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Everything posted by Max1968

  1. There has been a rumour around my way that there is some possibility of industrial action from workers at our local JCP due to the staff feeling unsafe. Not sure if it is just a local rumour of national.
  2. Mmmmmm!!!! Gross negligence manslaughter - Gross negligence manslaughter can occur when someone is killed by someone else’s extreme carelessness; that is, gross negligence. There is no intention to kill or harm that person and consequently gross negligence manslaughter is often described as a type of involuntary manslaughter. An individual can be deemed to be grossly negligent in relation to their acts and omissions, ie the actions they take or fail to take. The legal test for manslaughter by gross negligence was confirmed by the House of Lords in R v Adomako (1995). It is a four-staged test, and the essential elements to be established to prove gross negligence manslaughter are as follows. The defendant must owe a duty of care towards the deceased. The defendant must have breached that duty of care. The breach must have caused or significantly contributed to the death of the deceased. The breach must be characterised as gross negligence and therefore considered a crime.
  3. Glad to hear it UB, although I think that they also should also look into how they deal with ALL fluctuating medical conditions, AND actually listen to the claimants Doctors long term assessments rather than ignore such professionals opinions as they did in my case! With me I could be fine one minute then the world would be spinning for three hours the next so fluctuating conditions are not taken seriously enough. I also believe that the DWP brings a lot of it's own problems to it's own front door. For me I certainly didn't have a mental health condition prior to dealing with them, merely a physical condition, but after battling them, as well as fighting my physical health, for well over two years I ended up with depression and on medication and counselling. If the DWP had shown a duty of care and supported me in my health battles so I could focus on getting well rather than fighting them at the same time, I may well have been able to return to work earlier, and could also possibly have avoided being plagued with a mental health issue. Ironically when I finally got a diagnosis of Vestibular Hypofunction, one of the triggers I was told to my spinning episodes was stress, and dealing with the DWP and their Draconian practices stress was something that was unavoidable when you are wondering how you are going to survive. Many thousands of people will be, and would have been in the same boat, and how many long term claims could be avoided with some empathy and duty of care shown. Want more people off benefits and back into work? Then hitting them with a stick and telling them to fend for themselves isn't quite the sensible road to go down!! Sorry, still bitter!!!
  4. I'm not surprised but I agree with UB. My own experience though with a two year battle with the DWP over ESA, eventually lost, put me in a very dark place. I was somewhat lucky that a number of factors probably saved me from going down that route as well. If it hadn't been for owning my house outright, rather than having a mortgage, my mother helping me out financially (for which I still feel shame), and the illness eventually becoming manageable (not cured), I would probably not be here now reading this. However I still have fear that the illness will return once again to render me unable to work again and my mother is now in full time care with dementia so I always have that darkness lurking over my shoulder and I know that the last place I will find any support is the DWP.
  5. Yes indeed which is what I did, or the intention was there to do so. My problem was in November I didn't start work on the 1st of the month so it wouldn't be a full months pay. Then in December I had a pre booked holiday which I wasn't paid for (understandably) so again I wasn't sure on what my monthly wage would be. On top of this as I was placed on a temporary tax code so I was taxed to the hilt in November and did receive reimbursement the following month but the Tax Office weren't sure when I would be reimbursed. So January was the first pay packet that was 100% correct. The DWP said not to add any changes in income online because the system doesn't have full capability to take into account fluctuating monthly income so they advised me that HMRC would just inform them, which is fine. When I called the Council they were very much the same. Rather than me trying to predict what I was going to receive at the end of the month they said they would await to be informed by the DWP of my income. They then asked for all three pay slips in the last couple of weeks. My point is that because I also worked on and off in a part time job both my UC and Council Tax benefit fluctuated each month so endless award letters for Council Tax were sent and it can be quite difficult to keep up. If I had known that I was due to pay a large wedge to bring my Council Tax up to date in one month then I would have paid a higher Council Tax payment in Nov, Dec and Jan. It's no ones fault it's just the way it is. I'm just warning people in the same boat that it might be prudent to consider the fact that once all is sorted there may be a large Council Tax bill to pay because once working you stop being eligible for Council Tax benefit, and it may be better to pay more than they tell you owe via the letters to avoid a nasty shock at the end of the process.
