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    • Leavemealone
    • By Leavemealone 6th May 18, 9:53 PM
    • 5Posts
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    Leavemealone
    DWP Harrassing us
    • #1
    • 6th May 18, 9:53 PM
    DWP Harrassing us 6th May 18 at 9:53 PM
    We are 2 females of pension age who occupy one house. We are in poor health, and getting worse. We have no family support. We keep our own bank accounts, nothing joint, however for the past 15 months we feel we are being harrassed.

    About 15 months' ago we each received letters advising of a 'joint' visit, at the time I was hospitalized and this was cancelled.

    A couple of months' later, our Pension Credits were suddenly stopped and another visit was announced after 2 weeks' payments had been missed. A nice lady came we answered all of her questions truthfully, even offering her a tour of the house as she seemed to be questioning our living arrangements. She declined, said she was happy, and said our benefits would begin very shortly. 13 weeks later, nothing, no letters, no money, nothing. I was again in hospital, and a helper on the ward told my friend she should contact CAB. That proved impossible no local telephone number, and being disabled there was no parking anyware near the local office so my friend called DWP. Nothing much was said, she was asked to wait, then after a short while was told the back payments would be put into her bank that day, and regular payments would commence the next Monday, no apology, no explanation, nothing. When I came home from hospital I did the same, and was treated in the same way. For almost a year nothing happened, no contact, nothing, and nothing has changed in our individual circumstances, however, the day before this bank holiday weekend, one of us received a letter telling to say that the addressee only, should attend for interview, bring all the usual and sometimes very private pieces of 'evidence'. The same that they had seen from both of us during their last visit.

    Both of us are physically disabled and would be claiming carers' allowance for each other, but we are too old. We just want to be left alone for whatever time we each have left, and their continual embarrassment and innuendo are causing much anxiety.

    Personally, I have a re-occurrence of Cancer being treated, We have both received the recently highlighted breast screening letters, I have just had a knee replacement, am being treated for a painful hip -problem and now diagnosed with Arthritis of the spin to add to all the other joints that are already affected.

    We really would just like these people to be honest with us and stop treating us this way. We never made a formal complaint about the 13 weeks with Pension Credit, perhaps we should have?

    What would anyone suggest to get them off our backs, or will only death do that.
Page 2
    • soolin
    • By soolin 7th May 18, 4:16 PM
    • 60,307 Posts
    • 42,968 Thanks
    soolin
    Imagine this from a different direction for a moment, if this was a man and woman living together as 'companions' I am quite sure that DWP would be visiting to assess the living circumstances. As there should be no discrimination any more any couple that claim as two individuals whilst sharing a lifestyle together should be looked at.

    Discrimination laws whilst an absolute necessity nowadays can have unintended consequences on benefit arrangements that perhaps 20 years ago would not have been been thought about.
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
    New to Forum? Guide
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 7th May 18, 4:17 PM
    • 2,021 Posts
    • 2,339 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    The criteria adopted by DWP will include the following:
    Living in the same household
    Stability of relationship
    Financial support
    Dependent children
    Public acknowledgement
    Sexual relationship.

    It is perfectly possible for two single people to share accommodation, and provide mutual support but not be assessed by the DWP as living together as man and wife (or civil partner)

    https://www.advicenow.org.uk/guides/survival-guide-benefits-and-living-together
    Alice Holt Forest situated some 4 miles south of Farnham forms the most northerly gateway to the South Downs National Park.
    • Xbigman
    • By Xbigman 7th May 18, 6:28 PM
    • 3,093 Posts
    • 1,337 Thanks
    Xbigman
    Why not phone the DWP and ask for a home visit due to disability and a recent operation. The DWP might refuse this and want to see each lady separately but its well worth asking.



    Darren
    Xbigman's guide to a happy life.

    Eat properly
    Sleep properly
    Save some money
    • Leavemealone
    • By Leavemealone 7th May 18, 11:14 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Leavemealone
    Thank you for all of your comments. To enlighten you more, we met over 40 years ago at our children's' school, and remained friends with partners and growing children. As Partners died and children left home and we each became disabled and lonely, we realized that we could make helping each other at times of need, could be better served if one or us permanently moved into the others' home. My home has 3 bedrooms so would be better to each have a 'bed siting room for each of ours privacy, plus a spare room for visitors, we do not even have a TV etc. in the main lounge because we retire to watch TV in our own personal spaces. I became more disabled and had to give up work, my friend continued working. So when I made my first claim all the relevant details were given and the DWP made their decision based on those facts. The time came for my friend to retire and receive State Pension, and again all the relevant details were taken, and a decision made. Neither of us discussed these decisions as they were personal. To this day our situation remains just that, but, a few years' ago I was assessed for a wet room conversion and the OT that came to the house was very very inquisitive, even after having the full run of the home, and this is where the innuendo comes in. she actually almost bullied us into answering person questions, and I had to ask her to leave.

