Trouble with benefits people

Is anyone on this site on jobseekers allowance? Iv`e been searching for work for a long time now, & I`m 3 years from retirement age. The problem is that employers don`t really want people of my age, so I have to manage on the benefits system. I had an appointment with A4e, who are supposed to help people back into work, on the 7th of this month, but I received no letter telling me & so I missed the appointment. The benefits people have seen fit to punish me by stopping me a month`s jobseeker`s allowance. Iv`e appealed against the decision & applied for a hardship claim, but it does seem harsh. I won`t be entitled to any benefits again until the 23rd of this month. I really hate being dependant on these people, & I wish that I could roll the clock forward to 2015, then I can pick up my pension book & wave goodbye to signing on, & useless government schemes that don`t help the unemployed at all.

22 Replies

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  • Im sorry I cant help but what they have done to you is a disgrace :-o

    Wish I could help more , I do feel for you




  • Your post infuriated me, but your case is not unusual. Presumably you were referred to one of the 'Welfare to Work' providers by the Job Centre? Me too, and they are a total sham. As far as I'm concerned I'm lucky not to have been kicked off onto Job Seekers Allowance rather than being allowed to stay on Employment and Support Allowance Work Related Activity Group. I was slowly getting better, but the constant appointments with my 'Advisor', and her referral for me to attend courses like 'Motivation and Development' has completely derailed my progress.

  • Hello there.My daughter had a very similar experience to yourself.She was also docked one month's money.She has schizophrenia and probably will never be able to work.She also appealed but straight away I contacted her local MP by email.Within 10 days the appeal hearing was cancelled and my daughters full benefits plus back pay re-instated.

    By the way being retired is no picnic.I am 67 and recovering from a severe heart attack.I now have heart failure.My wife and I are struggling to manage on our tiny pensions and so I put in for attendance allowance.After all I am bedridden and my wife cares for me 24/7.Guess what? Got a letter today saying that they refused my application as my GP had not replied to their letters.I had already listed all my medication and given them a copy of my hospital release papers which clearly stated all that had happened and my prognosis.Yes I have e mailed my MP again but if you are in genuine need in this country you have to fight and fight just to get what you are entitled to.

    All the best to you


  • Who stopped her money?

  • Thanks Bev,I do not know what jobseekers allowance rates are.

    My pension is £522 per 28 days or £130 50 per week.Please bear in mind that I have paid in for 50 years for that.From that my mortgage is £227 per month plus I have all the usual expenses,

    Also I wish you would tell Medway council that pensioners don't pay council tax.Yes I do get an age reduction but still pay £48.67 per month!

    Since retiring my wife and myself have not had a meal out let alone a holiday,I have had to sell my car because I cannot afford the running costs.I feel Bev that you should get your facts straight before you make comments,

    Also I remember that my daughter when on job seekers got housing allowance.I do not.

    Neither of us are rich,benefits are all far too low for those like us in genuine need.

  • Sorry Bev I missed the first part of your comment.No I do not get pension credits.As a married couple we have our pensions added together to calculate qualification.To get pension credits your combined income must be less than £222 per week.Ours is £224.46.If you average that out at £112 per does not come to twice job seekers allowance..

    I have just checked back on my daughters case and at the time her money was docked she was getting £71.70 per week plus her rent of £109.87 per week plus her council tax.Although like everyone else she now has to pay a certain amount of council tax.

    Still too little but more than me!

  • I regret to say that this comment has caused me great distress because it is not factual and something I don't need to read at 4am when I am in great pain both physical and mental.I have therefore decided to leave this forum but would like to thank the vast majority of you that have helped me in the past..Thank you all and goodbye.

    Grog xxx

  • It was stopped by job centre plus on the advice of the DWP.

  • Hi I totally sympathise with you. I am in exactly the same situation as you and I can't get a job either. And I can't get my pension until 2019! At least you can get yours soon. I find at my age (with a few health problems) I don't even get interviews any more. I know thats illegal but its impossible to prove.

    The system at the moment is even crappier than usual. DWP staff now have targets to reach re stopping claimants benefits. They know its awful but they have to obey the rules otherwise they would lose their jobs. Its a climate of fear now.