  6. Thought I would put this on here just to help people avoid the situation I have found myself in. Been on UC for about a year and a half and back in November found a job which pays a measly 14500 per year but of course is still over the UC threshold! UC despite promising that I would be paid UC in November due to not being paid until the end of November didn't pay up because HMRC notified the DWP before I received my wages, but the main issue is Council Tax benefit which people need to be aware of. I was advised by both the Council and DWP not to inform them what my income would be because it would fluctuate the first couple of moths due to not starting at the start of November and the fact that I was put on a temporary tax code, so they both felt that they would wait for HMRC to forward the correct figures rather than me "declare a change". That was my mistake because for the next couple of months I still received an element of Council Tax benefit. Then a couple of weeks ago the Council on top of three months nil UC award from the DWP asked for my last two payslips and days later I received a Council Tax bill in the region of £145 per month for February and March. They then requested my latest pay slip and this morning I received a final bill for 2019/20 for which they were taking £363 by direct debit in March. I can't afford £100 per month Council Tax let alone £363!! I rang them and put half on a credit card and paid some via debit to bring March's bill down a bit but it will still be a struggle. My advice is to be totally on top of this with the Council if you go back to work and lose your UC. If I had fully known I would have paid extra in the months November, December, January so I didn't get walloped for one lump sum in one month but the letters come through thick and fast and aren't the easiest to understand and you could end up to your neck like me!! To be honest you are "almost" better off on benefits. "Make Work Pay" the DWP say. Yeah right!!!
  7. Thank you all. Yep already sorted Attendance Allowance a while ago but have to let them know again Monday as mum is still currently in hospital so she won't be paid for certain weeks, but what I didn't know is once in care she can claim it again even though she is self funding. I think I'm just about on top of things with her affairs but now the statements has come through I can activate the LPA's. I just hoped that the DWP would give people a bit of grace with their commitments with say a family emergency and with dealing with all mum's affairs at the moment it's like she has died (which she has in many ways). Even if they said ok just do 15 hours a week but we can only allow you half UC payment that would be fine it's just that they never seem to budge on anything. I have only had two full payments in 8 months due to working bits and tax rebates so four weeks grace doesn't seem too much to ask.
  8. Thanks Uncle Bulgaria that's where the confusion on commitments arose probably. I saw a really good advisor back in January due to the capital I received which is above £6000 so have to take the bank statements in. I did remind him that my hours and earnings fluctuate but because they fluctuate month to month (ie one month it may be £400, the next £350 the next £20 and so on) he said not to worry about it and only declare any changes to my situation if I came into permanent full time work. No-one mentioned that if I had a couple of dry months work wise I had to report it and as I said I or they were none the wiser until I asked for a review so it's obviously a case of one advisor advising one thing and another another!! I'll probably end up getting sanctioned for that now!!! I also had a couple of tax rebates which decreased my UC for a couple of months and as you say UC have always received my earnings month by month. The awkward situation is that I have quite a bit of work scheduled for July and August. If an advisor insisted for instance I had to take a job next week that was offered I would have to cancel all that work in July/August.
  9. Thank you, Yeah I meant prior to all this happening,. According to my local care advice line all things with regard to care count from dealing with a persons paperwork, finances, phone calls, taking them shopping, driving them to appointments the whole shebang. I always just assumed it was care in the home that counted but too late for that now as hospital and live in care comes into play as you say.
