Debt collection agencies contracted to collect so called Universal Credit debt. Woman forced to attend appointment four days after giving birth. Welcome to Universal Credit hell.

Dear readers, its Thursday gain and I have just returned home from our weekly demo/ advice session. I’m knackered because I’m still recovering from my hospital stay and I’ve just had my flu jab. Thank you all for your good wishes, they have really cheered me up.

Please can I point out that everyone that we spoke to was given the help and advice appropriate to their needs and everyone that needed a food parcel was given one. We handed out five. Yes five in the space of two hours. Also everyone that needed to be signposted were signposted. I remarked to Roy that I felt like a member of staff working at Citizens Advice and the like.

It was busy from the get go so I will list everything as usual and will try not to complicate things.

The first person was a young man who has asked us for help today. He looked worried and was clutching two pieces of paper. I asked him if he was ok, he looked at me and said that he didn’t have a clue what this was about. He didn’t understand it.

I asked him if he had taken a Universal Credit advance? Because this is what they have stated in the letter. He said that he had applied for one but he was forced to move out of the property that he was living in so he didn’t sign the acceptance letter.

So he applied for an advance but didn’t receive it because he didn’t sign the return form. He didn’t receive the money and can provide bank statements to prove this.

So it appears that the DWP have presumed from the application that he has recieved the money and are now employing a debt collection agency to collect this money from him.

None of this adds up. The amounts don’t add up, the dates don’t add up and he stated that he didn’t owe this money in the first place.

This is a fine example of how incompetent the whole Universal Credit system is. Not one department talks to another, and instead of contacting this man or the relevant DWP first they just sent out a threatening debt collection letter. Not only are most people forced to claim Universal Credit constantly worried and anxious many it appears might also be facing a letter from a debt collection agency.

I also find this to be very intimidating. Many of my readers will already realise that most Universal Credit claimants are already in debt and letters like this could send a vulnerable person over the edge.

But do the DWP care? No, not one bit. Does the government care? No not a bit, infact they encourage this kind of treatment. They like to punish the most vulnerable for their poverty or disability, and I can tell you that this man has had a hard time of it already. Thank god we were there.

One question though, and its a rhetorical one. What the hell are the DWP doing employing a debt collection agency? And how much is that costing the tax payer, usually the poor tax payer at that? This man is still claiming Universal Credit and they could have contacted him but they didn’t.

We advised him and I phoned my local MPs office (Angela Rayner) and he is seeing a member of her staff tomorrow. We can only do so much and we are on the street, Angela’s staff will get to the bottom of this and find some answers for him. He is of a honest character and had no reason to lie about anything.

Anyway I’m disgusted. Unemployed people are often seen as the underclass, not deserving of anything and there is little sympathy for their situation. To echo this we were heckled by two people, possibly a third because I wasn’t sure of what they said.

Because we were stood outside a Jobcentre, helping people we were called scroungers and the like. For all of those working for the right wing media reading this, give yourself a tap on the back. It worked, your divide and conquer techniques worked. People like myself and those that help me are left to deal with the mess that you created. Be thankful that it wasn’t you… But it could be one day….

A man looking rather angry walked in and out of the Jobcentre on numerous occasions. We could see the frustration in his face and it was obvious that he didn’t want to talk to anyone, maybe he will next week. Just think what on earth could be making him feel this angry. They are the problem not him.

I spoke to a woman that was struggling to understand what was happening to her. English is her second language and Universal Credit is very complicated. How on earth is she supposed to understand it?

She showed me her letter of entitlement, she will be recieving £317 a month. Take rent top ups, gas, electric and other expenses out of that and she is left with very little to live on. Of course the government believe that this is acceptable because they are in the opinion that we are to blame for our own poverty. Meanwhile they couldn’t live off that amount of money, it probably wouldn’t last them half a day. We know how they like to live the high life at our expense.

Ryan the lovely young man came to say hello to us, I hugged him so tight and gave him all of your best wishes. He’s doing ok and he wants to say thank you for your best wishes. We had a good chat.

I spoke to a man that was working and claiming Universal Credit. He told me that he was working so classes himself as not claiming anything even though he is. The mind boggles. I handed him a leaflet anyway and wished him well.

I spoke to a young man that claims Universal credit and has been sanctioned. He told me that he had been arrested so couldn’t attend his signing on appointment. The DWP in their infinite wisdom decided that this isn’t a good enough excuse to miss your signing on appointment. Maybe the police should have marched him to the Jobcentre to sign on….. But they’ve got better things to do like solve crimes.

It’s not my place to judge him about his arrest but I can judge the DWPs decision as being completely unreasonable. What’s new eh….

I spoke to a young woman that is claiming Universal Credit. She told me that she’s never struggled as much in her life, that she’s never been as worse off as she is now. She can’t afford to buy presents for her children for birthdays and Christmas. She went on to say that shes reduced to tears, that she’s hungry and can’t see her way out. I had a long chat with her, handed her a food parcel and signposted her to relevant places.

I challenge anyone that believes that Universal Credit is a good thing, come and join us one week and look at this woman, look into her eyes, look how thin she is and then tell me that it’s a good thing.

I spoke to a young woman who arrived at the Jobcentre with her mother and newborn baby. Her baby is four days old, yes four days old. She was forced to attend an appointment so that she could hand her babies birth certificate to an andvisor so that she can claim the money for her baby. The DWP had refused to allow her mother to hand it in because they demanded her signature. She was struggling to walk, it had been a difficult birth. It’s obscene.

