I travel to Erdington Customer Service Centre first thing this morning, as it apparently gets really busy later, & people can be there for hours. So bright & early for me, in & out quicker.
I wrote a letter to confirm I had to terminate my JSA (2nd claim) on 3rd January 2017, & I made my new claim for Income Support (4th claim) yesterday. The stroppy woman “B” on reception said my letter & bank statement will be scanned & sent off. I sat & briefly waited while “MD” scanned my letter & bank statement, which were then handed back to me. “B” said I wouldn’t be able to speak to anybody there today to get things speeded up.I asked to speak to a manager. “B” flounced over to the manager’s office, manager “JR” then came over to speak to me at the reception desk. I explained that I didn’t want to build up rent arrears like in Sept/Oct 2016. I said it will probably take several weeks for the DWP to process my new Income Support (4th claim). “JR” said I must ring Birmingham City Council’s Benefits Service myself, if I want to get my change of circumstances re: Housing Benefit & Council Tax Benefit speeded up, though they may not see my request as urgent. I told “JR” I didn’t want to be told to come back to Erdington Customer Service Centre again, just to get an urgent email sent off, which is what happened last year!
“JR” said they operate an appointments system here. I said I didn’t have an appt last year when I turned up to get an urgent email sent off to Birmingham City Council’s Benefits Service. I asked if all the other people that have just gone through to speak to an adviser have had to book an appt. “JR” replied that they will have had a variety of reasons to speak to an adviser, (& not necessarily have booked an appt).
“JR” said the verification service currently provided here on a Tuesday & Thursday will be moving shortly to another building/library. [Clearly, scanning a few sheets of paper is too much for them…….].
I then walked a couple of hundred yards to Erdington Jobcentre, for my appt with “D”, my work-focused interview for my new Income Support (4th Claim). I took all the paperwork I was asked to bring. I explained that I’m totally overwhelmed with all of the paperwork & preparations I’m having to do for all of my own Tribunals, & I expect to be moving house too.