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I have been sat down all day trying to work out where do I go to from here.

Then I came across this site and thought, well maybe there is somebody somewhere that can point me in the right direction apart from walking down the middle of the M25!

 

FRIDAY

 

Received three letters.

 

First from Attendance Allowance saying why my wife can't have the benefit and enclosing copies of the claim form and evidence they used. It seems the GP has put 'not known' on all or most of the sections.

To be honest I have to agree with them on that. They might know what she suffers from but certainly don't know it affects her in her life.

So, no point in going any further I suppose.

 

Second from DLA for myself which is more or less an exact copy of my wife's letter. Again GP, says 'not known'.

So I put that away with my wife's. No one can vouch for either of us to be honest. I understand why they need someone to vouch for us, but no one can. I already get the lower rate for care, but felt that I should have the middle rate for care and at least the lower rate of mobility. My current DLA has been in payment for over 10 years. I know I should have told them of the deterioration earlier, but was just too frightened.

 

Third, well this is a saga. Have been waiting 19 months for the Pension Service to sort out our claim.

End result is that a couple of weeks ago I had a letter saying the claim is now closed because we have failed to supply information.

Our bank have had numerous forms from us asking them to tell the DWP about our mortgage. The DWP, say that they have not received the information. I was told that it was my responsibility to provide this information from the bank. Anyhow, I find out from the bank that they have sent them to the DWP. I then ring the DWP who then say they have found them, but nothing more can happen as the case is closed.

Then this letter came on Friday saying that they will not re-open the case as it was our responsibility to ensure that they had the details of the mortgage. Because the informatiion has only now come to light, it is too late and we should have telephoned the DWP more to ensure things were sorted.

They give me the option to appeal. I have spoken with them today and they said that if I appeal, I can't put in a new claim until the appeal goes one way or the other. I asked what would happen if it took 12 months to settle the appeal, I couldn't make a fresh claim in the meantime. We needed the backdated housing payments to repay our debts having paid the mortgage on our credit cards for the past 19 months.

I have put that letter with the other two and said goodbye to the Pension Credit.

 

Not a bad weekend, and hoping for a better Monday than Friday was.

 

MONDAY

So this morning I get a letter from the DWP telling me that they are going to take nearly a third of my ESA off me to repay a debt from 1985

They have been taking a 1/3 of my DLA for the past 10 years - now they want a 1/3 of my ESA

Rang them, they said I can't appeal.

 

So there we are - totally pi**ed off and suicidal.

 

As two old age pensioners (62 & 67) we are now having to live off

 

My wife's OAP £56.66 pw

ESA £62.44 pw

DLA £12.63 pw

 

Our mortgage is £330 pm!

 

Our capital is now down to under £1000 because we have been paying the mortage, bills etc with it and using the credit cards which are all maxed out now.

Neither of us can get about much for one reason or another. I need a good diet because of the diabetes.

 

I asked the DWP (Debt Coolection) how we are supposed to manage. Their reply, 'That is for you to sort out'

 

We are winding each other up at the moment, my wife is frightened she will lose her home, I'm going round blaming everybody except me!

 

I just haven't got the energy to deal with all these problems. Filling in the two benefit forms nearly put me in bed!

So if anybody says to appeal, I have to say that that is just not possible. Besides which, there is no one to vouch for us anyhow.

 

As for putting in a new Pension Credit claim, I hav elost all faith in the DWP to do the right thing.

As regards the debt, what can I say, I owe it and have to suffer the consequences.

They also said that I had a debt from Incapacity Benefit from 2002. I was working from 2000 onwards and didn't claim for Incapacity Benefit. Where that has come from I don't know.

 

Finally, I have thought about going to the CAB, but rang them this afternoon and it can be weeks before anybody can see us. Weeks that we don't have!

 

Being serious, I have enough medication in my cupboard to kill 10 horses. It would be so easy to make a cup of tea for my wife and myself and it will all be over - peaceful, just like going to sleep.

