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Claiming benefits sucks!

27 REPLIES 27
cherub
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

When I read that thing about lie detectors I was convinced it was April 1st again.

Let's face it, the government have enough trouble just trying to run Jobcentre Plus and the DWP properly, how on earth is this going to work? What a load of absolute tosh! They would be far better off spending the money on proper staff training (at my Jobcentre the person dealing with you generally has to consult a colleague then a manager for even the most basic info it would seem). I have had so much wrong or conflicting info on benefits in the last 6 months it has been untrue. A course in how not to be rude to sick people would help a lot of them as well!

OH is s/employed and we were advised to try to apply for Tax Credits -once again we were misinformed (IR this time) so were turned down and told if OH's working hours change to try reapplying. We plan to, but this is out last go.after this we give up on everything to do with the benefits system. We are just lucky that we have some money put by, but we are living very frugally that's for sure.

taffy
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

seen in Daily Express today hat they are going to pilot a lie detector test in some areas for benifit claimants-sounds like a great idea to me!If its sucsessful will be rolling it out countrywide. sharonx

Geraldine
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

Welfare Reform Bill I've been checking out where the current attitude comes from. in a nutshell, it is from the Welfare Reform Bill which is due to become law later this year. The gist of it appears to be that, even if you are ill/incapacitated in some way, you are likely to still be considered capable of undertaking some kind of work. In this case you will go onto a new benefit which will only be paid if you are moving into work or JSA. If you are incapable of work, you'll go onto Income Support. In my case, I would n't have got this as the maintenance I receive from my ex for our son, would just take me outside the threshold for IS. The Jobcentre is supposed to provide support to claimants to get them into work. You have to score 15 or more in the Personality Capacity assessment to retain benefit. If you don't you are deemed capable of working, apparently regardless of the advice of the medical staff involved in your treatment and care. There is an appeal process but that's not much consolation in the short term and something that none of us need when you're dealing with cancer. It's being put forward as a way to get people into work but it seems very obvious it's a means of removing benefit. An employer would not be able to harrass a sick employee in this way and doubt the validity of medical opinion or advice. Jim Murphy is the minister for the DWP and is responsible for this piece of legislation. There has been an articlae in "Community Care" recently about this as there are serious concerns that a lot of people with significant health problems will be forced into work despite not being fully fit to do so.

Geraldine

twelch
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

getting mad I also get really mad that we pay into the system and when it comes to it and you need genuine help you get bugger all.
Before i went in for surgery I went to see if i was entitled to anything at the loca CAB office, as i wouldnt be paid anything and i was told straight to my face that I should off saved for a rainy day like this, i told her i could foresee the future and never thought in a million years that in my 30's would i get BC, I still want to punch her face in.

Tracey

cherub
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

Well, for what it's worth I think if you turn up with a medical certificate which states you have BC and is signed by your GP the Jobcentre should know you are not malingering and the staff should also be well enough trained to know they should not be giving you abuse like the guy I had who told me "breast cancer is no excuse for trying to get benefits (but being a drug addict seems to be a good enough excuse - don't get me started on that one as a family of this type at the bottom of my street are getting everything on a plate, so taxpayers are financing their habit - they are also petty criminals to boot!) I know someone who is a Jobcentre manager and it is all about government figures and targets - it's basically easier for them to interview genuinely vulnerable people than the ones who they know are malingering and therefore likely to kick up a big fuss in the office (for instance, when I was jobhunting a young guy in front of me in the Jobcentre was kicking up a huge fuss and threatening the staff because his benefits had been suspended after not turning up at a job interview - he claimed they had no right to do this as his GF had a baby and was also reliant on benefits). I just get really angry at all the people who have never paid NI in their lives as they have never bothered to get jobs - people like me who end up having a short NI gap through no fault of their own then end up being penalised. I had paid NI for 25 years up until the short break when I had to look after my late father, had never taken a break for anything like maternity leave and had claimed dole once back in 1991 for 3 months after redundancy.

I'm writing to my MP, my MSP and the Shadow Secretary about the unfairness of the system.

louise2
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

Believe me I know how hard it tis trying to claim benefit (I gave up - never get ill when you've been self-employed - no SSP for me), and how unfair it is.

But I think everyone talking about malingerers, scroungers and non-genuine claimants should read Lambkin's post again. She has suffered unnecessarily because of the actions of people who presumably believed the stories of an army of malingerers claiming benefit. A person with cancer will probably appear fit and well to an uninformed onlooker.

