People who work at the benefits office.

(70 Posts)

Why is it okay to leave a family without a penny because they lose stuff in the post or say everything is fine and going through when clearly it's not?

Phoned up the other day to make sure everything was fine with my payment as it didn't go through the last time, was told everything was fine and going through.

Today, nothing. I phone them and get a message on my answerphone saying they seem to have lost something in the mail and "I know it's an inconvenience but we will have to send the form again and get you to send your partners wage slips with it". angry This form, we got a couple of days ago and it says that money will be affected if it isn't sent back by x date in October, nearer the end of the month!

Phoned back and was told there is nothing they can do. angry

Why is this okay? And why is it so hard to get in contact with someone who knows what is going on?

Probably will get flamed for this and told to get a job and that I'm a scrounger but right now I couldn't give a hell!

What really gets me is they sound so bloody cheery and happy while telling you that there's nothing they can do and you'll just have to make do with nothing. What the hell!? Surely they have a bit of bloody empathy, or do these people not have famillies they can familiarise the situation with?

Rant over.

No one going to come and tell me to suck it up?

not looking for a fight, honest wink

What if I say they haven't paid me but I have a voucher for a goat and a 500" Plasma? wink

Suchabadperson Wed 03-Oct-12 14:45:28

They are jaded, underpaid and tired of being abused all day.

Can you get a crisis loan or advance?

Or sell the goat and swap the telly for fags.

Might swap the telly for crack money but then what will I watch Jezza on?

I'm waiting on them phoning me again but they said it could be up until tomorrow by 1pm, I don't believe that because the last time I had to phone back 3 times on the times I was meant to be called because they didn't bother.

Can't afford the repayments on a crisis loan, tax credits are being changed over as well to joint claim so don't have them either and because of that healthy start vouchers have stopped.

Total mess!

And I understand it's not a good job but really when they get things wrong they are playing with other peoples lives.

cece Wed 03-Oct-12 14:51:40

If they are lost in the post then surely it is royal mail you should be moaning about...

If you're in financial hardship, they should give you a crisis loan. You will need to contact them back regarding this. If will be repair from your benefit at a set amount each week/fortnight or once you get back into employment, recovered at a slightly higher amount

They may ask you some questions about what you have to pay for etc when making the decision. I once applied for one, and they gave me more than I requested as they decided we were in severe hardship at the time sad

Hope everything picks up for you soon

But they're not lost in the post because a few days ago they had all the details. The form they are telling me needs sent back before anything is done says on it that it needs to be back mid October.

It's the attitude that gets me.

Pretty I know, they suggested that but I am paying back a crisis loan and a budgeting loan and that already takes about £40 every 2 weeks. I simply can't afford it to be any less.

sad Big circle really, get the loan to help just now but it makes things harder in the end.

Suchabadperson Wed 03-Oct-12 14:55:33

That is a mess. Keep ringing if you can, maybe ask for the same person each time.

You could ask for a referral to a food bank/ sally army if you're stuck.

Scared to ring because they said they will ring back, haha. If I do they will just tell me that someone will contact me and they don't know anything. confused

Citizens advice said I need to go there and get a voucher for a food back, that takes a taxi there, then to food bank and back. I have some stuff in the freezer for the baby and I have enough to get bread, soup, some baby milk and I have spread in the cupboard. That will do for the moment.

Whoknowswhocares Wed 03-Oct-12 14:59:43

Fact is though, the minion you talked to really can't do anything can they?

and have probably had every kind of abuse all week, which they are not allowed to react to and have to sit there smiling at the vitriol sent there way

I'd rather they got arsey with the people spitting vitriol than the very polite woman in a bit of a crisis!

And no, they might not be able to help but the person who left a voicemail on the main family housephone with all the details of my claim could have (other family live here too and they know this).

Groovee Wed 03-Oct-12 15:02:19

They lost my wage slips for dh's claim. He watched the woman photocopy them and she said "I'll fax them after lunch!" Then 6 weeks later she still hadn't done it. By the time we got the letter with his claim being processed he was in signing off again confused

Had they told us they hadn't done it and needed the wage slips again we could have done it that morning as we were in the building who needed them

Groovee That's really crap and I think that's pretty similar to what's happening here.

I don't even know why they need DP's because he was on JSA when he worked the shifts and they already know all of the details. hmm He's only being added on to mines.

They also said they can't do anything until he closes his claim, he closed it 2 weeks ago and it still hasn't been closed!

Xnedra Wed 03-Oct-12 15:04:17

You should be able to get a foodbank referral from places other than CAB like the GP.

The GP is even further unfortunately. Hopefully when if someone calls back I should be able to sort something and wont need the food bank.

stopcallingmefrank Wed 03-Oct-12 15:12:50

They are probably not feeling cheery and happy when they talk to you. It's their job and they have been given instructions about how to speak to people on the phone. If they don't follow those instructions, they will get into trouble.

They may be pissed off that they have a crap job and there is nothing they can do. They may feel empathetic, but aren't allowed to show it. I read that someone who works in a job centre got disciplined for saying 'good luck' to a client who had a job interview.

Not that any of this helps your situation, I know.

That's pretty awful! Why would they get into trouble for saying good luck?

Madness!

stopcallingmefrank Wed 03-Oct-12 15:16:49

Breached some kind of guideline apparently. The union are fighting that one, but I agree it's madness.

That really is. So are they actually trained to not be nice to people? confused

I worked at the benefits office for 6 months years and years ago.
It was horrific.
The amount of abuse we used to get, people threatening us, it got to a point where I just expected everyone to be an arse before I even spoke to them. That's why I left.

And I know you don't want to hear it, and you are very rightly pissed off that no one is helping you, but the people you are speaking to can do absolutely nothing to help you. They just can't. It's frustrating, they probably want to help you but if their manager or whatever is saying no, we need this, we have lost that, yes it's being processed, now it isn't" that is literally the only info they can pass on to you.

I know you said you are paying back loans already and can't afford any deductions but IIRC they can only deduct one loan at a time from your benefits, unless this has changed which means you won't start paying back this one til the other has finished if that's any help at all.

No they're taking 3 from me just now!

It's just that the person who left the message said I could call them back if I had any questions, this was the person from the benefit delivery centre, they didn't leave a number so I called the contact centre who couldn't answer any questions!

It's maddeningly frustrating and I understand it's a hard job to do. It just seems though that some people enjoy it.

ClippedPhoenix Wed 03-Oct-12 15:24:27

I feel your pain OP.

It's because it's a crap system where the arse doesn't know what the elbow is doing.

I got a letter last year informing me that they'd overpaid my housing/coucil tax benefit for 3 YEARS!!!!! yes 3 YEARS and they were stopping payments to my housing trust forthwith until all the debt was paid.

They have had the SAME information every year from me. Do they use abacuses???

It's shit OP

And breathe Clipped, breathe.

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