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  1. Hi, I have joined up to this forum in the hope that someone can give me some advice. My problem stems from my employer and the fact that I am on Long Term Sick Leave. I took ill initially in December 2011 with heart problems, however I was in the process of returning to work about 6 months later when I was diagnosed with cancer. Since then, I have had a couple of major surgeries and have been receiving treatment as I try to beat this horrible disease. I have quite a few of my insides removed and currently am not able to return to work, I am also still receiving treatment, scans and other hospital appointments. My current sick note will cover me until September 2013, however, it is unlikely that I will be well enough to go back to work even then. I worked at a call centre, so I never received anything other than Statutory Sick Pay for the first 6 months from them.I amnow receiving state benefits. My employer however still insists that I keep them informed, by attending monthly meetings to discuss my illness and to ask how I am coping. They even ask questions about who is helping me through all this, i.e my Partner and other family members. Are they entitled to do this, given that they are no longer paying any salary to me. The chances are that I will never be able to return to work, as this illness is taking a lot out of me, and I really do not need all the extra stress that they are putting on me. I just want to know what my rights are, and whether I can refuse to attend these meetings. If I do, what are my options and would I be better off resigning? Sorry for the long post, but any help would be appreciated. Pete....
  2. Hi everyone, I'm new to this site so bare with me. I just want to know how long it will take for me to hear back about esa? Basically I was on incapacity benefit and got a letter saying I'd be moved over to esa and I'd get a form through the post, the form had to be back before the 26th of march and it was. So it's been just over 3 weeks. Could someone also tell me the difference between the groups of esa? Ones support and ones work related? Something like that. I really don't under stand it tbh. I know there's Medicals involved. Does everyone have to go to them? Any info you have would be great, I know nothing! Lol oh and what about my money? I'm confused as I looked on a website (can't remember which) and it said it would be £50 something for the first 13 weeks I think it said and then went to £99 or £105 depending on which group you was put in. I'm getting £220 every 2 weeks on ic, but I kind of remember my letter where it told me I would be getting moved to esa that my money would stay the same. I don't see how that could be, even at 105 a week that's 210 a fortnight and I'm on £220? Thank you
  3. Evening guys Righty I had my appeal hearing on the 28th March which will be 3 weeks this Thurs how long shall I wait to chase this? Thanks Pete
  4. Hello, I am a 25 year old male from England. Having just received my latest letter from the DVLA I can honestly say I am furious to say the least. :-x Anyway... I am a provisional license holder who has been taking driving lessons for the best part of 2 years. I have lost count of the amount of lessons that I have had already and that is probably a good thing lol. To help me through this I have decided to go out and buy a car to get some extra practice due to the rising cost of driving lessons etc. I was all ready to get a car until I went to the opticians for a routine eye examination. My problems started on 14/1/2013 when I went to Specsavers. When looking in my drawer a month previous I came across an old letter from my last hospital check up which said "examination of the Fundi was difficult on the right disc due to Nystagmus but the left disc looked fine." - It also said that I have "good occular eye movements". I thought nothing of the letter until i went to Specsavers then I suddenly asked what is a Nystagmus? she explained what it was and I (probably stupidly) told her about the letter. Her reply was that I needed to declare this to the DVLA as it is classed by them as a Notifiable condition - which meant that I could be fined and my insurance void if I didn't. Thinking this was going to be just a quick - Yeah your fine sort of job I printed off a V1 form and sent it in the post. I received a reply on 26/1/2013 saying they have written to my doctor for more information. This was disappointing to say the least as I am still waiting to get my little car to finish my learning. I immediately made an appointment with my doctor to hopefully speed things up. While I was at the doctors surgery she said a letter from DVLA has come through and that it will be replied to now (presumably by other staff at the NHS). On 16/2/2013 (exactly three weeks later) I telephoned the DVLA to find out what was happening. Someone on the phone said that the DVLA have received my doctors letter and that they will send me a letter soon. Today being 25/2/2013 I received a reply from the DVLA!! This time it says that "we have now received medical information which has now been passed to the medical advisor for further advice. This could take up to 8 weeks" The thing is I don't want to wait another 2 months. If I did it would defeat the whole object and slow my driving down. Judging by what has been said online about the DVLA I don't expect it will be 8 weeks, I expect 2 months just for them to say I need another appointment, then a further few weeks to make it and more time after just to make the decision about my fitness to drive - Even though I meet the legal requirements after all. Is there anything I can do to speed this stupid process up? Can I still take my practical driving test while waiting for the DVLA to make their decision? (I am obviously a provisional license holder) Additional notes: I have worn eyeglasses for a while now to correct short shortsightedness and have no other eye problems or serious illnesses. I can read a number plate from 20 - 25 meters away without a problem. My friend has congenital Nystagmus and cannot see his computer screen without being really close up. I am not like that and was unaware I even had this silly Nystagmus thing! lol. If you have probably sensed my frustration in this post I apologize as the last letter has only just come about an hour ago. - Thankyou in advance for your replies!
