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Thousands of people claiming ESA are being forced into poverty and debt by the despicable reformed ESA benefits system. Recent statistics show that 70% of people who go for a 'Work Capability Assessment' are deemed 'Fit for Work' and their ESA is stopped, despite them having 'Unfit for Work' lines from their own doctors. These WCA's are just a joke carried out by people such as Nurses and Occupational Therapists who get commission for booting claimants off ESA.


Previously if removed from ESA you could appeal immediately and you would continue getting it until the appeal is heard months later. However, now you must apply for a Mandatory Reconsideration of Decision first and whilst you wait for the decision (which could be several weeks at the very least) you cannot get ESA and may have to claim Jobseeker's Allowance. You then have to try and present yourself at the Job Centre as fit for some forms of work and be actively seeking work despite being certified as sick by your own doctor. A stupider more discriminatory system couldn't be dreamt up if you tried.


You have 28 days to request a Mandatory Reconsideration but every day you wait delays the decision, so I would suggest that the day you get the letter saying you no longer qualify for ESA is the day you should request a Mandatory Reconsideration by recorded delivery mail. Don't use normal post, they'll say they never received it. Once they have refused to re-instate your ESA you can lodge an appeal with the Tribunal Service. As soon as they acknowledge it your ESA can be re-instated pending your appeal which is unlikely to be heard earlier than 4-6 months.


If you want to have any hope at all of being deemed unfit for work at a WCA, do not travel alone to the assessment and do not attend it without support. Don't tell them you drove or came by public transport either. Don't look relaxed, cheerful or display good concentration and definitely do not smile or laugh EVER. Do not turn up well groomed or well dressed and if you have any aids such as sticks, frames, wheelchairs etc, bring them all and use them. Think of this assessment, not as an assessment because it clearly isn't. They are hell bent on booting you off ESA before they even see you, so when you go in there you are already deemed fit to work unless you can put across an incredibly strong case and also exaggerate it.


Ensure you arrange for a representative from Welfare Rights/Advocacy etc to attend with you. If you go without such a person your chances of being deemed unfit for work are probably less than nil.


The current system is an utter disgrace. I have created this post to make people aware before they go to a WCA what they are up against.


If you are booted off ESA, there's a cretinous sneaky new rule that if you then claim Universal Credit you cannot go back on ESA while you are waiting for an ESA appeal date. You won't find that anywhere online or in any Government benefits information because they don't want it known. If possible, avoid UC and claim contribution based Jobseeker's Allowance while you are awaiting the Mandatory Reconsideration of ESA decision.


The 2nd cretinous sneaky tactic the DWP are using is that when you are booted off ESA and your next sick line is due from your own Doctor, they are writing to YOUR DOCTOR behind your back the week before and saying this:


"As a result of Mr/Mrs.X's Work Capabilty Assessment he/she is not entitled to ESA from (date) and you do not need to provide any more fit notes to him/her relating to his/her disability/health condition for ESA purposes."


They are telling doctors not to issue further fit notes because they the DWP know best!!

So based on a WCA which lasts about 30 minutes and is seldom ever carried out by a Doctor and is normally carried out by a Nurse/Occupational Therapist who spends the whole meeting typing into a laptop and hardly even looking at you, they are saying 'we know better' than your GP who may have seen you weekly for 2 years or 20 years!?  ;D Clearly what you should do is go to your Doctor for your sick line as normal and if he/she mentions the letter from the DWP, explain to him/her how ridiculous it is given your ongoing health issues and request a further sick line. I would imagine doctors are sick and tired of these underhand, pathetic DWP letters and will issue you with a further sick line without a problem if your health condition merits it.


Perhaps the DWP could explain why the 30 minute assessment of a Nurse means you are fit for work when your DOCTOR says you are NOT? I would also like them to explain if this applies in hospitals also, so that we are all aware that important decisions in hospitals will now be made by Nurses and not Doctors? Perhaps doctors could be removed/paid off from hospitals and the Nurses, porters and catering staff could make all the decisions?




Please note: my comments are based only on my own experiences of debt and the benefits system, it is always best to contact a professional debt adviser/Citizen's Advice etc for advice.
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Dealing with Debt / Re: Being chased for a surprise utility bill
« Last post by Lisa Thomas on Jan 08, 2018, 11:24:48 AM »
This is more a question for a solicitor but I would think if the agents have signed the energy agreement I would think this is their liability albeit they may have the right to recharge you depending on the terms of your lease.


What was in your tenancy agreement about utilities and responsibility?


When you were with the previous provider was the utility contract in your name, your landlords or the agents?


