Ill health and the benefit system

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

18 Replies

  • Oh my dear, how stressful for you and how desperate things are. So glad to hear that you have been awarded food and cash aid - you must have a guardian angel watching over you. Good Luck with the PIP assessment. Take good care, TAD xxx

  • They are a pain in the neck !!! I no longer believe anything they say they will send out, because it never arrives. I hand everything in personally now, sick notes ect... and I send everything by post to be signed for.

    They are heartless now and you have to be on your toes with them. I'm so glad you got the help you needed, I can imagine how distressed you were because I've been there myself. x

  • Very stressful situation. My thoughts are with you, take care and good luck . xx

  • Not good is it when you are left like that! I have heard the delay in paying benefits is largely responsible for the use of food banks. Glad you have got some money at last. x

  • What a terrible situation for you, I really do feel for you. And let us all make sure this heartless government is NOT returned to power.

  • What! and put the lying cheating socialists back in who nearly bankrupted the country, no thanks!

  • Then you cannot complain ( as you did ) re government policy and if you think this crowd are good for the country and the people you are sadly wrong as time will show.. our personal borrowing is by far the largest in the world ... as no one has any money and debt is one reason they can fool people that our economy is thriving ... IT IS NOT ...

  • where have I complained about government policy?

  • Are you CRAZY?It was bankers who bankrupted the country,Tory bankers!!!

  • If you believe that suggest you buy the book the establishment by Owen Jones

  • STUPID Read the book the Establishment by Owen Jones that will tell you the truth of what is being done to this country soley for the rich and remember you would not have a national health service but for Labour

  • Religion and politics should nevber be discussed on this type of forum, it is for support. I did not start it other did, so SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • So glad you have at the least been given a respite to your problems. i hope things improve for you.

    Be well

  • This was terrible. I hope all goes well on Thursday for you.. don't forget, the BLF helpline are always there for things like this. 03000 030 555. The cost of a local call from a landline I believe. They take your details and arrange to you ring you back.

    Wishing you the very best results. P

  • No need to suffer alone, there i a lot of help available.....

    I will give you links to a couple of forums that are invaluable for advice about benefits, with live cases of situations like yours being dealt with .

    I am in ESA support group and higher rate PIP in daily care and mobility, and these sites certainly proved a good guide for me. mainly concerned with ESA and some PIP areas Primarily a site for the disabled, but abundant advice on benefits claims and problems.

    Very friendly small site, but full time professional help is available here. suggest you visit here first, say Stree advised you to come and you need help fast.

    I know its a grim situation, but communicate with such as housing and the bank maybe utility suppliers, wirte to your MP see your local councillor etc.

    I wish you the strength and courage to resolve this. Keep up your hope and focus and all will be well.


  • This is discussing I have been through something very similar and I really hope you get things sorted no one with long term conditions like us should have to put up with this c**p.

    I don't want to get in to a political argument but I would like to point out it was the labour party who changed all the rules, employed Atos and gave them a free rain to treat us how they like it was also the labour party who gave Atos a ridicules long contract. At the time benefit fraud was only 10% or less how much has the tax payer had to pay Atos. David Cameron is also to blame he continued with this contract and brought in sanctions and Ed Millerband has said on one interview if he wins in 2015 he will continue with the changed rules all the above is fact and can be looked up and it is a scary thought this is what it is going to be like from now on it will take years for this mess to be cleared up

  • Wishing you the best of luck with your claim!D.

  • Thank you all for your kind thoughts and support. I had my PIP assessment Thursday 18th December and not sure which way it will go. The questions asked, made me look like there is nothing wrong with me. However it was mentioned that the amount of medication I am taking, tells a different story.

    We shall see!

    Wishing you a happy and trouble free festive season xx

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