  5. Im really needing some advice n this please! I have been on long term sick leave for almost a year. I have an outstanding amount of holiday accrued (5 weeks) I asked my HR department if i can use the holiday up, and they said they would check if my manager was agreeable to this. He refused, and the reason he gave was that i can take my hoildays once i return to work. ( i am aware that i have a legal right to carry them forward) On the gov.uk website is says that i can choose to use my holiday to cover sickness. Where do i stand legally please? Really just want to know my rights before i speak to my manager about it again tomorrow. I complained to HR, and theyve just sent me an email saying my manager with discuss it with me again tomorrow. Any advise would be really appreciated!
  6. I have had anxiety problems since I was a child of 11 and suffered depression as well since I was 13 ive had a drink problem and ive never held down a full time job for more than 3 months because of my alcohol use ive been sacked more times than I can remember, I have social anxiety so working or mixing with others is a no go for me unless im drunk I dont socialise with anyone, im now 30 have less than a year experiance in any work and a criminal record to boot, atos very kindly lied on my medical and say im fit for work, where can I find a job that I would not have to talk or interact with anyone and be taken on with all the issues I have?
  7. I ordered mine a few months ago, now I can't access it, I take it you can only veiw it for a short period of time. Need to remember to print it off next time.
  8. Very sad news - a truly decent man who helped untold people to find their voice in the most difficult of times. Glad that I had the chance to work alongside him. Farewell friend. J2b
  9. CCWater say that it's an industry standard to not pay any compensation for water replairs that casue stoppags of less than 12 hours. This is way too long. Whereas it may take time to repair a pipe, it is not acceptable on hygiene, hydratiin or customer service grounds. They claim no-one much has complained about this - so tell them your thoughts! And why should we accept that this commodity (which flows freely and falls from the sky) is privatised? Anyone else not impressed by ombudsman and independent customer companies?
  10. I work for a well known agency in a financial organisation, i started in sept 2012 on a 3 month contract which was due to end in jan 2013, mid way through the contract in oct I was given a weeks notice to leave the job because there was "not enough work".......then I was luckily given a new position elsewhere in the company to help with some backlog of work, the agency told me its "long term with no end date" anyway I asked the agency a few times when my contract was due to end as it had end date of jan 2013 and if it was to be renewed.......the agency don't seem to0 happy i have asked the questions about how long i have left or when is the new end date and they asked my team members if they had any concerns about the end date to which they naturally said "no" and my team members told the agency that its only me that has been asking questions about what is the end date, will it be renewed.....etc, when in fact they were asking me the same thing, so i simply asked the agency, who now don't seem too happy with me for asking that question. what i want to know is can the agency take measures against me (make an excuse and let me go.....) for simply asking them several times of the course of a few weeks an indication of the end date and if contract will be renewed, i have just been told its "long term on going" - but that can mean anything, a week, 3 months, a year.......etc worried as i feel the agency or team leader may take action against me in some way simply for asking what was on other peoples minds as well............. i've been offered a job elsewhere which is close to home which is 3 - 6 months long, should i take that or just stay in my present job, which i really really enjoy, the agency are really good towards me as well, just feel that i did nothing wrong in just asking a simple question which is on the minds of lots of people at work and now powers that be may use that against me if you were in my position, would you stay in the job or take the job closer to home?
