Jump to content


Lady Python

Benefits Office - Nightmare (Long)

style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 2521 days.

If you are trying to post a different story then you should start your own new thread. Posting on this thread is likely to mean that you won't get the help and advice that you need.

If you are trying to post information which is relevant to the story in this thread then please flag it up to the site team and they will allow you to post.

Thank you

Recommended Posts

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 :mad2:

 

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Another Spartacus

I'm not qualified to comment.

 

I just wanted to say how much I admire how you are managing to cope, monetery and health wise.

 

If that would have been me I would have 'lost it' months ago.

 

Go girl

 

I hope someone comes along who can give you the information that you need.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not qualified to comment.

 

I just wanted to say how much I admire how you are managing to cope, monetery and health wise.

 

If that would have been me I would have 'lost it' months ago.

 

Go girl

 

I hope someone comes along who can give you the information that you need.

 

I am beginning to lose it now though. I eat one meal a day which I cook from scratch (I'm lucky in that I'm a good cook). I shop in the cheapest places and hunt out the bargains. I don't go out. The highlight of my year was going to a friend and neighbour's Halloween party. I don't even drink. My pet cats and dog are on the cheapest food I can find. Of course, in the government's wicked eyes, I shouldn't have any pets. I'm a widow and I'm treated with contempt. Not every widow (or widower) is left wealthy by their late spouses. Mine was hopeless with money, refused to take out personal insurance even though, going back to 2004 the writing was on the wall. He was, at times a very selfish man. By not doing so, he's left me in a horrendous situation. The times I paid off his debt. The rent arrears I recently cleared thanks to a small lump sum I got when I cashed in my pension, was his. I paid off that arrears but left myself skint again. I had hoped to find a job which would have been the answer to everything. That has not been forthcoming despite me trying everything I can think of. Registered with numerous agencies (which are a waste of space and time - one in particular only seems interested in peddling their very expensive courses for paper qualifications - I'm sure most reading this know who that is).

 

My son is a renal patient. He missed most of his schooling and important exams because he was mostly in hospital. He had a transplant a few years ago and had to attend ATOS earlier this year. They took him off Income Support and put him on JSA. He is now on a work programme which he is enjoying and getting the qualifications he needs to get a job. He's sailing through every exam with flying colours. He is very, very intelligent. They've put him forward for jobs too but so far nothing. Who wants a 26 year old, very intelligent, very articulate and pleasant young man who's had a kidney transplant. Big drawback - he has no experience. Catch 22. Employers want experience. Someone PLEASE give him a chance. He'd be an asset to anyone's company, and he's very healthy now too, would only need one afternoon off every 3 months for his hospital check-up.

 

What galls me is I worked for 35 years full-time. Paid all my taxes and NI yet, when I need genuine help, I don't get it. It's as if somehow I'm seen as a leper. I haven't done anything wrong. I've only looked after my son when he was desperately ill, looked after my husband when he was desperately ill and dying. I didn't claim any benefits although I would have been entitled to carers' allowance for my son for a while - until they decided to stop his DLA when he turned 18. I may add my son is also partially deaf.

 

What have I done that's so wrong to deserve being treated this way? I've never been in any kind of trouble in my life. Never harmed anyone. Always worked to pay my way.

 

And, I'm sure there are thousands of others in the same boat as me. I have lost faith and hope. I am holding on by a fingertip - and that is slipping away now. I have contemplated ending it all but I don't have the guts to do it.

 

Where do I go from here? I've been through so much heartbreak over the past few years, yet this govenrment and their incompetents seem determined to grind me into the gutter, onto the streets.

 

Why? I have done nothing wrong :sad:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you have done nothing wrong hang in there...what part of country do you live in?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sorry just saw it wiltshire...difficult area to get jobs....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
sorry just saw it wiltshire...difficult area to get jobs....

 

Yet, not so long ago this was a bustling, busy little town. Now, most commercial buildings are lying boarded up and empty but go just 15 miles out of here and there are a lot of jobs in various fields. Some are minimum working wage but even that and with my pensions, if I couldn't manage on that, there'd be something wrong.

 

Employers are not coming here and I'll tell you the reason why. The council, for years has charged far too much in business rents and rates plus the infrastructure of the town is non-existent thanks to the previous council's airy-fairy plans to decimate the town centre, then rebuild it with a faceless concrete structure that no-one wanted. The many shops, most family owned and run for generations decided enough was enough and gave up. Enter the cheap tat shops and very soon the town centre was reduced to nothing. They did away with the pretty floral hanging baskets that used to adorn the town centre under the guise of 'elf & safety - might fall on someone's head and turned the town centre into a grey, drab, miserable place. They hated the motorist with a vengeance so got rid of one of the biggest car parks in town and whacked up the parking charges on the rest - then whined that no-one was doing any shopping here. The proposed new shopping mall died a death when the company that was supposed to build it went bust. The new Tory council hasn't done anything to encourage businesses to come here, following the same old same old as the last Labour council, instead of lowering the business rents and rates about to spend £thousands putting in a 4G system which anyone knows is very expensive to use and run.

 

That is why there is no work here. At a rough guess, I would say 1 in 4 people are unemployed here. Those that are employed are often working part-time for minimum working wage.

 

I have even looked at going back to my home town of Aberdeen and had a look last night to see if the agencies I used to work for are still in existence up there. Only one is and according to my brother, there is very little work there either even with the remains of the oil industry. On top of that, there are no houses.

 

I have racked my brains until my head hurts trying to find a solution to my problems.

 

I got another letter from the Council today saying that they want to help with rent problems etc. I will be phoning them on Monday to ask for an appointment. I have to go in an give the benefits office the same information yet again so will do both at the same time. I will ask the lady from housing to accompany me so she can see for herself that I am complying with everything that's been asked of me but I have to ask the question, how many times do the benefits office need to see the same information? No doubt they'll then ask to see my bank statements, then ask to see them again.

 

The whole system is an expensive mess but no surprise there since it's Capita that runs just about everything government. Why, has one company got such a monopoly? Google Capita and see just how many government departments they're running - it's quite shocking. Meanwhile, people like me suffer. It's high time housing and council benefit was taken back under the direct control of the individual councils as it used to be. Maybe then things might start to get sorted out properly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...