Category Archives: ESA3 form

An apology!?!?

Well it’s almost D-day and yesterday I received a phone call from DWP regarding my complaint letter. Once again they never received it (so they claim!), but my MP’s office has forwarded a copy to them after I expressed concern at having had no reply. Basically the postal service was to blame was the gist of the conversation. Apparently the DWP postal  centre is in Nottingham although the claims are dealt with in Derby?????????????? Really don’t see how that’s an effective system. When I replied that although I know the post office do lose things I really don’t see how one person can be so unlucky as to have the number of things go missing that we have had -it adds up to about 6 items in all! – he agreed that it wasn’t good enough. He stated that the service is paid for by the taxpayer and it isn’t doing right by its claimants. He reiterated several times that it wasn’t good enough but at no time did he say what was going to be done about it. So although the apology is appreciated it doesn’t seem as if the problems are going to be addressed any time soon.

NEW DATE

We now have a new date for the appeal in July. I have still not received any reply to my complaints letter and my MP’s office is supposed to be trying to get an answer but I can almost guarantee they’ll say they didn’t receive it. To be honest I think they’ve succeeded in getting the response they wanted because I’ve had enough of it all now. The monetary gains are just not worth all this hassle. In all likelihood he will be put in the work related group so will have to attend interviews with a view to finding a job, (quite where someone with his lack of skills, together with his medical issues, is going to get one I don’t know). So whatever happens he is going to be under extra pressure which in turn will put me under extra pressure. The way I feel just now it will cost them money in any case, in anti depressants because I don’t know how much more I can take. The benefit rate is so low now that we are regularly having snack type meals instead of proper meals and my freezer seems to be on its way out together with my washing machine which broke today. Where the money will come from to repair or replace these I just don’t know. Maybe I should just take my clothes to the river and bash em on the rocks like in the good old days!

A form at last!!!!!!!!!!!

Well we received a new form to fill in yesterday- about a month after they lost the first one I filled in. Perhaps it had something to do with the intervention of the Welfare Rights centre. It certainly seems coincidental that despite my two previous phone calls no form arrived but only three days after Welfare Rights get in touch hey presto!!! a form drops on the mat. I have tried to find someone to complain to but in the first instance you are advised to complain to the office that has dealt with your claim. So that’s my next step – can’t say I have any faith even in the complaints system they run either. No one seems to be accountable in these government agencies, and if they are going to start altering their pay conditions I can only see it getting worse.

The council have also been less than helpful, sending us final demands threatening court action if we don’t bring rent payments up to date. This despite me being told they would put a stop in the letters until our claim was sorted by DWP. On top of this they have calculated this years housing benefit and yes you’ve guessed it used our old incapacity benefit income rates not ESA rates, so more time will be wasted recalculating this too.

What a system!! Talk about kick you in the teeth when you are down. Is there any wonder so many benefits go unclaimed? Would you put yourself through this if you had any other choice??

You couldn’t make it up !!! :(

We received the report yesterday with all the details of my partner’s claim, which they have looked at again to stop it going to appeal. Unfortunately the decision about his claim still stands and an appeal looks inevitable. I obviously wanted to scrutinise the documentation explaining this and guess what, there in black and white (well funny orangey colour actually) is a report on someone else’s claim. A paragraph in which this person is named and the details of why he’s failed the medical are explained. The next paragraph then goes back to being about my partner! How can this be allowed to happen? Clearly on the same page are the names of 2 different people! Does no one ever check these documents for errors? If I hadn’t have laughed I would have cried. Does this department’s incompetence know no bounds?

And still no sign of a form that they insist was posted  Friday 2nd March.

“It should arrive in the next few days ” said the bloke on the phone.

“Surely if it was posted on 2nd March even second class it should have arrived by now” I said

“Can’t legislate for the postal service” he says

So its pure coincidence that the post office has managed to lose two forms both belonging to the same claim. Ermmmmmmmmm forgive me for being a bit sceptical but I think the blame lies elsewhere.

Anyway have contacted a different welfare rights organization in the hope of some support since everyone else we’ve contacted doesn’t seem to care. Lets hope they can help!!!!!!!!

They lost my form!!!!!!!!!!!

