This is my first post for over 3 months. Severely overwhelmed with Benefit Issues, complaints, & Appeals. I also don’t enjoy the best of health. I haven’t posted anything on here since 11th November 2016. I will hopefully fill in the gaps between now & then at a later date.
Last week, I spoke to a lady “A” at the DWP’s Central England Complaints Resolution Team, & I forwarded off some earlier emailed complaints to her, that I’d received no response to.
Today, I sent a lengthy email to the DWP’s Central England Complaints Resolution Team, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
It read as follows:
Can you please get a Senior Manager to phone me this afternoon, regarding the following:
Was I Entitled to ESA, JSA, or Income Support?
This Email Can Also Be Treated As A Formal Complaint
On the 8th September 2016, I made a new claim for ESA [6th claim] (I requested backdating to 7th Sept 2016).
On 28th September 2016, DWP rang me to say I wasn’t entitled to ESA. I was told to claim JSA instead. So on 28th September 2016 I rang to make a claim for JSA [2nd claim], but woman said I was entitled to Income Support, so she transferred me through to I.S. new claims line.
The following day, (29th Sept) Income Support New claims said it did indeed look as though I’d be entitled to I.S. [3rd claim], on the basis that I’m a Party to Proceedings for several of my own benefit Appeals.
It took Handsworth DWP over a month to decide I wasn’t entitled to I.S., so I then requested a Mandatory Reconsideration, & was subsequently successful, though the MR Decision letter was light on detail. By this time, I had already made a claim for JSA [2nd claim], (as advised to me by Handsworth DWP’s “S”).
But on 3rd January 2017, I attended Jobclub, then signed on. I asked “J” (one of the women who runs the Jobclub) afterwards if I could reduce my work agreement/jobseeker’s commitment to zero hours for a short while, as I’m struggling with all of the paperwork for all of the many benefits tribunals I’ve got in the pipeline, and I was also expecting to move house within the next month, so I’d got to sort through everything and seriously declutter as the expected new property was smaller than my current property.
I was completely honest with “J”, I said I wouldn’t be able to actively jobseek, or accept work, while I was in the process of this gargantuan task. But “J” said I wouldn’t be able to reduce it to zero hours. So I completed & signed form to end my JSA claim [2nd claim] on 3rd January 2017.
The following day, on 4th January 2017, I made a new claim for Income Support [4th claim], as clearly, I need money from somewhere. And, based on my circumstances at the time, I wasn’t entitled to ESA, & “J” had said I wouldn’t be entitled to JSA if I couldn’t actively jobseek or accept work. Hence my only other option, to claim Income Support [4th claim].
In their typically slovenly & useless manner, it again took Handsworth DWP over 1 month to process my new claim for I.S. [4th claim]. I received their Decision Notice (dated 7th Feb 2017) on 11th Feb 2017. Naturally, I will soon request a Mandatory Reconsideration.
I am having to do all my own legal work/correspondence for my several tribunals. I’m already massively behind schedule & missing deadlines, (as attending Jobclub & Jobsearching set me back a lot). I know that when I’ve got a tribunal hearing, I’m entitled to Income Support for the whole of that benefit week. But the government’s website says the “list isn’t exhaustive”. So I believe that if I don’t satisfy the eligibility criteria for ESA or JSA, & I clearly need something to live on, that I ought to be entitled to Income Support.
Therefore, please can a Senior Manager, who is 100% au fait with ESA, JSA & Income Support rules/regulations, phone me this afternoon to discuss my benefits predicament, to confirm which benefit I was definitely entitled to since 4th January 2017, & advise me as to what my next step should be.
[P.S………….This is a complaint about the decision making, substandard service of Benefits Processing, & the lack of joined up thinking that constantly negatively impacts upon me.]