Tuesday 6th June 2017 – Another Trip To Erdington Customer Service Centre (Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit, & Rent)

I arrived at Erdington Customer Service Centre (now snazzily sporting a new sign, calling itself “Erdington Advice Centre”), just before it opened at 9am. My advice is to get there early, as otherwise you could be stuck in there for ages.

I had written a letter, to confirm my current circumstances, for rent, Housing Benefit, and Council Tax Benefit purposes. I handed my handwritten letter, along with the letter I’d received from Birmingham City Council (dated 26th May 2017) to the receptionist, who filled out a VERIFICATION STATEMENT to be scanned off with the 2 letters. Then I sat to wait.

When I was handed back the VERIFICATION STATEMENT, and 2 x letters after they’d been scanned off to Birmingham City Council’s Benefits Service a few minutes later, I noticed that the VERIFICATION STATEMENT and the Council letter (dated 26th May 2017) had been stamped with:

[ RECEIVED -6 JUNE 2016 ]

A staff member had then clumsily changed the 2016 to 201with a biro! My handwritten letter, that I’d taken the time and the trouble to write, hadn’t been date-stamped at all!

When people have to travel for miles to physically take documents to Erdington Customer Service Centre (aka Erdington Advice Centre), and allowing for the fact that mistakes do happen, staff should at least make the effort to correctly and properly date stamp documents once the mistake has been noticed, not simply correct it with a biro!

I showed the date-stamped items to the receptionist, then she date-stamped my VERIFICATION STATEMENT with the correct date. She refused to correctly date-stamp the other 2 items with today’s date, saying only the VERIFICATION STATEMENT needed to be date-stamped, as they’d all have been scanned off together.

In future, I shall complain if everything isn’t properly date-stamped, as it hardly requires the staff to break into a sweat to correctly date-stamp a couple of extra pages. Unfortunately for me today, I was in a hurry, as I needed to use computer at Jobcentre.

I then walked the hundred yards or so to Erdington Jobcentre.

 

Posted in Birmingham City Council, Complaint, Council Tax, Council Tax Benefit, Housing Benefit, My Local Council, Rent, Slowly rotting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday 5th June 2017 – I Receive Mandatory Reconsideration Notice from DWP (re: JSA 3rd Claim)

Today I received a Mandatory Reconsideration Notice from the DWP (Inverness DRT), (dated 1st June 2017), they are still refusing to backdate my JSA (3rd Claim) to 4th January 2017. This is despite the failure of the DWP to get a Senior Manager to call me, who was 100% au fait with ESA/JSA/I.S. regulations, to discuss my circumstances and clarify what benefit I would definitely be entitled to. I’d requested this on several occasions, when liaising/complaining to the DWP’s Central England Complaints Resolution Team.

Posted in 3rd JSA Claim, Complaint, DWP, DWP Central England Complaints Resolution Team, Jobseeker's Allowance, Slowly rotting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday 5th June 2017 – I Phone Birmingham City Council’s Rent Team on 0121 675 2006, To Clarify What I Must Pay

I rang Birmingham City Council’s Rent Team (for my area) on 0121 675 2006. “Q” said I must pay £12.99 today, then £32.07 per week. “Q” said I must put my change of circumstances in a letter, and take it to Erdington Customer Service Centre (aka Erdington Advice Centre) so they can forward it off to Birmingham City Council’s Benefits Service.

Posted in Birmingham City Council, Housing Benefit, My Local Council, Rent, Slowly rotting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Tuesday 9th May 2017 – I Attend Erdington Jobcentre For Signing On Appointment. Work Coach Suggested “Access To Work” (JSA 3rd Claim)

I had a quick Signing On appointment at Erdington Jobcentre today, I explained my efforts for jobseeking, & I signed electronically.  “AH” suggested I look into “Access To Work”.

Posted in 3rd JSA Claim, Access To Work, DWP, Jobseeker's Allowance, Slowly rotting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday 9th May 2017 – I Slowly Rotted At Erdington Customer Service Centre (aka Erdington Advice Centre) For An Hour

I had to take a document to Erdington Customer Service Centre (aka Erdington Advice Centre) today, for Rent, Housing benefit & Council Tax purposes. I couldn’t go as early as I’d have liked. I took a ticket from the dispenser, then I sat and waited for half an hour until my number was called. Then I had to sit and wait for another half an hour for my document to be scanned off.