  10. Hi all back again and another wonderful battle with the delightful JCP and DWP brewing and once again I am in need of the great advice you receive here. Mum hasn't been at all well in recent months culminating in her being rushed to hospital around 5 weeks ago. For the last few months as her memory has deteriorated I have been trying to juggle my 35 hour a week work search commitments along with various interviews side by side with helping mum out with every facet of her life. I am pretty sure that the jobs I have missed out on are partially down to an employer realising that you are caring for your parent and are on call which doesn't exactly shout "full commitment" to the cause but that is another story. However since mum has been in hospital where she as well as battling dementia has picked up delirium, a UTI and gout amongst other things and has gone downhill badly. It's bad enough seeing your mum fade away in front of your eyes but constant communication with Doctors, Social Workers, Utilities et all along with my Universal Credit Commitments has left me absolutely drained and pretty close to the edge myself. The irony is I only found out today that every aspect of dealing with a dementia parent's life would have possibly qualified me as a carer and able to claim carers allowance rather than UC but no one has mentioned this to me until today!! I fortunately came into a bit of capital a couple of months ago (without it I'd be done for) so each month I have to go with my bank statement to the Job Centre. On Wednesday this week I explained about mum and said that we had now been given the green light by the authorities that mum no longer has capacity and that now she is close to being medically fit we have now been told that she will be unable to return home and full dementia care is needed which I have been saying for months but again that's another story! I explained that the last 5 weeks have been exhausting juggling mum's situation and the work search commitments and now that a lot of time will be spent finding and looking at care homes, getting financial advice on how we pay for it, assessing if we can rent her house out and working out what to do with all the belongings in the house amongst plenty of other tasks on the list I wondered if there was a possibility that I could be given a few weeks grace and may be able to have a temporary reduced commitment schedule. Bearing in mind that I have quite a bit of work lined up for July and August when mum will hopefully be settled somewhere. The advisor (I hate the word coach - a coach teaches you something!) looked at me rather perplexed and said that I had no commitments as I was working full time! I explained that that was wrong (should have kept my mouth shut!) and I had no idea how they had come to that conclusion and that I do have two employers but it is temporary sporadic work along with voluntary that has varied from month to month. She then said quite abruptly that I would have to have a commitment review. I had no idea and had been completing my Journal etc the same as I always had - turns out I didn't need to!!! So Thursday I had a Commitment Review and saw the advisor who had obviously ballsed up my commitments last time. I asked her if it was possible for a temporary reduction and she basically said no. She stated that they would only consider that if I was a carer and getting carers allowance which confused me because I had no idea that you can get carers allowance and Universal Credit (albeit a reduced rate) and if you can then I missed the boat there didn't I?!?!?!? Basically typical DWP, no empathy and just wanting to tick boxes and they returned my commitments to about as high as you get! I called the CAB and they advised me that if I didn't agree with the advisors decision I could take up a complaint with the DWP themselves but I am really not sure if it's worth going down that road as it would come out as a complaint against the advisor and I have to see them again in two weeks for a work search review and the last thing you want to do is annoy them. I'm not sure if even just calling the DWP and asking if a temporary reduction is at all possible as again it's going over the advisors head. So I am at a loss at what to do because 35 hours work search and about the same time dealing with mum's situation is slowly affecting my health and sanity. And the irony is if I had known that carers allowance was claimable then I probably wouldn't be up **** creek without a paddle! Help!!!!
  11. Thanks UB,,,,, Another question whilst I am here. I have just received a phone call from a company that deals with Investment Advice, similar to PPI. They came to me over a year ago advising that they felt I had been mis sold investments many years ago. In a nutshell my bank is offering me a pay-out, which was quite a surprise!! The pay-out is in the region of 15000 so after paying this companies bill I will be left with around 9000. I know obviously I will have to declare this to the DWP but whilst I am not working how does this affect Universal Credit? I have noted online the information about savings and capital between 6000 and 10000 but can't seem to find any definite advice regarding any lump sum windfall? Thank you.
