Who's had trouble with the benefit system?

jenzie06 Member Posts: 708
edited 27. Oct 2009, 07:43 in Living with Arthritis archive
I've got an appointment to see my local MP. Just wanted to see how many people have had trouble with the stupid system so I can say its not just me?

The appointment is on Saturday and I'm taking my Dad along for moral support and he's good at arguing a case. I tend to get very tired, very quickly then my brain goes to mush.

So let me know who has had problems from just filling out the stupid forms to dealing with the numptys on the phone.

I rang the DWP yesterday after being turned down for ESA and was told I could apply for jobseekers if I felt well enough. I replied that I was having difficulties even dressing myself at the mo and explained I felt v good at medical but recent flare has caused problems. The lady replied with 'you should have told them the condition was variable'. !!!!!!!!

I wrote that for every answer on the medical questionnaire and told the doc too!

Anyone else feel like they are swimming in treacle?


  • c4thyg
    c4thyg Member Posts: 542
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    After seeing all the problems my mother had getting the help that she needed (a spinal operation and paralysis apparently wasn't enough!) I have loathed to use the benefits. I don't qualify for ESA because I lived abroad for a year and it means that my NIC aren't enough. The 10 years I paid then beforehand counts for nothing! I have now applied for DLA (as advised by DWP) but haven't heard anything for ages. I'm not holding my breath but I've applied so that my husband can more easily take time from work to look after our daughter when I'm in hospital (I have other more serious health problems as well and spend a lot of time in hospital for appointments and admissions). His employer is very good but he might not always be there.

    In answer to your question, I've been put off even trying to apply until now because everyone is treated like a fraud. We are guilty until proven innocent in this case and it's an extra stress that I don't want. So you are most definitely not alone and I expect many more will respond to your post. Maybe you should print your post and the replies out for support when you see the MP. It's unfortunately not an isolated incident. Good luck and I hope you can deal with the stress, I don't think I could.
  • livinglegend
    livinglegend Member Posts: 1,425
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Twenty-one million callers seeking advice on unemployment and disability benefits failed to get through to new government contact centres last year, a report by the National Audit Office has revealed.

    Edward Leigh, chairman of the Commons public accounts committee, said the huge number of unanswered calls would be " inconceivable" for a private-sector business.

    The worst figures were for the disability and carer service, where 79 per cent of calls - some 18.5 million - from people seeking help with disability living allowance and attendance allowance claims were never answered.

    Auditors are also critical that the department has 55 phone numbers, including 30 helplines, for the public to call about different benefits.

    And once again, carers have been left out in the cold. In the government’s proposals on welfare reform, there is nothing on Carer’s Allowance (CA) even though carers save the government million by keeping disabled people out of residential care. From April, CA will rise to just £46.95 for less than £1.35 per hour for a 35-hour week.
    http://www.inclusionscotland.org/newsletter/benefits supplement.doc

    Joseph 8)
  • woodbon
    woodbon Member Posts: 4,969
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I certainly have had a few problems.

    1. When I made my claim they asked for original P60, which when I didn't hear from them after about a 3-4 weeks I got a letter refusing the claim as I hadn't paid enough contributions. Not so, I had worked until the claim and paid. When I rang, they couldn't find the forms and had lost the relivent P60, so asked for all my pay slips for that year. I had them and sent them copies. After about 6 weeks they sent me a form reversing their decision and including the 'lost' P60, with a note saying it had been found in the wrong draw. They paid me the money I should have recieved which was a large cheque around £1,000!

    I was sent to see an Advisor, who had no idea of my sickness record, she passed me to the Shaw Trust, who sent me an appointment for next week, asking me for employment goals and proof of job interviews ect. but, I have yet to have a medical form, let alone a medical. I claimed on 18th June, when the County Council retired me on full pension, as unredeployable due to ill health. I am still being paid ESA. The dpw have deffered my interview for 2 months now.

    I was told by the employment Advisor to claim Disabled living Assisstance, but the form is so complicated and it involves more medcals that I can't face it. Some of the questions about health seem impossible to answers to as I don't measure my walking distance and my condition alters on a daily basis. Also although I could do some of the things on the form, I have been advised not to as they could cause harm.

    The people who carry out the medicals are not medically trained and I don't feel happy allowing a non-medically quallifed person to make medical decisions about me, I worried they will encourage me to do something harmful to me.

    I know there are other things but I can't think of them now. Good luck with the MP. You are very brave to take them on! Love Sue

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