DWP & ESA Discussion Forum

I've wanted to talk about this for a while now, and with recent events of what has been going on, I wanted to share it with you, and hopefully get your comments too if you have suffered the same or have been in a similar situation.Those who have been following my posts know that I suffer from Anxiety and Agoraphobia which are two serious and challenging health conditions that affect me on a daily basis.(Click here for more information on these conditions).

In the past year I have been claiming ESA (Employment Support Allowance) along with many others, but I never realised on how much of a struggle and stress it would cause, not only for myself but my family too.There are a number of things that I could list of all the issues that I've personally had,but it would be ridiculously long so I'm going to share my top 3 and hope you guys share yours too because this needs more awareness and what they are doing is wrong.

3.Call Centre/Staff Rudeness

When first applying  for ESA over the phone,I was met by someone who thought it would be ok to speak over me and sigh constantly down the phone.This caused me to stress about answering the questions more and  also took longer for me to process on what I wanted to say.Once the call was finished I assumed it was just a one off and that she was having a bad day, (a serious bad day at that)however I was wrong.The majority of phone calls I make or receive from the DWP always seem to either have someone rude or they are just not interested in what you have to say.

The worst incident I've had was trying to sort out an issue with my claim, and the lady on the other end then says to me "its just anxiety".I was furious yet really hurt which I responded with a simple "ok".I got issued an apology by the DWP a few weeks later for that comment, but other issues were still not sorted which is explained in the next section below.

2.Miscommunication & Repeated Conversations

Miscommunication seems to be a huge issue when it comes to the DWP, so much I'm sure I call them way more than I do to my own family.At the beginning I would call them and let them know the information they needed and left it at that until I started getting letters through the post saying "we haven't received your fit note".This kept happening numerous times, even though it showed it had be signed for, they still insisted that they hadn't received it and made me feel like I was lying.

That is just one example, another that I have had recently is to do with the Health/Work Assessment Appointments.I had one due in May which I couldn't attend due to my condition, and to cut the long story short, the needed information they were asking for was faxed through to them which should of been enough to get a home visit.

Speaking to them on the phone early last week I was told they received this, and  to now wait for the right department to arrange the appointment to be assessed at home.A few days ago I received a letter from them saying an appointment has been set up in July....at my local Job Centre. Furious I rang the department who set these appointments up to be told "they haven't received the needed information and it wasn't showing on there screen" and advised me to call the enquiry line, who then told me they have it showing on there screen, and they would get someone to call me back as they don't have the permissions to send it.

I did get a callback from the benefits office, and after repeating myself on the issue of what had happened, he assured me that he will post it to them and I should get a response by the end of next week.I'm now nervously waiting on this because I do not trust the DWP at all when they say there going to do something and they don't.

1.Can potentially make you more ill

My Anxiety/Agoraphobia has gotten worse, all because of the amount of stress they have caused.It also makes me worry for those who are way more vulnerable than me, whether that is condition/disability wise or there age, people should not be treated like this and to be made to feel like they have done something wrong.I've complained to them before as I said above and got issued an apology but it still doesn't give the right for them to treat us so badly and to not add the information on our records either.

I personally think there should be a live chat option,there you can record the information that was said in the chat, but at the same time if they can't log the call, then what says they will take the logged live chat seriously?What is the point of that automated phone call sentence "This call maybe recorded for legal and training purposes, and to improve our services"

I'm hoping this will grab the attention of the DWP and hope that they do improve there services and staff.Please share this post and comment below either publicly or anonymously on the issues that you may of had or currently  are dealing with.

Shanise      x

No comments:

Post a Comment