TOPIC: ESA and all the rest . . .
ESA and all the rest . . . 1 year 8 months ago #212379
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Hi there everyone
I thought I'd leave a, rather long I'm afraid, message on here, as I actually have some good news, for a change!
On 2nd March, my husband died of heart failure and, as he was claiming ESA for us both, I told the DWP of his death. They immediately sent me a letter, demanding the payment back that they'd only just put into our account and, because I wasn't thinking, I did so. They then allowed me around £25 of it back - and that was the last ESA money I saw for almost 11 weeks
If it wasn't for the fact that I'd had my PIP examination last year, and had been awarded it again, I wouldn't have had anything at all to live on over the next 6 weeks - and it was only because a friend told me that I should apply for Widow's pension, that I realised I might be entitled to other things - although I then discovered that there's no such thing as Widow's Pension any more
Yet anothr benefit this government has stopped without our consent
Anyway, I applied for the Bereavement support, only to discover that, apart from a one-off lump sum of £2,500, which I've had to keep by, in order to pay for my husband's funeral [well, part of it, anyway], I have only been awarded the princely sum of £100 per MONTH, to live on - and this will only be paid to me for 18 months, when it will then stop - and I was told that it will also be taken away from any ESA award I get!
Anyway, I filled in the ESA50 form sent to me [they actually sent me 5 forms in the space of 3 weeks, with a covering letter in each, which had the tone of a threat to cancel if i didn't get it there in time! As you may imagine, I was grieving for the sudden death of my husband and, instead of compassion, all I got was thinly veiled threats from them
I managed to get the form completed by week 3 of the 4 weeks given to me - but only because I used a lot of the details from my PIP form to answer the questions, and also the wonderfully detailed advice from here, too as, I'm sure you can imagine, I was unable to think properly, let alone try and remember the dates and details that they were demanding!
A good friend took me the 22 miles to the nearest Jobcenter, so I could hand in the questionnaire , along with the medical stuff I needed to send with it, along with yet another medical certificate that they kept demanding of me, to prove my disability.
But it took another 2 more visits to the jobcenter, and a staff-wide search for the forms I'd been assured would be scanned immediately into the computer on that first viist - and which were then lost before being scanned - before they were eventually found, and I was assured, once again, that they would be scanned into the computer immediately, by a very embarrassed jobcenter worker.
As it happens, I didn't believe them, and called the ESA helpline the following week - only to discover that the jobcenter staff had, once again, left scanning in the forms for another full 5 days after my second visit! But what I also discovered, was that I was supposed to have been given another ESA form - called ESA3 - which was for me to claim ESA under an income-related claim. Nobody had told me this needed filling in, and so this, too, then made my claim even longer than it should have been
By week 10 after my husband's death, things were going badly for me, financially, and I hadn't heard from the DWP, and so I phoned them yet again, to find out what the hold-up was - but this time I phoned the main office here in Wales, rather than try for the local office - and I'm glad I did, as this is where I found out the jobcenter had once again left it a full 5 days before scanning in my form, after them promising to do it immediately, after their balls up of the original visit
Almost a week later, I got a letter from the DWP, telling me that i had been put in the Support Group!
Not trusting the letter, as it didn't mention if I needed to keep sending in medical certificates, or anything else of any relevance, I phoned up the main DWP office again and, as it happens, I actually spoke to a real human being, who totally made up for all the grief I'd been through
She looked through my account on the computer, then told me that, yes, I had been put into the Support Group, and that they'd judged my case on the ESA50 form I'd sent in, rather than making me have a medical! I was sooooo happy when she told me that!
She did tell me, though, that there was a note on my account, that I'd be getting another form in 18 month's time [something the letter hadn't mentioned], although there wasn't an explaination why - but I think it must be because my bereavement support will be finished by then
But, the fact is, I would probably have been made to have a medical, if i hadn't had all the info you wonderful people have put on this site, so I could fill in the form properly - including info from your recent email, which came in so very handily for me
So, I owe it to you all for making my life that much easier, and am so very thankful that I came across your site some 6 years ago now!
Many, Many Thanks for all your helpful advice, peeps
The following user(s) said Thank You: Drax
ESA and all the rest . . . 1 year 8 months ago #212391
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Sorry to hear that this has been such a dreadful start to your year but congratulations on the ESA award, well done.
tags: @RESULT @ESA
The following user(s) said Thank You: Katathome
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