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    • The talks come weeks after a controversial visit to Taiwan by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.View the full article
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    • In the autumn of 2020, I decided to change energy supplier from British Gas to EDF. This went through with no apparent problem but after approximately two weeks, I received a letter from EDF saying "Sorry you're leaving us". I contacted EDF to say that I was not leaving and was told not to worry about it, that they would resolve it and to carry on with monthly payments to EDF.    Approximately 2 weeks later, I received a text message from EDF to say, "Sorry you're leaving us". I contacted EDF again to say I was not leaving and was again told not to worry and that they would sort it out. Two weeks later I had a third message, "Sorry you're leaving us...". I contacted EDF again, but this time raised a complaint because it was becoming stressful and annoying. I asked them to explain why this kept happening. After some investigation by EDF, I was told that Scottish Power was trying to "erroneously take over" my gas supply. I confirmed that I wanted to remain with EDF and did not want to move to Scottish Power. I was advised to forward any bill sent by Scottish Power to EDF so that they could deal with it, and not pay it. However, I have never received any bill from Scottish Power until July 2022.   I was then contacted again by EDF to say that Scottish Power was trying to take over my supply because my gas meter was registered at my neighbour's address, on the energy suppliers' national database. I requested that EDF change the details for me so that I could remain an EDF customer but was told that only the existing supplier could change the details and that I would have to contact Scottish Power and request that they change the details. I reminded EDF that I had never asked Scottish Power to supply me and that as my current provider, EDF should take on this responsibility, but I was told on a number of occasions that EDF could not do this and that I would have to contact Scottish Power myself.   I have since learned that I should never have been told this. Ofgem states that if a supplier tries to erroneously transfer a supply, the two suppliers involved should communicate with each other to resolve the problem as soon as possible, and not involve the consumer. However, this is where the real problems started. I contacted Scottish Power at least 20 times over the course of 2 months, by email, online chat and telephone and spent a considerable amount of time trying to resolve this issue. The main problem was that Scottish Power refused to discuss it with me because "I did not have an account with Scottish Power". I explained on numerous occasions that I did not want an account with Scottish Power and that I just wanted them to change the location of my gas meter on the national database, but they persistently refused. Scottish Power was generally very poor at contacting me, I was doing most of the running. My neighbour, who is supplied by Scottish Power and has been for many years, said that this has been an issue in the past but Scottish Power has never resolved it. He said that when I asked EDF to take the supply back from Scottish Power, his supply was also erroneously transferred to EDF against his wishes, causing even more problems. During this occasion, Scottish Power compensated my neighbour but still refused to assist me.   I have evidence of some of the correspondence between me and Scottish Power but not all because much was over the phone and on online chat. Each time I contacted Scottish Power a new member of staff dealt with it and so they had to record the same notes each time, considerably lengthening the process. I asked if Scottish Power could allocate someone to own the complaint but because I did not have an account with Scottish Power, this was not an option. After numerous emails to Scottish Power from my neighbour, who was trying to assist with the situation - sending his meter details, my meter details and asking that the database be updated with my address - he was asked to send photos of my meter to Scottish Power. I had already been asked this by Scottish Power and had duly sent them but received no response. My neighbour then forwarded the photos by his email to Scottish Power and they replied asking him to ask me to re-send the photos directly, which I did for a second time. This was the last correspondence I had with Scottish Power about the matter. They did not contact me again.   EDF contacted me to say that they had concluded the matter from their end and requested that they close the complaint, to which I agreed. A meter reader visited sometime after to read both meters and I (naively) assured myself that the details had been changed and that EDF had resumed supply. My bill increased, and my meters were then routinely read by a visiting meter reader every quarter. My last correspondence with Scottish Power was on 9th November 2020, when I emailed the photos of my meter for the second time.   Twenty months later, towards the end of July 2022, I was on holiday with my family. I came home on 13th August to find 6 letters on the doormat from Scottish Power demanding £2134.89 for gas supply. They are addressed to "The Occupier" so they have obviously not referred to my previous correspondence or attempted to ever resolve the initial request to change my details. This is contrary to recommendations made by Ofgem's "Erroneous Transfers" paper produced in 2016. One of the letters even says, "Welcome to your new home" as though they have no knowledge of the correspondence 2 years ago. I have received another bill from Scottish Power today demanding payment and threatening referral to a debt collection agency if it is not paid. The above Ofgem paper states that erroneous takeovers should be dealt with by the two companies concerned and not by the consumer at any stage. But in my case, it has been me doing all the running, all the phoning, emailing, talking online, etc. Neither supplier has really done that much and I believe that EDF should never have told me that I should try and resolve this with Scottish Power; and when I contacted Scottish Power, they should also have taken ownership of the problem jointly with EDF and resolved it directly with EDF.   I have taken legal advice and been advised that as this is a dispute between two energy suppliers rather than between myself and a supplier, it is more appropriate for me to contact both suppliers, summarise past actions undertaken by all parties, and request that the supply be transferred back to my original supplier. This sounds hunky dory but doesn't actually help. Two questions arise in my mind... 1. Do i have to pay the bill at all given that it is addressed to "The occupier"?  2. Should I provide my name in my complaint (not yet sent) or simply refer to myself as "The Occupier"? 2. I know I can refer to back-billing guidance but my instinct tells me I shouldn't have to pay any of this bill because the supply was taken over without my consent, I tried numerous times to resolve it to no effect, and was led to believe that I was then paying for the gas due to the actions of both companies. Does anybody think I have a case here and any suggestions about how to pursue it?   Many thanks if you have managed to read this far. Even more thanks if you have any advice :-)  
    • several other threads here too they will give up  just retail loss scammers, nothing ever goes back to the retailers anyway straight in their pocket straight down the pub!!   just like DCA's.   dont forget your cars v5c!! too   you MUST write to anyone one your credit file or banks etc, esp if you have debts that dont show that you might have last used/paid within say 7 yrs esle you'll get backdoor CCJ's.
    • Our produce is likely to be smaller, odd-looking, or even leathery after the hot, dry weather.View the full article
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Which hours count for Carer's Allowance