  11. Hello My claim to repair a damage to my car was approved 6 months ago but for some reasons I could not get the car repaired. I am now looking to get it fixed and ant to know how long is an approved claim valid for? The garage seem to think its no longer valid. any thoughts/
  12. The Benefits Office managed to make a right mess of my claim following the death of my husband in May last year and landed me with £4000 of debt in housing and council tax benefit. That is going to Appeal but at the moment, this is not the (latest) problem. Earlier this year I badly broke my wrist and it hasn't healed properly. Now under a specialist hand hospital. I got a small amount of ESA - £10.65 a week (that plus my late husband's two small pensions took my weekly income to the government's magic figure of £71 per week). I decided to cash in my own pension because no matter how much information they want and get, the Benefits Office seem totally incapable of getting things right, so I decided to come off ESA and look for work. Easier said than done. Anyway, I registered with an agency I used to temp for years ago and to date I have had 2 jobs from them since August. The first was a total disaster. I worked 1 1/2 hours the first day and the computer system had a major crash and all the staff were sent home. Back to the same firm the following week and worked 1 1/2 days this time. More computer problems, no spare terminal so a permanent member of staff had to take over mine and I was sent home. Break of two weeks and I got another temp job, worked 4 days one week and 3 1/2 the next (Bank Holiday plus a hospital appointment for my wrist). I didn't get very much wages from these jobs as you can imagine, even less because I was put on Emergency Tax but at least it got me out of the house! I have been unable to get a job since - there's nothing in anything where I live and due to my age, despite applying for numerous jobs, I seem to be getting passed over all the time. Now the Benefits Office strikes again They wanted details of my pensions (the three total £74 a week) so my housing/council tax benefit can be worked out. I go in with all the information they require, get a receipt for everything I took in which was 4 pay slips, proof of my late husband's pensions and proof of my own pension. I even took in a letter from the specialist hospital explaining what's wrong with my hand/wrist. A few days later I get a letter asking for the same information again. So I rang them up...to be told, and I quote "Well, you must be working. How did you survive over the past few months on £74". I won't say what happened next but I really fell out with the woman on the phone. If the Benefits Office think people can't live on £74, perhaps they would like to tell those in government this. So, while the Benefits Office are being incompetent again, my rent arrears, which I had cleared are now spiralling out of control. I am about to be taken to Court for Repossession. At least our housing department are sympathetic and from what I can gather, they don't like the way the Benefits Office is run either but it doesn't stop their process of repossession. I am worried sick. Had a very interesting conversation with one of the Housing Officers earlier this week. They had notification from the Benefits Office that I am not entitled to ANY housing benefit for the following reason: According to the Benefits Office I am working full-time, have two pensions, therefore I am not entitled to any benefits at all. In reality I have 3 pensions totalling £74.70 per week and I am NOT working AT ALL!!! What does it take to get these stupid people to get things right? Do they deliberately hire incompetents? Luckily I had the counter receipt which I insisted listed every document I had taken in, read it back to the lady in Housing. Even she can't get over their incompetence and said she was going to refer my case to higher up and that they are going to try and get me legal help. My rent is pennies short of £84 a week. I have a gross weekly income of £74.70 a week. Until I can find a job (and I shouldn't even be thinking about working with my wrist the way it is - op pending) plus Council tax on top of that anyone can see that it's an impossibility to survive like this. I'm seriously beginning to think my name is somehow blacklisted with the Benefits Office. While my late husband was lying in a hospital bed dying, he got the runaround from the Benefits Office too which I have no doubt hastened his death, caused him to have another heart attack in hospital. Is there anything I can do to make these people, for once, get it right? Anywhere I can go to get redress, put formal complaint? I really do feel I'm being victimised. Thank you for reading.