    It was about 6 months' after that that we were both summoned to the office as I have explained above.

    We are not, nor have ever been in a sexual relationship with each other. We are friends caring for each other in end of life days, and if that is seen as a reason to keep visiting an\or making us come into their offices, why do they not just ask the question and get it done with!

    They had our payments stopped for 13 weeks last year, and we have never had a decision, or explanation since we made those statements and our monies were back paid so I have to assume they were happy then with our situation, so as my health gets worse, and these may well actually be the final end of life days, do they think we have suddenly started frenetic sex life, when I can hardly walk and my friend with C O P D can not breath well!!!! If the picture was not so funny, It is at least stupid at the very least, and, after all the statements and visits over the years, actually causes offence.

    Of course you all, and they have a right to ask, and we would give you an honest answer or explanation if the questions were asked straightforwardly but they are not, they are asked in such a way as to try and 'trip us up' problem is we answer with truth and honest, our old brains are to addled to start making up lies now, sometimes i can't remember what day it is, let alone who I slept with and what we did last night!! We have both been honest, caring people and whilst I do not think that we deserve any kind of 'special' treatment, why keep on doing this, or perhaps they hope to catch one of us up a ladder cleaning peoples windows for cash in hand!
    • Danday
    • By Danday 7th May 18, 11:39 PM
    • 354 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    Danday
    The fact that there is no sexual relationship does not in itself prove that there is no relationship. Even sleeping apart is not proof. Indeed those in a relationship might well live in different countries or one may work away from home for months at a time. It is the whole situation that they are looking at.
    I'll try and give you an example.
    I was an administrator (no will) for my late uncle who had a lady friend live with him. Her retirement income was treble that of my uncle as was her bank balance.
    Yet she made a claim for half his estate (the house valued at 800,000) in his name only. Following expensive counsel advice it was deemed that they lived together (actually they slept in different bedrooms and were simply two lonely friends) I had to settle her claim for 50% of the net estate.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 7th May 18, 11:46 PM
    • 1,708 Posts
    • 2,291 Thanks
    NeilCr
    "I think newcomers to this forum need to bear in mind that this is a public site on which anyone can post. You can't assume information is trustworthy, indeed some posters are known to disrupt, post disinformation, and tell tall stories.

    I would caution newcomers to be wary of any advice supplied that doesn't contain a link to an authoritative site. Such sites include adviceguide, entitled to, turn2us, revenuebenefits.
    Accredited benefit advice is available from local advice agencies such as Citizens Advice.

    Please don't take horror stories about benefit assessments, appeals etc at face value. There are posters on here who whose aim seems to be to alarm, frighten, and generally dissuade OP's from pursuing sensible actions to claim / regain the right benefits.

    Harmful and misleading posters are easily identified by the reaction to their posts
    • Tommo1980
    • By Tommo1980 8th May 18, 8:35 AM
    • 374 Posts
    • 587 Thanks
    Tommo1980
    I think it is quite clear from the information given that the 2 ladies form 2 separate households.

    The DWP have obviously come to that conclusion on previous assessments and, assuming nothing has changed, will do so again.
    • Leavemealone
    • By Leavemealone 8th May 18, 5:32 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Leavemealone
    I apologize if I have posted offensively, this was never my intention.
    • w06
    • By w06 8th May 18, 6:34 PM
    • 579 Posts
    • 871 Thanks
    w06
    that wasn't aimed at you, it's a warning about posters who post less than reliable information and enjoy the attention they create
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 8th May 18, 6:52 PM
    • 4,883 Posts
    • 5,217 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    I can understand that being interviewed again by DWP must be annoying and frustrating (to say the least) but you will have to comply with their requests. As has been said by others, your situation was examined previously and it was determined that you were not living as a couple. There is no reason to believe that this time round will be any different.