Mother's Little Helper

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I should receive Pension Savings Credit shortly, when I turn 65. When I was on the phone applying for this I mentioned that I was my mother's carer. The lovely lady was very keen that I apply for Carer's Allowance, even working out how much additional Pension Savings Credit I would get.



On one website it said you could include hours you are available. As I am her only carer I am available 24/7 but I am sure it is not as simple as that. I do all the normal things, cleaning, shopping, assisting with showering, medication, etc., while obviously trying to ensure she is as independent as possible. I also do things at my home which are to do with her needs. She is 93, has limited mobility and Alzheimer's but still at a stage where she can make (heat) her meals, etc. Mum receives AA at the lower level as she does not currently need overnight care. I have POA for her which means I spend some time keeping an eye on her bank account, bills, etc., and making sure she has enough cash.



I have no idea if this would come to 35 hours or what I should include in the calculation and am ready just to give up but the money would help me to help Mum.



I would be grateful if anyone could add clarity to this for me.

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35 hours per week works out at five hours each day - Simply add up how much time you spend with your mother, not just the hours you are actively assisting her. Add on the time taken doing shopping, banking, preparing meals, and also travel time. If you take her out anywhere, include this in your calculations.





No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.

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As mentioned above,

the carer and the cared for have to confirm that at least 35 hours a week are treated as 'cared for hours'.


There are no checks made by the DWP other than you may at some point in time have to explain what you do in those hours.


However the definition of what constitutes cared for hours does not exist other than to say that for those hours you cared.



As an example, you may live 2 hours drive away from the cared for person and you visit twice a week.

Those 8 hours of travelling will count.



If you deal with the cared for person's financial affairs, do their washing etc in your own home, those hours are counted.

Even time spent with the cared for person providing support and encouragement are caring hours.



In other words if you believe that there are hours in each week that you carry out some form or type of caring for the benefit of the cared for person,

then you count them.



Over a week that would be at least 5 hours a day on average.


You may stay with the cared for person for 24 hours and go back the following day,

then those 24 hours are counted as well as are the hours taken to get there and back.


A case that I am aware of is where the carer lives 200 miles away and stays from 12noon on the Saturday

(the time that they arrive) to 2pm on the Sunday (the time when they set off to return) with the cared for person every weekend.



In that case the travelling time of 5 hours each way added to the 26 hours

that they spend with the cared for person adds up to 36 hours each week!

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I feel better just reading "However the definition of what constitutes cared for hours does not exist" as I couldn't find one and thought I was missing something :smile:



Your very clear description will help; thank you. I just need to sit down and work it all out!

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If your mother lives alone, then please check her benefits to be sure she doesn't currently receive a severe disability premium, as this would be lost if you claim carer's allowance and receive a payment of carer's allowance.


However, if you get or will be getting state pension of above the level of carer's allowance then it won't matter as you will just get underlying entitlement to carer's allowance (no payment) and a carer's premium on top of your pension credit, which won't impact any money your mother gets.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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Thank you Estellyn. I try to keep on top of these things but severe disability premium was something I had never heard of.



Luckily when mum had a fall three or four years ago (perhaps luckily is wrong word as she broke bones in her pelvis :sad:)

a lady came to help me fill in the forms to tell them how much mum should pay for her care at that time.

She sorted this out for me and mum has been getting it since then.


Can I just clarify.

I had always understood that I could claim Carers Allowance (hours allowing) but would not receive it as I get another benefit, i.e., State Pension.



I also understood that if I had not been getting a state pension and did receive it Mum would loose her SDP.

Are you saying that if I was getting carers premium mum would not loose her SDP?


I really don't think I am spending 35 hours on her care at the moment but with Alzheimer's in the picture things

may change and the extra bit would then be very helpful.

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what happens is if you receive state pension (above the carer's allowance amount),



you apply for carer's allowance and



you'll be sent a letter stating that you have been awarded what's called an 'underlying entitlement' to carer's allowance

- you don't get the cash, but they acknowledge that if it weren't for state pension you would.



You then inform the pension credit section that you have underlying entitlement

and they pay a carer's premium on top of your pension credit,

an amount of just over £30 a week from the beginning of your 'underlying entitlement' to carer's allowance.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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I really don't think I am spending 35 hours on her care at the moment but with Alzheimer's in the picture things may change and the extra bit would then be very helpful.


You have my sympathies wrt your mother's condition - My mother was diagnosed with a rare variant of Alzheimer's early last year, there is no cure and it is an emotional and heartbreaking journey. Make the most of any time you can spend together.





No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.

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