 

Having got to the end of this posting, looking back it looks more like a ramble and just to get it off my chest than a question.

 

I am sorry if it comes over that way, it is just that I am writing it as I feel.

Edited by achvour
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Hello and welcome to the forum. You poor things.

 

You've come to the right place and I'm sure people here who are in the know about the system will be able to advise you about appealing. Bear with us for a little while please, as some of them have day jobs and don't seem to be around right now. I expect you'll have replies this evening.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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why are they taking debt out of DLA? DLA isn't an income and shouldn't be treated as such.

 

I have no idea. The Debt people did say that taking it from DLA was a last resort, but as that was my only form of benefit they were entitled to take a 1/3.

So I just assumed in 2000 that what they said was correct. How am I supposed to know if it wasn't? Sorry, I didn't mean it to comeout like that, I have had enough!

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OK I'm not Pension Service, DLA or AA trained.

I can only urge you to contact the pensions service by telephone tomorrow and request a home visit. http://www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk/state-pensions/dealing-with-complaints

With regards to the claim being closed after 19 months, that is such a long time to keep a claim open and in fact the computer will automatically close a claim after 90 days (well print a report for the processing manager to remove from the processing section and file as claim not proceeded with/defective claim).

If you can get a home visut they will also be able to address the claims for DLA and AA.

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OK I'm not Pension Service, DLA or AA trained.

I can only urge you to contact the pensions service by telephone tomorrow and request a home visit. With regards to the claim being closed after 19 months, that is such a long time to keep a claim open and in fact the computer will automatically close a claim after 90 days (well print a report for the processing manager to remove from the processing section and file as claim not proceeded with/defective claim).

If you can get a home visut they will also be able to address the claims for DLA and AA.

 

Thankyou

 

When I first started the Pension Credit claim, a gentleman from the local Pension Service office claim out to help fill out the claim form. He came back another two times to collect some evidence. The last time was either the 23rd or 24th December 2009, 24th I think. As far as he was concerned and he told me so, his office had everything to deal with the claim.

 

Since then my bank has failed many times (3 forms and a letter) to tell the DWP about our mortgage. All they do is send back the form uncompleted and unsigned. It is for this reason it seems that the claim went on for so long. They initially said that nothing had been returned but eventually after they had closed the claim last month, they admitted that they did have them back but with no information on them.

 

The Pension Service are blaming me for this as they have said that it is my responsibility to get these forms filled in and to make sure that they are returned to them. Other than physically get the bank manager with his arm up his back to fill out the form I don't see what more I could have done.

 

But they say that the case is closed so all of that is immaterial now. It maybe to them, but it is our money that has been lost.

 

So you are suggesting that I ring them again in Glasgow and ask for another home visit like the first time.

 

I didn't know that they could help with AA or DLA. Nobody told me that when I rang the DLA to ask how to fill the forms out.

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Benefit enquiry line is 0800 882200 this is a designated telephone number for people with disabilities and/or carers. They can also arrange for a home visit to complete the DLA/AA forms.

Yes I honestly recommend contacting the Pensions Service again. I would also try to contact your mortgage provider to enquire why there is such a problem with the completion of the mortgage paperwork required for benefits (assuming its form MI12R) which should be relatively simple for someone to complete for you to enable your claim to be processed. as the pensions service are also aware the mortgage company have been difficult in the form completion you can request backdating too.

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I've been off work for a while, but certainly the mortgage element of pension credit used to be processed separately and didn't used to hold up claims. Whether this has changed or not I don't know. Either way the pension service has been negligent in its processing of your claim.

 

Given the mess with the pension credit, you might want to go to your MP, things tend to move quickly when the MP gets involved.

 

Your story sounds really familiar - have you posted here before?

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Benefit enquiry line is 0800 882200 this is a designated telephone number for people with disabilities and/or carers. They can also arrange for a home visit to complete the DLA/AA forms.