  13. after nearly 20 years of smoking the time has come to give it up-7 days now:| not had too many effects eating to make up for no smoking,moods kicked in so decided to get a electric cigarette but put off by the cost,not knowing if they are good or not. brought a disposable one from supermarket cant say i enjoy it too much but seems ok so will do the jump to a refillable one. have anyone of you good people used these electric fags do they work on the long term? have the will power as have to give up due to heath issues which ones if any are any good thanks
  14. hi i have found this site very helpful in the past so let’s hope it continues i am about to enter the confusing world of ppi claiming i have had a good read on claiming back miss sold ppi and some say it's easy and some say it's a long hard slogg lets hope mine's not the latter firstly a abbey loan paid in full with a (consolidated loan) on 02 /2005 i know i was miss sold it because the phone call to abbey stated that if i did not take out ppi from them i probably would not get the loan so if that's not miss selling what is i have the final settlement letter with dates and details is it to late to claim just over 6 years ago ? on the letter it shows a less rebate of payment protection premium of £42 can i still claim for the rest ? Secondly i have found a cpi services contract for ppi for 60 months from 3 / 2004 £1.391 same again the salesman said if you don't take out ppi now you may not get the mortgage i have others i am looking into this is just the start the largest is with the consolidated loan company on 1 /2005 £3250 added to the loan same as the others told i have to have it from them before the loan would be offered so it's the dates i am worried about
  15. Hi guys wasnt really sure where to post this - but as repossession is first up, thought i would start here - got into serious debt a while back - long story on monday i have a review hearing - tho trying to get this moved due to work commitment, but we shall see. My 2nd mortgage company First Plus is after possession as i owe them a fortune, basically 50k in arrears, i have been paying off other debts over the last year and 6 months ago we went to court and agreed to pay £200 a month as a token payment on suspension of any repossession we now have the review coming up and i am still paying off other stuff but will clear in another 6 months - i can up my payment to £300 - (btw the normal payment would be about £500) - in another 6 months time (after clearing 1st mortgage, gas and elec debts) i could pay them £700 - so start to pay off debt. Ok my big questions - is it really worth me fighting for this - as our lives are so crap - just living day to day - i can see no future until im pretty much dead - im in late 40s partner early 50s Would it be better to rent a property and give up on the home - theres a lot of negative equity in the property and i would still have probably £125k of debt once the house was sold, if i was allowed to sell it for a decent price, not a repossession quick sale. If i rented - would i be allowed to rent any property, thinking more of financially - as i have to cater for us 2, a child (tho early 20s) and a very sick mother in law who has everything wrong with her and needs special equipment in bathrooms etc Regarding the remaining debt - should i go for an iva and get some wiped off, or go for bankruptcy - just thinking how this will affect us long term - being late 40s - wont be easy to have another house that would be ours. Sorry its so long, but need to work out our best approach - has anyone else been in this situation, what did u do and has it made u happier? many thanks smithers
  16. :?:can anyone give me any advice about a loan we took out 10 years ago with alliance & leicester. my husband was self employed when he took the loan out we told this to the advisor but we were advised that without ppi we would not get the loan. we wrote to allaiance & leicester(santander)ten weeks ago and have heard nothing from them .tried to ring but once you get through all the different menus it just rings and rings. any advice about what to do next please.
  17. This probably gets asked a lot but I wondered if anyone could tell me how long we are likely too be waiting. I phoned them this morning and was told that they had already received the tribunal decision and that a decision maker needed to look at it and they would send out a form. I dont understand what the point is going through the stress of a tribunal is for if they are going to look at it again ? How long is it likely to take ? With 4 children and christmas just over 6 weeks away I really could do with the money right now.
