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Found 184 results

  1. my friend cancelled his JSA claim today and has appointment booked with his ingeus advisor tomorrow, he has asked me if he can still get sanctioned for not attending as he is switching from JSA to ESA? sorry to keep going on but he keeps asking me.
  2. Predatory mortgage support boss disqualified by the courts READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/predatory-mortgage-support-boss-disqualified-by-the-courts
  3. I can't get into contact with anyone at the TSB, not by phone, not by email. I was offended by a security guard at my local TSB branch (Aberdeen). I am trying to make a complaint but not getting anywhere. I tried to contact them by phone. The local branch don't pick up and I get an answering machine telling me to call back. The UK telephone line is an automated machine which asks me for my account number and sort code, which I can type in. Then it asks me for my "security number" or some such and I don't HAVE a security number. So I can't get anywhere with that. I made an online complaint and I get an auto-response only Blah, blah, blah. I'm a graduate scientist with all my faculties so if I can't get through to the TSB, goodness knows how anyone else manages.
  4. I have just received my renewal form for ESA. I have been in the support group from the start. Originally claim was based on my depression and severe anxiety. I cannot remember how long since my last assessment but it must be over 5 years+. Since that time my physical health as gone down and I now have emphysema/COPD and severe osteoarthritis. I had one face to face at the beginning and it as all been paper based since then. I have made a "right of access" request for my records. My first question is this the same as a subject access request? Where I get all information about me ie written, digital etc. Secondly will it be useful to know why I was given it last time. Also can their own evidence ie assessments etc be used as nothing as really changed mentally and I have lots of evidence of physical problems.
  5. I work casual hours, and my partner claims income support to top up the wages, some weeks I don't work. Over the last 12 weeks I've worked out that my average wage is £40.15, I did this by adding all my wages together and dividing by 12, hopefully this is right. I have sent my wage slips in. We are told that only entitled to £42.20 a week, we went on turntous and this told us we should get £53.45 per week, but have been told this is wrong as they only disregard the first £10 for couples, but we were told £20 last time as my partner is a carer, any ideas please i'm lost and looked it up and told loads of different things, and they just saying its £42.20, and to top it off they suspended it as they didn't request the wage slips an forgot to ask for them (even though we send them every 6 weeks)
  6. New pocket guide for troops to access mental health support READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-pocket-guide-for-troops-to-access-mental-health-support
  7. Grenfell Tower fire: support for people affected READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/grenfell-tower-fire-june-2017-support-for-people-affected
  8. New guidance to support staff engagement during insolvencies READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-guidance-to-support-staff-engagement-during-insolvencies
  9. MOD launches biggest ever mental health awareness week with new confidential support for personnel on operations READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/mod-launches-biggest-ever-mental-health-awareness-week-with-new-confidential-support-for-personnel-on-operations
  10. Government announces Tech Fund to support disabled people and their employers READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-tech-fund-to-support-disabled-people-and-their-employers
  11. Government announces Tech Fund to support disabled people and their employers READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-tech-fund-to-support-disabled-people-and-their-employers
  12. I was on income based ESA in the support group. I just got a letter today, 29 Mar 2018, dated 23 Mar 2018 that my ESA will be cancelled from 27 Mar 2018. Reason: You have not paid or been credited with enough National Insurance Contributions. We have based the tax years ending 5 April 2011 and 5 April 2012 to assess your claim. What confused me is that I was claiming JSA all through those tax years. I thought JSA credited NI payments? Also, in the same letter it says: We will still credit you with National Insurance contributions while claiming Employment and Support Allowance. So, I am confused. How can I run out of NI payments on income based ESA in the support group? There are absolutely no instructions what to do next. They cancelled my ESA 2 days before I received the letter so I have absolutely no income provision. What are my options? Will my housing benefit be cancelled and I am made homeless again?