Yes I honestly recommend contacting the Pensions Service again. I would also try to contact your mortgage provider to enquire why there is such a problem with the completion of the mortgage paperwork required for benefits (assuming its form MI12R) which should be relatively simple for someone to complete for you to enable your claim to be processed. as the pensions service are also aware the mortgage company have been difficult in the form completion you can request backdating too.

 

Thankyou

I will contact the Pension Service to get somebody down to help us out. Those were the forms, I remember now MI12 they were, three of them.

Also I will ring that number for help with the AA & DLA claims. I know it won't go anywhere because of the problems we have with our GP.

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I've been off work for a while, but certainly the mortgage element of pension credit used to be processed separately and didn't used to hold up claims. Whether this has changed or not I don't know. Either way the pension service has been negligent in its processing of your claim.

 

Given the mess with the pension credit, you might want to go to your MP, things tend to move quickly when the MP gets involved.

 

Your story sounds really familiar - have you posted here before?

 

Thankyou.

This is what I was told many times also. But they kept on using the excuse that until ALL of the information was in, they would not be prepared to make a partial decision. So I kept on waiting. It made sense to me to put some payment into force but they wouldn't.

So there we are.

Oh I couldn't cope with that sort of trouble - going to the MP.

 

You are right my wife sueP does ask questions on here. I was looking for some answers and then I looked on here and thought I wonder?

 

I didn't want to upset her questions or get her involved in this new problem, she has too much to worry about as it is as we still have the problem with the GP to sort out at the end of this month. I hope you don't mind me coming on here?

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I don't mind - your best option is to go to your MP and get them to intervene.

 

Thankyou for letting me ask the question. I didn't know if it was allowed to have us both on it.

 

Thanks for the offer, but I just couldn't do that, I wouldn't know what to say. And besides which he doesn't know either of us and we didn't vote for him in the election. We wanted the Liberals, but got this new fella in for the Conservatives. I don't agree with what they stand for. Too posh they are.

He looks snooty and doesn't look after people like us working class type.

 

I'll ring the Pension Service again and see what they say, and get hold of the help people on that number. They should know what they are talking about shouldn't they? They work for the DWP.

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Another thing to consider here is that your claim was held up due to the fact that the mortgage company seemed to either refuse or be unable to complete the form MI12R. Have you tried to make a complaint about this to the actual mortgage provider (DWP have 3 incomplete forms from your previous post I believe) and also are they aware of your current circumstances as their incompetence has put you in extreme hardship. You may be able to consider some type of compensatory claim from the mortgage providers.

 

Now as for the overpayments, you need to contact both ESA and DLA to determine exactly where these ohave materialised from and if they are correct and repayable then you need to establish if the two figures could be decucted from one benefit and one only (this should then alter the amount they are reducing your money by so at least you would have more income each week to ease thing here and now.)

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Another thing to consider here is that your claim was held up due to the fact that the mortgage company seemed to either refuse or be unable to complete the form MI12R. Have you tried to make a complaint about this to the actual mortgage provider (DWP have 3 incomplete forms from your previous post I believe) and also are they aware of your current circumstances as their incompetence has put you in extreme hardship. You may be able to consider some type of compensatory claim from the mortgage providers.

 

Now as for the overpayments, you need to contact both ESA and DLA to determine exactly where these ohave materialised from and if they are correct and repayable then you need to establish if the two figures could be decucted from one benefit and one only (this should then alter the amount they are reducing your money by so at least you would have more income each week to ease thing here and now.)

 

Thankyou.

 

Three of these forms were sent to the bank. Nov 09, Mar10 and Sept 10. The Pension Service also sent them a letter asking for the information in Jan 11.

I have now found out that the forms were returned but had been put somewhere but not in my file. In all of the forms, the bank have not filled out the final pages or signed them. They just returned them to the Pension Service as they received them from me. By the time they found these incomplete forms and had a reply from the bank from their letter, the Pension Service had already closed the claim and refuse to reopen it even though they now know what has happened.