I'm sure there are a few people who know how to manipulate the system; there always are - Jane quite rightly spoke of rich tax avoiders/evaders. But since we know how difficult they make it to claim, it ill behoves any of us to point fingers and speculate as to who may or may not be a genuine claimant. Since as informed and articulate people we have such difficulty, why would we think there are thousands who get away with fraudulent claims?

We should be arguing for fairer and simpler procedures for everyone, not scapegoating a largely mythical hoard of 'malingerers'.

aroma
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

HEAR HEAR !!!!! YES I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU ,something does need to be done, why should us genuinely sick people not get the benefits WE NEED and the malingerers get everything on a plate, we really ALL need to join together and get a petition up and lobby this government into waking up and seeing the real problems caused by the benefits systems failures what do you say girls?lynn xx

Geraldine
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

I took this up with my local MP. He has replied to my letter and is taking this up with the manager of Jobcentre Plus in this area. It does n't really matter about my personal situation now, it's the principle of the thing. I'll be taking this as far as I can and would suggest other people who've had similar difficulty take it up with their MP if they feel physically and emotionally able to. Things need to change.

Geraldine

josyemarie
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

Geraldine I know lots of people onDLA. Only after I was refused it did others start telling me about who was on it and what they are supposed to have wrong with them! Were my eyes opened! To me it seems like the whole system is flooded with fraudsters. I wouldn't like to have the job of sorting them all out!

Geraldine
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

Had my interview this morning. Flatly refused to discuss anything personal, private or sensitive as the interview was conducted at a desk in an open plan office about 10 paces away from the front door. I commented that the venue was not appropriate as it did not consider my need for privacy and confidentiality. The advisor started to ask me questions the answers to which I had already given on my original claim form which I knew was on a file in the Jobcentre. He told me that not all of the information makes it onto the computer system and consequently is not available to him. I asked what had been the point in making me provide that info in the first place when it is not passed on? He started to tell me that the interview is part of "Pathways to Work" to get people into work. I told him that I have a job, and am going back to work on 2nd April, all of which the Jobcentre already know. I know my rights under the law, I do not need any support with any emotional/physical problems that might arise (something he mentioned) as the Jobcentre would be the last place I'd turn for support as the staff there are total strangers to me. I don't need or want to bring anyone else into the loop. I made a point of saying that I was n't directing anything at him personally but that the whole experience with the Jobcentre had been humiliating. He told me that it is deliberately designed to put people off claiming or remaining on benefits, and as a civil servant with a number of years experience, he is not happy with the system!!! If that is true then what does that say about this country and the way it treats sick people??? The only thing he told me which might be of interest to other people is that there is a payment of £40 a week available to people returning to work part time after sickness. But as I'm going back full time, I can't have it. I've not come across mention of it in any of the DWP literature avaialble to the public....hhhmmm, I wonder why??? Think they've deliberatley kept quiet about that. He also told me that I am the 4th woman with BC that he has interviewed this week. Yes must get all of us cancer malingerers back to work as we're such a drain on the country. And we must remember that to the DWP, it isn't a serious illness.This whole experience has disgusted and saddened me.

Geraldine

josyemarie
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

Hear!Hear!..Most people I know, know of at least one person recieving DLA who shouldn't be.

lizziecee
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

benefits I really don't know how you ladies cope with all this hassle from the social services. Thankfully I am retired, with a pension of some £205 a month. Luckily we have savings to live on.

My advice would be to get on to BBC Watchdog - they will take up your case and shame the Govmt minister (is it that Corpus Deo lady Ruth Kelly or some other incompetent female minister? Oh, yes , perhaps Patricia Hewitt. They all suck - they should be ashamed to be a female, and decidedly a minister. Can't decide if I will even vote at the next election, they are all a load of shysters.
In anger at our politicians, no matter their persuasions.
Liz.

taffy
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

The way they are with you is almost harrasment-they should be ashamed of themselves.The whole thing is such a waste of tax payers-your-money! Although this will upset some l will have to say again-why are the real scroungers allowed to get away with it and we get such hassle.In your job you see it-and so did l working on a psychiatric ward-we had some regulars who only presented as depressed when the DLA or INCAPACITY benifits forms needed filling and once the nice DR or nurse wrote currently depressed and recieving inpt treatment on the formsthey would stage a remarkable recovery.Cynical it made you but very true.Give them HELL girl!
sharonx

Geraldine
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

Hey ho, going for my "return to work" interview tomorrow. Had an appointment with the onc this afternoon at 3.30pm . Clinic was running late so I did n't get out til just before 5pm. got home to a message from the Jobcentre, left with my teenage son to tell me I have an appointment at 11am tomorrow and I have to attend. Well yes I was aware of this because I can read!!!!