  13. Housing support for young people READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/housing-support-for-young-people
  14. Hello, My mom has just received a letter from Atos asking her to telephone to arrange a medical (within 2 days of receipt of letter). Now my mom is in no state to be calling them, we are dealing here with severe mental health issues and she doesnt speak to anyone, she doesnt even know we have a letter! She has recently been referred to the Mental Health Team and we are awaiting contact from them. When the questionnaire arrived, a local agency helped me complete the form on my mom's behalf and they said she will need a home visit if a medical is needed. The Job Centre recently wrote regarding a 'back to work' meeting, I called them and explained the situ and they called me on the day of my mom's appointment and I explained to them that my mom could not speak with them, they were great and said they would do the same thing next time they needed another one of these meetings. y worry now is, how do I handle the telephone call when I ring Atos, any suggestions. I notice on another thread that maybe I should have enclosed a letter with my mom's questionnaire asking for details of the 'qualified healthcare professional' who is assessing my mothers questionnaire. Any help is greatfully received.
  15. Hello. New to the forums and have been browsing the internet to find a decent support forum and ended up here. After being made redundant last year (I am a van driver) I fell ill with Vertigo which is extremely debilitating and although various tests have come back clear (MRI etc) the Doctors are unsure as to what the problem is although my consultant believes it is either Menieres Disease or Migraine Assisted Vertigo. The only test they can do to find out what the problem is is invasive and can by all accounts damage your hearing and being partially deaf anyway I am unwilling to take that risk. Not long after the vertigo began I also started to experience severe Insomnia to the point that I would not be getting any sleep at all. Again various tests have been performed and after lengthy waits I have finally been cleared of Sleep Apnoea which was the first port of call. Again my consultant is not sure as to what is going on so I am back to square one with getting a diagnosis. I am on long term sleeping tablets for the Insomnia and whilst they do knock me out from time to time I have extreme daytime fatigue and headaches on top of the Vertigo. The consultant believes that this is a combination of the tablets (drowsiness side effects) and the fact that I have not slept naturally for 6 odd months. So a bit of a quandary considering I get no sleep without the tablets but I am still exhausted taking them!! My Vertigo attacks have diminished to an extent but that is down to the fact that my horizontal balance mechanism is basically gone and it will take some time to repair if at all. This leaves me in a state where every movement I make, when I walk, everything in front of my eyes wobbles. It's as though I am not looking through my own eyes but a film camera being held by a cameraman moving. When an attack happens I get no warning. Everything just spins and all I can do is sit down and wait it out. Not long after my vertigo started and whilst I was awaiting a GP appointment I went to two interviews to get back into work. At the first I had a vertigo attack and was bouncing off the walls as I was led to the interview room. Needless to say the interview didn't last long! The second I was honest about my condition and was turned down immediately for the job. The interviewer said that I couldn't be employed due to my vertigo because of a Health and Safety issue. Basically he argued that if I had an attack and fell down the stairs who would be at fault, me for taking the job aware of my restrictions or the company for employing me?! I could see his point considering a health and safety lawsuit was not particularly appealing to him. And it throws in an interesting legal question on what legal risks the DWP are taking by forcing people declared "not fit to work" back into work. It was after this that I was signed off as unfit for work by my Doctor and I have fit notes ongoing since October. I claimed both ESA and PIP after advice and was awarded ESA at the starting rate. I was turned down for PIP after a medical assessment. Last week I received a letter stating I was to attend a Work Focused Interview at the Job Centre. After looking up advice I rang the DWP and explained that nothing had changed since a first "chat" at the Job Centre back in January and did that mean I had to attend the latest meeting. I was told it was voluntary and it would not affect my benefit if I did not attend. So I didn't. This week I have received a letter now informing me that I have to attend a medical assessment for ESA. I assume that this would have come through regardless as to whether I had attended the Work Focused Interview or not? The thing that concerns me is that from what I have read the medical assessments for both PIP and ESA seem very similar and if you can dress yourself, get out of bed unaided and make yourself a sandwich you seem to be deemed fit to work?! It doesn't seem to take into account the massive difference between being able to look after yourself to performing a full time job and also does not take into account the fact that if I am honest at any interviews the chances that someone would employ me at this present time are slim to say the least. Certainly my usual occupation of driving a van will be somewhat difficult to achieve if the road ahead of me constantly wobbles or disappears into a merry go round like spin!! That's not taking into account that I would also be driving a van on zero hours sleep!! So if I can walk 200 metres (although not currently in a straight line) or do my shoe laces up (whilst trying not to fall over) are deemed not severe enough then I assume I will score 0 points like many others and lose my benefit? Then from what I have read you have to then claim JSA although with not much in the way of work in the last 10 months or so I doubt I will qualify for contributions based. But despite being continuously being signed off work by my GP does applying for JSA actually mean that you are now declaring yourself fit for work not taking into account the fact that I am pretty much unemployable right now!! Does this then mean you leave yourself open to an interesting legal predicament? I hasten to add here that I do not want to be on benefits. I want to be back at work but if I am unemployable ESA is my only option and if I lose that I have no idea what I am going to do. I really don't know what to do at the moment and was wondering if anyone had been in a similar situation and how they dealt with it and what they did? Thank you.
