This country's benefit system stinks!

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This country's benefit system stinks!

Postby ellie24oc » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:57 pm

Hi all
Time for a rant. Sorry.

I was diagnosed with fm in feb 2011 although suffered for the last 3 yrs. fm was brought on (in my rheumy's opinion) by my traumatic labour at the hands of the nhs and their negligence. That's another story. Anyhow I struggled on at work, in a job with high stress levels, for 2 yrs. I was eventually signed off work in aug 2011 and have been off since. In march my ssp and employers sick pay (I work in nhs) ended and on the 8th march i called to claim ESA. Oh the joys.

Well I got the atos form and statement in the post and proceeded to complete the form. Well 5 days later (as I can only write or type for max 10 mins without excruciating pain) I sent the form off. Went out the same morning to care for my sick gran and returned to find a letter from them telling me I wasn't entitled to ESA conts based. I used to work for the wonderful dwp (please dont lynch me lol) and couldn't understand it as for the last 8yrs I've worked full time and paid class 3 NI conts but they were saying I'd got a shortfall. I called hmrc (another beautiful government agency lol) to check. Well I have a 22wk shortfall during maternity leave in 09/10 tax year. GREAT! So I called dwp back and said I'd delay my claim until April this year so they could take this tax year into account. Oh no you can't do that. We don't use this years NI conts until jan 2013 until the hmrc have finalised everything. WHAT!

Ok so what can I claim then. Well of course we will pay your NI conts for you whilst your off sick. Ok so do I have to still go through medical. Yes you do and (she actually said this) the way atos are at the moment you'll will definitely have to appeal. Mmmmm that's interesting. Ok so now what. Well she suggested I claim conts only to cover NI and appeal. Ok so let me get this straight. You want me to go through the stress of appealing so you can pay my conts so I'm entitled some time in the distant future to claim your benefit. tried and failed in the past to get dla too and they sent me a generic letter that showed they had obviously not read my claim form.
oh and to add insult to injury tax credits tell me I'm no longer eligible for free prescriptions meaning that's an extra £40 per month.

Well what a joke!!!

My hubby and I are now £600 down a month and no way of paying. It just makes me soooo mad. We have friends claiming jsa coz they can't be bothered to work nor make any effort to or work on the side. They get houses, council tax benefit, Money and that's to name a few. I work hard when I'm able as does my hubby and I get nothing. How maddening. Now faced with god knows how many months with £600 less a month and more stress.

The fact is now I am being forced back to work if I like it or not. To make myself worse as they can't get adaptations done in time for my return. They want a letter from my gp too (another £15) to prove I need a parking spot as turned down for blue badge due to dr telling them yes this lady has severe mobility issues but her condition will not last more than 3 years. Ha ha. Like I've got a broken leg or something. Well I called dr and she has said she is not happy to give me a 'fit' note. The stress is making me worse and hubby just don't get it. He wants me to go back. How can he say that when he has to lift me out of bed every morning, brush my hair, dress me and help me downstairs amongst other things. So folks what now? Can this get any worse?
Last edited by FluppyPuffy on Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Split into smaller paragraphs for easier reading
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Re: This country's benefit system stinks!

Postby FluppyPuffy » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:13 pm

I'm sorry to hear what you're going thru with the mess that passes for the benefits system :facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm: The only suggestion I can come up with is to contact Citizens Advice or other similar organisations in your area and see what advice they can give you.

Prescription costs wise, as you've said you will no longer be getting them free, this may help save a little for you each month http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/1127.aspx As I don't qualify for free prescriptions, it has saved me several hundreds of pounds each year I have had one.
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This country's benefit system stinks!

Postby ellie24oc » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:16 pm

Thanks will look into it x
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Re: This country's benefit system stinks!

Postby miller » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:21 am

very similar situation to mine unfortunately, you may as well bang your head against the wall you would get more sense. some thing i have learned is the more you think you know the worse things seem to get . oh the joy my contribution based esa is now coming to an end ,the lady on the other end of the phone really didn,t know what she was talking about so got no answers was basically told i would get more info in post over the next week i know they have no idea how we suffer or it would be an infringement of our human rights to put us through this .lol. dont even get me started on the appeal system what a joke a very cruel 2 men had me in floods of tears for over half hour
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Re: This country's benefit system stinks!

Postby animalhouse » Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:25 am

was in same situation only they didn't tell me,

went to tribunal a year down the line and was only told i wouldn't get anything then. :twisted:

they are such monsters.
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Re: This country's benefit system stinks!

Postby LeaSparkle » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:46 am

Agreed - the benefit system does stink. I posted on here a few weeks ago about losing my ESA (contribution based) from April 30th and to be honest people weren't very sympathetic at all!

I got fm in a similar way to you - negligent treatment in the hands of the NHS during my labour and subsequent birth.

They have absolutely no idea about how disabled people survive on a day to day basis. I've thought about forcing myself back to work (I worked constantly for twenty years before this happened and if I was able to I would go back to work tomorrow) but the truth is I'm just too ill.

