Benefits rant, excuse me.

I’m not at home so have limited access to a PC so I’m not on my emails.  I am having a breakdown today because all my benefits are fucked.

Income support have fucked up my claim, and don’t believe I live at home. They clearly used Royal Mail’s postcode finder when I gave them my change of address, WHICH WAS JUST BLOODY NEXT DOOR.  The address is a commercial property which has been returning my mail.  My benefits have been suspended. I have no money.  Housing benefit have lost my documentation and are paying me £85 a week less than they should, so I don’t have enough rent and because Income Support have suspended me, I’m going to lose my entitlement. I’m not in London right now and they don’t believe I live there. I can’t even begin to sort this out til Monday, and even then it’s nearly unsortable.  They apparently don’t have my tenancy agreement even.  I sorted this out two months ago, and they have lost everything. I don’t know where my receipts are so I can’t prove anything. I have no rent, no money and I’m with my friend and not in London.  Because I couldn’t get to the Jobcentre this week they think I’m committing fraud and don’t live there.  And housing benefit say I owe them £600 I don’t fucking have.  I save most of my benefits for emergencies like getting home when people die which they keep doing but it isn’t much to save.  I am totally responsible with money and I’m still screwed.

I am sitting in my friend’s house a few hundred miles away crying my eyes out.  I have been sorting this out for months.  I’m going to be short by over £300 on my rent at best, I hate having to rely on this system in the first place. I have no money to live on and I’m freaking out.

EDIT:  Have explained to benefits people, who are being unhelpful.  My reaction is a bit kneejerk, but this has been going on for months, all just because I had to move next door because they were gutting my flat.  My CPN Jo is telling me not to panic and is going to try and talk to them, although they might not talk to her.  I’m just a bit at my wit’s end with these people.

30 Responses

  1. Having recently had a nightmare trying to get benefits reinstated after being in hospital, you have my every sympathy, not that that’s much use. Can your CPN help you with this? Or CAB? I would not have been able to manage sorting anything out without the help of my tenancy support worker, and I know how lucky I am to have that help. Please try not to panic, although I know how hard that is. It *can* be sorted, and it will be. Can you get a crisis loan to live off in the meantime? Or if income support pay me the money they owe me this week then I’ll loan you some.

  2. Hang in there Seaneen, everything always goes to pot in life.

    I hope things get better for you soon. x

  3. Don’t panic… at least not for too long. Your landlord/s can supply new receipts, or letters saying you’ve lived in their apartments. The same with phone, electricity and gas. If you’ve been paying bills with cheques then your bank should be able to supply you with proof of payments. I’m not sure what a “tenancy agreement” is, but if it’s on paper then there’s a copy somewhere. If you can’t be physically back in London until Monday, can you use the phone to explain your situation to the benefits people? Or maybe to start calling your landlord and bill people?

  4. How rubbish 😦 Getting benefits is a complete nightmare.

    Make sure when you post things to them you send them recorded, and if you give them anything in person you get them to write a receipt.

  5. First of all – don’t panic. There’s not alot you can do while you’re away from home. Phone calls to the benefit agencies are hit and miss – especially to the local authority who deal with Housing benefit (they usually require you to visit in person).
    When you get back you can make an appointement with your local CAB (I’m bound to say that obviously). If they have a mental-health specialist ask if you can be referred. It may be you have to go to drop-in (which can involve a wait). They may do phone advice but often the lines are busy and you might get voicemail. Drop in is often the best or only recourse. Even better, there may be a specialist mental-health-service-user wing in your area (off the top of my head, Leytonstone has one) which would be brilliant since they are excellent at dealing with these issues and tend to do most of the phone/written work for you.
    Housing ben should never keep original docs – they should take copies. If they have then they’re dumb-fucks and you’ll need to ask your (hopefully understanding) landlady for back-up.
    You’re evidently not committing fraud so don’t worry about that. If they insist on checking then they do have the right but obviously that won’t be a problem (and let’s hope it won’t come to that).
    In the mean time – there’s the social-fund (job-centre plus for this I’m ‘fraid) for emergency loans when benefits screw up. It’s not a heap of money but might be enough to keep landlady happy until this gets sorted.
    Providing your landlady isn’t threatening eviction you have time to sort this and you will.
    I don’t know the extent to which your CPN can help with these problems but I would implore you to get down to CAB (mental health if you can). Take someone with you for support. They will fight your corner and they have the adviser-only hotlines to get through to the right people in seconds.
    Try stay calm. make a phone call now if you can then enjoy the rest of your stay and try not to worry about something you can’t control right now.

  6. That s bloody terrible Seaneen: I am sure like the others here that it will be sorted, in the end, but you anger and panic is fully understandable. Please do trust you CPN and have patience, it will be all right, you are not a fraud, you will be able to prove who you are in the end.


  7. i know so many people who’ve been put back by benefits offices fucking up. i hope you can get it sorted – K is right, i think a trip to the CAB is definitely in order. i hope you can get it sorted 🙂

  8. What a nightmare, hope you can get it sorted once back in London. Take care

  9. Grrr, Like alot of folk here I’ve had similar problems, but it will get sorted…..eventually, its just so frustrating at the time huh?

    Take care hun

    Hope it gets sorted soon!

    x x x x

  10. I hope you can calm down and enjoy your little break before trying to sort it when you return to London. Your landlord should be able to help as if you had to move whilst they refurbed, he must be able to provide the dates that you were in each property to the DWP.

    Take care and I hope it gets sorted! xx

  11. The HB department should also have scans of the receipts on your account / there system. Most receipts are duplicate, one for you and one for their records… I would ask for a copy of all documentation and I am certain it will be among them!

