Anyone know what I can do about DWP not dealing with my Carers Allowance claim?

I know my claim isn't the most straightforward, but it's getting silly now, and they seem to look at it when I phone, "refer it to someone to be looked at urgently", then forget about it until I ring in again.
Background: Hubby had bowel cancer diagnosed in March 2019, 3 operations in two weeks, 3 months of vacuum dressing on an extremely large partially open wound, chemo, pulmonary embolisms, a bleed on the brain, more chemo, more pulmonary embolisms, cancer spread and he passed away in June this year. I gave up work as a teacher to spend time with him and look after him, continued external exam marking, got a part time job to work around his hospital/ doctor visits , and continued a small side hustle on Ebay.
After his brain bleed I applied for carers allowance when I had done my accounts in March 2022. I was given some back pay, and told I was entitled from the end of March 2022. Never heard any more, but by this time, hubby had oedema, and lots of doctor/ hospital appts as the cancer was causing issues with his mobility, so I forgot about my claim.
In March of this year, hubby was basically bed bound, so I had a bit more time, and decided they must have closed my claim, so re applied, stating what had happened, and sent all of my income details off for March 2022 to March 2023. I asked whether I needed a new claim, or if they could look at my previous one again.
And....nothing...... I ring them every month, and they just say they will look into it, and I needn't have put in another claim. I can't appeal, as they haven't made a decision for me to appeal, and I keep just getting fobbed off, anyone know what I can do, does this seem like a reasonable timescale? 

Comments

  • sammyjammy
    sammyjammy Posts: 7,293
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    Speak to your MP.
    "You've been reading SOS when it's just your clock reading 5:05 "
  • huckster
    huckster Posts: 4,776
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    Sounds like the claim has become so complicated that they don't know what needs to be done after you phone them. 

    Follow DWP complaints process which you will find online.  And contact your local MP as already suggested.

    Once complaint is registered a complaints resolution manager is assigned and they will look to resolve with you.
    The comments I post are personal opinion. Always refer to official information sources before relying on internet forums. If you have a problem with any organisation, enter into their official complaints process at the earliest opportunity, as sometimes complaints have to be started within a certain time frame.
  • Alice_Holt
    Alice_Holt Posts: 5,853
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    As well as making a compliant and copying in your local MP, it could be worth contacting a Macmillan benefits caseworker 
    https://www.macmillan.org.uk/cancer-information-and-support/get-help/financial-and-work/welfare-rights-advice

    One option a welfare benefits caseworker may be able to use is a pre-action judicial review letter
    https://cpag.org.uk/welfare-rights/judicial-review

    These are sent directly to the DWP lawyers who (in law) have 14 days to respond. it can be an effective tactic to unblock DWP delays. 
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
  • Robbie64
    Robbie64 Posts: 1,930
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    huckster said:
    Sounds like the claim has become so complicated that they don't know what needs to be done after you phone them. 

    Follow DWP complaints process which you will find online.  And contact your local MP as already suggested.

    Once complaint is registered a complaints resolution manager is assigned and they will look to resolve with you.
    BiB: I agree. it sounds like a claim which keeps being put back to the bottom of the pile because the person looking at it doesn't know what to do with it.
    As suggested, the local MP should be able to get it swiftly resolved.

  • sheramber
    sheramber Posts: 18,633
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    huckster said:
    Sounds like the claim has become so complicated that they don't know what needs to be done after you phone them. 

    Follow DWP complaints process which you will find online.  And contact your local MP as already suggested.

    Once complaint is registered a complaints resolution manager is assigned and they will look to resolve with you.
    hos to complain about service from DWP

    https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-work-pensions/about/complaints-procedure
  • p60jo
    p60jo Posts: 6
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    Thank you all, very helpful info. I am going to give them one last chance on Monday, and if they still haven't done anything  I will put in a complaint.
    The worst of it is, one of my deceased Husband's pensions had a dependant's pension payable. I took this as a lump sum, as I will need to find somewhere else to live, it took me just over the 40% tax threshold for the year. Carer's allowance is taxable, so if they pay me now I will have to pay 40% tax on the back pay, though it should mostly have been paid in the last tax year. I think I may be able to fight that one, but I could do without the constant battling to get people to do their jobs properly. Even the pension company paid the lump sum into someone else's account, then also had to send me an extra payment because they had deinvested the money late! HMRC took 40% tax off the whole lump sum, and told me not to worry, as it would get sorted when they looked at my tax next year. It seems to be  "kick them when they  are down". 
  • > if they pay me now I will have to pay 40% tax on the back pay, though it should mostly have been paid in the last tax year.

    I'm fairly sure that tax is due in the year it should have been paid rather than the year it was actually paid, since tax isn't (generally) charged on a cashflow accounting basis. For employee backpayments it's clear: I can't do links, but see HMRC PAYE manual page paye70023, and for state pension I've helpfully had HMRC correct a return I did for my dad (by only a few quid) to reflect this rule. I can't find a source confirming this for Carers Allowance right now, but it's probably HMRC's public staff manual - but when I received my first CA payment in the tax year after I was due, but before I'd completed self-assessment for the previous tax year, I allocated the payments in SA across both tax years according to the actual week in which payments were due, and HMRC were fine with this.
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