  12. So it's Payroll who would make the error rather than HMRC? Must confess I did query both at the time. In my employment which finished in July 18 (another thread where they put me on the wrong contract) I had a nightmare with the Tax Office as two months in three they placed me on a temporary tax code which meant I got walloped tax wise although I am pretty sure they rectified it the following month. Then when I left that job I received an extra £500 or so in wages which was a surprise at the time but it seemed to be because of the wrong contract scenario where they had originally kept wages back for holiday as I had been put incorrectly on a permanent contract. So when it was rectified to a fixed contract I was told the holiday pay that had been kept back had been paid in my last pay-packet but I was taxed quite heavily on that. Then I had three casual employers. On 5th October I received a £279 tax refund from an agency through their payroll People Paye on top of wages. I can remember calling the employer rather confused and he called payroll who confirmed it was a tax refund. Then on 31st October I got a payment from another casual employer which was far to high for the work I had done. Without a payslip at the time I contacted the employer about the error and they said I had been given a £309 tax refund. To be honest one was a surprise let alone both. That's when I called HMRC and I am pretty sure they said the first one was 100% correct but they weren't sure on the second one but couldn't say for sure until April 19. What confuses me is the different amounts. If they had both been the same you could argue a payment that's been duplicated because of two different employers but I won't be sure until April unless you think a phone call to both payrolls could solve the mystery?
  13. Thought as much thanks tomtom. A real quandary though as the option of not spending it as HMRC suggested was difficult considering UC was zero that month due to that.
  14. Cannot seem to find the answer anywhere so was hoping someone may be able to advise onhow I may deal with this when the time comes? Think in the four months I have been on Universal Credit I have had a full payment just the once due to having a couple of part time employers with varied offers of work and hours whilst I look again for full time. Back in October/November I received two Tax Rebates, one higher than the other. This was a tad surprising so I rang the Tax Office to see if this was correct and was informed that one was definitely correct but the advisor seemed a bit confused about the other and couldn’t say for sure. He said my two options were to place the second rebate to one side until they sorted it out in April 19 or I could use it but may have to pay it back in April if it was paid in error. My problem was is that Universal Credit takes tax rebates as earnings it affected my paymentsand I got a big fat zero that month UC wise therefore having to use the rebate to live on. Ironically the Council “do not” take tax rebates as earnings so it didn’t count against my Council Tax benefit which was a blessing of sorts but obviously if I am in the same financial situation in April and this rebate has to be paid back I am going to be in difficulty. If that is the case and it was paid to me in error can I claim for any backdated payment of Universal Credit for that particular month? My thoughts behind this are that I was obviously paid nothing UC wise that month due to the rebate being classed as earnings but if the rebate has to be paid back then it was earnings I technically did not have, receive, earn, if you get my drift!!!! Ie – If I hadn’t been paid that rebate I would have received full UC for that month and I wouldn’t potentially be having to pay anything back in April to HMRC? Of course it may be that it is a legit payment and I won’thave to pay it back but I won’t know until April. All a bit of a disaster, I have no idea why HMRC couldn’t work this out correctly back in October… . Thank you.
  15. Thanks unclebulgaria67. That's me cancelling the dentist then!!! May as well pay for the vertigo appointment myself as it's such late notice and it costs the NHS a packet in last minute cancellations, that's the irony this nightmare isn't only costing the client because I can't imagine I'll be the only one cancelling such appointments because I can't afford them! I would certainly be better off not having any of these jobs and yet that shouldn't be the case. The irony is if I had "earned" £435 or less I could have claimed according to that link. I earned less than that and was put just over by a tax rebate!!!
  16. You are both so right. I am in a bit of a quandary now as I am due in London for another Vertigo appointment tomorrow and at my last appointment, the month when I got a UC payment, I could get a reimbursement on my travel expenses. I also have a dental appointment on Monday which again was booked when I was receiving UC so could have that done on the NHS. However despite my claim being still open I have not received any UC this month purely down to that tax rebate and a small wage so I am now not sure if I qualify for the travel reimbursement or the NHS dental treatment? Plus I have to forward my pay slip for the weeks bits I did last week to the council which I won't receive until 10th November. Do I still qualify for the travel and dentist with a big fat zero on my UC Statement? If not it will be £15 quid train, £70 odd quid dentist and potentially a £110 council tax bill totalling £195 which along with bills on 1st month will wipe out my tax rebate and small wage!!!! I would rather cancel the appointment and dentist than risk it and get into trouble for claiming for them whilst not qualifying! It's ridiculous especially when you make an effort to get your foot in the door somewhere. I cannot for the life of me work out how these people you hear about in the papers get £50000 in benefits whilst being able and doing absolutely nothing!
