt collector still addressed to her partner still demanding payment but with no documentation etc. They'd have had my 'bog off' letter at least two weeks before these letters are dated and my Mum is now terrified a bailiff is going to come and take her car and no amount of reassurance that they can't and won't (it's motablity anyway) have made any difference. I seem to remember from my early years on CAG that Christmas is prime time for hassling people like this. How do you add Twitter links part way through a thread? I think everyone should see what EE and Moorcroft are doing to vulnerable people.
  9. Well I know they read the bit under one of the notices as they've contacted my GP. Amongst other things her reply confirmed I've been in a wheelchair since 2012 and there is no prospect of any improvement. She included a comment from the specialist made nearly 3 years ago saying despite the wheelchair I still needed to keep as mobile as possible for as long as possible. This is the only comment that Maximus have picked up on and they have misquoted it as 'your specialist has recommended you be more mobile' to justify asking me to go to an assessment centre. Is it me or is that actually offensive? I can't work out why they would make that comment unless they're suggesting the wheelchair is a lifestyle choice rather than a medical necessity?
  10. Dear RMT/Southwestern Railway, I am a wheelchair user and do not drive, so am entirely dependent on public transport. I had intended to travel to my sister’s home on Saturday 21st December. When the strike on that date was announced we explored various alternatives as I cannot risk travelling on a train that would have already been crowded but is now likely to involve additional changes and be even more crowded, if it runs at all. One of the services I need to use only has one wheelchair space, so if it’s already occupied I could have ended up waiting hours for another train. I cannot use National Express coaches as my wheelchair is too heavy to be carried as luggage and is not suitable for use on their accessible buses. With no other option, I eventually and very reluctantly agreed to allow my brother-in-law to undertake a 4 hour return journey on Christmas Eve to fetch me. I detest having to disrupt his Christmas Eve plans and also will not be able to enjoy my stay nearly as much as I’ll have no time to get over the pain travelling inevitably causes me before the big day, but it’s better than not being able to get there at all. Yesterday, RMT announced a further strike on 27th December, the day I need to travel home and the day that both my sister and her husband have to go back to work. Again, the trains would be crowded anyway so that any that do run are going to be much worse, and again, there’s the issue with limited wheelchair spaces being already occupied. I have travelled during a previous strike and did eventually get to my destination, however the whole experience was horrendous. At one station I actually held up the train’s departure for nearly 15 minutes whilst station and train staff attempted to clear enough passengers and luggage out of the way for me to reach the wheelchair space, and whilst I cannot fault any of the staff or most of the passengers who had to move, it would have been a humiliating experience even without the few who complained. There have been enough horror stories about disabled users and public transport in the news this year for most people to be aware that any journey on public transport is a challenge. Add in strikes at an already busy time of the year and the challenge becomes insurmountable. The fact that the strike seems to be over something that wasn’t ever going to happen anyway is just the icing in the cake. Southwestern say they’ve never intended to run guard-free trains, RMT say they will, so who is telling the truth and why do they have to wreck my Christmas to sort it out? Perhaps someone could spell out for me what is so terrible that it's worth leaving me, or anyone else, to spend Christmas on their own? I'll definitely be thinking of you both as I tuck into my turkey burger and pudding for one.
  11. They won't deal with any additional issues now as they're simply reviewing their decision and dealing with my complaint about their service. It's tempting to just withdraw the complaint and let EE get on with making fools of themselves, I have better things to do atm
  12. You really couldn't make this up. Complained to EE that they are writing direct when there's an outstanding Ombudsman complaint. They've said they can't comment as the complaint it with the Ombudsman ....
  13. They haven't read anything beyond my name and NI number because I put copies of that notice over the bits I thought they were most likely to read - the list of conditions, medications, GP details etc. There were 8 copies at various points in the form, and they were stapled on both sides so would have had to be physically removed to read what was underneath. It's very clearly the case that everyone is put in the assessment queue regardless of what is on the form, and only if you protest will anyone (possibly) actually read any of the information sent in. I suspect that it's far more profitable to do a face to face assessment than anything else, my only hope might be that it's so expensive to do home visits that they decide not to bother. Excellent news over your complaint, fingers crossed that it has some effect.