 

I have spoken to the bank and they tell me that they are under no obligation whatsoever to fill out these forms. They can, if they wish, refuse to do so. This is what has happened. I told the Pension Service all this, and they even said that they can't make them send the information in. That is when they said that it was my responsibility to ensure that the bank fill them in and that they are received by the Pension service. How I do that I don't know. If I don't get the information to them, they can and do close claims down.

 

I know where one comes from - it goes back to 1985. I have no idea what is outstanding after the deductions over the past 11 years or so from the DLA. There seems to be another from 2002 when they say I was overpaid Incapacity Benefit. I have no idea where that comes from. I have had no letters or anything about that one. I wasn't even claiming that benefit then, I was working!

 

I hav ewritten back to them asking for a breakdown of the debt, how much has been repaid so far and where it all comes from. They have said that they won't put the deductions on hold whilst I wait for this information. So they carry on doing what they want. This is what happened 11 years ago when I questioned the DLA deductions, they just said they are taking 1/3 of my benefit as entitled to do so by law.

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Benefit enquiry line is 0800 882200 this is a designated telephone number for people with disabilities and/or carers. They can also arrange for a home visit to complete the DLA/AA forms.

Yes I honestly recommend contacting the Pensions Service again. I would also try to contact your mortgage provider to enquire why there is such a problem with the completion of the mortgage paperwork required for benefits (assuming its form MI12R) which should be relatively simple for someone to complete for you to enable your claim to be processed. as the pensions service are also aware the mortgage company have been difficult in the form completion you can request backdating too.

 

I promised that I would ring that number. I have. The lady was really nice. First of all she told me that I would be wasting my time putting in anymore Attendance Allowance or DLA claims in as the problem is with the GP! Back to that one again and the wife.

Told me to see the GP and explain the difficulties. So I will leave that part until May. She said that I should ring back after the GP visit and she will send out some more claim forms to fill in. What an exciting thought!!

She then asked what benefits I am on and I told her, she then asked if I had thought about claimingh Pension Credit! Oh yes I have thought about it, tried it and got nowhere. She asked what our income was and she told me that we are missing out on over £60 per week + money for the mortgage. Yes I know I am, but the claim has been closed because I failed to ensure that the forms sent to the bank were not returned by them to the pension Service. She told me to ring the Pension Service and ask for a written explanation why it was closed. I told her I know why, they sent me a letter. OH! she said, so what are you doing now? You are entitled to this money. I know, but I don't know what to do. So I told her that it was best left as it is as I just haven't got the energy to fight anymore. I then told her that I am to ring the Pension Service again now to ask if someone can come out to see me. She said Good Luck!!

 

Then I rang the Pension Service and spoke to a lady who answered the telephone and told her that I need to see someone local to go through the Pension Credit Claim. She said she would send an email to someone about it. I don't hold out much hope on that one as I am still waiting for at least 4 return calls that were promised within 10 working days over the past couple of months. So I'll wait and see what happens.

 

So that is where it is now, and just waiting to see the GP with my wife at the end of this month.

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I'm so sorry that this is happening to you, and I know this may seem an odd idea but have you thought of writing or emailing your local newspaper and telling them what going on? There's nothing like a third party, (be your MP or local rag) to help embarrass an organization and help get things moving.

 

It's worth a try at least. Or even get advice from whatever help the aged call themselves these days?

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Is there no reason why you can't make an appointment in the bank and get the forms done there and then?

 

That is a good idea and in line with my suggestion that I made yesterday to the Pension Credit people. I said that I would put the bank managers arm up his back and force him to complete it.

Wrong I know and would cause more trouble.

 

It's the Woolwich with it's operational HQ in Woolwich South London. They don't have any branches anymore. I would doubt that I could get in there and demand that somebody do something.

Also, when the form leaves me to go to the bank, I am not allowed to touch it or have it after they have filled it in.

 

So, I have to do what everyone else does, rely on the bank to help out by filling the form in and posting it to the Pension Service.