Well after a conversation on Monday with DWP it appears they haven’t received my form!! Wonderful !!! So now it’s back to the drawing board and I have to fill it all in again. The new form was  posted to me Friday but at the time of this post we haven’t yet received it.  So it will probably be another couple of weeks before it’s sorted – it’s an absolute joke! If this were a business they were running it would be bust by now as I’m one of many that they fail on a daily basis. I’ve been told that it’s best to post any forms by registered post. So at a time when you’re in dire need you are expected to waste money (you haven’t got) on postage. I’m sorry but although I believe that the postal service does sometimes lose things I’m not convinced it’s on the scale that DWP claim. My form is probably in the DWP building somewhere. This is incompetence beyond belief and I for one think it’s absolutely unacceptable. Yet another reflection on our society and Government – if you’re vulnerable we’ll walk all over you and you better be grateful for it!!

Who’s in our Corner?

Well still no word so decided to phone the DWP to see what was happening if anything. I was put through to a lady and after the usual verification of national insurance number etc the conversation went like this:

ME: Could you tell me what’s happening regarding our claim? We filled an ESA 3 form in and was told it would only take a few days to add me to the claim as it is an active claim. It’s now over a week since you should have received the form and we still haven’t heard anything.

DWP: I’m afraid I can’t talk to you without your partner’s permission.

Partner goes to phone and gives permission.

DWP: He’s just been moved to ESA from incapacity benefit, has he put in an appeal?

ME: yes

DWP: Oh yes he’s been awarded single claimant rates, were you on his claim?

ME: yes, and as you can appreciate we can’t live on £67.50 a week

DWP: No they seem to be awarding everyone who fails the medical single rate. When did you send in the form?

ME: about a week and a half ago, was told it ould only take a few days to sort out.

DWP: Who told you this ? No it takes about 2 weeks and there’s no record on-screen of even receiving the ESA3.Did you post it recorded delivery?

ME: No just normal post. How am I supposed to afford recorded delivery on £67.50?

DWP: Oh, I’ll have to email the office and see what’s happening and ring you back, could be any time up till Monday lunchtime.

ME: Ok, Will wait to hear, but am not very happy.

About a half hour later they phone me back by which time my partner has had to pop up to shop, and guess what they can’t speak to me without his permission again. They’ve just had it -only half an hour ago!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m beginning to feel really down and dejected about this. During the above phone call I had to remain calm and quietish and not really let rip like I felt like doing because I realise that the person on the end of the phone is probably nor responsible for the mess but I know if I’d begun to let fly I would have lost it. How can it be right that people with dependants are being thrown off onto single rate? They have all the details yet are having to wade through unnecessary forms leaving people with next to nothing to live on.

We have received no support from any of the help we’ve sought. The advice service that was asked to call us back haven’t called. Our MP hasn’t been in touch despite being emailed and phoned on several occasions. Its shameful the way we have been treated in all this. Irrespective of your views on whether people should be thrown off this benefit in the way that they are, no one can live on fresh air and that is exactly what I am left to do. How can this be allowed to happen in 21st century Britain? Read http://edinburgheye.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/cameron-what-the-dickens/ and see what you think. I’ve been saying this for a while. Just when you think it can’t get worse it does……….and what’s more no one seems to care.

Form Filling!:(

Time to fill in the dreaded form!

Q: Has your illness or disability changed since you last told us about it?

Can I put Yes not only is my partner over the edge but I’m at risk of going over the edge with all the stress too!!

Q: Is anyone getting, or has anyone just stopped getting, Child Benefit for you?

surely this question should read Are you or your partner getting, or have stopped getting Child benefit for any dependent children?

And there are loads of questions where after saying no the logical next step would have been please go to question XX but it goes on to ask all sorts of irrelevant questions and even says please answer all these questions even if you think they do not apply to you. Why answer them when you’ve already answered a question with NO, so they clearly don’t apply to you.

Perhaps they could set me on proof reading their forms for them, don’t think I could do a worse job than whoever does it now!!!!!!!

It’s no wonder welfare rights centres are inundated with people needing help with these forms because even if you think you are fairly intelligent you finish up questioning your ability to complete them with the stupid way a lot of the questions are worded.