Ridiculously, this service is only provided on Tuesdays and Thursdays, despite the centre being open 5 days a week.

Posted in Birmingham City Council, Council Tax, Council Tax Benefit, Housing Benefit, My Local Council, Rent, Slowly rotting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday 1st April 2017 – My Work Coach at Erdington Jobcentre Is Helpful & Understanding…..

Sorry, my imagination/humour has got the better of me.  Well, it’s that time of year……………..

Posted in 3rd JSA Claim, DWP, Jobseeker's Allowance, Slowly rotting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Friday 31st March 2017 – Erdington Jobcentre’s Incompetence Means I’ll Lose Flat I’ve Bid On! – Another Complaint Sent To Central England Complaints Resolution Team (re: JSA 3rd Claim)

I have had to send a new complaint today, about “T” (my work coach/personal adviser) at Erdington Jobcentre, to the DWP’s Central England Complaints Resolution Team. It’s a mere 2 days since I sent the first complaint about her.

I have been invited to view a property that I have bid on, a 1 bed housing association flat, next week. But this morning, the housing association phoned me to perform an affordability check, they said I need proof of my JSA (3rd claim) being in payment by then, otherwise they won’t be able to offer me the flat.

For years I have bid on properties, but I hardly ever get the winning bid.

The flat that I’ve been invited to view is quite a distance away. Crucially, because of the flat’s location, transport wouldn’t be an issue for me there, (though it is in my current property). I’ve explained this to “T”, but she’s unable to comprehend, & has zero empathy.

For my JSA (3rd claim) work focused interview on Tuesday 28th March 2017, I took everything I was asked to bring, & lots more too, much of which “T” chose to ignore (see lengthy complaint of 2 days ago).

I again rang “T” (my work coach) at Erdington Jobcentre today, she was in the middle of an interview, she rang me back afterwards. I again asked “T” if the DWP could reimburse my travel expenses, I said it’s not my fault that I have got to come back in. But “T” reiterated that they will only reimburse travel expenses for certain modes of transport.

I specifically informed “T” today that if my JSA isn’t in payment by next week’s flat viewing date, I wouldn’t be able to have the flat. I told “T” that transport wouldn’t be an issue for me at that flat, which only sparked her incredulity. She’s completely unable to comprehend my situation.

“T” said I didn’t mention transport issues on Tues 28/3/17 (my JSA WFI). I did indeed mention them. I also brought along several letters/documents, that she refused to look at, or copy, and she bluntly stopped me in my tracks when I tried to discuss some things.

I told “T” that she didn’t want to listen to much of what I had to say on 28/3/17, or read/copy what I had brought, saying how long the interview had already gone on for.  “T” said I “had 2 hours” of her time on Tues 28/3/17!

Main Elements of Today’s Complaint:

  1.  It’s “T’s” fault that she forgot to print off the Customer Statement for me to sign, & retain a copy for herself. (I’m not entirely happy with the copy she handed me, the full contents of which I didn’t completely agree to).
  2. “T” has suspended my JSA claim until I go back in to sign the customer statement that she forgot to print off.
  3. If my JSA (3rd claim) isn’t in payment by the viewing date for the flat I’ve bid on, next week, I will lose that property.
  4. If I lose the flat that I’ve been invited to view, transport will continue to be an issue for me.
  5. I am having to pay £16.03 non-dependent charge each week in my current property. I wouldn’t face this charge in the flat, as it’s a 1 bed, just for me. Will the DWP compensate me this for each week that I have to continue to rot here? Or is it actually possible that someone at the DWP, who I’m yet to encounter, has their head screwed on enough to actually want to help me?

Why, when I’m doing everything I possibly can to make a fresh start, which would dramatically improve my chances of securing employment, am I being hindered by “T”/the DWP?

Posted in 3rd JSA Claim, Complaint, DWP, DWP Central England Complaints Resolution Team, Jobseeker's Allowance, Slowly rotting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,