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    • Contact Energy Ombudsman with details of how long this complaint saga has been going on.  You may find out your meters were never correctly registered to your address and will be confused with neighbours until someone goes into central database to separate out the records.  EDF may never have legally taken over the supply and under energy legislation Scottish Power are the suppliers without your consent.   /images/bitmap/ombudsman-share-image.png Energy Ombudsman: Here to help with gas & electricity complaints WWW.OMBUDSMAN-SERVICES.ORG Do you have an unresolved complaint about your gas or electricity provider? Find out how we may be able to help.  
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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 :-)  
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ESA denied after appeal - early pension rights


bluetoffees
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I am not sure if this is the correct place on this site for queries about the State Pension

but could see no mention of pensions anywhere so someone might point me to another section.

 

This is a little complicated but here goes.

 

 

I was on ESA back in 2010, got put in support group for 6 months (letter appeared 2 weeks before my appeal hearing)

but then 4 months later I had to start the process again with another E50 (?) form to fill in and new ATOS medical.

 

 

Of course I failed the medical and lodged an appeal immediately in I think June of 2011

- it took some time to get the ATOS appoinment.

 

 

My appeal took even longer, although then you still received the basic ESA of around £70 per week while awaiting appeal.

I believe now this is not the case and you have to go on JSA until the appeal is heard, something I could not cope with.

 

I finally got the appeal hearing in October 2012 which I failed and my benefit was immediately stopped.

 

 

Due to my health issues (mental health) I find it impossible to face going into the Job Centre to register for JSA.

I had to give up my flat and stay with various friends around the country.

 

 

In 2013 I managed with some difficulty to find work, through an agency which was very irregular,

only 4 shifts in two months, while I was staying with a friend.

 

 

I then found a permanent position but only lasted 8 weeks as it was more than I could cope with.

 

Faced with the prospect of not having any income until my state pension in 2020

(I am one of the unlucky ones who has to wait until I am 66)

 

 

I took my modest savings (under the limit for claiming benefits) and came to live in Turkey,

where I can manage on just £30 per week for everything!

 

 

However I am not sure my savings are going to last another 6 years, even here prices go up.

 

 

 

what are the criteria for receiving the state pension early (although technically not early as all my working life

I thought I would be claiming it this week when I turn 60!) on health grounds?

 

 

I know if you are terminally ill you can get it sooner but how do they class terminal illness?

 

 

My condition is permanent and although I have repeatedly tried to work during the past

it does not last long before I am again unable to do so.

 

 

I cannot cope with going into the Job Centre to answer their questions and fill in their forms.

I am not comfortable around people which is why I cannot last long in jobs.

 

 

I know this sounds like a feeble excuse but I can assure you it is a very real problem.

Receiving my pension early would relieve all the stress of having to come back to the UK

and try to sign on for JSA or try (and fail again) to claim ESA and then try to find a flat and live on £71 per week,

which as everyone knows is incredibly difficult.

 

Is there anyone on here that can point me in the direction of who to contact for answers to this question?

 

Many thanks for reading.

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It is going to be very difficult. You would have to return to the last UK council area where you were resident. You would need to get a UK Doctors assessment of your condition and apply for ESA. The council where you were last resident would be responsible for assessing a housing benefit claim and they will have to offer temporary accommodation until something permanent is sorted out. If you needed money before your ESA payment was provided you may have to apply for hardship funds from Job Centre Plus (DWP).

 

You will not be signed off as unfit for work forever and will be expected to obtain relevant treatment for your condition. There will be a work capability assessment made and you may have to attend a work related activity group, where they try to help.

 

As has been said, I don't think will get any pension until you reach 66 and will be expected to work or pursue work until you reach 66.

 

If you want to find out more, you should perhaps think about writing to your last member of parliament when you had a permanent residence in the UK. Explain your situation to them and ask for information that will help you move back to the UK, where you will need some assistance.

We could do with some help from you.

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Thanks for the reply but I was in the UK earlier this year to try to work again but ended up in hospital. On discharge I could not find accommodation and the local council where I had been staying with a friend informed me that I was not entitled to emergency housing, having been out of the country. Which is why I had to leave again against medical advice. I may have enough savings to last 6 years but had heard of people receiving their state pensions early in certain circumstances and was seeking further information on this, should it be necessary to try to claim it. I was in contact with my MP in 2010 about my ESA and considered contacting him again now, but as I am not resident in the UK would he be able to help with information? That is why I posted here, to find out more information. Thanks anyway. My current condition is manageable if I do not have to mix with large numbers of people, something I would have to do to apply for JSA - the job centre experience is far too daunting! As I have already had an appeal against losing ESA turned down I would not want to go through that whole process again. As I said, waiting for an appeal now means switching to JSA, which I cannot do. I will just have to stretch my savings as far as possible and hope they last 6 more years!

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Hello again.

 

I can't find anything online about early State pensions, you could try contacting the DWP in Newcastle. They also have a separate section for people who are retiring abroad.

 

If you're unable to work, can you claim benefits where you live now?

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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HB thanks, I don't know where I saw that terminally ill people can get an early state pension. I also cannot find it online but I know of people that have done it. And no, not even locals can claim benefits here! I should be OK but as there is a petition circulating at the moment about reversing the increase in pension age back to what it was for people who started work believing they could retire at 60, I thought it might be worth enquiring about exceptions in unusual circumstances.

 

I know with people living longer the pension age had to rise but that should have applied to people now joining the workforce and not people that had already worked 40 plus years and are now expected to work another 6.

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Thanks Lilly that's what I was beginning to think too. People tend to talk rubbish - don't know why they tell people they got an early state pension if they didn't!

 

I know, its tough as it is.

Put my date of birth into the calculator for state pension 2023 (if I live that long) and the posts have not moved again by then.

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bluetoffees,

 

My mother belongs to a self help group, several of whom have retired early from work because of poor health. None of whom, so far as we know, have claimed state retirement pension before they have reached state pension age. Any chance you are confusing state retirement pension with pension credit? In some circumstances men can claim earnings related pension credit, instead of employment and support allowance, if they are over the current state pension age for a woman.

 

Department for Work and Pensions defines terminal illness as 'suffering from a progressive disease, and death in consequence of that disease can reasonably be expected within six months'. A DS1500 medical report can accelerate a claim under the special rules for employment and support allowance or personal independence payment, but not state retirement pension.

 

You may be able to get some help from the following links:

 

https://www.gov.uk/contact-pension-service

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/state-pensions-leaflet

 

https://www.gov.uk/state-pension-if-you-retire-abroad/how-to-claim

To check for residency issues.

 

http://www.ageuk.org.uk/

Who have a free helpline.

 

Starryeyes.

 

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Thanks Lilly that's what I was beginning to think too. People tend to talk rubbish - don't know why they tell people they got an early state pension if they didn't!

 

I do seem to remember some groups of people getting government help earlier, but these I believe were ex miners and ex armed forces who were too ill to ever work again. There were specific arrangements set up for them and not really to do with the standard state pension scheme.

 

I think once you leave the UK, the UK government almost stops being interested. Until you present yourself as destitute and in need of help, you won't receive any. Even then the current government are more than likely to put you in touch with charity organisations.

 

I would suggest that you contact the MP you last contacted and see whether they can provide information. The British embassy in Turkey may be able to assist as well, as I should imagine they have previous UK citizens contact them, who find that they need to leave Turkey to seek help in the UK.

We could do with some help from you.

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