Problems with ESA payments

I have not had any payments of ESA since the end of January when the ESA department got it into their heads that I was in a relationship with my housemate !! I have been living off my DLA and just recently had to use my rent payment to buy food. That is gone now and still my appeal has not been sorted (even though it was marked as urgent). On Monday I got a phone call from the appeals department saying they had passed my appeal to the payments department. At last I will get some money ? Wrong, checked my account today, no payment.

Got in touch with the ESA department and was told that I would not get a call back until next Tuesday. I got in touch with welfare benefits and explained my situation (no money, no food) and they contacted the appeals department for me. When they phoned me back they said that they had been told that they have not made a decision about whether or not I am in a relationship with my housemate !!!! Why are they messing people about. They raised my hopes only to drop me from a great height again. I then got a call from the appeals department saying I should have been sending medical certificates in so I would still get money whilst my appeal was being looked at !!! They said there had been a mistake because no one had told me this but they couldn't do anything until I send a certificate in. So now I have to wait un Tuesday to try and get a certificate, then send it to them and then wait again. I have to go and collect a food voucher on Tuesday so I can go to the food bank. This is the ultimate degredation. I feel like I'm nothing. Been crying all day. I know it doesn't do any good but my bills are mounting up and I don't know what I'm going to eat until Tuesday. My housemate has been great but there is a limit to what another person can do and they have reached it.

15 Replies

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  • You can contact your MP using this website: theyworkforyou.com/ even if they are ConDem they should still be able to put a bit of pressure on DWP to sort it out.

  • Sounds par for the course from my experience with them. They have taken me to hell and back on several occasions. I could write for an hour about the various tricks they have pulled on us...last year the temperature was below zero for seven weeks here-where we live. That's 175.00 owed in heating payments. Where are my payments? Oh you are appealing a decision so payments are suspended!!! They wriggled out of making the payments in the end. We were still cold. I sympathise very much with your dilema and wish I could offer some fix but alas there is not one. It's a matter of digging in and sticking it out I'm afraid. If you live anywhere near me I would be happy to help you out with some grub n stuff, anything to help anyone suffering at the hands of those horrid lot. Dig in, chin up, it will be over before you know it.

    Best

    Chris

  • Thanks you for your comments. It feels like I'm hitting my head against a brick wall. I have been waiting since last year for a tribunal hearing because I should have been put in the support group not the work related group. I was told it could take up to 12 months for a hearing. I am on the high rate for mobility so should have been automatically put into the support group. I contacted my local MP and their assistant contacted the appeals department about 5 weeks ago. They were told that a decision would be made in around 2-3 weeks about my lastest claim. After waiting 5 weeks I phoned last monday and the rest is in my previous blog. I understand there are some people who are getting benefits that shouldn't be, but they manage to get them so why can't we who really need help get it ? I now have to go all over easter with nothing. There is nowhere I can go for help and I feel so depressed. The rent is due on the 10th of April and I don't have it so will probably be homeless soon as well.

  • Holly karma.... What part of the uk do you live?

    I'm in west wales and also would be happy to help with food!

  • Thank you so much, but I live in Nottingham and don't have any transport. It is so very kind of you considering how hard it must be for you to manage as well.

  • Hi Holly,

    Do you have a Salvation Army centre or Red Cross centre near you? I am wondering if they would be able to help with your immediate need. I can understand how degraded you feel about using a food voucher but please don't. Food banks are there for those in need and you are in need, These days there is no shame in being in need. It is a situation forced on so many vulnerable people by the way this Govt is changing welfare benefits. It is not the fault of those who are chronically sick/disabled or vulnerable. I don't really know what to suggest other than this. There used to be a system where emergency payments could be made to those in desperate circumstances but that may have been stopped now. I worked for the DHSS way back in the 70's and there was a system where very needy people could collect a "Giro" payment to see them through a difficult time. I expect that has been stopped by now, though. You should not have to go all over Easter with nothing. Would you be brave enough to talk to a local journalist to highlight your plight? It is a disgusting situation.