  18. I'm privately renting a flat and last week my boiler broke leaving me with no hot water and no heating. I let the landlord know on Thursday 1/11/12 and he booked a plumber who came on Monday 5/11/12. The plumber filled out a gas safety certificate and said that the boiler needs a new pressure switch. The landlord says he has ordered the pressure switch and will have it fitted towards the end of next week. Would it be unreasonable to ask to have it done sooner as by then I will have been without either heating or hot water for 2 weeks. I've had to wash by boiling the kettle and filling up the sink but it's getting cold and I have long hair that's very difficult to wash in the sink.
  19. Hi All I won't bore you with all the ins and outs of my situation at the moment, but I was suspended on full pay from my job with a Major International Parcel Carrier on the 9th July of this year. I am suspended for alleged falsifying records and lack of duty. I strongly deny these charges and have responses for all of it. I had my first investigatory meeting on the 11th July and was told I would hear from HR in due course. I then received an email requesting another meeting to be held tomorrow. I have spoken to my Union Rep and taken advice and asked for any questions to be sent to me so that I may consider them and my reply. I have been told by the Manager taking this investigation that she cannot supply the questions as they will be decided on the day. As far as I am concerned I have answered their questions fully and frankly and really do not have anymore to add. Can they do this? I loved my job and the worry is making me ill. I also filed a grievance and this has not been mentioned. My thanks for your help in advance.
  20. Hi all, I'm new to all this so i hope i'm doing this correctly. I have been off work since 10th May, as i had a nervous breakdown from three years of sustatined bullying and discrimination at work. My Occupational Therapist, sent me to HR, who promptly sent me home, pending investigation into my grievance. I have been sending in sick notes since. My grievance was dismissed, however i appealed on grounds that i hadn't been taken seriously, i attended an appeal hearing on 15th August, then another "follow-up" meeting on 14th September, however i haven't heard from them since. is this normal? and when should i expect to hear from them? Thank you in advance
  21. Hi, How long do NatWest hold informaiton about accounts/credit cards, essentially I am looking for information in in 1999. Regards
  22. They are being referred to the CC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19755037
  23. Hi I had to attend the ATOS medical centre for a review. I am currently on ESA in the "support group" due to clinical depression and severe anxiety. I had the review over 4 weeks ago now and am anxious to know of the outcome. The review was a fairly quick affair after I handed over a letter from the the Consultant psychiatrist who is treating me.. In the letter he gave information that I was under his care and would not be fit for work for some months... No mental health questions were asked of me during the ATOS medical.. I am sick with worry now that nearly 5 weeks have passed and I have not been made aware of the outcome of the medical review. Can anyone please help ? Thanks .
  24. Hi Hope someone may have some ideas on this. My husband took out a business loan in around 2003 with HSBC. He had a business account and personal account with them for a few years already. The business got into difficulty at the end of 2004 and he had charge after charge on his business account and overdraft. All the accounts were shut mid 2005 and refered to debt collection solicitors D and G who deal with HSBC the total debt including hundreds of charges was about 20k. We had an agreement to pay 400 a month which was tough but we kept it up. We then went through the process to reclaim bank charges and were eventually awarded (after a fight) close to 5k which was taken off the debt. This didn't include personal or loan charges only the business account ones. We requested to reduce monthly payments which we did to 200 but they were not happy despite us proving our financial difficulty. We kept up with them and didnt miss any but they decided to take us to court to put a charge on our house. We were really unhappy about this as the bank manager at the time of the loan was adamant that as this was an unsecured loan it would never and could never be secured against our property. I was never involved in the business or names but I do jointly own our home. We went to court, argued but the judge just said they could do this and they could have interest. So they added about 6k to the loan overnight! All the charges and more went back on. We had at one point reduced the loan to about 11 or 12k. They still add charges which they cant really explain and despite the fact we still pay monthly years and years on. We now only pay 100 (agreed about a year ago) we somehow now owe them about 21k? My husband contacted them by phone about PPI as he realised that was on the loan too and they wrote offering a meagre 1800. I don't think we should accept it as they will just add it back on as some other charge. We are going to write to them asking for a breakdown of all the charges and a statement showing all the charges. We have repaid thousands and the only original debt was the loan of which over a years worth of payments were made back on before the difficulty. The overdraft was just charge upon charge and there was no money owing on personal account. Do we have a case for them pushing us into more and more hardship with all their charges including PPI? I just think if we don't do something about this it will go on until we are a hundred! Any advice appreciated! Thanks