    Bev x

  • Interesting article published by The Guardian yesterday - DWP report accepts mistakes made on welfare sanctions by jobcentres:

  • Iv`e read the article, & it confirms what Iv`e suspected for a long time, that these benefit sanctions have a hidden agenda besides punishing people for missing appointments & other misdemeanors. This is the 4th or 5th time that Iv`e had this happen, & I used to think that the jobcentre had a personal vendetta against me, but Iv`e spoken to other people, & I`m not the only victim by a long chalk. It`s an epidemic.

  • I am so ashamed of the Country that my Grandparents fought and died for. This Country has targeted the ill and disabled, because they are easy targets for them to save money by. Where have all morals gone? Were and what are their priorities. Instead of sending British people to fight a war that has nothing to do with us, costing this Country endless amounts of money, why not use that money helping its own people to get better or if not better, less stressed out. I am horrified, frustrated and extremely concerned with all these sanctions on benefits that is happening at the moment and the barbaric way it is being done. People are literally being left with NO money at all and some cannot even get a hardship payment, this certainly is not the way to reduce stress to an already stressed and anxious person, for some people there is no where for help because of the cut backs, therapists through the NHS are becoming impossible to receive. I have BPD, Bipolar and many anxiety issues that 99% of the time result in me being admitted to A and E. After working all my life I was signed of sick because of a breakdown, I lost my job, I claim Incapacity and DLA and this money is brought up to what the Law says you can live on by Income Support. I would love to go back to work, I long to go back to work, but I cannot leave my house alone due to panic attacks and severe depression, this has gotten worse and I don't even visit my back garden anymore because it is overlooked and because of cutbacks my entire network of support was stopped in 2008 and I have been just thrown on the scrap heap and left to suffer in silence and alone, because friends and family slowly and surely have stopped visiting due to worries of their own to deal with and now I long to be with my grandparents, who also have quite clearly died for nothing. and it is so very wrong.

  • I have agoraphobia too Cheeki, result of a job in the private sector grinding me down.I loved my job, like you.

  • it's awful isn't it why we suffer as we do, thank you for ur message, I do hope you get sorted out, mind you, I have no job to go back to, I suppose ur the same, wot a life hey, its like everything that makes us happy is taken from us. again thanx for ur message and take care -x-

  • My adult son who has two life threatening conditions and Aspergers had his JSA disallowed because he made a mistake on the date he applied for a job, so it didn't fulfil one weeks applications, but made the next week's over the number. His housing benefit hasn't been paid for 6 weeks because he is in a queue of over 1000 applications. He has had to appeal the JSA decision, but it won't be seen immediately. He has become overdrawn now and has to pay overdraft charges. He was offered a voucher for a food bank, but can't go for 4 days because of the Bank Holiday. His energy company has threatened to cut him off and send in bailiffs. He is too scared to open his post now. (good job he has parents who support him out of their pensions, but the public services don't know that!) Brave new world.

  • I think the government are taking the easy option through disabilities and illnesses and I do think a miracle is needed here for everyone concerned, like your son bonkerswoman, it starts at benefit cuts due to peoples illnesses and mistakes and just as a rolling a ball in snow it esculates, with direct debits not being paid, so bank charges are added on to an already overdrawn account, the non payments of Direct Debits also come with a charge from companies waiting to be paid from these DD, this carries on until, as you say, these people become to frightened to in the end open any mail, causing important notices going unseen, which could result in repossession of property or eviction, putting this already vulnerable person on the streets, the DWP hasn't got time to think about that though.

    Last year I received and completed the ESA form, I enclosed everything I could that confirmed I was suffering with many issues including major depression. I then took it along to a a charity that deals with disability issues, form filling etc and was told that he could not fill the form in any better that I had done. I then posted it off. Shortly afterwards I received an appointment date for a medical assessment to be done by Atos. It took me 3 attempts to get eventually have this assessment done because of my anxieties, that started the day I received the form. So, this assessment was completed in November of last year. To date I have not received anything with regard to this assessment.