Geraldine

lambkin
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

Please don't get me started Yes I had breast cancer- 6 months chemo/ 2 x ops/ 6 wks rads/ loads of infections/ allergic reactions to drugs and one year later am now hoping to return to work after Easter.

I live alone and so have to financially support myself.
I first received SSP paid via my employer- then that finished. I applied for IB- but there was loads of delays and it caused me immense financial hardship at the time.
I had to attend the benefits office(s) several times to prove who I am and to show them my documentation- and yes, they said that I didn't look like my photo because of my lack of hair etc.

After my carers / CAB/ GP/ vicar completing loads of forms and sending letters to the various depts, I finally after 6 months received IB and DLA.

But what has upset me is that someone told the authorities that I was working and therefore should not be receiving these benefits.

I hit the *** roof! All benefits stopped- more monetary chaos.
More visits to the benefits offices. More questions asked. More comments about the photos.

Eventually GP/ CAB/ vicar all got involved and eventualy it was all restored and back payments made.
But now... I have been told that someone else has also stated that I should not be receiving benefits.
What is it with some people?

It has been suggested that whenever I leave the house, someone thinks that I am going to work. NO! I am attending appointments- at hospital for various side effects and treatments/ Benefit offices for identification purposes/ council for council tax claim/ GP/ and now generally getrting myself back together etc etc.

We will get through this! But someone having treatment for cancer really doesn't need all of this stress.

LOL
x
Lambkin

aroma
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

benefits dont get me started!!!im in danger of loosing the roof above my head because of dhhs office inability to get their act together and put my rent into an account id set up especially for the purpose. grrr! i cant understand why when anyone is diognosed with a life threatening disease that they cant get some sort of interim payment going and then when things calm down a bit they can claw it back from any award granted. god knows we have enough to worry about getting well without the added strain of financial worries.prehaps we should lobby parliament for more understanding of the stress this puts on us all. i say get the malingerers back into work and leave us genuine sick people alone!!!lynn xx

Geraldine
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

If I didn't keep my "Rottweiller" head on I think I'd get so upset I could n't deal with this. The inequality in the system has really got me down. Got back from the GP today, after getting my second sick note (the one to cover the period I already have a sick note for but "the law says" you cant have blah, blah, blah) to find yet another letter from DWP............... to remind me to get a sick note as my current one is only accepted up to 22nd!!!!!! This one was sent from the same office, the day after the first one telling me I had to get another sick note. It's the 5th letter in the past week. Do they do this deliberately to grind you down so that you'll go back to work rather than put up with this???? It certainly feels like it.

At the moment I can't describe how I feel. P**ssed off and worn down is close but not close enough.

Geraldine

mcgle
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

And another thing... If you are eligible for IB, then you are allowed to do 'Permitted Work' for a year. Thereafter, you have to relinquish this in order to retain the benefit.

I thought they wanted people to get back to work...

Mcgle

bimbo119
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

Can I join too! Hi ladies,

I tried applying for DLA and had the HV (a friend of a friend) help me complete the form only to be told that I'm not ill enough.

Since my SSP stopped I applied for IB and was told that I would be sent a letter for an appointment/interview after I'd started claiming but that I wouldnt be expected to attend due to the circumstances. However, I had a letter in the post and rang up asking why they wanted me to attend - letter said to see if they can help me get back into work - hello, i've got a job i just cant do it because of the BC. The lady on the other end of the phone explained that I had to attend otherwise they were quite within their rights to reduce my benefits, so I went. What a waste of time. I ran through my qualifications, my present situation and was there for about half an hour. It would appear they have also contacted my GP - clearly a sick note stating mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, bilateral reconstruction and oophrectomy isnt enough!! Wouldnt be surprised if i had to show them my war wounds.

Its absolutely ridiculous, as if we arent going through enough at the moment without having to make unnecessary trips to the Jobcentre to justify the reasons behind our claims.

Moan over - sorry girls.

Ju x

cherub
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

We had a letter to say we didn't qualify for tax credits this morning, so I think some of us are entitled to sound like the DM on a bad day lol!

Gordon Brown is my MP and I have thought about writing to him, but I think he is far too busy thinking about what he's going to do as PM. No point in contacting my MSP either as she lives in his pocket I'm afraid.