I have joined a facebook group called Fibromyalgia in the South West UK. At the moment we are only a small group but everyone really does try to support each other. Please come along and take a look!

xxx Sparks xxx
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Re: This country's benefit system stinks!

Postby bumblebee57 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:43 pm

Hi everyone.Im on the Fibro in the s.w. fb group and I find it very friendly and helpful, if only to vent our anger and grievances and we NEED to do that about the benefit system. Im waiting for my appeal but havent heard anything for months.Im dreading it and what the outcome will be. Its nice that we can all support each other. Hope you all have a good day. Hugs, Carol
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Re: This country's benefit system stinks!

Postby Woodentop » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:13 pm

The whole benefit system wants gathering up and dumping in the deepest ocean. I am soooo tired of trying to get any sense out of the delightful people at the DWP. Talking to them on the phone is no help at all - I always seem to get the person who has to ask someone else as they don't know the answer. Basically, in that organisation, the right hand doesn't know what the left is doing. :shooting:
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Re: This country's benefit system stinks!

Postby Ldyalb » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:25 pm

Woodentop wrote: Basically, in that organisation, the right hand doesn't know what the left is doing. :shooting:


Lol not heard that one before. I like it :) I also like couldn't organise a :twodrinking2: in a brewery. My Dad has a good one but not sure if it's appropriate for a public forum :lol:

I've been quite lucky so far with people from the DWP I've spoken to on the phone, had people who were polite and helpful. But the Job Centre themselves are an absolute nightmare. Last year I wasn't able to claim back over paid taxes becuase the JC had messed up and not properly updated my records to say I stopped claiming ESA in June 2010. As I said to HMRC - I've not received a benefit payment for almost a year and I was working from June 2010 - Jan 2011 - I'm demonstrably not on JSA. I kept writing to the JC to ask them to let HMRC know I was no longer on JSA but they ignored my every letter. Eventually I did a 2 month temp job and the agency managed to sort it out for me. They'd got me the wrong tax code so I ended up being given a large backpayment :mrgreen: Still, it only took about 5 months :pcsmash: :twisted: :-x

But the thing is - if they can't even sort out basic stuff like that how on earth are they supposed to competently run a complex benefits system? Anyone who thinks spending millions of pounds on ATOS to assess people for disability benefits, and then to spend millions more on correcting all of ATOS' mistakes needs their head checking.
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Re: This country's benefit system stinks!

Postby denys » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:40 pm

Lea I'm sorry you didnt think people were sympathetic to your plight, I am very sorry for your situation and all of those who are finding things so difficult. I'm waiting to go through it myself and am dreading the outcome like everyone else. Its so hard trying to get the benefits we need and so support is essential which is what I hope we are all trying to do for one another
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Re: This country's benefit system stinks!

Postby BlueBerry » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:17 pm

I know how you feel but don't gave up lot us on here like myself I was turn down once because I had 300 pound to much money in my bank :-x then I got no points from the stupid atso and after wait for it over 18 months final I got back payment and now on esa :shock: I had to fight for past 2 years find it hard to live and support myself but final there is hope out there like cab and welfare rights i got my help I so hope you get it sorted and don't gave up the fight I so hate what DWP, Atso the govement are doing to people who need this benfit they think people can live on fresh air :crazy: :crazy:
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Re: This country's benefit system stinks!

Postby *Lisa* » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:08 pm

Just the place for me for a rant!!! sorry to hear everyones storys and troubles, we all seem to have had dealings with the system and its going to get worse... sorry to say :(

First off i have been told that there totaly choppin out the severe disability premium awarded to people on WRAG ESA thats 50 pound a week!!

Now this is not told to you by a letter atm you find all this out by surfing the dwp site so i would imagine these people who are not aware will just get a letter nearer to the time to say and there nothing they can do about it!! 200 a month ... pooofff gone.... thousands will be effected by this.

Then there is the appeal system... also to be abolished and under new rules.

Then the fab PIP being introduced next year all sitting waiting to score us all 0 points!! day-ja -vu...

No matter how disabled you are government are going to try and put us all back into work! same with single parents etc... but with millions out of work already where are they gonna produce these jobs ?? :roll:

Only way of gettin any additional financial support/premiums and help is if your put into support group and we all know how hard it is to actually get onto the system let alone support group!!

Then theres the DWP.... my tip is always send any forms/info by special delivery as everything i sent was always missing which led to months of hassle and moneys being stopped and a huge phone bill!

ESA/DLA... always do your research. You can obtained ESA & DLA guidlines from the DWP website. This will give you all the info you need to tell them exactually what they want to hear about your conditions and how to put it in the right context.
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Re: This country's benefit system stinks!

Postby Ldyalb » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:14 pm

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/spec ... onditions/

Might be worth adding it to the helpful info sticky - good place for people filling out ESA50s and DLA forms to start their research. Plus if you print of their own info to add to the dossier of info sent they can hardly accuse themselves of lying ;-)
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