Tag: coronavirus

The government needs to reverse all sanctions and reinstate ESA and PIP payments immediately due to the coronavirus Covid 19 outbreak.

Dear readers and supporters I hope that you are coping the best that you can during this very uncertain and worrying time.

It’s ok for the government to say self isolate when you have no food and many of the local food banks have shut their doors due to the coronavirus. They’re finding it hard to hand do their work because they can’t source any food to hand out and supermarkets have understandably put restrictions on purchases.

As I was waiting for Gordon to arrive with the food parcels I had a conversation with a man that I’ve spoken about before. He ran up to me saying ‘Thank God you’re here because everywhere else is shut’ I reassured him that I will do my best to help for as long as I can.

He told me about his struggles trying to get help, saying ‘It’s OK for organisations and councils to say phone us or email them. I don’t have the ability to do that. I’m sanctioned because I lost my mobile phone and I missed a text telling me to attend an appointment’

I asked him if he was coping and he told me that he wasn’t really. He’s been given an old mobile phone that doesn’t have good access to the Internet and anyway he can’t afford to buy any credit.

I asked him to register his new number with the DWP by going into the Jobcentre and to let them know that he hasn’t got any access to the Internet. I also asked him if he can also ask about his sanction to see if anything could be done to help him.

Sadly there are so many more people finding themselves in the same position as he is in. Many are also stuck in limbo awaiting decisions for ESA and PIP appeal and tribunal decisions. They too are struggling with little or no financial assistance and now find themselves feeling very vulnerable and left behind.

I’ve asked the DWP via Twitter if they can reverse all sanctions and reinstate all ESA and PIP payments immediately. Extremely vulnerable people need to have the means to survive. Sadly not enough people are taking this seriously maybe because its not happening to them.

Just ask yourself if you could cope in this time of crisis with no income at all. Sat in the cold with no access to help.

So we are left with a barely skeleton service given by local support organisations, food banks have had to shut, doctors surgeries are mainly only accepting telephone appointments, libraries have shut and thousands of people are very worried about how they were survive. They’re also very worried about catching coronavirus (Covid 19)

Schools are shutting their doors to all pupils except children of keyworkers and vulnerable children.

Whilst I agree with the closure of schools the government needs to be much clearer about the voucher system that they’re supposed to be putting into place.

It’s also extremely difficult to source food because selfish hoarders are stripping the shelves of most food products. The supermarkets are supposed to be implementing strict rules so let’s hope that this will help.

Please remember to follow full hygiene protocols, this is very important. Check on your friends amd neighbours to see if they’re OK.

I want all my readers to know that I’m here for you if you want to chat, feel free to email me or follow me on social media.

Together we can be stronger and we will get through this.

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Emergency measures for prepaid energy meters now released.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-agrees-measures-with-energy-industry-to-support-vulnerable-people-through-covid-19

Many thanks to everyone that pushed for this in Parliament. After being a complete pain they finally listened and measures have now been put into place.

A huge thanks to everyone that shared my blog post concerning this.

I’m also hoping to be able to make some bread for my neighbours that are really struggling to feed themselves and their families.

If anyone sees any plain flour please could send some my way. I have some yeast but I’d like to make them enough bread to keep going. Thank you so much.

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I run this blog and the campaign with a zero budget. For anyone wanting to donate there’s a donate button at the top of the page and the side.

A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog.

Prepaid energy top up and Coronavirus. How do you top up your prepaid energy meters? IMPORTANT.

Dear readers I’ve been chasing down all the major energy companies on Twitter and asking them what their emergency provisions are for people unable to go to a shop to top up an energy card or key.

It’s a very important issue because so many of us, myself included are stuck on prepaid meters. If we don’t top up we get cut off and then what are we supposed to do?

Are we expected to just put up with being cut off from everything or is there help out there?

So to find out I started tweeting the major energy companies straight away. It was extremely eye opening to see that so many people didn’t even think about this being a problem. On the other hand many people were concerned and have shared my tweets.

So far these are the responses, the response from British Gas has to be the worst. The best response so far has to be from Bulb Energy. EDF came second in both response time and gave a decent answer to my question.

Listed below are all the responses that I’ve had so far. If I get anymore responses I shall add them to this blog post.