JaneRA
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

compassion I don't think that contrasting 'real' claimants with bogus 'scroungers and malingerers' is helpful.

Yes some people abuse bureaucratic systems..and wow look at those earning millions who know every tax avoidance scam in the book.

But we should be arguing for better systems, clearer sytems, fairer policies, transparent and compassionate treatment for those who need help and support.

There's plenty to rant about when you've got cancer, financial issues included, without sounding like the Daily Mail on a bad day.

Jane

Geraldine
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

Don't get me started!!!! Don't get me started about the real malingerers and scroungers. I'm a social worker and I've had to work with people with no good reason not to work other than being bone idle and thinking the world owes them a living. I know for a fact that these kind of people get a lot of money from the state and most of them have contributed nothing. I've walked into houses where no-one is working and they have top of the range plasma TV's, the latest mobile, American style fridges at £500 a pop, often paid for with lump sum payments from the state, money that is supposed to pay for services for them or their kids.You get a lump sum to pay for services for little Johnny who's ADHD and what do you do with it??? You buy a £400 pedigree dog of course. A convicted criminal tried to kill himself at the local YOI (Young Offenders Institute) where I live. The prison officers working there saved his life. He has been awarded half a million pounds in compensation because he was traumatised by the experience!!!!! Well have n't we been traumatised by our experience??? But we have to jump through hoops to get a measly £70.05 a week. And you have to disclose every penny you have including the savings you have for your child. I am so sick of the way this country treats people who have worked and done nothing wrong other than get seriously ill. It has made me reappraise the job that I do and in the future I certainly will not be working with people who will not help themselves or who abuse the system. Unfortunately the system lets them do this while genuine cases seem to be treated like dirt. I'm off to the GP today to get my second sick note for the next week. I've written a formal letter of complaint to the Jobcentre and copied it to my MP as I feel so strongly about this.
Geraldine

Moderator
Community Manager

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

Claiming Benefit Hello there,

I'm sorry to see that many of you are having problems with regard to claiming benefits. BCC have a fact sheet which may be of some help to you. The fact sheet can be either downloaded from your computer or ordered on line. The link is as follows:

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk//docs/bcandbenefitsjuly06_0.pdf

Towards the end of this publication you will find contact information for various organisation who may be able to assist you further.

I hope this is of help to you all.

Kind regards,
BCC Host

taffy
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

may l join the rant wagon..! After an assult at by a psychiatric pt l had to retire after 25yrs in nhs.Constantly get called for medicals and recently its been these back to work inteviws .been seen by what can only be called a stupid cow who made light of my problems and l had to go away and think about what job l thought l would like to do.I had already pointed out that l had trained in psychiatry had reached the point ld hoped in my career as ward manager only to have it cut short by one punch and that was all l ever wanted to do and no shopwork -as she suggested was not for me-not only was she insensitive but plain stupid!!!I now face being called back at her whims to see if l fancy working-could not get thru to her that physically l cant work.Like you can see wasters getting everything no questions asked!!!! wish they would go after the real malingerers!!!
okay moaning over-lets all agree we will give em hell!
irate sharon x

cherub
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

This doesn't surprise me. I was turned down for IB as I have a very small gap in NI dating back to taking time out of work to care for my father 3 years ago - I had to move back home to do this, I had been at the other end of the country for nearly 20 years and had worked since 1977 up to this point. I have never had time off for anything like maternity leave and I even worked when I was at University as a mature student for 3 years!

My claim went to 5 different offices over a period of 6 weeks, it started out in Lancashire and ended up in Glasgow, 4 of the offices it passed through were up here in Scotland. When I phoned to chase it up I was told that being diagnosed with BC was no excuse for trying to claim benefits. I was absolutely disgusted to say the least. It really irks me that I'm being penalised for a short period of being a carer, yet there are a couple with drug problems at the bottom of my street who are getting everything despite never having had jobs. The system stinks. I contacted Macmillan Cancer as they are campaigning on this issue; they advised me to try and claim something via the tax credit system. I have done the forms and am waiting to hear but I'm not holding my breath.

We are living on savings as we had just started a business in the weeks leading up to my diagnosis - everything had to go on hold as I had to have more surgery and we didn't know how we were going to cope with all this. We are starting to make some money, but it's not enough to pay ourselves a salary, it has to go back into the business. I've just finished 5 weeks rads and it cost us £300 in diesel plus new tyres for the car. This is a very costly disease at times, my last gas bill was horrendous as well.