Last but not least. A person leaving the Jobcentre stopped me and asked to speak to me. This isn’t unusual by the way. They told me that they had witnessed a what looked like an elderly woman attend her appointment nearby. She was struggling to walk, and to be fair the first person that she spoke to was nice to her.

She struggled with the aide of others to attend her next appointment with another advisor, this time her treatment wasn’t as good. Questions were asked of her and lots of them.

“What’s wrong with you” she replied “I have heart failure”.

”Do you know WHY you have heart failure”………….

The questions continued, but my source was asked to leave the building so they didn’t hear them. Judging by her inability to do anything, standing was a struggle,it’s clear that she shouldn’t have been there.

As for asking her why she has heart failure…. Are DWP employees now medically trained? She’s got heart failure and clearly shouldn’t be there but is forced to be. There is not a job available that would suit her and no one would employ her because she has heart failure. JUST LEAVE HER ALONE.

Folks, this is a good example of how Universal Credit isn’t working for everyone. When claiming the ESA element of Universal Credit you still have to attend Jobcentre appointments. It’s obscene, and a very good reason why Universal Credit needs to be stopped and scrapped. it’s inhumane.

Just to be clear once again she was interviewed for a universal credit claim not ESA, but the element that replaces ESA.

Many thanks to everyone that came and helped today.

Many thanks to my readers and supporters of my blog, please like, share and RT my blog.

For anyone wishing to donate, there are donation buttons above and at the side. I do this off my own back and I’m not part of any big organisation. Every penny helps, thank you.

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19 thoughts on “Debt collection agencies contracted to collect so called Universal Credit debt. Woman forced to attend appointment four days after giving birth. Welcome to Universal Credit hell.”

  1. ”Do you know WHY you have heart failure”
    Heart failure is often congenital, as is my own HF. Heart failure can be induced by excessive drug use and/or drink but the vast majority result from something the patient was born with. In my case I was born four weeks premature which is bad enough nowadays let alone back in1950. My cardiovascular system didn’t mature properly resulting in my blood vessels being too small, and in later life my heart is being starved of oxygen. Don’t confuse heart failure with a heart attack although the latter can result in later heart failure.
    It’s the same mentality that asks whether multiple sclerosis “will get better” or an amputated limb will regrow.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Charlotte ,
        why do they revue Pips every five years? To see if any of your illnesses get better, I assure you that |I have my problems for life and they shall be having an effect on my well – being. Yes I try to be as active as I can politically but this is only if I get relevant support which I usually can. I support you and your friends all the way and wheneverI can I shall makemy way to standwith you and your people in Ashton.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. My dad was born in 1953. 12 years ago he developed idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. He was feeling unwell at work,so had to phone an ambulance to take him to hospital. This was his first sick day in his working life,from 1970 to 2006. He returned to work three weeks later,and between 2008 and 2012,he had two devices fitted to his heart that shocked him whenever his heart rate dipped below a certain rate. He continued working to 2013 when the factory he worked in closed down. Dispite the fact that by 2013, he had developed heart failure,he still applied for various factory jobs. The staff in the benefits office made him attend various meetings even though he had heart failure,and could prove he was looking for work. Even after working 43 years,he was made to feel like a scrounger. His pride made him sign of his benefits, and thus had to pay full rent in a council house without. The only thing keeping my mum and dad going to the best of my knowledge,is my dad’s work pension. My dad made me the man I am now, but had to retire from my job as a taxi driver due to ill health 2 years ago,aged 41. I had a couple of sick days off work between 1992 and 2017,and had to stop the job I loved. I currently have high rate pip and ESA, I worry I will lose these. Pride won’t force me to give up my benefits as I have a wife and kids to feed. I am a lot worse off financially on benefits. Whoever said you’re better off on benefits is lying,I’ve never struggled as much in my life. I worry that I may have to attend meetings at the job centre. I’m currently in the ESA support group that means I don’t have to attend meetings. If this changes,I fear judgement. I worked for 25 solid years, and if my dad was made to feel like a scrounger after 43 years work, then I’m in for an even worse time. Between the ages of 17 and 20, I worked in the local job centre,and the local benefits office. Although customers were treated quite badly in the early to mid 90s,it would appear that treatment has worsened. I finished my job in the benefits office aged 20 due to depression. The much older staff,apart from a couple,made me feel unwelcome. A doctor signed me off that job. I’m in dread of coming up against some of my former colleagues for fear that they will still harbor grudges from well over 20 years ago. Long story short, however, and apologies for my life’s story,it’s disgusting that job centre staff would ask how somebody got heart failure. Also,it was abhorrent that my poor dad had to face them, even though he was actively seeking work and also had heart failure!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wait till all the people using incontinence aids have to attend the interviews for UC, those with diverticulitis, ibs, Crohns ….. hot summers day, not enough toilets! The stench will be awful and the poor people attending will be so embarrassed! This government is inhumane

    Like

      1. No that’s not what I was saying. I have a severe bowl disability myself! Most job centres have little or no toilet facilities! It’s gonna be hell. When you have Crohns, ibs, diverticulitis etc and need the toilet, desperately, you can’t wait and get no warning either! The job centre staff couldn’t give a hoot about any of this. If you miss an appointment because you’ve had an accident or had to find a toilet, you’re gonna lose your pittance! Then there’s the embarrassment! So personally if it stinks in the job centre I couldn’t care less! But honest to god, that wasn’t the point I was making! I’m just trying to point out that the job centres are not set up for the disabled….. much like the rest of the country to be honest

        Like

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