  25. OK, now this has been going on for well over 2 years now so I doubt I can remember everything that has happened but I'm basically looking if I have anywhere left to go. I had an account with 3 in which I never once used over my monthly allowance - after 18 month (into a 24 month contract) I contact 3 and asked if I could reduce my contact and pay less as I was never anywhere near my monthly allowance. 3 agreeded to lower my bill by £10 a month if I paid a £5 admin charge - which I agreed to. That month my bill was correctly charged the new balance plus the £5 admin fee (which came to £25). The next month however I was also charged £25 which I could not understand and presumed that they had accidentally charged me twice for the downgrade. I contacted 3 but the man was very rude and insisted that there was no mistake. I was left with no choice but to make a complaint to 3. I tried to follow 3's complaint procedure - however 40 days after complaining I had heard nothing - I hadn't even been given a complaint number. As a method of last resort I contacted the CEO direct. 20 days went by and I was finally sent a letter from the CEO that simply said the complaints team were looking into it. After waiting a further 20 days from that letter and still having no reply I went to the ombudsman. My complaint to the Ombudsman was that 3 had charged me twice for a service and that they had failed to acknowledge my complaint after 80 days. The Ombudsman - presumably being swamped with complaints about mobile companies has taken nearly 18 months to fully review the situation. The first reply I had from the Ombudsman was that 3 claimed that they had replied to my complaint and they the charge was for calls made outside my normal allowance. My reply was that I had had no reply to my complaint from 3, and that I could provide myemail chain where every 3 days I contacted them to see if they had done anything yet. I also pointed out that I never made any calls outside my allowance and I only had the phone for incoming calls and the internet (I had an all you can eat internet package). I asked for proof of any contact 3 had had with me so I could dispute it and a record of calls I was supposed to have made. The second reply I had from the Ombudsman was that they believed that 3 had replied (still I was given no proof dispite my proof that I was constantly asking for a reply) and a bill that showed a call to an 0845 number that turned out to be my local bank branch telephone number ( I presume 3 used this as they know the bank I banked with and my local address) I replied to the Ombudsman asking how they can know that 3 had replied when they were unable to send proof yet I was able to provide proof that I was constanly asking for a reply - something I obviously wouldn't do if I had had a reply. I also pointed out that I would never call my local bank branch as it would be cheaper to call the 0800 freephone head office number, and even if I had had need to call my branch direct I would not call the local branch as my account is actually held in a city at the other end of the county (as the account is still from when I was a student) - I also pointed out the unlikely fact that - for the very first time in 18 month of having a contact - I would make exactlly £5 worth of calls the month after I reduced my bill. the final responce from the Ombudsman is that they still believe that Three did respond to my complaint (despite the fact that they are unable to provide any proof) and that 3 have provided a bill showing the charge of the phone call (because as we all know it's impossible to fake a bill) and they they will not look at the matter further and their view is I should pay the full cancellation fee - I should have pointed out that after they failed to reply to my complaint I cancelled my contract. So now I am wondeing what more I can do - the ombudsman has ruled against me but doesn't actually appear to have listend to any of the points I have made and their investigation seems to have boiled down to nothing more than asking 3 if they did something and then taking their word for it. Can I take the matter any further - is there such a thing as an Ombudsman Ombudsman? Am I intitled to copies of the Ombudsmans contact with 3 as I do not feel this was investigated properly. Any help people can give will be much appreciated - I'm now going to pay the fee, as I can't claim it is disputed any more (having had a 3rd party say it was valid) but I'd like to claim it back or get it refunded and continue the fight if possible.
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