Sorry for the dissertation but where do start? I was dismissed due to ill health July 2014. I claimed ESA immediately as I could not afford to pay rent etc. The claim was suspended from 14th November, as I did not return the A15C form. I did not receive this form in the first place. Apparently, they thought I was working because my last wage from work in July was £100.
Being a trusting soul and without checking, I withdrew £100 and left £44 in the bank on 28th November. On Saturday 6th December, I went online with a view to pay my sister for the Christmas dinner. We decided for the first time in our family history to have Christmas dinner at a restaurant. I noticed I was overdrawn and it was then I realised I was not paid 28th November.
Being a weekend there was nothing I could do. On Monday 8th, I frantically telephoned ESA dept, to be told at that point that because I did not return this A15C form which was sent out 5th November, everything has been sanctioned and monies stopped. Having insisted that I did not receive it in the first place, I was promised that one would be sent out immediately.
On Wednesday, I receive a letter of intent to seek possession from my local authority. The date and time specified in the letter is the exact time as my PIP assessment. I telephoned to reschedule and had to leave a message. I have done this 3 times, over the next respective days and left messages. No one has returned my call to date.
I am getting worried now because my next pay was due that Friday (12th Dec) and the gas and electric was running low. This wouldn’t have been a problem at other times, because my payment would top up each (prepayment meters).
So the weekend arrives and it is getting colder. I had just completed a course of antibiotics and did not wish to start another. On Sunday, I cooked rice, chicken and veggies. I cooked a large amount because when the gas runs out, I can at least warm the food up over the next few days in the microwave.
Yesterday, I broke down and cried like a baby. I telephoned jobcentre to ask for help and they put me in touch with Emergency Contact Services, which replaces Crisis Loan. Having had a telephone interview which lasted about 40 minutes, I was told that someone would get in touch with me within 2-9 working days. I cried some more. It was a very tearful Monday. I was exhausted by the evening and could cry no more.
I woke up this morning feeling a little better than yesterday, although I did not know what the day would bring. This morning, I answered a call from the emergency contact services and was asked if I was told about the hardship fund. No one told me about this in the past, however he went onto to explain that payment could be given at a reduced percentage of usual payment. He went on to say that this would not suit my current situation.
I write today because as a non religious non believer, there is someone or something out there because I was awarded 2 weeks food and cash aid. I am eternally grateful!
I will keep everything crossed (except temper) this Thursday as I have my PIP assessment.
Onwards and upwards