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  1. There is a lot of talk at the moment saying that the variable rates are going to go up considerably in the New Year. If that happens there will be very few people with mortgages at under 4%. This will mean that a lot more will have to find money out of their benefit. The housing market is such that properties aren't selling. So that is not an option. The only saving grace is that the mortgage debt is no more than 60% of the current value. That way you can knock the price right down to get a quick cash sale, clear the mortgage and start again. Renting does now seem to be the way forward. Not that many ordinary people can afford to own or buy property anymore. At the end of the day it is only bricks and mortar, you can make a home anywhere. I am going to be in the same boat as everyone else and am seriously looking to sell at any price just to get rid of the mortgage. With renting at least you have the security of knowing that the rent will be paid by LHA. You just have to make sure that you don't get a too big a place, preferably in a cheaper poorer area. I am looking at a Studio Flat just for the two of us, which is very cheap. It feels like I am back where I was in my late teens living anywhere as long as the rent was cheap! But I wouldn't like to have to put up with the neighbours as then - a couple of girls in the flat above were using it as a 'knocking shop'. All day and night - it was like a motorway service station without the cars!!! LOL
  2. Just an update on this. The family member contacted the Debt Recovery dept for the DWP and offered them £5 pw instead of the £60 they have been taking. They have refused citing the fact that they are entitled to 1/3 of his current benefits. He argued hardship but they came back and said that what he is left with (approx £120) is more than what he would be getting on basic Income Support/ESA. So it seems that they wont budge - and they went on to say that when he retires they will take another 1/3 of that!!
  3. Thanks Erika, that was a question that has been doing he rounds of my family for a year or so. A family member was convicted of benefit fraud in 1987 for £3500 (unemployment benefit). He went to prison for 6 months and has had to repay the money. Only in the past year or so they have caught up with him and are taking a third of his DLA &ESA(CB). We all thought he deserves what has happened but were surprised that they are collecting that much every week. Now we all know. Personally I'm not telling him the rest - that he can ask for the deductions to be reduced!!
  4. Hi, I have been having a chat with a few on here and have thought that maybe I should ask this question. I am looking for advice on my situation. I claimed ESA in 2009. I had a medical in December 2009 which failed me and I appealed in January 2010. With time going on and being told that the Tribunal would hear my case after six months I waitied. June came and went then July. I telephoned the Tribunal in August and they said that there is a backlog and that it could be a couple of months more before I heard anything. I got fed up with waiting so I cancelled the appeal and signed on the dole for JSA. When I was intervieved I was told that I had to look for work and be prepared for working 40hrs per week. I though OK, I suppose this is what happens. Anyhow I got a contract which said what I had to do and what the Jobcentre would do for me. I have applied for quite a few jobs both nothing has come of it. Anyhow it has got to the position that I cannot cope with this much longer and the walking around places asking for work is really causing havoc with my health. I am considering going back on the ESA but am worried about how am I going to explain that I am ill with the same complaint which hasn't changed for the better or worse yet only a few weeks earlier had said to the Jobcentre that I was fit enought to do a 40 hr week. The two don't go together, well in my mind they don't. Any help please?
  5. Thanks for that, yes it is something that I will remember, but unfortunately, I can't see that I'll ever be able to reclaim ESA as I have already claimed JSA after closing down my appeal as it was taking too long to get to the Tribunal. I can't say that I am fit for 40 hrs of work per week when I claimed JSA and then claim sicness benefit with the same original illness again!
  6. Yes thanks, I knew I was right and yes you are right. I have the letter in front of me and it does say that she could have come in with me. But, the way the doctor was saying it, he seemed to have the final say in the matter. So I had to go along with what he said, otherwise I thought I would be in trouble if I insisted. It's unfortunate that when you get to our age, you believe and trust in people in authority.
  7. Thank you, I knew I was right, but when you have this doctor guy telling me that he would prefer her not to come in as it might interfere with the medical, what else am I supposed to believe?
  8. Hi, Thanks for the reply. Are you sure? How does that work? They have already found me fit for work despite the sick notes that I had, then I dropped the appeal in favour of JSA and had to sign a contract saying I was fit for work and available for 40 hours a week. Nothing has changed regarding my problems, so I cannot understand how I could claim for the same illness again given all of the above? Yes it is more than 6 months since my last claim, actually it is now over 10 months since I put in the appeal.
  9. Hello, Thanks for that. It's a bit late for us now - all this happened in Jan this year. I never knew you could complain about it, we just took it that as he was the doctor and those were the rules that he laid down. If there is another time that I have to claim which my be sooner than I had hoped as I cannot really cope with JSA, having to look for jobs all of the time when I should be taking it easy, as per my consultant's instructions I will remember your comments.
  10. Thanks Catkin, You do seem to have had a more understanding assessor than I did. From the off he was aggressive, rude and to be PC, had a very strong Asian accent that I couldn't understand. I'm glad it worked out for you and it just goes to prove that they are not all bad. Yes I believed that you could take someone in with you, but he was very much against it. Ah, right so you ignored the instructions about sending things in. That seems to be the way forward. Others I have asked either did what you did or took the evidence with them to the assessment - and they all passed. The rest of us held back - as per instructions and waited to see if we failed first. The irony is that when I found out that I had failed & after I had appealed, I contacted the DWP to ask who I should send the evidence to. They said not to bother, you will have to take it or send it to the Court!! That was at the start of this year. I have given up waiting for a date and have signed on as unemployed as it is easier.
  11. There will be no need to adjust it again. There will be nobody around to receive it - the homes will have all been repossessed!
  12. I think you will find that it means that there is more hope in finding cheddar cheese growing on bushes on the moon!! Basically, it has been decided by the powers that be - who obviously know a lot more about budgeting on a low income - than you or I, that as the country is in such a state that only by reducing the rate will we be able to provide finances for their duck houses!!!
  13. Ummm, I would assume that you are right handed? Yes? OK, then you have a good working hand. Do you manage to use your laptop/pc - keyboard? Yes? Good, So what is the problem? I can think of a lot of things that you only need one good hand for. Look at the positive, how would you feel if you didn't have the use of either. For exercise why not try arm wrestling? Would build up your confidence and social skills. Dominoes, even shove h'pny. Yes I could see that using one arm for a weeks work would be a lot to ask, so why not look for a part time job for half the hours?
  14. It could have been worse!! The review for the mortgage interest payments was to take place in Feb 2011. If they had waited until then, using the formulae they use the interest rate you would have got would have been just over 2%. Seeing that they have done it earlier, they have given a further 1% up to 3% to help people out. Yes it is a reduction form 6.08% to 3.2%, but it could have been 6.08% to 2.1%!!! That really would have caused a few problems.
  15. Hi, just a few things concern me: I had an ESA medical at the start of the year and failed so ended up on JSA. 1. My wife went with me to the medical but was told that it wasn't necessary for her to go in with me. In fact the assessor said it might hinder the examination. She stayed outside and waited for me. 2. With ESA, it states when you receive the ESA50 that you must not send anything back with the form such as evidence, letters etc. When I contacted the DWP they said that any evidence should be sent to them only and if I failed. How did you manage to get the evidence to the DWP to pass first time? How did you manage to convince ATOS that you would like someone with you?
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