  16. Devon County County (16 017 119) Decision date: 17th August 2017. Published on the LGO website: 17th November 2017 Vulnerability and bailiff enforcement is a subject that is of great importance and sadly, it is a subject that is very much misunderstood. The LGO have made a number of decisions regarding the 'definition' of vulnerability and the following case is another one where the LGO confirm that a 'vulnerable' debtor must provide evidence to demonstrate how their vulnerability affects their ability to deal with the debt. PS: The following is a shortened copy of the decision. A full copy can be accessed from the link at the foot of the post. Background: (9) Mr B has received 5 penalty charge notices (PCN) for parking offences since 2014. A parking enforcement officer placed two on the car and Mr B received three through the post. On the telephone, Mr B told me that he did not take account of parking laws as he believes there is a law from the year 1600 that means he can’t be fined and so can park anywhere. (16) The Council has said that Mr B first used the words’ vulnerable’ about his wife and him both having Blue Badges on 3 December 2015. (17) The Council said it advised Mr B on 5 July to contact the bailiffs for them to consider his ‘vulnerability’ and for him to provide them with whatever evidence they need to confirm his status as vulnerable. The Council advised Mr B that if the bailiff did deem his to be a vulnerable household the Council would withdraw the warrant and cease activity. (18) The Council said Mr B did not supply the bailiffs with supporting evidence. It has said the blue badge issued to Mr B, shows they have met the criteria of limited mobility to have a blue badge issued but may not necessarily be vulnerable. (19) The Council says that Mr B thinks that his vulnerability means that he is exempt from paying these fines. The Council says it disagrees with Mr B’s interpretation. It considers he is still liable to pay these fines, but any vulnerability means the Council has to consider extra discretion over how these fines are paid, e.g. deferring payment periods, accepting lower instalments until debts paid. (20) The Council has asked Mr B to provide supporting written evidence of his ‘vulnerability’ for it to find out if there are other conditions from which he suffers that may fit his interpretation of vulnerability, e.g. Mental health, depression, post- traumatic stress, at risk of self-harm, inability to understand and engage with the process. The Council says that if Mr B does meet any of these criteria, then it may withdraw the warrants and close the cases. Mr B has not provided supporting evidence. Analysis from the Local Government Ombudsman: (23) Mr B complained a business centre issued the warrants rather than a court and so were invalid. The TEC is the court appointed by the Secretary of State and the Department of Transport to deal with registration of debts arising from penalty charge notices. I can find no fault on this point. (24) Mr B complains the bailiffs did not have the correct warrants. The Council has said the court sends the warrants electronically and so there are no paper copies. For completeness, I will ask the Council to send me its electronic records showing the warrants but I can see no evidence of fault on this point. (25) Mr B believes that under the Taking Control of Goods National Standards 2010, (updated 2015) as soon as he told the bailiff company finds out he is vulnerable (with no explanation) they have to withdraw. He believes that he does not need to provide details of his details of his vulnerability; it is then the Council’s job to prove he isn’t. (26) The Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013, part 2, regulation 10 set out the circumstances in which an enforcement agent may not take control of goods. It says an enforcement agent may not take control of goods of a debtor where a child or vulnerable person is the only person present. The legislation does not give any further guidance about how a vulnerable person is defined. (27) Mr B told the Council he was a vulnerable person. However, he has not explained why he considers he is vulnerable. He considers that it is the Council’s job to prove he is not. (28) It cannot be right that a person can say they are vulnerable and all outstanding debts are written off without them giving further information. If this was the case, then there would be no way for the Council to enforce any debt collection as anybody could claim vulnerability without evidence. I do consider it reasonable for Mr B to explain why he considers himself to be vulnerable. (29) In any case, a vulnerable person still has to pay the fines, but any vulnerability means the Council has to consider extra discretion over how the debtor pays the fines, e.g. deferring payment periods or accepting lower instalments. It should also allow the vulnerable person time to get help and advice. (30) I have found no fault in the Council’s actions. The Council gave Mr B the opportunity to appeal the PCN’s and to appeal to the court. No further recovery action has been taken once he told the bailiffs and Council he is vulnerable. However, I do consider it reasonable for him to give details of his vulnerability if he wants the Council to consider removing the warrants. http://www.lgo.org.uk/decisions/transport-and-highways/parking-and-other-penalties/16-017-119