Sprite
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

Hi Geraldine,
Yep, I know how you feel! I had a solid work record for 26 years but six months before diagnosis I moved jobs, didn't get on with the new role and started temping until I got a new, permanent job. However BC struck before that happened and consequently all my insurance safety nets either weren't there or didn't apply so I have have to live on my credit cards and on loans for the last year.

I managed to go back to work (temping full-time as all benefits stopped as soon as I went back to work) for six weeks inbetween finishing treatment for my original breast cancer and going back in for a prophalactic mastectomy (I'm triple neg and felt it was my only safety net). I went back to work because I couldn't afford not to (mortgage had suspended payments for six months but added interest still and wouldn't suspent payments any longer) and have had to borrow money to enable me to have three weeks off to recover from this op.

I should have been able to do a 'rapid reclaim' (what a title for DWP to call it!) so that I can claim IB for the time that I'm off until I start temping again. Sounds simple so far doesn't it - nothing much has changed in the interim, however I received a letter this morning saying that they need my ID again, as I was bald the last time when I took my passport in and am now short haired with no eyebrows and I still look nothing like my photo I really can't see the point!!

Went to see CAB about my debts but I'm in the catch 22 position of being unable to do anything until I'm working again, which I can't do for another couple of weeks (I'm already taking half the time recommended by the doctor for my recovery, what more am I expected to do??!)

......and don't get me started on the Council Tax benefits system, I have a reams of letters and copies of the documents I've had to send to them!

Ooops, looks like this has turned into a rant too - it solves nothing but I do feel better for venting!!

Sprite xx

Geraldine
Member

Re: Claiming benefits sucks!

Claiming benefits sucks! I'm writing this for a bit of a moan. I claimed incapacity benefit in February after I'd used up my SSP. I have only been claiming since 16th Feb and have only recieved one payment so far. I qualified for this benefit as I have always worked, paid my contributions, etc. My job is still available to me and I'll be going back to work on 2nd April. The benefits agency and Jobcentre staff know this. Nevertheless, I am being required to attend an interview next week to see how they can help me find work! The officer that I will be seeing told me this interview is mandatory as it is a validation of my claim, to make sure I am who I say I am and have got what I say I've got. This is because they have had so many false claims (his words). He also expressed surprise that I was being called in so soon as these interviews normally only take place after you've been claiming benefits for 8 weeks. When I submitted my claim form, an advisor copied proof of my identity (photocard driving licence, bank statement, etc) but it seems I've got to do it again. When I submitted my claim form at the Jobcentre, I had to ask to speak to someone in private as staff at the main entrance started pulling out my confidential paperwork at the front door! They looked surprised when I insisted on some privacy and confidentiality. I went back to my GP just over a week ago, for a further sick note. We agreed I'd be fine to go back to work on 2nd April- this is on the advice of my BC nurse and GP who feel I should have healed adequately from my rads by then. The GP gave me a sick note for 3 weeks. BUT the Jobcentre will only accept a final sick note for 2 weeks. According to them, "it's the law" that a final sick note can only be for 2 weeks!!! WHY??? So I have to take up another appointment to get a sick note for a period for which I already have a sick note. And they seem unable/unwilling to tell me which piece of legislation this comes from. Then yesterday, I got a form from the Jobcentre with a letter stating they need more info about my illness and why it renders me unable to work. So I rang them. They have had my sick note and a report from my GP ( because he told me he'd done one for them). However it seems that some bright spark in an office in Newcastle has decided that my GP's explanation of my incapacity to work at present is not adequate. The woman that I spoke to at the Jobcentre about this was surprised that I'd been sent it as (she said) a diagnosis of cancer is usually accepted as an adequate explanation without asking for further info. She would n't tell me whether or not the people in Newcastle were doctors or medically qualified in any way. I have had 8 letters from these people since I submitted my claim, 3 in the past week, requiring me to provide more info, bits of paper, etc. I've found the whole experience completely humiliating. It's as if they regard me as either a malingerer or a fraud. I asked the woman on the phone yesterday what else they wanted?-- did they want to see my scars as I can't give them any more proof than they've already had! It appalls me that they will harrass someone who is recovering from a major illness because I certainly feel harrassed. I'm writing a formal letter of complaint to the manager of the Jobcentre and I will also be writing to my local MP. If this is typical of how the system treats people who are ill then it's an absolute disgrace.
Geraldine

Geraldine
Member

Claiming benefits sucks!

Claiming benefits sucks!