EDF

Hi Charlotte, thanks for getting in touch. The current advice from Public Health England for people who are self-isolating is to ask friends, family members or delivery services to carry out tasks such as getting groceries, medications or other shopping. These tasks would include the topping up of non-smart prepay energy meters. In circumstances where this is not possible, we have existing measures in place to make sure ]supply will continue in the short term. We are able to preload keys and cards with credit that can be collected by a customer or someone that is helping them from a local shop or alternatively can be delivered in the post. Any credit provided will be collected back at a suitable rate agreed with the customer. We also operate a friendly non disconnection policy on most meters, this means that if a customer runs out of credit after certain hours the electricity will not go off until 9am the next day. The operates between the hours of Monday to Friday 6pm to 9am, Saturday from 6pm, anytime on a Sunday, until 9am Monday, anytime on a bank holiday, until 9am the next day. Many thanks

BRITISH GAS

Hi Charlotte, customers may have enough emergency credit to last while they’re self-isolating at home. If they think they will run out, they should contact us to discuss their circumstances. We will work with them to find a solution. Thanks, Charlie

BULB

Hi Charlotte – This is a valid concern, we’ve advised prepay members to top up extra. If that’s not possible due to self-isolation or other potential issues we have a supply of keys/cards preloaded with credit. This is a new situation for us so our policy may evolve with time – M

Hi Lou – The preloaded key/card system comes with credit and is intended to help those who can’t have others top up for them. We’re following latest government policy and advice to ensure our own actions are up to date with developments – M

CENTRICA

Hi, you may have enough credit to last you while your self-isolating at home. If you think you’ll run out of credit, contact us to discuss your circumstances and we’ll work with you to find a solution. Thanks, Leanne

Hi Charlotte, we’ll continue to ensure customers get the help and support they need. If you think you’ll run out of credit, contact us to discuss your circumstances and we’ll work with you to find a solution.

E-ON

SCOTTISH POWER.

All DWP face to face interviews cancelled as of this morning.

Well at least it appears that the DWP have at last seen sense and have cancelled face to face appointments this morning.

If you are unsure or the DWP hasn’t messaged you yet please contact them to confirm this. It’s always good to double check.

If you have still been asked to attend your appointment please let me know.

Now let’s see if sanctions are lifted.

I’ll keep you updated as further news comes to light.

DWP Coronavirus procedures. Important.

DWP Virus info 13/03/20

For people already claiming support

Special arrangements will be in place for people in receipt of benefits who cannot attend reassessments or jobcentre appointments because they are required to stay at home or are infected by coronavirus.

• Claimants who cannot attend a reassessment for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit will continue to receive their payments while their assessment is rearranged.

• People who need to claim ESA or Universal Credit because of coronavirus will not be required to produce a Fit Note.

• When claimants tell us in good time that they are staying at home or that they have been diagnosed with coronavirus, they will not be sanctioned. We will review their conditionality requirements in their claimant commitment, to ensure they are reasonable.

• Claimants who are staying at home as a result of coronavirus will have their mandatory work search and work availability requirements removed to account for a period of sickness.

For people who need to make a new claim for financial support

We understand people who are required to stay at home or are infected by coronavirus may need financial support.

• Those affected by coronavirus will be able to apply for Universal Credit and can receive an advance without physically attending a jobcentre.

• The seven waiting days for Employment and Support Allowance for new claimants suffering from coronavirus or required to stay at home will not apply, so it will be payable from day one.

Employees and self-employed people

To make sure people in work can take the necessary time off to stay at home if they are suffering from coronavirus or to prevent its spread, changes have been made to Statutory Sick Pay and how Universal Credit supports self-employed claimants.

• People who cannot work due to coronavirus and are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay will get it from day one, rather than from the fourth day of their illness. We intend this measure to apply retrospectively from 13 March.

• Statutory Sick Pay will be payable to people who are staying at home on Government advice, not just those who are infected, this measure will apply from 13 March. Employers are urged to use their discretion about what evidence, if any, they ask for.

• If employees need to provide evidence to their employer that they need to stay at home due to coronavirus, they will be able to get it from NHS 111 Online instead of having to get a Fit Note from their doctor. This is currently under development and will be made available soon.

• Self-employed claimants on Universal Credit who are required to stay at home or are ill as a result of coronavirus will not have a Minimum Income Floor (an assumed level of income) applied for a period of time while affected.

Please continue to wash hands etc. I realise that many of my readers have a very limited diet already so please check with local food banks etc as to what their procedures are. We will hopefully still be outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre next week.

Also please check with your local doctors surgery because most of them have now iniated their own emergency procedures.

Try not to panic you will get through this. If you need someone to talk to and any further help please email me.

Love to you all.

I will continue to update my blog with further details and information.