    All I can do is offer my moral support and to say I'll be thinking of you.

    Comforting hugs.

    Saskia XX

  • Thank you Saskia. Unfortunately even if there was a Salvation army near to me I couldn't get there as I have no transport. I think the government are hoping we will all starve to death so they won't have to pay any more benefits to us. I am wondering how I'm going to get to the food bank on Tuesday as well. I phoned for a crisis loan on Thursday (the last day it was being given out) but it was too late in the day for them to make a payment. It just annoys me that I contacted the ESA in the first place when I was going to appeal and said that I should get some money whilst the appeal is going through, but they said I wasn't entitled to any, but now they are saying I should have sent in medical certificates and I would have been paid all this time !!! From what I gather I should be able to claim all my payments from the end of January but I will have to wait and see. Every time I speak to someone in the benefits department I get a different story.

  • Oh dear that is a long way from me :(. I feel so sad for you, to be without food is more than awful, but to then have to use food stamps must feel so damn degrading, but as saskia put so well, it's the way this country wants us to feel!

    How about a local church, they often have angels helping out these situations.. I'm sorry I can't be any more help... Do you have anything at all to eat today??

    I'm so sorry you have been treated this way :(

  • I have a few cuppa soups so at least I can have something warm. Thank you for your concern, its just a shame that this government are not so concerned about the disabled population of this country. I worked up until just over 2 years ago even though I was in considerable pain. I raised a child as a single working parent. I was a carer for my father for 5 years. Now when I need help they are treating me like a dirt. If I was a drug addict or an alcoholic I would get all the help I need, but because I don't drink (can't afford to), don't smoke and don't take drugs I don't get any help. This system is flawed beyond belief. I think that I would be better off if I went out and broke the law and got arrested. Maybe I would be locked up in a warm prison, with 3 meals a day, leisure facilities, educational facilities and no bills to worry about !!!

  • This is a disgraceful situation and the fact you're thinking of breaking the law just so that you will bewarm and fed is terrible. I really feel for you and again if I was closer I'd be happy to help with some food. Unfortunately I live in Bedfordshire. Are your family aware of your plight? I cannot believe that ths government are treating people let alone I disabled people in this way. If you were an illegal immigrant you would be treated better than this. I hope you get a positive result from this and I'm sorry I can't be more helpful :(

  • It is a terrible situation to be in Holly, as you well know.

    It is okay to cry, sometimes it can help. And it is okay to use food banks as saskia said. No one will think any less of you for it.

    Can I just say, I am an alcoholic, but haven't had a drink for 3yrs. I didn't get any help from the government. I had to do the work myself. I lost everything I had worked so hard for. So please don't tar everyone with the same brush. Alcoholism is a disease in it's self. The same as Fibromyaliga is a syndrome. No hard feelings, take care of yourself.

    I hope you find some help. x

  • I don't mean to belittle anyone and I hope you understand. All I meant to say was that if you don't have any problems (other than being disabled) then you don't have any organisations to go to for help. They don't care that you have nothing to eat. Where are my human rights ?

  • Have you applied for a hardship payment? you can arrange this over the phone then collect at your local JC.

    How does bin raiding sound? many large stores like Tesco throw tons of fresh food away every night, food that has reached its sell by date but still fresh enough to eat, just find where they keep the bins and help yourself.

  • Unfortunately it is a bank holiday weekend, so not able to get any sort of payment. The crisis loans stopped on 28/03/13 so are no longer available. I would love to be physically able to go raiding supermarket bins but unfortunately I can't even walk as far as the nearest supermarket let alone climb in and help myself. I live on the outskirts of nottingham so I am not able to get into the city centre (only place they pay out any sort of payments). I don't think there are even any hardship payments any more. This government is making so many cut-backs that any sort of help is is getting less and less possible.

  • I am having major problems getting them to pay ESA, I have sent them loads of information and after 3 months I phoned to be told they had shut down my claim due to savings being too high (rubbish) I have complained to the Manager and after 1 month no reply. I shall now find a way to get the Politian's involved, ESA must improve.

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