  17. Hi When I was at university as a single mum, I claimed income support, which you're entitled to do. This was back in 2001-2004! The DWP have contacted me a couple of times over the years saying I fraudulently claimed and didn't declare I was a student. I absolutely did and in any case I would've still been allowed to get income support. They have now written to me to say they have asked my employer to commence deductions from my earnings. The debt is over £11,000! My understanding is that a debt becomes statute barred after 6 years so are they allowed to take this form of action? Ive appealed their decision twice over the years and they've dismissed it, the last time they didn't even look in to it, my bet is because they don't have the paperwork anymore!? I dont actually owe them anything, it clearly says in law that you can claim income support if a student and a single parent so I don't understand it! Can anyone help? Thanks
  18. Hi. For the last 3 years, I've been the carer for my wife. Through unemployment, we have a joint ESA claim. Due to unemployment, I had the spare time to look after her, and did as I imagine any partner would do. The claim is in my wife's name, we get £280 a fortnight, as she was last put in the work related group, although her advisor believes she should be in support... But we need to wait for the next medical, and the people doing that have previously failed her 3 times with 0 points, before we went to court each time and they found she should have scored between 10 and 16. Anywhooo, it's a struggle. We recently had a friend, who was also on ESA. She lives alone, but has a partner. She got put in support group, and got enhanced disability, despite being far more capable than my wife of working. She gets £140 for that a fortnight, and gets a total of more than £100 than us. We asked at the CAB about what help the was for us, to see if my wife was entitled to more help and we were told to apply for enhanced disability and carers allowance. We did this 4 weeks ago (told it will take 9 for carers allowance to be checked). Enhanced disability, I phoned them for a time frame, and got told flat out that my wife was entitled to nothing. Because I'm not getting PIP (my wife does) as I'm her partner, and look after her, she is entitled to nothing. So I asked for their advice on what to do, to which he said don't bother with carers allowance. Because of I get it, at £62 a week, they will deduct £124 a fortnight from my wife so we end up with no difference, just a load of hassle? Is this true? I knew some of the £62 would be taken, but I thought you got an extra £30-something as a carers premium? So you do actually end up slightly better off? It's confused me now, and I don't know if it's with just cancelling it, to avoid the hassle of the benefit being split, deducted, etc. From what the disability premium guy said, it sounds like being in a relationship is a punishment, especially if you choose to be your partner's carer If it does work out better for us though, how much is back pay entitlement? It'll be 10 weeks from claim date by the time it is awarded, if we get it, but can it go further? We're a bit annoyed really, because our advisor knows I've been my wife's carer for 3 years, and not once has she mentioned the extra help we could get, that apparently we should have been able to request all that time ago
  19. Did not pay NI conts in 14/15 and 15/16 as I was below lower earnings limit. I am now unable to work due to a health condition. If I opt to pay the contributions for both these tax years is it likely I will then satisfy both of the contribution conditions for an award (I know I am not entitled to income based as my partner works). The second condition is really confusing me!!! The guidance online says:- You qualify for contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you have paid sufficient National Insurance contributions. There are two contribution conditions you must meet: First contribution condition - in one of the last two complete tax years, you must have paid Class 1 or 2 contributions on relevant earnings at the lower earnings limit for at least*26 weeks. This means you must have worked for at least 26 weeks of the last two complete tax years; and Second contribution condition - in both of the last two complete tax years, you must have paid or been credited with, Class 1 or 2 contributions to the value of 50 times the lower earnings limit. Anybody?? Please
  20. Hi, My partner and I are considering moving in together. I am currently on Income support as I am a carer. He is currently on Income support as a single parent to a 1 year old. If we moved in together, could we claim Income support as a couple or would he be expected to change to JSA or something else?? Thank
  21. Make a donation to support members of the armed forces READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/donations-to-support-members-of-the-armed-forces
  22. Hi everyone, I've been on ESA in the Support Group for the past 2 years and today i received a capability for work questionnaire through the most that has to be returned within a month. I am just wondering how long after you send the questionnaire back do you hear back from them with a possible face to face assessment date and do you still receive your normal payments while this process is going on?