  17. Fascinatingly complex scenario when you make an effort. After being made unemployed in July I have been trying to do bits and bobs with casual work for three employers whilst I look after my ill mum and look for a more permanent position. I get a nice tax rebate with a pay packet of just one weeks work for one of the employers and therefore do not get any Universal Credit for October because the pay plus the rebate takes me over the threshold of income for that month because the DWP takes tax rebates as pay. Fair enough but they then go and tell my council that my Universal Credit claim has been cancelled so I have to go through all the rigmarole of sending pay slips, hours worked, bank balances and the like to the council re council tax benefit and the council interestingly "do not" class tax rebates as income or pay! Regardless having more than one employer on a casual basis is a nightmare with the council who don't seem to know how to handle it and I may well have full whack council tax one month and then have to reapply monthly depending on wage which is always low anyway! So I have now had to email UC to see if I need to reclaim because I might not earn anything from the three employers this month although another nice little confusion arrived in the form of a small pay check from one employer with yet another healthy tax rebate,,,, two in one month from different employers?!?!?! Transpires that rebate earlier this month may be an error but I won't find out until the end of the tax year when I might, or might not have to pay it back!!! Either work full time or not at all seems to be the easiest way to avoid mega confusion on all counts as three mini employers is a logistical nightmare!!
  18. Well I went up to London again today for a follow up appointment at the hospital and all was sorted re travel expenses of which I managed to claim back September's expenses and todays. However I am staggered at the wastage that's going on. For starters my follow up took 5 minutes, literally in and out. It took me an hour and a half to get there, an hour and a half home and a peak time rail return to claim due to the appointment being at 9.45 am. Why on earth can't appointments like this just be done over the phone? It would have taken 5 minutes and I wouldn't have had to go up to London and claim back expenses from the NHS??! Even take it further and possibly limit early morning and late afternoon appointments to local residents only so no patient has to travel to or from in peak time thus requiring the most expensive prices of travel. It's quite shocking that this wastage is happening, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that a phone call for a non important follow up is all that is needed,. If I had known it was going to be that quick I would have suggested it!!!!!
  19. Thanks Mr P. Yep I only send the odd one these days myself but older people still use them and mum prefers to use them for things like her freezer man, gardener, paper bill etc. Ironically only one of them now brings a card reader with them so they are a bit behind the times as well. To be honest with all the potential s.c.a.m.s. about I am relieved mum doesn't use the Internet and Internet Banking. The older people will inherit the earth though when the internet and mobile phones blow up as they still use cash, paper and pencil!!! It's getting to speak to the manager that will be the issue as it's all machines now, although I might call Head Office themselves although they probably won't speak to me as I am not the "account holder". That annoys me as well, to talk about mums account I need Power of Attorney (which we have for future possibilities) but I don't want to do that now as it takes some of mums independence away. They need something a little lighter so you can talk about things like statements or cheque books!!!!!! Can your credit history be "too good" ie if you haven't been in debt you have no history of paying it off?!