  14. the fight begins. After waiting 10 weeks I was sick of the sword hanging over my neck contacted Maximus to enquire as to the current position. Immediate reply is that it was decided 6 weeks ago that I need another face to face and they'll send me an appointment as soon as one is available at an assessment centre within 90 minutes travel time of my home address. When I pointed out that I would need a home visit as none of those centres are wheelchair accessible (the nearest is on the 1st floor of a DWP building they won't let me in, the next nearest is on the 3rd floor of a DWP building ........, been here before, the nearest genuinely accessible centre is over 40 miles away with no reasonable means of getting from here to there via public transport) out trotted the 'you must have a letter from your GP specifying why ...'. I pointed out that this was included with my form, however I am already absolutely certain that no one has actually even looked at the form. I deliberately stapled 8 copies of a statement which specified why I needed a home visit and what was likely to happen if they messed up as badly as ATOS did over the bits that I was fairly sure would be most likely to get read - e.g. the list of conditions, medication etc - to try to prevent the same fiasco from happening again. Whilst I am reasonably confident of staying in the support group, I do not need that sword hanging over my neck for months on end whilst they make appointments at places that won't let me in then eventually relent and book a home visit only for that to be (at best, most often they just don't turn up) cancelled at the last minute. Hubby and I have decided that this really is the last time that an assessment provider will do this to me and it's unfortunate for Maximus that they will be bearing the brunt of ATOS' negligence, but so far they appear to be no better. It's discriminatory to make me jump through hoops to get a home visit (not least the £35 my GP charges for a letter, many won't provide one at all) because I'm too disabled to be allowed in to their assessment centres and it's discriminatory to make me wait months longer for a home visit because so few of their staff are willing to do them, again because I'm too disabled. For anyone that thinks I'm over-reacting, the last ESA fiasco took near enough 2 years to conclude after 12 failed appointments, the actual assessment taking less than 10 minutes and consisting of me verbally confirming information that was on the original form. The PIP assessment also carried out (eventually) by ATOS caused such stress that I ended up in hospital with a serious flare that has permanently damaged my digestive system. The fact that I'm facing another PIP assessment as well at the moment is just the icing on the cake. I meet at least 2 different support group criteria, short of a miracle my function is not going to improve and the only people benefitting from repeatedly putting me through this are the assessment providers - it's certainly not benefitting me and DWP are paying for assessments with no hope of reducing the amount they pay me to offset the cost. The text of the notice applied liberally to my ESA50 form is 'This notice has been deliberately positioned so that anyone reading this form cannot deny that the likely consequences of asking me to attend an assessment centre have been brought to their attention. If you are intending to recommend that I be subjected to another face-to-face assessment, you must first read the relevant sections of this form relating to xxxxxxxxxx and all of the information in the ‘face-to-face assessment’ section, including dates when I cannot attend. Please also be aware that a well-known disability campaign group will be supporting me in a claim of disability discrimination and negligence should the aforementioned information be disregarded again, which may include action against the specific HCPs involved if they should have failed to have robustly justified any decision regarding the necessity for and location of any face-to-face assessment.'
  15. To recap, EE know that their account holder lacks capacity and (presumably!) know there is an outstanding complaint with the Ombudsman Service. They've instructed third party debt collectors to write to the account holder direct. Whilst I'm sure it's simple incompetence, this is so wrong on so many grounds.
  16. We have answers to most of these questions. Do you know if there is any way of circumventing the consultation process if emergency repairs are needed?
  17. Thanks. As you say, we can't afford to move and it's also not helpful to assume we haven't already looked into that possibility.
  18. We have already looked at all options for moving, it's simply not possible. The only ground floor flats in this area which are big enough for our needs are a lot more money than we'd get for our current flat, plus we've already paid for a lot of adaptions (and would have to pay to have some of them removed, it was a condition of them being installed in the first place). We estimate it would cost at least £100K to move at all, and to move to a bungalow would be at least twice that.
  19. Not everyone can move home whenever they feel like it, and if we could afford a bungalow, we'd already have one.
  20. So the lift is now back in operation and I can come and go as I please. However, the prospect of this happening again is not something I want to think about - it was bad enough being stuck inside for 10 days, had it actually taken 3 months minimum to get the lift back in operation I'd have had no choice but to move out temporarily. There must be something that could be done to bypass or shorten the time needed to get repairs done in these sort of circumstances - I can't imagine that we'd have to, for example, suffer a leaking roof for months. Does anyone have any ideas?
  21. I feel for you! The whole Universal Credit system appears to be a nightmare. My son, who is main carer and usually gets carer's allowance plus income support foolishly took a part-time, short term contract job for 10 hours a week for 6 weeks. As a result his income support claim has been closed, but they didn't tell him for 3 1/2 months and kept paying until 2 weeks ago even though he'd submitted payslips etc weekly. They haven't (yet) asked for any overpayment to be paid back. We consider ourselves to be fairly tech savvy, but even so we've had to spend nearly 3 hours this morning making a claim for universal credit, which allegedly can't be back dated even though the delay is DWP's error. I've told him not to bother with part-time jobs in future, once he'd paid travel expenses he was no better off anyway and it's just too much hassle to sort out afterwards.
  22. Would it be worth speaking to the police again? What this person is doing might amount to harassment, but there's always a risk that you'll make things worse if they know they're getting to you.
  23. Agree, whoever it is was acting on behalf of BG. I'd be submitting a written complaint immediately, but then I hate BG.
  24. So this went to the Ombudsman Service who supported EE in that doing a credit check when the account was opened means it must have been genuine, and telling me the phone is being used proves that it's Mum's partner using it and setting debt collectors on him when they know he's now in a Care Home and haven't even bothered to tell us how much is outstanding is perfectly reasonable. It's the sort of logic I expect for a certain 'independent' appeals service for private parking charges, and so I'm giving the 'final' decision the same respect I'd accord the IAS.
  25. The same person reported me three times, DWP have to investigate but after the first one they apologised for having to bother me again. It's horrible so it's an easy way for someone with a grudge to get at you if you let them. If you can, try to view it as a necessary part of the process which is nothing personal. If DWP had any doubt about you working, it would be an interview under caution.
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