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I'm so sorry that this is happening to you, and I know this may seem an odd idea but have you thought of writing or emailing your local newspaper and telling them what going on? There's nothing like a third party, (be your MP or local rag) to help embarrass an organization and help get things moving.

 

It's worth a try at least. Or even get advice from whatever help the aged call themselves these days?

 

That's a good idea and one that appeals to me, but my wife would not want me to do it. She is a very private person, we both are, and the last thing she would accept from me is to get the newspapers involved with her picture and life story being put through other people's letter boxes.

 

I have spoken to AgeUK if that is what you mean. They can only help out with filling in forms, they don't get involved with legal arguments over benefit entitlement

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Sadly to get help your wife may have to accept that other people will have to be involved. You may have to say to her that If she wants to keep her home drastic measures may have to be undertaken. It's not good I know, but then you seem to be running out of alternatives.

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Just to pick up on the point about lack of support from the GP .. both DLA and AA are "self assessment" benefits and the decision maker's own guides tell them not to place too much emphasis on what is or isn't in a report from a GP. The best a GP can do is confirm diagnosis and what they have seen e.g. you struggling to get up from the chair or the way you walked in the surgery. My GP would have no idea if I could cook a meal or not, we've never discussed it and he's not invited himself round for tea yet! And as for problems during the night .. well the wife might object if I ask my GP to share the bed with us!

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I have talked to a now-ex GP of mine. She said that she doesn't know what my care and mobility needs are and it's not that unusual. Because it's not as I have to see them because I can't manage. (well, I can't manage; but they can't really help me) I tend to see them more for non-disability (ie, short-term illnesses) things.

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Just to pick up on the point about lack of support from the GP .. both DLA and AA are "self assessment" benefits and the decision maker's own guides tell them not to place too much emphasis on what is or isn't in a report from a GP. The best a GP can do is confirm diagnosis and what they have seen e.g. you struggling to get up from the chair or the way you walked in the surgery. My GP would have no idea if I could cook a meal or not, we've never discussed it and he's not invited himself round for tea yet! And as for problems during the night .. well the wife might object if I ask my GP to share the bed with us!

 

Thankyou.

 

That is what I thought they were. But after telephoning that number somebody gave on here - the disabled help line, the lady said it wasn't. Her words were that without a decent report from a GP or other professional which not only confirms the conditions but also confirms our disabilities, needs and abilities/nonabilities, we wont get any further in claiming any disablement benefits. She even said that 'there was no point in sending out any new forms for the AA/DLA claims as they would come back with the same answer - fail'

She told me to see the GP and explain what we can and cannot do in our lives as well as making sure that any future report to the DWP, is strong enough to persuade the Decision Maker involved that he/she had no alternative but to grant the benefit claimed.

 

All of this is now going over my head. So we seem to be back at the GP problem again.

 

I am just about to read Chapter 61 of the Decision Makers Handbook.

I agree that it is for us to show that we need the help, backed up if possible with a GP report, to get to the point of showing that we are entitled to the benefits on the balance of probabilities. Not for us to prove beyond reasonable doubt.

 

As regards the Pension Credit claim, the final answer on that problem is that this same lady confirmed that if a claim has been closed that is the end of the matter. We have two choices, appeal against the closure, or accept the decision and put a new claim in. However if we did appeal, then no new claim could be entertained until it had been decided at a Tribunal hearing. It's a gamble. Do we put in a new claim and lose over £65 per week plus housing costs going back 19 months or appeal. If I win the appeal all of the money will be backdated (I presume) and we will continue to get our entitlement. If we lose, not only will we have lost the 19 months worth of money, but also the money that we could have had right up to the Tribunal date, which may be another 12 months.

As we are entitled to over £65 per week Pension Credit plus our housing costs going back over 19 months. That is something we can't afford to just let go. So I have now sent off the appeal form and will hope that we win at the Tribunal hearing. I just can't bear the thought of losing as that would mean altogether 31 months approx of £65 per week benefit plus housing costs of another £69 per week for up to 31 months. My maths works that out to be over £18,000!!!

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