Do you agree that you didn't pay for utilities for the last year and do actually owe somebody something?
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Dealing with Debt / Being chased for a surprise utility bill
« Last post by am86 on Jan 07, 2018, 07:46:43 PM »
Hi all,


I was hoping someone here might be able to offer some advice over a bill dispute with Spark Energy.


In the summer of 2016 my landlord put their flat that I was living in up for sale. They found a buyer and started proceedings to sell the property and I was handed my notice. The sale fell through and I was happy to stay until a new buyer was found.


I've since left the property and was amazed today to receive a call from Spark Energy chasing 1 year's worth of electricity bills for the old flat. They've advised that when the property was put up for sale originally the letting agent moved my electricity to Spark, I was previously with First Utility who were also substantially cheaper. Up until now I was of the belief that my direct debits had gone out as normal and all utilities had been paid.


I've spoken with the agent and they've said that they had to switch the electricity so they were aware who the utilities were with in the interim while the flat was empty, as stated in the housing act, but again the sale fell through so I shuldn't have been moved to a different supplier whilst in situ.


I've explained that I was incorrectly moved to Spark and didn't wish for this to happen and as a "goodwill gesture" they've deducted the "late payment fees" on the balance, reducing it to £500. First Utility would have cost £360 for the year.


I'm a little stuck and not sure what my rights are with regard to clearing the amount - do I pay the £500, do I offer £360 as that's what I would have paid with First Utility, do I refuse to pay it at all?


All and any advise would be greatly appreciated.


Best


A
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Bankruptcy / Re: Bankruptcy - reducing beneficial interest of home
« Last post by viditagarwal on Jan 02, 2018, 01:20:48 PM »
If you have a debt problem, one of your options for sorting it out might be bankruptcy. You can apply for bankruptcy if you can't pay back your debts. As well as applying for bankruptcy yourself, someone else you owe money to (a creditor) can apply to make you bankrupt, even if you don't want them to.


Source: DNS Accountants
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Dealing with Debt / Re: arrows and restons
« Last post by Lisa Thomas on Dec 04, 2017, 09:34:24 AM »
Check your credit records to prove when the debt was marked as satisfied and use this as evidence if you cannot get copy bank statement form your Bank.



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Dealing with Debt / arrows and restons
« Last post by thecatlady on Dec 03, 2017, 04:17:01 PM »
hi all im new   can you help


i paid off my halifax debt over 6 years ago   ive moved house twice since then      i now live with parents    just got a letter thurs  on my redirection  from arrow/restons solicitors threatening legal action over unpaid 15k halifax bill     my bill was never that high and i paid it years ago     i dont have proof


i checked my credit file nothing on it all clear  no ccjs either
i was given until 30th nov to send them my payslips etc   im innocent  so ignored it.  plus they dont know my ne address or phone number/email
advice please 
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Dealing with Debt / Computer Paper Topics
« Last post by MathJab on Dec 02, 2017, 04:50:00 PM »
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Dealing with Debt / Re: Lowell County Court
« Last post by Lisa Thomas on Nov 28, 2017, 11:43:59 AM »
You need some legal advice.  You could try reposting on the UK Business Forum legal section as I'm not sure any solicitors respond to posts on this forum, sorry.


ultimately if you don't correspond it won't go away and they could get a CCJ against you and start recovery proceedings.  You will no doubt need to prove the debt was disputed at the time and reach a resolution.


Alternatively you could chalk it up to a bad experience and pay it but get some legal advice first.
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Bankruptcy / Re: Bankruptcy - reducing beneficial interest of home
« Last post by Lisa Thomas on Nov 28, 2017, 11:41:55 AM »
Hi I believe I have answered this on another forum but the non- bankrupt owner will need to reach an agreement with the Trustee to buy out the bankrupt's interest in the property.


If there is sufficient equity and they, or third parties are unable to do this then the property is at risk of being repossessed and sold by the Trustee.


The non-bankrupt owner will receive their share of the net proceeds.
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Dealing with Debt / Lowell County Court
« Last post by jbb006 on Nov 26, 2017, 11:03:43 AM »
Hi Guys,

Very new to this, so any help is very much appreciated. 

I have received a Claim Form for Lowell Portfolio 1 LTD from Northampton county court business centre, for an alleged outstanding BT broadband debt of £290.00 from 5 years ago.

There was a a dispute with BT regarding broadband, not providing the service and speeds offered.

I am not sure the best way to respond to this.  I have further information, but not sure what is relevant/needed.

Thank you in advance for any help.


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