    Then a while ago (2013) I received a form which happened to be the same ESA form, stating to fill it in and returned by the 9th May 2013. I rang them up from the number on the letter only to discover I cannot get through to the department I needed to and was given another number. I rang this number only to be told, that the number was not recognised. So, wrote a letter explaining everything. I then received a letter stating my form needed to be returned as a matter of urgency. I wrote again, and requested an acknowledgment of my letter sent to me this time as Id heard nothing from my 1st letter. Nothing has been received by me as yet apart from a date of when I am supposed to attend a medical assessment. I have replied to this also and sent it via recorded delivery.

    I do believe that Atos / DWP have made a mistake here, or lost all my information and so need me to do it all again, of which I am NOT. If they have made a mistake, how are they going to right the wrong they have done to me by causing me so much uneccessary stress? So am I going to be sanctioned for their mistake? I do hope not, as I have come to the end of my tether with the whole thing.

    I am sorry for my rants they seem to be getting longer. I am so fuming though. I can and will fight back tho, some people cannot, and for that they will be suffering terribly. It is all wrong.

    Oh PS, sorry again. If you write to the DWP, I am going to copy my local MP into my letter/e-mail from now on, apparently they don't like getting the MP's involved. In addition to this depending were you live there are charities that may help. I hope nobody minds me posting these.

    British Gas have a grant which you can apply for to help with any utilitiy bills

    Welsh water have a grant called, welsh water assist

    Turn to us

    Family fund


    and many more, just google them.

    Good luck


  • Thank you for sharing, cheeki. Sounds like a real mess. I could thump a few people quite easily for their lack of care. Effing big society. I hope you get sorted, love. I can't say much more now because I am having a major meltdown today, but would be pleased to know how you get on. if you ever feel like a follow up. good luck, sweetie.xx

  • -x-

  • I just wish that the heartless people who make all these benefit decisions could be given a taste of life on social security!

  • Hi,

    I hope you're all okay.

    I was right, Atos have lost my information, they did however put on a the final decision letter that I failed to return this ESA50 questionnaire and I know I did return it.

    Anyway, I received the letter 2 weeks ago on Monday and they informed me that they had stopped my incapacity benefit as of the 11th July 2013. They were saying something about Job seekers allowance and signing on. The first thing I did was, to stop reading any more, I scrumpled the letter and went straight for my pills, I had decided in that second that I couldn't cope anymore with anymore let downs, hassles, forms, negativity, I didn't want a million pounds, I just wanted to be well and hassle free, id convinced myself this was never going to happen. At the last minute I suddenly thought of my son, I had always taught him to fight for what he believed in and never ever give up. I put the pills away and decided to fight this.

    Then on the Saturday after this, I received a letter from income support to say as there was a change in my circumstances they could no longer take any money from my income support to pay towards the interest on my mortgage, so then I assumed that was because I didn't have enough money. I was again mortified.

    I then sent 3 letters to Atos, DWP and income support explaining things and my wish to appeal, these went off recorded delivery and as of yesterday where delivered.

    I have today received a letter from my mortgage stating I have to prove this that and the other, that I am in arrears and what I propose to do to sort this out. Again I went for the pills, and again I decided to fight.

    I have never claimed anything from the state before and I had been working since the age of 13 yrs. In Dec 2002 I had a breakdown and was signed off work, I desperately wanted to go back to work but my Dr wouldn't agree. 12 months later I lost my job due to long term sick. I applied for sick pay and received the incapacity benefit, of which I have paid my stamp for and I also pay tax on it.

    This government is playing god with peoples lives, fine yes take money of the disabled, as they are vulnerable and probably wont fight this or commit suicide and then problem there solved, then give themselves a payrise, send our soldiers to wars that have nothing to do with us and yet the pot they have full of millions to help other countries continues to rise, let extreme foreigners into our country bringing us their laws and rules and give them priority over our disabled children.

    This Country makes me sick.


  • Same here, I mean, wer`e supposed to be living in a civilised society, but things are going backwards. In a few years we`ll be reopening the workhouses because the sick, disabled & unemployed will have no place else to go.

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