When dad got the letter from work saying that his sick pay had run out, mum rang “Job centre+” as you are meant to. They confirmed that incapacity benefit shouldn’t be a problem but would only pay 70ish quid a week and that they would need to top this up with income support or, given his age being just over 60 that he might be able to get pension credit instead. As the pension credit setup is supposedly easier than sorting income support they advised mum to contact the pension credit people.

This she did only to get “Oh no, if he is under 65 he will need to claim income support not pension credit. Don’t know why they told you to ring us”….

So we head into the job centre+ pit of dispair and fill in the paperwork, supply tweltymillion forms of id etc etc and off go the applications. The woman in there explained how if income support was granted, things like council tax benefit etc would come automatically – and if income support wasn’t granted how we would have to apply for each and every extra benefit individually.

Strangely, while we waited for the paperwork to come back (again) a letter from the council arrives asking for a load of proof (that we don’t have as it’s in ramsgate with social services) and a copy of the letter with the results of the income support claim. The letter we don’t have. Odd, we haven’t contacted the council at all yet (was advised not to by the jobcentre people…).

Next day, a letter and claim form from the pension credit people asking for the same papers again (nope, they are still missing somewhere in action). Odd, they told us he couldn’t claim pension credits until he was 65.

Today was the deadline for the social services to get back to mum and dad with the results of the income support claim. Predictably, nothing arrived in the post so mum rang them. “it’s in the post. It was sent to you days ago you should have it now”. Great…

After a bit more digging they finally come out with “yes, you have been granted incapacity benefit but you haven’t got income support as you should apply for pension credits instead as he is over 60″….

Mr Arse meet Mr Elbow. It feels like we are stuck in some godawful 80s text adventure game (only with a 10 day wait between each move).

In other news, both Norwich Union and Legal and General have agreed to “consider a claim” on dads critical illness policies. May take 3 months for a decision (eh? how??). Must be a bugger if you are suffering from a critical illness that gives you a couple of months to live.

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3 Responses to

  1. Barry says:

    I fail to see how anyone can defraud the the benefit system! It’s way too complicated to understand just to get what you are entitled to, not to mention that how they determine eligibility is secret! Take Child Tax Credit as an example!

    If they taught “Benefits Claims” as an academic subject, it would at least have to be at MSc level!

    Good luck wading through the red tape…

  2. pao says:

    See it’s your Dad’s own fault for getting ill and being honest. If instead he had been a skiving gobshite it would be easy to fiddle both the benefits and the mortgage people.

    The whole system is utterly biased against legitimate claims, sadly the knowledge of how to screw the system rather than be screwed by it seems to be hereditary.

    Good luck, dunno about wading through red tape though, more like drowning in it.

  3. mrspao says:

    I’d go to the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and see what they say.

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