    As you will discover, with any open forum you will inevitably come across some 'information' and 'advice' from individuals who clearly live in their own fantasy world. I agree with much of what NeilCr posted in #26 above but not the section about being wary if no link is provided.
    I worked for DWP for a number of years and very rarely provide links when queries are of a fairly general nature. I don't believe that makes my contributions any less valid.
    • benidorm59
    • By benidorm59 8th May 18, 6:53 PM
    • 125 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    benidorm59
    Reading the OPs post, the DWP assumed LTHAW did a visit then a SDM did a decision found them not living together and paid them. They never usually suspend the benefit until a decision has been made.
    I think now this new letter and interview for one of them may be to do with something else. Though a case is always reviewed every twelve months for living together if the circumstances haven't changed. Think if the benefit is suspended this time before a new decision is made an official complaint should be made or MP involved
    Last edited by benidorm59; 08-05-2018 at 6:57 PM.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 8th May 18, 7:16 PM
    • 1,708 Posts
    • 2,291 Thanks
    NeilCr
    I agree with much of what NeilCr posted in #26 above but not the section about being wary if no link is provided.
    I worked for DWP for a number of years and very rarely provide links when queries are of a fairly general nature. I don't believe that makes my contributions any less valid.
    Originally posted by TELLIT01
    Nor do I, which, I suspect, was why the original author chose the word wary. Trolls very very rarely support what they say with links. Therefore, newbies, especially, need to check out the posters back history to see how their posts have been received and how helpful they have been.

    With links, it's easy to validate what the poster has said.

    And I do know from my own experience having worked in HR how easy it is for your knowledge to become out of date. I think you may have mentioned this before TELLIT01
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 8th May 18, 9:05 PM
    • 4,883 Posts
    • 5,217 Thanks
    TELLIT01
    And I do know from my own experience having worked in HR how easy it is for your knowledge to become out of date. I think you may have mentioned this before TELLIT01
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    Your absolutely correct Neil. That's why I don't answer any questions about UC. Changes to the likes of ESA and IS are limited - too much effort for the limited return for DWP. There were some changes around the time I stopped working on ESA but they are more around time limiting on benefit rather than basic entitlement.
    • w06
    • By w06 8th May 18, 9:26 PM
    • 579 Posts
    • 871 Thanks
    w06
    Even the folk currently working on UC at the DWP and job centre are (understandably) having to keep checking the rules, it so new and incongruous at times.
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 9th May 18, 12:14 AM
    • 3,808 Posts
    • 5,234 Thanks
    Nick_C
    I don't think the guidance on living together has changed much in 35 years, except it now covers same sex couples
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 9th May 18, 7:56 AM
    • 30,579 Posts
    • 57,766 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    I apologize if I have posted offensively, this was never my intention.
    Originally posted by Leavemealone
    The poster was not referring to you.
    • Leavemealone
    • By Leavemealone 16th May 18, 4:49 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Leavemealone
    Outcome
    Well, a bit dumbfounded really, as I was not there I cannot say for sure what happened, but my friend came out in tears saying she was moving into bed and breakfast so that I and she could each have carers without any loss of income? She has booked into Premier Inn for a week in order for her and possibly my incomes will not change.
    Cannot for the life of me know what was said, but she does not cry and take this kind of action lightly and certainly would not act this quickly if threats were not involved, I get a 'nod' when I ask have you been threatened with loss of income if you do not do this.
    Obviously DWP will not tell me, and rightly so, what was said and 'threatened". Not really sure where to go from here. Have attempted to get a 'quick' Doctor Appointment, telephone next wednesday morning, might be something Then, if urgent, urgent now, "phone 111!
    • w06
    • By w06 16th May 18, 7:18 PM
    • 579 Posts
    • 871 Thanks
    w06
    sorry to hear it didnt go well.

    Surely a week in a Premier Inn will cost more than either of you stand to lose?

    I don't think your GP will be able to help you with this, it's more to do with how the DWP perceive your living situation than any health issue.

    Where does carers allowance come into the equation? Life partners or friends or completely unrelated folk can claim it provided meet the rules.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 16th May 18, 7:19 PM
    • 4,883 Posts
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    TELLIT01
    I can't know what was said, but I suspect that the way your friend answered questions led to the conclusion that you are a couple. That could easily be down to the way the questions were phrased. All she can do is wait for formal notification and then appeal.
    • Leavemealone
    • By Leavemealone 16th May 18, 10:18 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Leavemealone
    It has, apparently to do with Disabled allowance as part of pension credit and Council Tax when for 2 people (not a couple). She had to move out today or benefits would be stopped. Unfortunately she is not at Premier Inn, no expense there, suspected stroke at 4pm, no more details as of yet.
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