  20. My 82 year old mum hasn't been too well recently and her local Nat West Branch has closed down and the new one is a nightmare for parking and she doesn't walk too well. She also got caught out by a phone holiday spoof to the tune of a few hundred quid and became paranoid about the company knowing her account details so we decided that maybe a change to a new bank was a good option. Barclays is my and my sisters bank as well and as difficult as it is to talk about if something happens to mum before it happens to me we theorised that if we are all at the same bank things would be easier to deal with, but it has all become a bit of a disaster!! We had a meeting with an advisor who looked into it and after doing her bit on computer stated that mum qualified for a basic account which would not include an overdraft or the option to loan. To be fair mum has plenty of money in her account and gets very good pension and investment returns so the need for an overdraft or loan is highly unlikely as her balance stays pretty much the same each month and it's far higher than my balance is!!! The one thing the advisor forgot to mention though was that mum wouldn't get a cheque book and I wouldn't have know that anyway being a Barclays Current Account holder since I was in my teens!! This was only brought to our attention over a week later when I rang Barclays to ask because mum mentioned she hadn't received one, which we obviously thought was the norm, but was told that she couldn't get a cheque book for a basic account. We then went back for a meeting because this was baffling. It then became clear that mum had been declined a current account (hence the basic) but the reason for why she has been declined is unclear and apparently the advisors do not get told the reason so obviously the customer cannot argue against it. The advisor to be fair did apologise profusely for not explaining clearly and for forgetting to mention the cheque book and said the reason could be something to do with a credit score. I've however checked mums credit score on Experian and it was 999. She has no debts, mortgage paid off years ago, no loans taken out for years if ever as far as I know, plenty of cash in the account and has never had an issue getting credit cards, of which she pays off in full...… Could this be the problem?! The annoyance is that mum relies on her cheque book and is in a muddle and is having to either get me to send cheques for her or she has to withdraw large amounts of cash. The bank suggested waiting a couple of months and when they have seen how the account is managed and that Barclaycards have been paid off etc then they can reapply for a current account. If it is still declined then the only option is to go back to Nat West who have already said she can have a current account with cheque book like she did before, but it will obviously be a pain switching once again and I suspect all of the Direct Debit companies will be baffled as to what is happening!! Barclays have also made a mess up with statements as well with mum not receiving one statement in the two months since the account opened so I am chasing up that as well mum called Barclays Head Office last week and the guy on the phone couldn't understand why she hadn't been given a cheque book so we will wait and see if he gets any joy, although I would say probably not!!! So any ideas as to why this happens? Especially as I as an 18 years old got a current account without an issue and with probably no job at the time albeit 35 odd years ago!! It seems bizarre especially as they hide the reason. I am wondering in part if it's because she is a retired widow so upon first check they may not have known what monthly income she would be receiving but they would have seen from the account surely? Help massively appreciated.
  21. I agree, everyone should at least get a letter saying you have been awarded UC and have a tick box on how you would like to proceed eg online or via paper communication. It is the same with other departments like Council Tax Benefit who used to ask for an Award Letter but fortunately on this occasion I had an advisor who seemed up to speed on the changes. I personally think part of the problem is a screenshot or print out from the UC site doesn't look official. Anyone could create something like that in a word document, it looks too basic. I'm having further problems with the DWP. I have received some casual paid work but it's only once or twice a week and the DWP want me to complete the "change in circumstances" tab. Upon opening the tab I noticed there would be questions about earnings. Once again technology is the issue. My casual boss wants people to insert their hours on a phone app but my phone is so old it wouldn't be able to download an abacus!! He said he would get me a pay as you go work phone and in the meantime I can and have done it via my PC although whether this has gone through correctly I don't know. So I don't know if any pay will go through in September or October. So I don't want to state in my change of circumstances that I am receiving say £100 at the end of September when it may well only go through at the end of October but get reduced UC in September!! I have messaged the JCP Work Coach to ask someone to call me to advise but as yet haven't received a call.
  22. Well the Hospital Cashier called me today and apologised that she had got it wrong last week and her supervisor had advised her that she could have accepted my UC statement. I was however not advised to collect an attendance form from the department but they will send one via post, and I can claim my travel when I go up next time, along with the travel for that day I suspect!! so to be fair the NHS have done their bit bar maybe training their staff a tad better and I got an apology which is more that you will get from the DWP!! My only worry is that her last words were that again she was sorry and next time she will accept my UC Award letter!! Hopefully a slip of the tongue or maybe I'll be ranting and raving again in a months time!!
  23. Yep Dixi, I read that. Yet another fabulous example of the departments in this country making more work for themselves as well as everyone else rather than covering all bases before they bring a new idea in!! It's clearly one of two things. Either massive incompetence on all levels of Government and the NHS or it's all deliberate and another example of making the system so bloody irritating for those in need that they just end up not bothering thus stopping large swathes of people complaining. I'd like to believe the incompetence option but having seen at first hand the underhand and criminal tactics used by the government in other areas of the benefits system I'm pretty sure the incompetence is a smokescreen.
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