    Don’t panic to much – I know easier said than done, but it will get sorted, it will take time… these things always do but let your CPN get involved, you can give permission for her to deal with the claim, they can’t refuse not to deal with her.

    Take care x

  12. i honestly think sometimes there can’t be a f’ing job in the world quite as stressful as fighting with the council over benefits.

    make sure your cpn is named on your account as able to access your details – i had to tell them to do this 2/3 times with mark despite the fact we were claiming as a couple. in the end, i made sure i had it in writing in case he had problems sorting things out when I couldn’t cope.

  13. Good L-rd. I’m so sorry to hear you’re having all this fannying with them, hopefully they will pull their heads out of their asses soon and it will get sorted. I don’t have any practical advice beyond what anyone else has said (besides lending you my big martial arts stick to beat them with), all I can offer is my sympathy and virtual hugs. The way the benefits services treat people is truly horrible – maybe this is why they go on about working being good for mental health, as being on benefits certainly isn’t, however you like me can’t work which is why we have to put up with this shit as we have no other choice.

    I promise I will smack the next person I hear saying anything even suggesting that claiming benefits might possibly be anything less than a total nightmare, on your behalf.

  14. Get rich .. solves yu problem in this aea

  15. I do hope you can get this resolved as soon as possible try to enjoy the rest of your time away.
    I wish I could help but would not have a clue where to start even phoning my office where I work is a nightmare everywhere has has stupid menus and button presses and I can never get the person I want then the phone goes dead.

    I think I would rather fight killer sharks in freezing sea water than try to get through to any governmental department. I know I would be more successful.

  16. I sympathise with you especially in a week when we have been learning of MPs committing fraud and tax evasion, and they will get away with it.
    I would make out a separate sheet for each problem detailing the situation as it stands and what it should be. When you contact these places make a note of what you need to ask, get names,get them to repeat their names, record the date and time, and their response.
    You don’t want stuff whirling around your head.

    We get piles of Tax Credit forms and I avoid them but when it comes to recovering money I don’t have a problem.A few weeks ago the boot was on the other foot and I got a formal demand from a broadband co £130+, I told them that I was going to dispute it but they were unconcerned. I set out my defence on paper and telephoned again, they confirmed the debt. I explained that I had a severe illness and that I would be entitled to legal representation in court but I needed to get the case to that point myself.Because my concentration is poor I asked that for matter to be considered in writing. They went away and came back within seconds confirming that the debt no longer stood and apologising.
    I know that the blog is a record of you life but don’t let it be a record of your slide towards a psychiatric ward. You aren’t Wonder Woman.
    Its none of my business I know but couldn’t tweak the format by inviting contributions or letting others take it on for a couple of days?Just a thought, keep up the good work.

    • If you are at you are at your wits end it might be time to request a Data Protection search.

  17. This brings back bad memories for me when they screwed up my benefits. I had nearly 3 months of being told “leave a number and someone will phone you back”. Needless to say I never got one phone call. In the end I contacted my MP and it took just a couple of days after she waded in to get the money reinstated and a letter of apology and compensation (only £60 but for me that made a world of difference). I’d definitely recommend trying to contact your MP, it seems to get people moving. Good luck and try not to let them get you too stressed.

  18. I live in Oxford and we have a benefits advisor who works for Mind and is an absolute god send to many. I was wondering if perhaps you had one in your area?
    I really hope it all get’s sorted out soon.


  19. Unfortunately seems these fuck ups happen a fair bit. It’s not fair, especially when stress can worsen people’s condition that has put them on benefits in the first place.

  20. I am so glad I don’t work for those people anymore. They hated me because I was always telling people what they are entitled to and doing my best to help them get it. I was on the customers side and apparently that’s not the way you’re supposed to do the job (?).

    There are too many civil servants languishing in those offices for the wrong reasons – they need to fire a lot of the ‘old school’ who think it’s a job for life and start making the buggers CARE about their job.

    I hope it gets sorted out soon :).

  21. Just so you know, if you had a job this wouldn’t be happening.

  22. 20:1… that’s a pretty good Empathetic to Troll commenting ratio.

  23. That is terrible, Seaneen 😦 They are total fuckwits to have done this. Whenever I’ve had problems with benefits I have taken it personally and thought that it must be my fault. Don’t you fall into that trap. You can see that the same thing keeps happening to too many people with some in the same situation as you and some who aren’t. The thing these cock ups have in common is the benefit system. It isn’t you, it’s them. Keep trying and keep holding on. You will get through this.

    Also, Irritated … Fuck. Right. Off. I usually follow the advice of not feeding the trolls but according to you, you aren’t a troll. Look at what you are doing. Perhaps, you are too damaged to do that and so I should feel sorry for you. If you’re just giggling away at your computer however then you deserve the pain and loneliness that you are inevitably going to get.

  24. As an aside: it seems to me quite obvious that if you would live in my country you will NOT be able to survive on state benefits or have an apt on your own.

    I am saying this because, in spite of the dimwits who screwed up your application- the NHS is a system that -not withstanding its huge flows- does at least in theory allows life for the less lucky. Scarce consolation,
    maybe, but I hope that – in perspective- it does bring you some relief.

    To make an example: My mother has been phisically handicapped all her life and not only has she worked her ass off without seeing a penny (not even a discount for taking the bus), but she has been horrendously discriminated at work, which lead to an early, bitter (and underpayed) retirement.

    So, at least on this issue, long live the NHS.


  25. What a royal pain in the behind, Seaneen. I’m sorry this is going on right now. I am hopeful, however, that it will all be straightened out. I am really quite clueless when it comes to the system over there but it sounds like your readers & friends have some really sound suggestions & encouraging thoughts. Hang in there!

  26. Hang in there. I don’t know how the system works there as I’m from the U.S., but I’m hopeful things will turn out well for you.

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