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.

Lol Clipped we can breathe together!

I just want all of this to be over, to be free of them but it's impossible. I could understand a couple of mistakes but they never seem to get anything right. You go through so many people that no one knows what each person is talking about!

Like you, my DGM got a letter through from HMRC saying she had underpaid by hundreds, that was a few months back. She then got another letter from them last week saying again she had underpaid by another few hundred!

ClippedPhoenix Wed 03-Oct-12 15:33:09

I got a debt collections letter a couple of years ago saying I owed £20 to their social loans fund from 10 years previous (I was on social for a year when son was a baby).

I'm being made redundant at the end of the year and I'm having heart palputations knowing I'm going to have to deal with them.

Will have to bring along a brown paper bag. grin

starfishmummy Wed 03-Oct-12 15:35:44

Scrodinger - there may be other places that can give you a voucher for the local food bank it you need it. Dare I say that the jobcentre should have a list of these places (and may be able to issue vouchers too).

Starfish I'm giving them to 5pm which is the latest they said I would get a call today otherwise tomorrow and if nothing by then I will phone them back and ask about the food bank.

Clipped That's ridiculous! shock They're taking a police fine from me from about 3 years. confused I don't believe I have recieved a fine from the police but no one will hear that! Have no idea how that has come across but it just seems less stressful to pay it.

YY to brown paper bag!

Does anyone know how to claim a hardship payment?

ClippedPhoenix Wed 03-Oct-12 15:50:48

I paid the ruddy thing too although I didn't owe it just to make them bugger off.

Basically what I am doing with this magical fine then!

'Tis madness.

I paid back tax credits the £790 I allegedly owed them. They then told me I didn't owe it and gave it back. Then wrote to me a month later saying I had been over paid by £910 and I had to pay that back.

Seriously!? That is a lot of money to play about with... See what I mean about everything they do is a mistake normally!

Viviennemary Wed 03-Oct-12 16:04:49

If you are being really messed about and they are being totally inefficient and unreasonable and not dealing with you properly then say you will be informing your MP.

MrsDimples Wed 03-Oct-12 16:07:01

I posted some paperwork, several times, each time they 'never received it'. Highly embarrassing having to go back time & time again to get the information again. Eventually I scrounged the money to send the paperwork recorded delivery. Had the online screen print of the signature & they were still denying receiving it.

It was very helpful when handing it over to the judge who clearly didn't believe the DWP were capable of anything other than honesty & effiency.

Cunts.

Really hope you get things sorted soon OP.

Vivienne That's a good idea but will that not just get their backs up?

Mrs Thanks, hope it will too. I am for some reason being optimistic. smile That is really pretty shit, how can they deny when you had sent it recorded delivery? The DWP should really complain about their organisation skills Royal mail, I don't think anyone in the world has so much mail "lost in the post". hmm

What amazes me is they can lose things in the post after acknowledging recieving them!! That's quite a skill.

littlemisssarcastic Wed 03-Oct-12 16:14:30

The DWP is totally incompetent. Not much help to you I'm afraid but I'm amazed they lose/misplace/make so many mistakes and yet still manage to actually function and process claims. They must spend unthinkable amounts of time chasing paperwork they have neglected to look after.
Sympathy OP. Hope you get it sorted soon.

BrittaPerry Wed 03-Oct-12 16:15:14

Another vote for MP. Mine sorted mine within 24 hours, AND i got an apology and £50 compensation (bit of an insult after the stress and hardship they had put us through for three months, but they did it unprompted)

Tax Credits are not paid by Jobcentre Plus
Neither is Housing Benefit.

OP, phone your Jobcentre and tell them you need to escalate this problem. That usually ensures a faster response.

All Jobcentre Plus benefits are processed from a centralised processing team, not the individual Jobcentre. It used to be the case I could go and see someone in the same office to sort out questions like this. Now we have to send queries via an online system. We can't even speak to them unless the customer is somehow vulnerable.

It stinks, but blame the Government who decided this was a good way to save money, not the poor, overworked, screamed at all day staff, please.

Empusa Wed 03-Oct-12 16:17:30

Have had far too many run ins with them. One time they "forgot" to pay us, so I rang them up, they admitted their mistake and said they'd ring me back. Few hours later they ring me back and say they'd sorted out, so I ask if I'm getting the money sent over, they say, "yes, it's on it's way to you now". At first I say thanks, then thought I'd just clarify whether it would be a cheque or straight into the account. Their response?
Them "Erm...well... I don't know"
Me "Could you find out?"
Them "Well the request hasn't been sent yet"
Me "The request? I thought you said it was on it's way?"
Them "No, it isn't, it needs to go through accounts first"
Me hmm

Bloody joke sad

But then they also claim the they didn't receive one form from us till 10 months later, despite one of their staff signing and dating it on the day we gave it to them. hmm

This is the problem already escalated! They still don't call back and everytime I call back they say well all they can do is escalate it again. hmm

Normally I would just blame the government but there has been so many mistakes and being told everything is fine for it not to be or that something has been done that hasn't, I think some of the staff have to take at least some of the blaim.

And leaving a message on the answerphone when they knew there would be no way for me to get in touch with them to discuss it is just crap, they had told me they would try 3 times to call before they do that. The message was left when I took a phone call that lasted less than a minute!

Last time when they said they would call, I called back after the latest time and they said it had been put down as "call cleared" and that someone had contacted me which was a complete lie.

WholeLottaRosie Wed 03-Oct-12 16:22:23

I used to work there. Abuse all day, every day, sworn at, spat at, threatened. It's really hard to stay positive when you are getting that much shite directed at you.

I smiled at every claimant and greeted them good morning/ afternoon. If I smiled too much I got "Wipe that fucking grin off your face or I'll wipe it off for you".
Next claimant "Cheer up you miserable cow"

Oh and I got paid less for working there than some people were getting in benefits.

Re post going missing - at our office the post-room workers were employed by Group 4, they were the ones signing for post not the BA staff.

Empusa That's what happened the first time I called today!! They said it would be in by 4:30.

2 mins, on phone to them.

Naoko Wed 03-Oct-12 16:25:22

I feel for you OP because the system is godawful and I've been there, the DWP as an institution can't find its arse with its elbows. However they're a large employer round where I live and I have several friends who work there (because unemployment here is sky high and they need the money). Every single one of them hates it. The money's crap, the job's crap, staff morale is sub zero, management seems to exist to make callcenter staff miserable, policy is insane and in some cases against the law (you'd think if anyone could get employment law right it'd be the DWP, but you'd be wrong), staff turnover is sky high. When the people on the phone say they can't help you, they mean it. Policy is insane and there is literally nothing they can do. My friends hate it. Complaining to an MP will not get their backs up, the people I know who work there would be happy that you did, because they you to be ok, they just have no way to make it happen - and they all despise the DWP as an institution and love it when someone like an MP cuts through the crap.

Surely when I phone and am really nice to them that should cheer them up a but then!

Sorry about that badly written short message, am still on phone.

Oh, I love that man I have just spoken to!

He spoke to his Team Leader and came back and said they were confused because they are saying they have lost a form after they have said they have recieved it! Has told me to point it out tomorrow when they phone as "someone" has made a mistake as they definitely got it!

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