  23. Hi guys, Story goes, Back in December 2016 I called up the body which were dealing with the transaction move from CSA to the the 'Child Maintenance Service' questions, what they told me then led me to call the CSA From 21 Oct 2015 I was officially out of the UK and not contributing to the Tax system as I was now working in Denmark. I was still paying the same assessed money as I was told to until I called up about the above proceeding move between the 2 companies. The agent from the CSA told me because I was now working out of the UK and getting paid from Guernsey there would be a NIL assessment because they could not assess what payments I should making. So in theory I was still paying their calculation for around 14 months, which I didn't need to do, but this doesn't bother me, I was still contributing to my child and taking the responsible thing to do. Now during all these years I have always, when calling CSA, asked them to clearly check and confirm what I was paying was correct and everything was up to date, I never missed one payment and always kept to the agreed standing order for all the years. I also received a few statements of what I had paid and my future payments dates. There was a time previous that they did an assessment on me as I returned back into the UK a good few years ago and I had arrears to pay off which I did at £410 and then once they were paid off I then started to pay £310. This was all calculated out for me and I have the documents in my folder of all the breakdowns and payment structure When I called up in December she told me that as of December I would not have to pay anything due to the Nil assessment (working in DK) but I told her I would still like to keep paying, which I am doing straight into her account, the mother agreed and sent her bank details to the CSA which were then fwd onto me, payments are still going smooth. (I also have a letter from the Child Support which stating I am due £0.00 from December) Until yesterday, I came home to a letter from the CSA demanding over £1000, they state in the letter (attached) "we transferred the money to the Secretary of State, rather than the parent with care" Has anyone else experienced this and due to their blunder (I presume), they don't even send a break down of where this money is due from dates etc, it's like someone coming to my front door and saying, "Sorry buy you're due me £1000, pay up now!" Please can anyone help? I'm thinking of writing a letter back explaining all the conversations I had with previous agents asking for a confirmation of balance and the fact I have have it in B&W I was due £0 from December, how can they now go back? I am also thinking of visiting my Solicitor regarding this, just mad that this should have all been taken care of CSA just makes my head boil !! CSA DEMAND 2.pdf
  24. Hi CAG, Just looking for a quick bit of info. Was placed in ESA Support Group for 2 years from Feb 15 - Feb 17. Obviously we are beyond that date so I'm waiting to hear something any day now. I go away for 10 nights on May 15th (First Holiday in around 10 years) wondering what to do if they throw something in my letter box asking for a re-assessment while I'm set to be away? Am I entitled to go away while I'm in the ESA Support Group and should I inform somebody that I have chosen to do so? Anybody got any idea how long I may be waiting to hear from then as we are now over the 2 recomendded years since I was placed. Thank you in advance for any input, Adam
  25. Do you think DWP still have my records of income support that i claimed 2011-2013? There is some information that i need and i'm hoping they still have the details. Thank you.
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