Residents left without food or electricity while waiting for first benefits payment, according to Bolton organisation

PEOPLE claiming the new universal credit have been left unable to pay their rent or afford food or electricity, according to a report co-authored by Citizens Advice Bolton.

Bosses from the advisory organisation presented their report at the Houses of Parliament, which aims to highlight problems with the new benefits system.

The report claims four out of five people surveyed by Bolton and 15 other Citizens Advice offices were unable to pay for such basic items while waiting for their first payment.

 It says admin problems had contributed to the delays, such as claimants being asked to send documents which had already been provided, and claims being lost within the IT system.

Coeliac and diabetic woman denied any money for weeks, told she has no evidence of hardship!

She was left on the hottest day of the year with a 10 mile stroll home with no fluids or food en-route
This was posted on the facebook page The People Vs The Government, DWP and Atos

Anon please

A mutual friend suggested contacting you with yet another sorry tale about this caring Government. It’s a tale you probably hear numerous times every day.

Couple of weeks ago my 18 year daughter is sent to hospital by her (zero hour agency) employer. The reason was unrelated to her medical conditions – Type 1 Diabetes & Coeliac Disease.
Whilst she was waiting at the hospital to be seen the agency called, enquired how she was and told her they were letting her go.

So off she goes to claim UC and accepts 4 week placement at another JCP for admin experience. They issue a bus pass as its 10 miles from home. They also decide she needs to continue weekly visits to the original JCP 10 miles in the opposite direction. She complies.

Then they decide that she can’t go on the placement (no reason given). At her next appointment at signing JCP (today) she explains she has no money and has special dietary needs which is more expensive. Requests either a hardship advance or early action of her UC claim.

Helpfully the JCP said she wasn’t entitled to any advance payment as she couldn’t prove hardship – despite her showing bank statement with £1.21 in account. Told her she would have to wait until July 21st before she would receive any money. Then thoughtfully they asked her for her buss pass which they cut-up.
This left her on the hottest day of the year with a 10 mile stroll home with no fluids or food en-route.

Helpful aren’t they ??

I’ve told her to contact her MP as we live apart – luckily hers is Frank Field. If she had been really unlucky she’d live here with Stephen Crabb the most useless MP in existence and Welsh Sec. to boot so that would be a waste of even an email.

Thought you might like add her tale to your list !!

Capita hands its receptionists ‘overbooking scripts’ after new PIP crisis

Delivery of the government’s new disability benefit appears to have been plunged back into crisis, after reception staff were sent scripts telling them how to explain to benefit claimants why their appointments have been cancelled.

Disabled people across the country are turning up for pre-booked appointments to be assessed for their eligibility for personal independence payment (PIP) – which is replacing working-age disability living allowance (DLA) – only to be told that their appointment is no longer available due to “assessor availability”.

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DWP Faces Legal Action Over ‘Unreasonable’ Disability Benefit Delays

Vulnerable disabled people have taken the government to court over delays to disability benefits, it has been reported today.

Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have launched a judicial review on the grounds that delays to Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which is replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for disabled people, of over a year are ‘so unreasonable that they are unlawful’.

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Foodbank set up at Newcastle hospital after financial burden facing parents of premature children worsens


Worried parents of premature children fighting for their lives are facing crippling financial costs running into thousands of pounds.

A special North East foodbank has now been set up to help some mums and dads who would otherwise go hungry just so they can afford to visit their poorly children in hospital.

Research has found that parents with a baby in neonatal care in the region spend on average £280 a week.

With the average stay being eight weeks, this results in a total of £2,240. But a significant number of babies will spend considerably longer, up to six months.

Now, a regional charity is funding a paediatric social worker to provide emotional support to parents, advise them on financial issues and helps access funding.

Tiny Lives, the charity which supports the work of the Special Care Baby Unit at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary is supporting Fiona Ewing

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Thanks to DWP incompetence, I risked killing both myself and my unborn child


Rachael Bradley has posted this on the facebook page ‘The People vs The Government, DWP and Atos’

In January of 2012, after a temporary work contract ended, I signed on to Jobseeker’s allowance with my then partner. I sent in everything I was supposed to, and around three weeks later, was told my claim had been approved and was ready to be put into payment. Two weeks later, no payment. We got in touch. “Don’t worry about it, it will be paid in the next three days.”
This went on for ten weeks. By this point we had run out of crisis loans. There were no local food banks in the area, so no food. Our electricity had gone out weeks previous. Our gas had been cut. We were summoned to court and a CCJ for rent arrears was imposed. It got to the point where we were living on one pack of 11p noodles a week. I lost 2 stone in three months. On Mother’s Day, despairing that things would never get better, I took 60 painkillers in an attempt on my life.

It took from January to the 28th of May, when I discovered I was pregnant, before things got moving. I explained I was pregnant and was very curtly told, “Pregnancy is not recognized by the jobcentre until you reach 29 weeks pregnant.”

Two weeks after this, after using local libraries to get some legal advice, I called at 9am on Friday 16th of June, and immediately asked to speak to a manager. I explained the abysmal service and said I had recorded the names of every person I had spoken to. I was very blunt in stating that I planned on suing under The Human Rights Act and they had three hours to provide a solution. Then I hung up. Finally, two hours later, after six months and weighing 3.5 stone less, I received the following text:
“Your claim has been processed and will be in your account within 3 hours. There is no need to call.”

Thanks to their incompetence, I risked killing both myself and my unborn child, now have a Court Judgement for rent arrears, and have fought crippling depression ever since. Please share this as I know I’m not the only one who has suffered the indignation of being treated so poorly because I had the misfortune of being unemployed.

Sanctioned Again

This comes from

Sanctioned Again

It always happens just when you manage to quiet the nightmares from the previous. A slip up thanks to a BT Engineer that needed extended access to my apartment to put my line back in. I have again gotten myself a sanction. Looking at things logically it has been a year since the previous WRONGFUL sanction but logic doesn’t count for shit when you got bills to pay and 4 weeks with no money. I do have to say that it is too early to know whether or not my reasons were acceptable or not because surprise I have still yet to receive my Decision Letter despite the sanction going through and the fact that my Good Reason letter was sent more than a week ago.
What I’ve done
I have sent an email of complaint that has been passed on my Job Centre.
Still no Decision Letter.
Picked up my hardship form today and hand delivered my request for a written statement of reasons.
Also somewhat calmed down and stopped freaking out (THIS IS IMPORTANT)
Left a message with my local CAB as far as I know from last time they prefer a call and then they tell you a day to go in with a sort of pseudo appointment but heard nothing back yet. So will have to do that again.
What next
The next steps are to return the hardship form and request the mandatory reconsideration which I would hope to start before the end of the week as I know it took more than 3 months last time to go through the process but this time is far less straightforward so I’m not sure I’ll be successful.
The Bad
Out of nowhere I get a letter saying I’ve missed Council Tax payments which is nonsense but I now have to chase up or get called to court over.
I was planning on paying off some bills with this week’s money which included my 2nd to last payment of my current over priced phone contract which I am more than happy to get out of to save some money and my phoneline/broadband payment. When it rains it pours.
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