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TOPIC: Total mess wirh ESA payments

Total mess wirh ESA payments 2 months 2 weeks ago #226029

Last year I moved house and informed DWP ESA of my change of address. It was an incredibly stressful time for me as my family were declared homeless, however it only got worse as the council house we moved into was totally unsuitable for habitation, and was riddled with damp, insects and mould. We had to live there whilst it was all sorted and it was very difficult. I was under the care of the crisis team for about 5-6 weeks and every ounce of resource we had went into supporting our son -everything else went out the window.

In January I noticed that I had not been paid my ESA and going back through my bank statements checking, I discovered I had not been paid anything since before we moved house.

We managed to reduce our monthly outgoings by about £175 p/m when we moved and our social landlord gave us a further substantial reduction in our rent for compensation for what we suffered over the summer. This was why we hadn't detected it for so long, plus the fact that I have a massive overdraft we used most of over the same period.

Anyway, upon raising this with them I received a back payment but I made a complaint about what had happened. DWP admitted fault because their member of staff who I reported the change of address to didn't close the process and so it was never logged on the system. They stopped my payments after another department in DWP registered the change of address.

After I provided evidence of my overdraft charges for the same period I had a phone call asking me to submit bank statements for the period of time I was without ESA payments as the fact I was able to manage for so long was 'highly unusual'. I have been told that I'm not under investigation but I am worried sick now. I was really in a lot of distress over the summer and I'm now concerned if I made an error with anything, like for example, recording my permitted work earnings, they are going to pounce on me. I am going to check back through my earnings submitted once I have calmed down, but what would be best to do - tell them if I find an error or wait for them to come back me to to discuss anything?

I get this is really unique but any help you can offer would be really appreciated.

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Total mess wirh ESA payments 2 months 1 week ago #226049

Pixie

Certainly, if you have gone outside of the limits allowed by your benefits you need to report it to the DWP but otherwise, I would just submit the statements and wait to see what they see.

Gordon

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